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Getting Your Cat Fixed: When & What To Know

If you have adopted a new kitten or adult cat, you should get your new fur-baby fixed if it isn't already. Our Westminster vets explain why having your cat spayed or neutered is beneficial for your cat and your community.

Should you get your cat fixed?

Animal shelters throughout Westminster are filled with homeless cats and kittens. According to one estimate from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), around 3.2 million cats enter the animal shelter system in the United States annually.

Not only will getting your new kitten fixed help to significantly reduce the number of homeless cats in your area, it can also reduce your cat's risk of disease, and help to curb many undesirable behaviors.

When should you get your cat fixed?

Spaying and neutering kittens at four or five months, before they reach sexual maturity, offers the best protection against a number of health risks. However, adult cats can be spayed or neutered at any time. If you're unsure about when to get your cat fixed, just ask your vet. They can help you decide when to get your cat spayed or neutered. 

What is the difference between spaying and neutering?

When we talk about getting a cat 'fixed', what does that actually mean?    

Neuter

Male cats are 'fixed' when they are neutered or castrated. In this procedure, a vet surgically removes the cat's testes so that they are no longer able to father kittens. This surgery is fairly quick, and typically heals quickly.

Spay

When we 'fix' female cats, it's called spaying. Spaying means that the vet surgically removes the cat's ovaries, and sometimes also the uterus, so that your cat is unable to reproduce. This surgery is invasive, and you will need to monitor your cat's incision as there is a risk she will reopen it if she's too active or licks at it.

Benefits of Spaying Your Female Cat 

Controlling the number of unwanted cats in your area

Your beautiful new kitten may be able to have kittens of her own before she is even six months old. Not only that, female cats can have up to four litters a year, and each litter can be made up of as many as 10 kittens! That means your cat could have as many as 40 kittens every year, and that's not counting her kitten's kittens! That is a lot of unwanted cats.

Reduce your cat's risk of disease

Having your cat spayed before she has her first heat cycle can reduce her risk of developing breast cancer later in life. It also eliminates the possibility of your cat developing pyometra, which is 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 unspayed, they attract the attention of neighborhood male cats. Unneutered male cats hanging around your house and garden can be problematic, since these males have a tendency to spray, fight and howl. 

Benefits of Neutering Your Male Cat

Reduced numbers of unwanted kittens

One unneutered male cat can make many female cats pregnant. Having your male cat neutered can play a significant role in helping to reduce the number of homeless cats in your neighborhood. 

Reduced risk of many common health issues

Neutering can help to reduce aggression and may mean fewer injuries from fights. It also reduces the risk of your cat contracting FIV (immunodeficiency virus) or FeLV (Feline leukemia virus). A neutered cat will also be less likely to roam, which reduces his risk of being injured by a vehicle. 

Helps to reduce the incidence of spraying

Typically, unneutered male cats will spray urine inside the home more often than neutered males, and often try to get outside more. Having your male kitten neutered while he's young can help to prevent spraying and other territorial and mating behaviors from starting. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Contact our Westminster vets today to book your cat's spay/neuter appointment.

Welcoming Cats & Dogs to Our Animal Hospital

Wachusett Animal Hospital and Pet Retreat is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Westminster companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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