Last Updated on August 4, 2023 by admin
Adopting a cat or kitten comes with a lot of responsibility. One of the big decisions every owner must make is whether to neuter or spay their cat. Neutering your cat can be a costly affair in addition to the emotional burden for many first time cat parents. Some people don’t like the idea of robbing their cats of the ability to have children or forever changing their cats behavior.
But if you don’t intend or want your cats to breed the benefits of neutering far outweigh the cons. One thing to remember is that neutering your cat will help your cat live a longer and happier life. This is especially true if you own or plan to own many cats of both sexes. It’s the only way to have them in the same house without becoming flooded kittens. Not only that the sexual competition will lead to more fights and conflict between your cats.
Here are the benefits of neutering or spaying your cat:
- Prevents diseases like cancer
- Improves cat behavior
- Helps control cat population
- Lowers the risk of your cat running away
- Reduces the spread of disease
- Helps your cat live longer
Let’s go through these benefits separately.
Prevents Diseases like Cancer
For female cats spaying can prevent a variety of diseases like breast tumors and uterine infections. Spaying is literally the best way to prevent your female cat from getting cancer.
Neutering your male cat prevents testicular cancer as well as problems with their prostate.
What Happens if You Don’t Spay or Neuter Your Cat?
If you choose not to spay or neuter your cat, there are several potential consequences that can arise. Male cats that are not neutered are more likely to roam and engage in fights with other cats, which can lead to injuries and the transmission of diseases. They are also more prone to mark their territory by spraying urine, which can be a nuisance for both owners and neighbors. Additionally, unneutered male cats may exhibit aggressive behavior. In the broader context, neglecting to spay or neuter pets can contribute to pet overpopulation, as uncontrolled breeding can lead to an excess of kittens that may not find suitable homes. Therefore, it is important to consider the potential risks and benefits of spaying or neutering your cat in order to promote their overall well-being and prevent pet overpopulation.
What Is the Downside of Neutering Cats?
The downside of neutering cats is that it can lead to weight gain in male cats. This is due to the fact that neutering reduces their metabolism and energy levels, making them more susceptible to gaining weight. Weight gain can have detrimental effects on a cat’s health, including an increased risk of developing diabetes, arthritis, and heart problems. To prevent excessive weight gain after neutering, owners should monitor their cat’s diet and ensure they are receiving appropriate portions. Regular exercise is also crucial in maintaining a healthy weight. Additionally, scheduling regular veterinary check-ups is essential to monitor the cat’s overall health and manage their weight effectively.
Are Cats Happier After Being Spayed?
Spaying does not directly impact a cat’s overall happiness or temperament. However, it does offer several important benefits for both the cat and the owner. Spaying eliminates the risk of potentially life-threatening uterine infections (pyometra) and significantly reduces the risk of mammary tumors in cats. Additionally, spaying helps prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduces the population of stray cats. Cats that are spayed are also less likely to exhibit behaviors associated with heat cycles, such as yowling and spraying. While cats may experience temporary discomfort or pain after the spaying surgery, this is typically managed with pain medication. Providing proper post-operative care and monitoring for any complications is crucial for ensuring a smooth recovery. Overall, spaying is considered a safe and beneficial procedure that promotes the wellbeing of cats and helps prevent various health issues.
Improves Cat Behavior
Cats already have a lot of personality and can sometimes require a lot of patience from their owners. Neutering improves a lot of cat behavior. Did you know that cats that are not neutered, whether they are male or female, are more likely to mark their territory with urine? Unfortunately this includes the inside of your house. You do not want to live in a house that smells of cat urine.
Being territorial will also naturally lead to fights with other cats over territory.
Cats that aren’t neutered will have a harder time getting along with other cats, pets, children, and adults.
Helps Control Cat Population
Most cat rescue organizations or shelters will neuter any cat that comes under their care regardless of age, except in very special circumstances. This is not only for the health benefits, even though the earlier is obviously better. It is also to prevent over population of stray cats.
Cats are very good hunters and can wreak havoc on the local wildlife. Rescued cats that can’t be homed are more likely to be euthanized due to the financial realities of these rescue operations. It’s much better to prevent a generation of feral cats to be born into struggle and much more ethical than having their lives destroyed due to budget constraints. Every year roughly half a million cats with no health issues are killed/euthanized.
Even for your own cat, an unwanted pregnancy can lead to a surprise vet bill if there are complications with the birthing. A c-section alone can cost anywhere from $500 to $2000. If there is a greater complication with the preganancy even $5000 is not unheard of.
If you let your cat outside there is no way to prevent your cat from mating with other cats behind your back. This means your female cat could come home pregnant without even realizing it until it’s too later or your male cat fathering kittens outside the home. If they impregnate a feral cat you’ll be contributing over population. If the female is a neighbor’s cat and they trace it back to you there will likely be trouble about the financial burden involved.
Lowers the Risk of Your Cat Running Away
Adult cats that are not neutered are a greater flight risk since they have a strong desire to seek a mate when in heat. Even if your cat is raised to be an indoor cat, the reproductive instinct will make them a flight risk so you’ll have to be extra vigilant about not letting your cat wander off. Also remember that the outside world is also filled with many dangers. Cats can be run over by cars, killed by wild animals, get in a fatal fight with other cats, or even be wrongly captured and euthanized by pest control.
Reduces the Spread of Disease
More feral cats in the community means more feline diseases that can likely spread to house cats. Feral cats are mostly left to their own devices and do not have access to health care including vaccinations. If you have a male cat that isn’t neutered and allowed to wander it can father a lot of kittens without you ever knowing it. Not only can your cat come back with diseases the cat’s children will grow up in a harsh environment and exposed to lots of diseases and parasites in the wild.
Helps Your Cat Live Longer
In general neutered cats live 3 to 5 years longer than cats that aren’t. This is a combination of factors listed above that reduce the risks of health issues and risky behavior. Also remember that giving birth for female cats is a very taxing affair on the mom cat’s body even without pregnancy complications.
Neutering your cat is not about purely selfish reasons of the owner. Althouth it is a very big decision with a huge impact on your cat’s life, not only will your cat most likely live a longer and happier life, there are even benefits to the greater community around you if your cat ends up exploring the outside world.
Also remember that even though neutering modifies your cat behavior for the better they will still have the same personality and charm. They will still enjoy most of the same things and neutering doesn’t affect their ability or desire to hunt.