Keeping domestic animals as pets is deemed a necessity among many Americans. They provide blissful company to people living alone and make great companions to young ones. Americans are especially fond of their pets, and they treat them just like a family member. While dogs may be the most popular choice as a pet, cats are no less famous. They are famous for their sassy attitude and cute behaviors.
Raising pet cats can be a full-time job which can be challenging at times. From timely feeding to get them potty trained, they are no less demanding than human babies. But food and cleanliness is not the only concern to be aware of. There is a far more important task that needs to be done as soon as possible, which is getting your cat neutered.
Although most pet shelters and vets convey the importance of neutering, many people do not bother about it. Why is neutering your cat so important, and when should you get it done; we have made the ultimate guide for you to follow.
What is Neutering?
The sterilization process after which an animal is unable to reproduce is known as neutering. This process is different for male and female cats but is equally important for both of them. In males, the process is called castration, in which the male cat’s testicles are entirely removed. For females, it is called spaying, and it is done by the complete removal of the uterus.
The process has no side effects on the cat’s general behavior; rather, it ensures a stable and calm cat personality.
How is Neutering Done?
The medical term for neutering a male cat is known as an orchidectomy. The male cat is given anesthesia, and the operation starts by making incisions on both sides of the scrotal sacs. Testicles are removed, and internal sutures are placed. Most male cats have developed testicles in the scrotal sacs, but in some cases, one or both testicles remain in the abdominal region and do not pass down in the scrotal sacs. Such cats are called cryptorchids. A more elaborate procedure is required to remove such testicles.
For female cats, incisions are made on sides or in the middle. Usually, the ovaries and uterus are both removed, while in some cases, only ovaries are removed. Stitches are necessary for this operation, unlike the male cat procedure.
Generally, the whole procedure is painless for both male and female cats. The vets will give painkillers to your cat to ease pain after the surgery. The operation is nearly painless for male cats, while for females, it may take up to three days to heal surgical wounds.
When to Get Your Cat Neutered?
It was a popular opinion to let a female cat give birth to a litter at least once before getting it spayed in earlier times. This is not the case now. In fact, it is advised by the vets to get your cats spayed before they reach sexual maturity.
Kittens can get sexually mature very quickly – as early as six months after birth. After reaching maturity, they may experience “heat” at least once every two to three weeks. During this time of “heat,” female kittens wail like crazy in hopes of getting the attention of a nearby male cat. Vets highly recommend getting your cat spayed before they reach the age of six months, given that they are in good health.
Younger cats have a low chance of complicated surgeries, and they heal sooner too. The older a cat is, the more likely she will be to have painful complications.
For tomcats, the age of maturity varies from six months to 18 months. Male cats love to roam around searching for their female partners, “marking” their territories everywhere while fighting with other male cats. It may sound cute, but none of this is as adorable as it sounds. Neutering a male cat is the only solution for a peaceful, non-smelly neighborhood.
Some pets are hard to keep quiet and still after their surgery. The excessive licking and chewing of the skin may cause inflammation and infection in the wounds. Train your pets before getting them neutered, and take precautions so that this won’t happen.
Why is it Important to Neuter Your Cat?
The importance of neutering a pet cat can only be understood by the owners. As mentioned earlier, a pet’s responsibility is not an easy task. Cats tend to have annoying behaviors when they go through their phases of “heat.” Not only do they sound horrible, but they are also hard to control.
Growling and Wailing of Cats
Female cats growl and wail like crazy when they are on heat. The logic behind this wailing is to alert any male cats nearby for the purpose of mating. This horrifying and noisy experience repeats at least once every two weeks. The cat seems to be in immense pain, and it will be hard for you to watch your beloved pet in this condition.
Cats can reproduce multiple kittens three times a year. That’s a lot of cats considering that you only intended for one to be kept as a pet. There is already an overpopulation of cats with not enough homes. Many pet shelters have to euthanize cats because there is not enough space. To stop this from happening, neutering is essential.
Develop Tumors and Other Diseases
Unneutered cats are more likely to develop tumors and other diseases in the womb later on in their lives. Even male cats are susceptible to Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) because of their rash behavior with other cats. Neutering the cats, regardless of their gender, prevents them from developing such serious diseases.
Spraying of Male Cats
While female cats are famous for their wailing during heat, male cats are notorious for “spraying.” Male cats mark their territories by spraying urine all over the place. They do this to stop other male cats from mating with a certain female cat.
This “spray” is awfully smelly and reeks for days. In response to a female cat’s wailing, you may get several male cats fighting and peeing on your doorstep, which is not a fun thing to witness. This in itself is a pretty solid reason to get your cat neutered as soon as possible.
Avoid Unwanted Kittens
Although it is important to get both male and female cats neutered, if you have to choose, get the males first. This is because a single male cat can impregnate several female cats in his surroundings, resulting in a ton of tiny, unwanted kittens.
Also, unneutered cats may have a habit of wandering outside during their peak sexual days, and they may not come back. That is why most people do not prefer to own a male cat.
Neutering – An Essential Task
For many people, pets are just like their kids. They treat them with love and kindness and do everything to keep them safe and healthy. Getting them neutered is also one such obligation that needs to be done at all costs. It is hard to see unwanted cats in over-populated pet shelters just waiting to be adopted. But the truth is that there are already too many unwanted animals and not enough place. That is why it is highly recommended to get your pets neutered for their peaceful future.