SPAYING AND NEUTERING CONSIDERATIONS:
Apart from the health benefits for the cat, which are significant from this surgical procedure, there are real behavioral benefits as well. We recommend spaying your kitten at six months or six pounds, whichever they reach first. They should be current on their vaccines and must be healthy. Cat neuters can go home the same day; spays, however, spend the night in the clinic to meet the requirement of confinement. We use modern pain medications to make sure that cats are kept comfortable during their stay and at home.
CCAC will not alter cats or kittens immediately out of a shelter environment. Anesthesia and surgery lower immunity. Exposure to disease in these kitty-dense situations, warrant waiting a couple of weeks for incubating illness either to manifest and pass, or, if the adoptee is already ill, to allow sufficient time for your pet to be nursed back to health. If surgery is performed during illness or incubation of illness, the illness will likely be made worse.
Behavioral benefits of altering include preventing or stopping urine marking associated with sexual maturity in both sexes (males spray, females puddle). Female cats become extremely vocal during heat cycles as well, calling loudly and continuously for a mate. A female’s heat cycle can last 3 weeks or longer and females will come into heat every three weeks until they breed or are spayed. Additionally both sexes when altered, are far less likely to bolt out the door in search of romance. Unaltered males will roam up to two miles and females can simply get lost and not find their way back home after an amorous encounter. If they should get outside, spaying and neutering not only prevents pregnancies, but fighting and mating behaviors which can expose your cat to infection and the incurable diseases, feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency disease (FeLV and FIV). Cat abscesses from such fights can require veterinary attention.
Once altered, indoor-outdoor kitties spend their time in a greatly restricted territory—their yard or their sunning deck! Spay/neutering also changes the cat’s perspective. People, not mates, become the center of their life. Well, almost…food is first…cats are pragmatists.
Health benefits include improved coats, muscle mass, stronger immune systems, lower possibility of mammary cancer and prevention of pyometra (abscessed uterus) in females and longer lifespans. (Professional breeders have observed that breeding reduces the lifespan of a cat by as much as 3 years). Altered cats are more beautiful felines. For proof of this attend a cat show and check out the “alter class.” Among the spayed and neutered individuals of these purebreds you will find the most beautiful examples of their breed: the fullest furred, best muscled and most well behaved representatives. These, the judges of the Cat Fanciers Association will quickly point out are the “ideal” cat that the hormones masked.
Contrary to what has been frequently written, spay/neuter surgery will make the majority of cats put on unwanted pounds. Science is now telling us this is due to both hormonal and metabolic changes as much as altered lifestyle. Feeding an adult high protein wet diet as soon as a kitten is altered is recommended, and monitoring weight, compensating feeding amounts, avoiding diets high in carbohydrates, etc. will be needed throughout life for most cats to maintain optimum body mass. In fact, now that we have given our cats the blessings of health and peace that spaying and neutering bring, we are obligated to manage their weight to insure them long life as well.