Spaying removes the reproductive organs of the female animal to prevent pregnancy, whereas neutering removes the testes from the male animal to prevent him from impregnating a female. Spaying and neutering are of particular importance for cats because of significant overpopulation issues.
Although it is important to reduce overpopulation in all animals, cats are especially vulnerable to dangers associated with overpopulation. Some of the most common threats against cats include traffic, illness, and cruelty by humans. A female cat of breeding age may have a few litters each year. As cat populations increase, so does the risk of illness and genetic abnormalities that can occur with inbreeding. Feral cats often live in a colony and there may be one or more dominant males that impregnates the females on his territory, leading to higher instances of inbreeding. Kittens that are the byproduct of inbreeding can have significant abnormalities that lead to death or suffering.
Prevent Undesirable Behaviors
Both male and female cats can exhibit undesirable behaviors when they are unaltered. The classic behavior for male cats, once they reach sexual maturity, is spraying. Male cats spray urine to discourage other male cats from coming onto their territory. This behavior is especially problematic indoors where a male cat may spray many places throughout the home. In some instances, unaltered male cats might spray the belongings of a human male inside the home. Undesirable behaviors in unaltered female cats include going into heat. They may produce annoying vocalizations while they are in heat and attract the attention of unaltered male cats at this time. Many of the cats relinquished to the shelter are given up because of spraying or pregnancy, which could have been prevented with responsible pet ownership.
Disease And Injury
The risk of disease decreases when cats are spayed or neutered. Unaltered cats are less likely to leave home and come into contact with other cats that carry diseases. Some diseases, such as FIV can be contracted through deep bites or scratches that might occur when male cats fight over territory or a female in heat. Medical conditions like cancer are more likely to occur in unaltered cats. Much like humans, some cancers are closely related to sex hormones. Cats with little or no exposure to sex hormones have a decreased risk of reproductive cancers. This is a reason some veterinarians encourage early spaying and neutering at approximately two months or two pounds instead of waiting until cats reach sexual maturity. Of course, the removal of some of the reproductive system during spaying or neutering eliminates the risk of cancer in those particular organs.
Simply feeding and playing with a cat is not responsible pet ownership. Spaying and neutering is the best way to show a cat you care about them.
For more info, contact a local company like Appalachian Animal Hospital.