To Spay or not to Spay

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How Do You Save 100 Cats? ... Just spay One



Why you should spay or neuter your kitten

At around four to five months of age, kittens start to mature sexually and this is the recommended time at which you neuter them or spaying at it is called for female kittens. It’s worth noting that even 3-month-old kittens can mature sexually – the age at which they do can vary between breeds and a plethora of other factors.

Cats can be prolific breeders and with every pregnancy taking just nine weeks, if you leave your male or female kitten unneutered, you could significantly increase the huge number of unwanted cats and kitten that already exist in the US. Neutering is the responsible thing to do and if you have a female kitten, you could well end up holding the babies if you don’t do it! Just look at the stats below



What happens during surgery?

For male kittens, the operation is quicker and less invasive but both procedures take place under a general anaesthetic. With male kittens, the testicles are removed, this is called castration. It removes the male hormone, testosterone. In female kittens, during the spaying process, the two ovaries and the uterus are taken away effectively preventing any pregnancies.

The kitten is usually pre-booked in at the veterinary surgery and dropped off in the morning with an empty tummy so no access to food overnight. Most vets do their operations after morning surgery and the kitten then has the afternoon to recover in the hospital going home later on in the evening. Most kittens recover very quickly and with no ill effects.


Can older cats be neutered?

Cats can be spayed or castrated throughout their life if the need arises so, for example, a stray or feral cat which arrives at a rescue centre will always be neutered before being re-homed. 

How much does it cost to get a kitten neutered or spayed?

There is often a distinction between the two types of operation as castration is quicker and simpler than spaying a female.  

You should allow between $100 and $250.  Some rescue centres will make a small charge when you adopt or re-home a kitten to go towards the costs of their vaccinations and neutering surgery. 

There are vets who will offer a discounted rate for people taking on stray or rescue kittens; your local Cats Protection League might have a scheme where they give you a voucher towards the cost. 

You can also approach charities like the Blue Cross who will neuter at a very discounted rate.


What are the other advantages of neutering?

Male kittens will start procreating pretty quickly.  They are more aggressive and fierce and can be quite a nuisance in the local neighbourhood if they are not neutered. 

They get into more fights resulting in injuries both for themselves and their opponents and they tend to roam more and are therefore more vulnerable to road traffic accidents. 

You might not be left holding the babies but your tomcat will certainly contribute to the local feline population.




Jamie McKaye is a veteran journalist and furry friend lover.

An active contributor and spokesperson for P.A.P.S which is the support of abandoned animals in Spain.

A life-long advocate of the safety of animals worldwide.


Follow Jamie on Twitter

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