5 good reasons to neuter your cat
Neutering is a simple operation that will not only stop unwanted pregnancies, but also benefit your favourite feline’s health and wellbeing
World Spay Day has been set up to remind pet lovers everywhere about the importance of neutering – which is particularly pertinent when it comes to cats. Leading feline welfare charities stress that getting your cat neutered before they can breed is an essential part of responsible cat ownership.
This year, World Spay Day falls on 28 February. This international event is supported by nine of the UK’s animal welfare charities – The Blue Cross, Battersea, Cats Protection, Celia Hammond Animal Trust, International Cat Care, Mayhew, PDSA, RSPCA, SSPCA and Wood Green, who all know a thing or two about the very best ways to care for our beloved pet cats.
If you haven’t got around to neutering your favourite feline yet, here are some essential things you need to know about the benefits that this simple operation can bring. Plus, find out how your cat’s needs will change once they’re neutered and what you can do to help.
- Neutering prevents unwanted litters
Cats Protection makes no bones about the problems unexpected kittens can bring, stating: “While having a huge number of kittens might sound like fun, recent research has shown that 70% of kitten litters in the UK are unplanned. That’s a lot of kittens needing care, attention and homes – something that can be difficult to prepare for. To avoid more unwanted cats in the UK, our advice is simple. If you can, book your cat in for neutering at four months old.”
With their independent lifestyles, accidental pregnancy is a big risk. Incredibly, one unneutered female cat can be responsible for 20,000 descendants in just five years.
Cats Protection adds: “A cat can quite easily have up to three litters a year with five or six kittens in each. That adds up to 18 caring homes for Cats Protection to find each year, just for one cat’s kittens. This level of breeding is very draining and can be harmful for the mother cat.”
And, contrary to popular belief, it’s not beneficial for a cat to have a season or ‘just one litter’ before being spayed. What’s more, neutered cats do not ‘miss’ their organs or opportunities to reproduce or rear a litter.
- Neutering protects your cat from serious diseases
Cats Protection advises: “Neutering is one of the kindest things you can do for your cat and helps protect them against picking up nasty diseases and some cancers.”
Blue Cross says, that for male cats: “Neutering reduces their chance of catching feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), an incurable disease similar to HIV in humans which is spread by saliva usually from bite wounds during fights.”
When it comes to female cats Blue Cross states: “Spaying cats, especially if it’s done when they’re young, greatly reduces the risk of them getting breast cancer and infection of the womb (called pyometra). Both of these can be fatal.”
- Neutering deters your cat from getting into fights
Neutering won’t change your cat’s personality – but it may mean some rather less desirable behaviours are quietened down. Blue Cross advises: “Some people worry that their cat’s personality will change. This isn’t true but you might see a fall in certain behaviour – roaming, mounting, or fighting.”
This could be music to your ears if your fearless feline has emerged through the cat flap sporting a torn ear and several battle scars. Cats Protection says: “Male cats that have been neutered are less likely to end up injured from fighting or stray from home.”
- Neutering means less spraying around your house
No matter how much you love them, having a cat who likes to spray your curtains and your couch can test the limits of your devotion. However, male cats that have been neutered are much less likely to spray smelly urine in the house as a way of marking their scent to appeal to potential female mates, which is a big plus for all desperate male cat owners!
- Worried about the cost of neutering? You may be able to get help
The cost of a neutering operation varies depending on the vet practice that you use. However, the average cost to get a male cat neutered is around £40 to £80 and the average cost for neutering a female cat is around £50 to £100.
If the cost is putting you off, there are schemes that can help.
- Cats Protection may be able to help through its means-tested neutering scheme. For more information, you can call the charity’s neutering helpline on 03000 12 12 12(Mon-Fri, 9.30am to 1pm).
- Also check with yourlocal RSPCA to see if you are eligible for low-cost vet care, including neutering, as well as PDSA and Blue Cross.
What happens during the operation? Find out the facts about neutering with Cats Protection Essential Guide – Neutering – Family Planning for Felines >>
Did you know that neutering means that your cat’s nutritional needs can change?
While neutering has many benefits, it does mean a cat’s needs can change. Your feline friend will require fewer calories, as his or her body has less work to do. In fact, just 48 hours after neutering cats need an estimated 20% fewer calories.
Neutered cats are also more likely to have urinary tract infections and it increases the likelihood of hairballs.
Burgess Pet Care’s in-house vet, Dr Suzanne Moyes, advises: “It’s a good idea to regularly monitor your cat’s weight and switch to a diet specially created for neutered cats to prevent them from becoming overweight and to help with other changes.”
EXPERT NUTRITION FOR NEUTERED CATS
Burgess Pet Care has undertaken detailed nutrition research – along with all-important taste tests – and have created an advanced, high protein recipe that contains the essential nutrients and vitamins that your neutered cat needs to help them stay healthy and content. Suitable to feed from the age when a cat is neutered, award-winning Burgess Neutered Cat is:
- High in tasty and digestible meat protein to help maintain lean muscle mass
- Contains *added L-Carnitine to help weight maintenance
- Formulated to support a healthy urinary system
- Contains a specialist ingredient to help teeth and gum health
- The fibre in our recipe helps to prevent hairballs
- Added yucca extract helps to reduce litter tray odours and helps with stool formation
Dr Moyes adds: “At Burgess, we believe this recipe containing a whole host of beneficial ingredients – including L-carnitine to promote the use of fat stores for energy and to help preserve muscle mass – will help support the health and wellbeing of neutered cats of all ages.”
The proof is in the eating – so why not try Burgess Neutered Cat with your neutered cat?
How often should you feed your cat? Once a day? Twice a day? Or, more than that? Find out why little and often suits most cats – and the reason why play should be part of your feeding routine >>
CARE MORE Get more advice on caring for your cat from the pet experts >>
Is your cat a Burgess cat? Join the Burgess Pet Club for exclusive offers and rewards.
At Burgess, all our cat food is made using premium ingredients and is high in protein, to ensure excellent quality and superior taste to help keep your cat happy and healthy – from kitten, to adult and mature and our award-winning variety for neutered cats.
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