Over the past few years the cat and kitten situation has boomed, with explosions of kittens every year. With more and more unwanted cats and kittens coming to us for re-homing all year round, we are finding it very difficult to control the Island's cat population.
Our aim to reduce the amount of unwanted animals, and the most effective and humane way to do this is through neutering. Every cat that comes into our care is neutered or spayed (if not already done), our kittens are neutered at 10 weeks old before they leave for new homes. Cats Protection wants all vets to neuter early to assist the charity in the ever growing problem of unwanted kittens.
As well as reducing the amount of unwanted cats and kittens, neutering has many other benefits, and can prevent other problems such as diseases and fighting.
There are many myths that circulate about neutering. To set the record straight, here are the facts:
- There are around 2.5 million stray cats living in the UK
- One un-neutered female cat can be responsible for 20,000 descendants in just five years
- Cats can become sexually active from just four months old
- It is not beneficial for a cat to have 'just one litter' before being spayed
- Gestation in cats (the length of pregnancy) is only nine weeks, and a female cat can come into season again just six weeks after giving birth
- Pregnancy and motherhood are physically very demanding for a cat-repeated pregnancies take their toll
- Cats will breed with their brothers and sisters
- A cat can have up to three litters a year with five or six kittens (sometimes more) in each litter. That adds up to at least 18 caring homes for Cats Protection to find each year, just for one cats kittens!
Why neuter? Neutering has many health benefits, as well as helping to reduce the number of unwanted cats in the UK.
Neutered male cats are:
- Less likely to roam, reducing the risk of them being run over
- Less likely to fight, reducing the risk of them getting injured
- Less likely to contract serious diseases such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) through fighting
- Less likely to display territorial behaviour such as spraying
- Unable to develop tumours of the testicles
Neutered female cats are:
- Unable to get pregnant and have unwanted litters of kittens
- Not going to call or wail, as un-neutered queens do when in season
- Less likely to contract diseases such as FIV or FeLV spread by bites
- Unable to develop cancer of the ovaries or uterus
- Less likely to develop mammary cancer-especially if neutered under the age of six months