Sunday, February 28, 2010 1:37 PM

The Necessity of Spaying or Neutering Your Cat: Part 1

Unless you are a professional breeder, there is really no reason to allow your pet cat to add to the feline population explosion. To those who believe that this is not a real problem, I direct their attention to the plethora of animal shelters in operation, many unable to fulfill their goal of being "no kill" due to the great numbers of homeless animals delivered to their premises each day.

Some believe that the act of surgical sterilization is inhumane, and unnecessary. They think that, as long as they keep their female cat indoors when she is in heat, that there is no need for surgical intervention. Only people who have not had the pleasure of keeping house with a crazed female cat in estrus would ever say that. Not only will the whining, crying, screaming, rubbing, lack of rest and appetite drive you crazy as well, it will happen more and more, since the need is never satisfied. Add to this the cacophony of males urinating and hanging around your house and you will truly have a taste of what hell must be like! Eventually, your girl will escape (even if you don't throw her out) and become pregnant. So much for that method of birth control!

Amorous tomcats are equally annoying to have around. Therefore, they roam the neighborhood in search of love, thus annoying others. Their screeches as they battle over territory and the females contained therein will awaken even the soundest of sleepers. Finally, depleted, they come home covered in mud, spittle and bite wounds, some festering. A trip to the veterinarian is often needed to deal with the infections and abscesses that result from these nocturnal fights. A savings of $50 soon balloons into vet bills that climb into the hundreds of dollars. Not exactly cost-effective, is it?

For responsible pet owners, spaying and neutering is a natural part of pet care. The operation is very simple for males, only slightly more complicated for females. I remember when my first female cat was spayed. I stayed home from a night out with my friends to keep an eye on her, and wound up following her around the apartment, exhorting her to take it easy! She, of course, acted as if nothing major had happened. My friends poked fun at me for months after that!

Tomorrow, we'll take a look at the actual medical procedures involved, as well as the positive effects on your cat's (and your) mental health.
Chat later!

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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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