Just the other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. She was telling me about a stray cat that seems to be unowned that returns every xmas to have kittens in her mother in laws shed. Every year they try to catch her, every year she is to sly to get caught. She sneaks in when they go away with their caravan for the holiday break and when they come back there is often kittens running around in their back yard. They have set traps and had family try to catch her while they are away but she moves the kittens as soon as they return and they escape getting caught and handed in.

This has been happening for around 10 years and every year the cat has around 5 7 kittens. That’s 50-70 kittens unowned going back into the population, not desexed, not microchipped, not loved.

 Now its not the property owners responsibility to try to catch this cat, even thought they have tried. They often even forget about her until they return home and realise its time to try and catch her again. But she is way to smart and quick for that. This cat may have been the offspring to another unowned cat that also had 50-70 kittens over a 10 year period. And that cat might have started at the age of 6 months having kittens. So you can see that it is very easy for cats to populate. They are very good at it.

 

Not all of these kittens will survive. Some will be picked off by large prey birds. Some will be attacked by dogs. And some will simply starve to death once mum stops feeding them. Its not much fun out there on the street for a cat. And lets not even get started on how many cats are run over by cars every year.

Then we also need to look at the issues around wildlife. Cats are great for keeping mice and rats down but they also take out native flora and fauna. We want cats to do their job but we also need to respect the environment and do our part to keep those animals safe and sound to.

This is why it is so important to desex all cats unless we are deliberately letting them breed. Its very unfair to allow more unwanted kittens to be born to then have terrible lives and often die young.

There are many myths around desexing cats. Let’s look at some of those and lets look at the scientific evidence around them.

Neutering will cause behavioural changes.

This is not a myth. But its not what you think. The behaviours that change are marking their territory and being aggressive, more so for males than females. The fluctuation in hormones means they are less likely to go in search of a mate and roam.

My pet is to young.

Female cats can come into their first season as early as four months of age, and males can father kittens from 6 months old. Neutering you cat before they become sexually mature will ensure thre is not ooppsy litters. There is always risks to any surgery but trained professionals can easily neuter cats from 12-16 weeks of age. Your cat is given a general anaesthetic and will feel no pain. Some mild discomfort afterwards but most cats recover very quickly. Males in particular are less likely to develop habits of marking and spraying if neutered early as it doesn’t become a behaviour they know.

My cat will get fat.

Weight gain has nothing to do with neutering and everything to do with exercise and overeating. Cats can be lazy if they have nothing to do. Encouraging exercise and keeping an eye on how much and what they are eating will help keep them at a healthy weight.

Its best for animals to have one litter first.

Cats don’t experience parenthood like we do. They done yearn for it like we do. Their hormones take over and they do what nature intended. I have heard that people love the idea of kids seeing the miracle of childbirth, but how about you teach your kids responsible pet ownership instead.

I love my pet and I want another just like them.

Sorry, each cat is different. You will never replicate your loved pet. This is about you and your fear of loosing your best buddy. Its not thinking in their best interests

My cat is a purebred so I should breed him.

Leave that to those that have a special interest in breeding. Breeding is much more than putting a couple of cats together. Check out this blog to find out how much work it really is (http://thecatmumma.com/how-to-find-a-reputable-cat-breeder/)

I don’t let my cat out so it shouldn’t matter

If they are not neutered, they will get out if they feel that urge. If they are indoors then you will find you will have a much better house mate if they are neutered.

I don’t want my male cat to feel less of a man.

Sorry guys and girls, cats don’t understand sexual identity or ego. That’s your own feelings about what humans think about loosing the family jewels. Unless you are going to be a responsible cat breeder, do your cat a favour, get him neutered.

So, what exactly do they do when they de-sexed a cat?

There are many names used to talk about desexing your cat. de-sexed, fixed, altered, sterilized or un-sexed and of course neuter and spaying. Both spaying and neutering are safe and permanent surgeries. Spaying refers to female pets and is a major surgical procedure in which both ovaries and the uterus are surgically removed from your pet. Neutering, which is also called castration, refers to male pets, and is a minor surgical procedure in which both of the testicles are removed.

Don’t add to the problem, be part of the solution.

 

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