Don’t assume just because your cat lives exclusively indoors he won’t contribute to overpopulation or endure any of the suffering associated with life outdoors as an intact cat. Cats escape from their homes every day. Your cat could easily slip out the door. Intact males tend to roam beyond their usual territory to search for females. Your cat may enter into the territory of a rougher and tougher male and the end result of that fight could be tragic. Cat fights often end with abscesses.
A cat’s canine teeth are very sharp and if your cat is bitten, the wound may seal over, leaving bacteria trapped inside. This leads to infection and it’s very painful. With abscesses, it’s often necessary for the veterinarian to leave the wound open with a surgical drain while the infection clears. There is so much suffering involved with cat fights that could easily be avoided by neutering your cat and keeping him indoors. An unneutered male will mate and the result adds to pet overpopulation. If the female with whom he mates is a stray cat then those kittens will likely also live an outdoor life and grow up intact where they will continue to mate.
The more your intact outdoor male fights and mates, the more he is at risk of contracting disease as well as spreading disease. Intact males are at risk of developing certain cancers later in life. Neutering your young male will eliminate the risk of testicular cancer and greatly reduce the risk of prostate disease. It also puts the cat at risk of contracting disease as well as spreading disease. Giving birth, especially if your cat is very young, can pose a health risk to her as well. An intact indoor cat will vocalize, try to escape and become a victim of hormones.
Life for an unspayed adult female cat is filled with stress. It’s also very stressful for everyone else in the family. She will not be a pleasant companion to live with. She’ll also attract every intact male in the neighborhood. You may find yourself dealing with cats who are spraying outside your windows or fighting in your backyard because they know there’s a cat in heat close by. Repeated heat cycles are also very stressful on a cat’s body.
If your cat is spayed before her first heat cycle you reduce or eliminate the risk of mammary, ovarian and uterine cancer. There is simply no excuse for not spaying or neutering your cat. If you haven’t already adopted a cat then consider adopting one who is already spayed or neutered so that won’t be an expense you’ll have to face. For the parents who feel it’s cute to have your children experience the miracle of birth by having your female get pregnant, it would be much better to show your children what responsible pet ownership means. Teaching them to be caring, responsible, kind and attentive to animals will be a greater life-long lesson than having them watch a cat deliver six kittens will likely end up in a shelter, outdoors or dead. If you’re concerned about the surgical risk associated with neutering or spaying, the surgery is very low risk.
The surgery for male cats involves the removal of the testicles by way of an incision in the scrotum. No sutures are required and post-op care involves monitoring to make sure the healing incision stays clean and dry. Your cat will go home the morning after the surgery. The surgery for females consists of removing the uterus, tubes and ovaries through an abdominal incision. The few sutures across your cat’s shaved abdomen are removed about ten days post-op. If you have any questions about spaying your neutering your cat, talk to your veterinarian. Please note that Pam is unable to answer questions posted in the comment section.
If you have a question about your cat’s behavior, you can find information in the articles on our website as well as in Pam’s books. If you have a question regarding your cat’s health, please contact your veterinarian. This article is not intended as a replacement for your cat’s veterinary care. Permalink to How Often Should My Cat Poop? How Often Should My Cat Poop? Your email address will not be published. Permalink to Is Your Cat Stressed Out? Is Your Cat Stressed Out? Pam Johnson-Bennett is the best-selling author of 8 books on cat behavior. She starred in the Animal Planet UK series Psycho Kitty, and is one of the most popular and sought-after cat behavior experts in the world. Can you feel your cat’s ribs? If there is too much padding to feel your cat’s ribs, your cat is overweight! Knocking things off tables seems to be a favorite feline behavior.