IN an earlier article I talked about the dilemma of street cats, their health problems and over population problems and even their interaction with our pet cats.
In this article I would like to talk about our responsibility for getting pet cats spayed and castrated, so as not to add to the stray cat crisis.
It has to be said at the beginning, that the benefits in terms of health greatly outweigh the risks of the normally straightforward operation.
Entire males can cover vast areas searching for females in season. This can get them lost, in fights or even run over, not to mention the spreading of the highly contagious and life-threatening feline leukaemia and feline AIDS (both of which are cat specific and cannot spread to us)
Female cats can also go out in search of males, which can get them in trouble; injuries or fights and/or they could pick up nasty infections. A female can have three to four litters, of four to 10 kittens at a time, per year. And can be responsible for 20,000 cats in their lifetime!!
Hence the importance of early spaying and castrating, before they get lost or into fights or even worse, get pregnant. (I always say “No, it’s not good to have a litter before they are operated.” This would just add to the huge problem.)
The operations involve a general anaesthetic. These days the drugs are very safe and they recover very quickly. They go home the same day and they are climbing the curtains as normal, by the evening.
Tomcat castration involves one small incision and no stitches. The females require their abdomen to be opened but it is only an incision of less than 1cm with hidden stitches.
The only disadvantages of the operation is that you cannot breed and in the future you have to watch their weight. But with modern low calorie diets this should not be too difficult!!
a) a cat will miss their sexual urges
b) it’s not fair for my cat to miss out on motherhood/fatherhood
c) my cat needs to have a litter before being spayed
d) my cat will turn into a characterless ‘wimp’
e) neutering will make my cat fat
We should not impose human emotions on our pets!
‘Castration and spaying are the kindest cuts,’ I think this is very true.
Nick Murgatroyd BVSc MRCVS, The English Vet Clinica Veterinaria Bendinat. Appointments and free underground parking. Tel 971 404 459, (Emergencies; 680 417 828) or visit our website: www.vet-bendinat.com