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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 welcomed a new kitten or adult cat into your home, you might be wondering whether it's a good idea to have your furry friend spayed or neutered. Our North Providence veterinarians can clarify why this is advantageous for both your cat and the community.

Should You Get Your Cat Fixed?

The simple answer is yes—you should spay or neuter your cats. Animal shelters all across North Providence are crowded with cats and kittens without homes. According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), about 3.2 million cats annually enter US animal shelters. Having your new kitten spayed or neutered not only cuts down on the number of homeless cats in your neighborhood but also lowers the chance of disease for your cat and helps control unwanted cat behaviors.

When should you get your cat fixed?

For the optimal health of your kittens, consider spaying or neutering them by four months of age or before they reach sexual maturity. This safeguards them from potential health issues. Even adult cats can undergo this procedure. If you're uncertain about the timing, your veterinarian can guide you in deciding the right time for spaying or neutering your cat.

How are spaying and neutering different?

There are differences when it comes to spaying and neutering your cat because they are spay and neutering are different procedures for different gendered cats.

Spay vs Neuter

When a female cat is 'fixed,' it's called spaying. Spaying involves a vet removing the cat's uterus and ovaries, or just the ovaries, to prevent kitten birth. Male cats are 'fixed' through neutering or castration, where a vet removes their testicles to stop 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 might become a mother to her own kittens before turning six months old? Furthermore, female cats can give birth up to four times a year, with each batch having around 10 kittens. This means your cat could have up to 40 kittens annually! That's a significant number of cats that might not find homes.

Reduce your cat's risk of disease

When you have your kitten spayed before she has 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

An unneutered male cat can father litters from multiple female cats simultaneously. Getting your male cat neutered is important in curbing the population of stray cats in your area.

Reduced risk of many common health issues

Getting your cat neutered can lower aggression, lessen injuries from fights, and decrease the chance of them getting FIV or FeLV. Neutering also curbs male cats from wandering, reducing the risk of accidents with vehicles.

Helps to reduce the incidence of spraying

Usually, male cats that haven't been neutered tend to spray urine inside the house more and show a stronger urge to go outside compared to neutered males. Neutering your young male kitten can prevent spraying and other behaviors related to territory and mating.

To find out how to have your kitten or adult cat spayed or neutered, get in touch with our veterinarians at North Providence now to schedule an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

Ferguson Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of North Providence companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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