Cats Protection is debunking some common myths in a bid to get owners to neuter their feline friends.
Neutering is an important part of owning a cat but is a subject that many cat owners don’t know much about. For example, research by Cats Protection found that 94% of cat owners didn’t realise that cats could get pregnant from four months of age.
“Neutering is such an important thing to do. It’s a simple procedure and it will stop your cat from having kittens,” explained Lucinda Alderton-Sell, Cats Protection’s Field Veterinary Officer for Eastern England. “At Cats Protection we recommend that you have your cat neutered by four months of age.”
To help clear up some typical misconceptions around this safe and simple procedure, Cats Protection has issued the following advice:
Myth: My cat needs to have one litter first
There is no benefit for a cat to have ‘just one litter’ before being neutered. In fact, they will be much healthier and happier if they have the operation before they reach sexual maturity as breeding can be draining and sometimes harmful for female cats.
Myth: I need to wait until they’re six months old
Traditionally, cats were neutered from six months of age, but current scientific data indicates that there are no disadvantages in neutering at a younger age. As kittens can reach sexual maturity and breed from four months, Cats Protection recommends that kittens are neutered at this age or even younger.
Myth: The operation will hurt
The vet will give your cat a general anaesthetic for the operation, so they won’t feel a thing. The whole procedure is very simple and usually you will be able to drop your cat off and pick them back up on the same day. Cats are very resilient creatures and so will usually recover quickly, particularly when they’re young!
Myth: They’ll miss their reproductive organs
Cats don’t experience any kind of long-term emotional reaction to being neutered. Once they get over the minor stress of the initial vet visit they can go back to being the same feline friend you know and love.
Myth: They’ll get fat
It’s true that your cat could put on a bit of weight after being neutered, but only if you keep feeding them the same amount. Neutered cats require much less food because their bodies have less work to do to burn off calories, so just reduce the amount you give them to stop them piling on the pounds. It will save you money too!
Myth: They’re an indoor cat, so don’t need to be neutered
While an indoor-only cat is less likely to come into contact with a potential mate, there is still a risk that they could breed if they ever escaped. Cats also readily breed with their brothers, sisters and parents, so if you have cats from the same family living together, they may still produce kittens.
Myth: It’s too expensive
If you’re worried that you can’t afford to get your cat neutered, Cats Protection may be able to help. The charity offers financial assistance to cat owners on benefits or low incomes through a means tested neutering scheme.
To find out more about the benefits of neutering your cat, visit the Help & Advice section of the Cats Protection website: www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/neutering-your-cat