Read more about why spaying your cat can be a good thing on the AZ Paws blog!
Debunking Popular Spay and Neuter Myths: Feline Edition
Most cat owners consider their feline friend to be a much-loved family member. Understandably, you’d never want to cause your pet any pain. This is one of the reasons some people choose not to spay and neuter their cats. The truth is, spaying or neutering a cat will not cause them harm. Further, neutering and spaying a cat can also help to reduce unnecessary feline deaths. Sadly, millions of cats die in shelters and out in the wild each year due to overpopulation; if you spay and neuter, you can help curb this problem.
But because humans care deeply about their own animals, there are many myths about these procedures that continue to persist. If you’re thinking of bypassing spaying or neutering your cat at the vet clinic, you should pay close attention to the myths below. Once you read these, we hope you’ll better understand the importance of spaying or neutering your pet.
MYTH: Cats become lazy once they’ve been spayed or neutered
Reality: While it’s true that some spayed and neutered cats do put on weight, the surgery isn’t actually to blame. When a cat is spayed or neutered as a kitten, their metabolic rate will slow down as they become adults. This means that they actually require fewer calories than unaltered cats do. If we overfeed our cats — as many of us are wont to do — they’re likely to gain weight. Portion control and ample physical activity through play should be enough to keep your cat happy and in shape.
MYTH: My cat’s behavior will change after the procedure
Reality: If you see any behavioral changes, they’ll be positive. After being neutered, a male cat will likely reduce (or may never even start) territorial spraying. In addition, he will have a lower tendency to fight with other animals or wander off at night. After being spayed or neutered, most cats will actually be a lot more content, as finding a mate and breeding can actually be quite stressful. In basic terms though, these procedures will not alter your cat’s personality or playfulness.
MYTH: Indoor cats don’t need to be spayed or neutered
Reality: There is always a chance your indoor cat could escape and reproduce. After all, not all homeless cats are feral. And even if your cat never makes it outside, he or she (and you) can still benefit from these procedures. Undesirable behaviors like yowling at night or spraying urine will disappear, and if you spay or neuter your cat, you can actually reduce their risk of developing reproductive cancers. It’s the responsible thing to do.
MYTH: My cat should have the chance to be a parent
Reality: This notion is understandable but misguided. Cats don’t have psychological or emotional needs to become parents; they’re simply following their instinct to reproduce. Even if you think your cat might make a great mom or dad, it’s much better to adopt a kitten than it is to have your cat reproduce for the sake of parenthood.
MYTH: It’s better to have your cat go through one heat or litter before spaying
Reality: While SpayUSA.org recommends spaying prior to a first litter, evidence shows that you should spay and neuter your cat when it’s around six months old. Not only will spaying early eliminate interest from male cats, but it can also keep your pet healthy. By spaying at an earlier age, you can help reduce the risk of uterine infections and mammary cancer in your cat. Cats really don’t have a sexual identity, so there’s no reason for your cat to go through heat or a litter before getting fixed.
If you spay and neuter your animals, you’re actually helping to protect them. To find out more about the spay and neuter services we provide, contact AZ Paws today.