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Getting Purrsonal – Spay It Again
By Tania Marie de Saram
Neutering refers to the removal of an animal’s reproductive organs, which are the testes in males (castration), and the ovaries and uterus in females (spaying). Sterilising your pet prevents the birth of unwanted litters, which overpopulate the number of cats ending up in the rescue system.
As cats reach sexual maturity early, it is best to neuter your kitten between four and five months of age. Youth assists with the response to anaesthesia, and therefore recovery is faster with fewer complications.
There are numerous benefits to sterilising your furry friend. As well as guaranteed birth control, sexually dimorphic behaviours such as mounting and urine spraying will be reduced, due to the decrease in hormone levels. Animals also exhibit less aggression, fighting, hyperactivity, roaming tendencies, and separation anxiety. Mammary, cervical, ovarian, and uterine cancers, together with pyometra, are prevented in females, in addition to testicular cancer in males.
Due to their aggressive reproductive nature, neutered pusses are less likely to contract feline leukaemia and AIDS. There is also a reported decrease in developing asthma, gingivitis, feline lower urinary tract disease, and cystitis. Castrated males are less prone to abscesses, and live twice as long as entire sires, whilst spayed females have an increased life expectancy of 62% over whole queens, and the distress of calling during their time in heat may be avoided. Risks exist with sterilising, as all surgery comes with the potential for complications: during a procedure itself, or through anaesthesia. Some animals may also become obese if their food level is not adjusted, due to the lower metabolic requirements of neutered pets. A small minority may also subsequently experience adverse reactions to vaccinations following sterilisation. Whilst the advantages appear to outweigh the disadvantages, it is always best to consult a veterinary professional to assist in making the right decision for you and your companion. ❤