The advantages and disadvantages of neutering cats

February 6, 2014

Adopting a cute little kitten is one of life’s great pleasures, but remember that neutering cats can help control the stray cat population.

The advantages and disadvantages of neutering cats

When and why to neuter

For many, spaying or neutering cats is one of the most responsible things pet owners can do.

  • If you have a little feline friend, it is ideal to have it neutered before it hits puberty, although it is a procedure you can have done at any point in the cat’s lifespan.
  • The surgical methods are different depending on whether your cat is male or female, and must be done by a licensed veterinarian.

Having your animal spayed or neutered is not necessarily cruel or a crime against nature and the reproductive system. In fact, neutering cats can allow them to live longer and have a better quality of life.

The advantages of spaying and neutering cats

  • It can lower the risk of contagious cat infections, such as feline leucosis and other immunodeficiency illnesses that are transmitted through copulation.
  • It can lower the risk of accidents. Many unsterilized male cats stray for days at a time and can get into accidents, fights or other incidents that can leave them harmed or traumatized.
  • It can suppress the urge to mark territory with strong-smelling urine. Even though marking territory is normal behaviour for a male cat, an unsterilized male’s urine has a very strong odour. This can often get young males into trouble. When a pubescent male cat is neutered, 90 per cent of the cat’s aggressive territory-marking behaviour is often suppressed.
  • It can prevent fights. Aggressiveness between cats is usually a result of two unsterilized animals facing off. Neutering cats usually eliminates or diminishes the frequency of those types of incidents, which, in turn, lowers the possibility of injury.
  • It helps control stray-cat populations. Neutering cats prevents many unwanted kittens from being born.

Are there drawbacks to spaying and neutering cats?

Talk to your veterinarian about the risks involved in the surgical procedure; keep in mind, though, that the advantages of sterilization usually outweigh the minor effects of surgery.

Here are some concerns you might want to enquire about:

  • The effects of the anesthetic on your cat’s health
  • The risk of obesity (neutering can sometimes affect the animal’s nervous system, causing it to overeat and become more sedentary)
  • The possibility of urinary tract infections (when a cat is overweight it moves around less and has a tendency to urinate less—urine can collect in the urinary tract and cause infection);
  • Post-surgery complications, such as incontinence.

Ask your veterinarian for advice

Neutering your cat can be a responsible and conscientious decision for any pet owner.

  • Your veterinarian will help you decide on the appropriate time for your cat’s surgery as well as the best mode of sterilization.
  • If you still have lingering doubts, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your veterinarian to get more advice.
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