SPAYING & NEUTERING
The goal of the Refuge is to find homes for stray and abandoned cats. One of its major aims is the neutering of all the stray kittens and cats to be adopted so that we can help reduce overpopulation. That is why the adoption fee includes neutering. There are at least three reasons why neutering is important for us as much as for the cats:
- feline population control;
- changes in behavior;
- improvement in the animal’s health.
- It limits unwanted litters, thus contributing to reduce feline overpopulation. As it is difficult to find homes for all the kittens, many end up abandoned because they cannot find an owner. Stray cats live in miserable conditions and they have to brave the cold in winter and heat in summer.
- It increases an animal’s life expectancy. A sterilized animal does not need to find a partner anymore, consequently, he runs away less, fights less (bites and scratches which can become infected), has fewer road accidents, less parasites (ticks, fleas) and less contamination due to lethal viruses, such as panleukopenia (feline distemper), feline aids and feline leukemia.
- Neutered cats do not need to wander and fight to breed any longer; therefore they are sweeter in nature and more caring companions. They also are cleaner because they have more time to dedicate to their grooming.
- For the male cat, it eliminates urinary marking. Non-neutered cats mark their territory by urinating. Urine scent is very strong and difficult to eliminate. If the cat goes outside, the marking will take place on trees and walls located on his territory but if he lives in a house, he will do it on furniture, walls, carpets or even your bare leg.
- It eliminates or reduces a lot of the claw marking. The non-sterilized female or male cat marks its territory by scratching furniture, walls, carpets.
- It eliminates the heat periods for the female. When in heat, females become restless, they roll on the floor, yowl very unpleasantly and rub against everything. They attract all the tomcats in the area that will urinate on your door. They will try to escape and will usually come back exhausted and pregnant. If the cat is not impregnated during this period, the heat state can become permanent, and it can cause infection in the womb. Also, females do not experience hormone variations due to their heat periods anymore, and is said to contribute to increase their lifespan.
- It reduces mammary cancer risks for the female, especially if the neutering was done before the first heat period. Non-sterilized female cats run seven times more risks to develop a mammary tumor of which 85% are malignant tumors. Ovarian tumors are eliminated.
- It suppresses prostate cancer risks for male cats.
- Sterilized females and males have a lifespan of up to twenty years while those who are not neutered seldom live more than ten years.
When is the best time to have your cat neutered?
The best is before the first heat period for a female, when she is around five months old. A female sterilized before her first heat period greatly reduces the risk of cancer.
A male cat should be neutered between five and seven months, before he starts to mark his territory.
How is neutering done?
Neutering a male cat consists in ablating the testicles. It is a minor surgery and although a general anesthesia is needed, there will be no stitches to remove. Convalescence is quick and the cat can go back home the same day.
Female neutering is a more major operation. An abdominal incision allows removal of the uterus, ovaries and tubes. There will be a few stitches on her shaved belly which will have to be removed around 10 days later. Convalescence takes a bit longer.
If you cat is already an adult, you can still have him or her neutered. If a male cat already has bad habits (marking, fights, escapes.), they may not vanish completely but will be reduced.
For all these reasons, we strongly advise you to have your cat neutered. He or she will not be unhappy and will become a closer and better companion to you for a long, long time. Life. But above all, it will contribute to reduction in cat over population. Thousands of cats (50,000 just in the Montreal area) are abandoned every year. They live in misery for most of their short lives and many will be euthanized because they are ill, injured or simply unwanted.