Sexual Maturity in Felines
From around the age of just 16 weeks, kittens reach sexual maturity and are therefore capable of breeding and producing kittens themselves. Cats are not fussy when it comes to reproduction and will often mate with siblings of the opposite sex.
The term “neutering” means surgical intervention to prevent cats from reproducing.
This means the removal of the testicles in males, and the removal of the uterus and ovaries in females.
The recommended age of neutering your cat is 4 months old.
Why Should I neuter my cat?
“She needs to have one litter before she is spayed!”
Contrary to this myth, your female cat does not need to have a litter before she is neutered and the longer you leave neutering the greater the risk that she will fall pregnant or develop health issues.
Did you know that one un-spayed female cat can be responsible for 20,000 more cats in the space of just 5 years? - Female cats are incredible kitten-making machines, they can have up to three litters per year with up to six kittens per litter.
Have you ever wondered why your female cat has become a bit of a nuisance round the house? Is she rubbing against your legs? Clingy? And wow! She just WILL NOT be quiet?
Female cats will ‘call’ when they come into season – she is desperate to attract a male suitor to fulfil her body’s desire for kittens! This can happen regularly, about every three weeks during sexually active times of the year if they do not get pregnant.
Having entire female cats in an area will attract entire males with the attendant problems of spraying, fighting and caterwauling. Entire male cates will roam further afield when seeking out a female in heat – not only does this expose him to a higher risk of being hit by a car; it is also more than likely that he will encounter other entire males along the way – this will inevitably mean one thing – CAT FIGHT.
Two tom’s fighting is not a pretty sight – or sound. These guys really will stop at nothing to find that female. Fighting comes with significant risks – cat bite abscesses and eye trauma can incur a hefty vet bill for the owner, not to mention the risk of transmission of disease.
Obviously male cats do not have kittens themselves and it only takes one male in an area to make lots of female cats pregnant, so neutering a female cat makes a great deal more difference to limiting numbers, but it all helps!
Potential Health Issues
Not neutering your pet will mean that they will be more likely to develop testicular, mammary tumours or pyometra (life threatening womb disease).
Unwanted kittens may not be cared for and are likely to suffer from various infectious diseases such as cat 'flu or worse. There are unlikely to be enough new homes available for them. The Cats Protection League alone help 200,000 cats per year looking for new homes.
Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Disease (FIV) can be transmitted through a single bite. FIV is an incurable disease which is similar to HIV in humans. These diseases can significantly reduce the lifespan of your pet. If they test positive, they will need to be kept indoors for the remainder of their life to prevent further transmission to other felines.
Pregnancy and birth are not without risk – your cat may require a caesarean which can be anywhere in the region of £500-£1000, whilst a cat spay is usually only £40-£70.
We hope that you’ve found this blog helpful in making your decision on whether to neuter your cat a little easier.
Thanks for reading