You may be aware that spaying or neutering your cat can keep him or her from contributing to the overpopulation of pets. You may also know that this procedure may make your cats calmer and seem happier. However, did you know that by spaying or neutering your cat before they are sexually mature reduces or eliminates some serious health and behavioral issues? If you're still thinking that you want to keep your pet cat intact, then consider what you might be putting up with as he or she gets older. Here's what you're in for if you wait too long or do not have the procedure done at all.
Stinky urine everywhere:
It's well known that tom cats spray to mark their territory, but females also spray when in heat to attract mates. They spray everywhere, including and especially on your furniture, fences, doors, trees and everywhere else where their urine will stick. This urine smells very bad, especially after it sits for a while, and sometimes that smell is difficult to remove. Unless you keep your cat totally separate from your house or patio, such as in a cat enclosure or kennel, you will have to deal with the smell.
Screaming and nasty fights:
When female cats are in heat, they yowl very loudly to attract a mate. Since cats are primarily nocturnal, this means she will yowl in the middle of the night when you or your neighbors are asleep. Keeping your female cat locked securely inside may keep the males away, but the noise can be unbearable. Male cats can often be heard loudly growling at each other before viciously fighting. If your cat is allowed to roam outside, then he may lose an eye or an ear not to mention be put at risk for infections and contracting a deadly disease.
Cats which are spayed and neutered after maturity, especially females who have been allowed to breed, are at a higher risk of developing various cancers. Intact males are more prone to testicular cancer in addition to prostate problems. They may even get non-cancerous tumors that can cause problems. Female cats are at risk for breast, uterine and ovarian cancers. Spaying can eliminate the latter two of those cancers and reduce the likelihood of breast cancer.
Spaying and neutering your cat before sexual maturity not only benefits you (and your furniture and sanity), but benefits the cat. All pet quality cats should undergo the procedure unless your veterinarian advises against it for medical reasons. The procedure can be done at a fairly young age, usually between two and five months, but it's up to you and your veterinarian to decide. Any adult cat can have the procedure, though it may not eliminate already established problems such as spraying and male aggression. Talk with a vet such as Mt. Hermon Veterinary Clinic for more information.