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Getting Your Cat Fixed: When and What To Know

Getting Your Cat Fixed: When and What To Know

If you've recently adopted a kitten or an adult cat, you might be thinking about whether to have your new furry friend spayed or neutered. Our New York vets highlight the advantages of getting your cat fixed, which benefits your cat's well-being and the community.

Should You Get Your Cat Fixed?

The easy answer to this question is yes. You should have your cats spayed or neutered. Animal shelters throughout New York are filled with homeless cats and kittens. According to one estimate from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), around 3.2 million cats enter US animal shelters annually. Not only will getting your new kitten fixed help to reduce the number of homeless cats in your area significantly, but it can also reduce your cat's risk of disease and help to curb many undesirable cat behaviors.

When should you get your cat fixed?

The ideal time to spay or neuter your kittens is around four months of age or before they become sexually mature. This helps prevent various health issues. Even adult cats can undergo spaying or neutering. If you're unsure about the timing, your veterinarian can guide you in deciding when to proceed with the procedure.

How are spaying and neutering different?

Spaying and neutering cats differ based on gender, as these procedures are unique to each.

Spay vs Neuter

When a female cat is spayed, it means the vet surgically removes her uterus and ovaries (or sometimes just the ovaries) to prevent her from having kittens. Male cats, on the other hand, are neutered or castrated, which involves the surgical removal of their testicles to prevent them from fathering kittens.

Benefits of Spaying Your Female Cat 

Controlling the number of unwanted cats in your area

Did you know that your young cat could become a mother before she's six months old? Female cats can have several sets of kittens in a year, and each set can have around 10 kittens. This could mean your cat might have up to 40 kittens annually, leading to a significant overpopulation of cats.

Reduce your cat's risk of disease

Having your kitten spayed before her first heart cycle can reduce your cat's risk of developing breast cancer later in life and eliminate the possibility of your cat developing pyometra (a potentially fatal infection of the womb). 

Protect wildlife in your neighborhood

In the USA, it is estimated that cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds annually. By reducing the population of homeless cats, you are also helping to protect birds and other small animals. 

Deter unwanted behaviors

Spaying your female cat can help to keep male cats out of your backyard. When female cats are not spayed, they attract the attention of neighborhood male cats. Male cats that are not neutered can hang around your house, and the garden can be problematic since these males tend to spray, fight and howl. 

Benefits of Neutering Your Male Cat

Reduced numbers of unwanted kittens

One male cat who is not neutered can make many female cats pregnant at the same time. Having your male cat neutered can play a significant role in helping to reduce the number of homeless cats in your neighborhood. 

Reduced risk of many common health issues

Neutering your cat can decrease aggression and lower the chances of injuries from fights. It also reduces the risk of your cat getting FIV or FeLV, and can prevent male cats from wandering, reducing the risk of vehicle accidents.

Helps to reduce the incidence of spraying

Usually, male kittens that haven't been neutered tend to spray urine inside the house more and have a stronger urge to go outside. Neutering your young male kitten can prevent spraying and other territorial behaviors.

To learn more about getting your kitten or adult cat fixed, contact our New York vets today to book an appointment.

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Rivergate Veterinary Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of New York companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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