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The time to neuter your cat is now

World Spay Day is on 23 February – and serves to remind pet lovers everywhere about the importance of neutering. This is particularly important when it comes to cats.

Is your cat neutered? If not, what’s holding you back? Neutering is a simple operation that will not only stop unwanted pregnancies, but also benefit your favourite feline’s overall health and wellbeing. What’s more, leading feline welfare charities stress that getting your cat neutered before they can breed is an essential part of responsible cat ownership.

Cats Protection states: “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.”


DID YOU KNOW?

Young cats can have kittens of their own from just four months of age? With their independent lifestyles, accidental pregnancy is a big risk, with one female capable of having up to 18 kittens a year.


Additional benefits of neutering

As well as a way of preventing unplanned litters, neutering also provides health benefits. Cats Protection adds: “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. Neutering also protects female cats against risks associated with pregnancy. Male cats that have been neutered are less likely to end up injured from fighting or stray from home – and they’re also less likely to spray smelly urine in the house as a way of marking their scent to appeal to potential female mates.”


DID YOU KNOW?

Providing there is no medical reason not to, a good time to neuter your kitten is at four months of age, before they start to become sexually mature, although neutering can be carried out earlier. Your vet can assess your kitten and advise on the best course of action. Neutering provides many health benefits and cats can be neutered at any age.


WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE OPERATION?

  • Your cat will need to spend a day at the veterinary surgery and will be given a general anaesthetic, so no food should be offered in the hours prior to the operation.
  • The operation for both male and female cats is very simple and usually you will be able to drop your cat off and pick them back up on the same day.
  • Afterwards, a female cat will have a small, shaved area on her side or belly – this hair will grow back in a few weeks. She will also have stitches and, if these are not dissolvable, they will be removed by the vet around 10 days later.
  • Cats usually recover very quickly from the operation and your vet will advise on the best care as he or she recovers.

Need help with the cost of neutering? The cost of the 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. 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).


GETTING THE FACTS STRAIGHT – CHECK OUT CATS PROTECTION’S NEUTERING MYTH-BUSTERS

  • Cats will readily breed with their brothers, sisters and parents.
  • It is not beneficial for a cat to have a season or ‘just one litter’ before being spayed.
  • The length of pregnancy in cats is just nine weeks and a female cat can often come into season again just six weeks after giving birth.
  • 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.
  • One unneutered female cat can be responsible for 20,000 descendants in just five years – unneutered cats are very good at finding each other and unplanned, unwanted pregnancies are all too common.
  • Neutered cats do not ‘miss’ their organs or opportunities to reproduce or rear a litter.

Find out the facts about neutering with Cats Protection Essential Guide – Neutering – Family Planning for Felines >>


Your cat’s 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. 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.”


DID YOU KNOW?

Just 48 hours after neutering cats need an estimated 20% fewer calories.


Expert nutrition for neutered cats

To help address these issues, 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 maintain a healthy weight
  • 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

Dr Suzanne Moyes adds: “At Burgess, we believe this new 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?


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.


World Spay Day is supported by nine of the UK’s animal welfare charities:


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