Health Reasons To Spay Or Neuter Your Cat

Posted on: 13 July 2015

Responsible pet parents know that there are already a lot of kittens and cats who need homes. Therefore, spaying or neutering your cat prevents more kittens who need to find homes. However, even if you're confident your cat will never get out of the house, spaying or neutering is also important for health reasons.

Mating Behavior

Intact male cats have an instinctual urge to find a mate. They engage in territorial behavior such as spraying and aggression. More significantly, they wander the neighborhood looking for their mate, even if this means sneaking out of the house. While outdoors, they are more prone to fighting, getting hit by a car or coming into contact with feral cats infected with feline diseases such as distemper and feline immunodeficiency virus. Neutered males are much more content to stay at home.

While female cats may not have quite the roving instinct, they do go into heat starting at six months old. She can go into heat every 14 to 21 days in spring and summer, according to Animal Planet. During that time, she yowls and emits pheromones to attract an intact male mate. Again, this male can be infected with a disease that can spread to your housecat if they find a way to get together.  

Testicular Cancer

When neutering a male cat, veterinarians remove the testicles. Therefore, neutered males cannot develop testicular cancer. According to Pet Health Network, neutered males live 40% longer than intact males. Some of this is due to the inability to contract testicular cancer, but most of it is because of the modified – and safer – lifestyle of a neutered male.

Uterine Cancer

Spaying a female cat involves surgically removing her uterus as well as her ovaries. As such, a spayed female cannot get uterine or cervical cancer. Likewise, cats are susceptible to breast cancer, but a spayed female is 25% less likely to contract the disease, according to Pet Health Network.

Ovarian Tumors

Just like a cat without a uterus can't get uterine cancer, a cat without ovaries can't develop ovarian tumors. Tumors can develop anywhere in the reproductive system of a female cat, so early spaying is essential to preventing these cancers.

Relieves Stress

Mating is stressful. Just like any other species, intact felines are physiologically programmed to propagate the species. An intact male who is barred access to any females in heat acts aggressively. He's highly stressed. This is true of a female cat in heat who isn't impregnated. Preventing this physiological programming from taking hold in cats prevents them from enduring this stress.

Not only does spaying or neutering carry health benefits for your cat, the practice makes for an overall more relaxing atmosphere in your home. Contact your local veterinarian, such as Norwin Veterinary Hospital, for more information about the health benefits of spaying and neutering your pets.