Advice on Neutering your Cat and Dog
There are 21,000 reasons why you should get your cat neutered - because that's potentially how many offspring could result from one un-neutered female cat and her descendants in just seven years!
There is a cat over-population crisis which results in 1,000's of healthy but unwanted cats and kittens. This sad fact is true also for dogs, and neutering is the only humane answer.
Female cats can become pregnant as early as five months old. We recommend neutering both male and female cats from an early age. However, it is important to note that the vet responsible for your cat will specify when they are prepared to carry out the neutering operation. Your vet will consider each case on its own merits.
To prevent unwanted litters, your kitten should be kept indoors until it is neutered. Even if your cat is to be kept as an 'indoor cat', it is kinder to neuter her, as she will still come into season, which is very frustrating for her and for you. Un-neutered females are also more at risk of developing cystic ovaries and the potentially fatal pyometra.
It is a complete myth that a female cat should be allowed to have one litter. There is no biological or psychological benefit to the cat whatsoever. If you allow your female cat to have a litter, and manage to find homes for the kittens, they have then used up homes that kittens sitting in a rescue centre could have had.
MALE CATS - if you love them, get them neutered!
When an un-neutered male reaches maturity, he will begin to roam further afield in his quest for females, bringing him into territory battles with other males, and risking his life on busy roads. Those that roam too far will join the band of stray cats living on the streets and facing a very bleak future.
Un-neutered male cats are very aggressive towards other cats, particularly other un-neutered males. Their fights result in horrific bite injuries, abscesses, damaged eyes etc.
Male cats should be neutered at 4 months old, but can be neutered at any age thereafter. If your cat is kept indoors, neutering is still the best option. Neutering will prevent him from become sexually frustrated and continually trying to escape, and will also save you from the smelly problem of urine-spraying. Having your male cat neutered will not 'change his personality', that is another common myth without any basis in fact.
Be a responsible owner and neuter your cat!
Neutering is a simple operation that prevents male and female dogs from reproducing, this operation is a routine procedure carried out under general anaesthetic.
Female dogs usually come into season twice a year and each season lasts about three weeks. Whilst in season a female dog may act strangely – trying to run away in search of a mate and needing to be kept away from male dogs. Male dogs’ behaviour can also change greatly when a local female dog is in season – they may be desperate to escape, even running into busy roads.
Neutering is a humane way to reduce the stray dog population, preventing thousands of unwanted puppies being born each year that may be cruelly abandoned or needlessly destroyed.
There are lots of reasons why you should consider neutering your dog.
- Neutering encourages calmer, more predictable behaviour which in turn makes the dog a more suitable family pet.
- It can help reduce aggressive and unwanted sexual behaviour, preventing fighting and being destructive.
- Dogs that have been neutered are also less likely to mark their territory or stray.
- Pregnancy can cause significant health risks to your dog, causing her discomfort and to behave oddly.
- Neutering your dog also avoids the inconvenience and mess of having seasons.
- Early neutering can reduce the risk of some cancers developing in later life for both male and female dogs. It also stops female dogs suffering from potentially fatal womb infections (known as pyometras).
- Neutering prevents the unnecessary costs of unplanned pregnancies and raising puppies, plus vet bills can be avoided.
Most vets will neuter dogs of either sex from the age of about four months. If you need any advice on when to neuter your dog, contact your vet or the Rainbow Centre. After the neutering operation the recovery time is approximately ten days but will depend on your dog. Your vet will be able to advise you about how to keep your dog calm to ensure they recover as quickly as possible.
Some common questions...
Do bitches need to have had their first season or a litter of puppies before being spayed?
No, there are no health-related reasons for waiting to neuter until after your dog has her first season. It is often in the first season that female dogs get ‘caught’ as their owners haven’t realised they were in season!
Will a neutered dog put on weight?
No, dogs will not put on weight as long as they are fed sensibly and get enough exercise.
Be a responsible owner and neuter your pet!