Why cats should be neutered

Why neuter? Somewhat surprisingly, this is something we are often asked at the National Cat Adoption Centre.

Cats Protection believes that getting your cat neutered before it can breed at sexual maturity (at four months of age) is an essential part of responsible cat ownership.

Cats are very effective breeders. For example did you know an unneutered female can be responsible for 20,000 descendants in just five years, adding to the UK's feline over-population problem.

Overpopulation increases feline infectious disease, stress related issues and feline conflict, and also compromises a cat's welfare.

Also, neutering has many health benefits, as well as helping to reduce the number of unwanted cats in the UK.

Let's start with the boys.

Unneutered male cats:
- are more likely to end up injured or contract diseases from fighting
- are more likely to roam searching for an unneutered female cat
- will spray urine to mark their territory to attract female cats
- may experience a high level of stress akin to frustration if unable to find a mate.

Surely, that is a pretty scary scenario for anyone with a pet male cat in their family home.

Female cats have it just as bad and the impact on the over-population of cats in the UK is even greater.

Unneutered female cats:
- will frequently become pregnant from four months of age
- will have a litter up to three times a year, with each litter having potentially six kittens
- are more likely to contract diseases spread through sexual contact.

The operation for both male and female cats is very simple. Cats are resilient and usually recover very quickly from the operation and can usually leave the vet and go home on the same day.

Isn't that enough reason to get your cat neutered?

The average cost for a male cat to be neutered is between £30-£60 and for a female is £40-£80. That is a small price to pay for peace of mind and responsible cat ownership.

What's more, Cats Protection offers financial assistance for owners on benefits or low income. For more information, please visit www.cats.org.uk/neutering or call 03000 121212.

So, please contact your local vet for more information and to discuss all costings. Don’t leave it too late to get your cat neutered. It will benefit your cat and may prevent a cat suffering.

Neutering is the most important action you can take to help the wider cat population and, of course, your own cat. Do it today.