Most female cats that are kept for companionship are spayed unless they are intended to be used for breeding. This is a common practice to prevent them from going into heat, avoid certain diseases in the future (breast cancer and pyometra, an infection of the uterus) and prevent accidental pregnancy. However, some cat owners choose not to spay their female cats, despite the benefits.
What is spaying?
Spaying a female cat is surgically removing the ovaries and uterus. The procedure involves entering the abdominal cavity under general anaesthesia.
How does spaying affect behavior?
- Your spayed female won’t go into heat.
- While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house!
- The only behaviors affected by spaying are those under the influence of female hormones (sexually dimorphic behaviors). A cat’s temperament and personality are the result of genetics and upbringing, and are generally unaffected by the presence or absence of hormones.
What are the benefits of spaying?
It is highly cost-effective
The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter of kittens. It also beats the cost of treatment when your pet escapes and gets into an accident or develops a related disease later in life.
Millions of cats are destroyed across North America each year because there are far more cats born than homes available. A single female cat can have many litters so that spaying intact females is essential for population control.
Spaying your pet is good for the community. Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents and damage the local fauna .
Does spaying lead to any adverse effects on health or behavior?
Spaying will NOT make your pet fat. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake. There are many misconceptions about the effects of spaying on health and behavior. Spayed females are no more likely to become fat or lazy provided they receive a proper diet and adequate exercise. With less roaming and mating, calorie intake may have to be reduced and alternative forms of play and activity provided. Behaviors that have developed independent of hormonal influences such as hunting are not affected. Regardless of age at which it is performed, spaying does not have any effect on physical development, (overall height and weight, urethral size).
What age is best for spaying?
To date, studies have shown that the medical benefits of spaying are REDUCED significantly if performed after the first heat. So do it before!!!!