The Health Benefits of Spaying a Female
Spaying your female cat will prevent unwanted litters. That is the fundamental issue, because if your cat gives birth, you are the one faced with the task of finding new homes for the kittens.
Here are some added benefits to spaying your female cat:
Prevent tumors and infections of the ovaries and uterus.
Greatly decrease the risk for mammary cancer.
Spaying a cat before she goes into her first heat is best, but even spaying at a later age will dramatically decrease the risk of mammary cancer.
Avoid the hassle of a female cat in heat.
Cats in heat can be very vocal and will attract a great many male cats. If you think you can wait out the heat cycle, you're in for a surprise. If the cat does not mate, she will keep going into heat every few weeks.
At what age should I have my cat spayed?
The rule is to spay/neuter before your cat reaches sexual maturity. Consult your vet concerning your cat, but remember to have the cat altered before the sexual maturity (usually before the age of 5-6 months).
Will my cat get fat and lazy?
Numerous studies have show that spaying is not a cause of weight gain in cats! You can and should spay your cat without allowing her to gain weight. Cats become fat if they eat too much and don't get enough exercise, not because of sterilization. The cat's personality is determined by its genetic make-up and by external stimuli, not by its hormone glands.
Will my cat be deprived of the experience of motherhood?
Please don't make the mistake of thinking about your cat in terms of human experience. Cats are not bothered by our social concepts of gender and gender-specific experiences.
Are there any risks involved?
As with any operation, there are some medical risks involved. However, these pale in comparison to the medical and behavioral advantages of spaying and neutering cats! As stated earlier, you will in effect be extending your cat's lifespan and improving her or his quality of life. Also, please bear in mind that these are among the most common operations performed by veterinarians.
I really love kittens and I'm sure I'll find good homes for all of them - why can't I let my cat breed?
Millions of cats are euthanized each year in the United States alone. In many countries, stray and feral cats are simply poisoned by state and local authorities. The fact is that there are simply not enough good homes for the numbers of cats born each year.
Finding good homes for cats and kittens is difficult. Giving them away from a cardboard box in your supermarket's parking lot is not considered finding a good home! You need to make sure that the adopters are willing to make the commitment to care for a cat for the next twenty years.
And what if those people think like you and let their cats have kittens? Next year there will be dozens of kittens looking for homes! Do you really think you can find good homes for all of them?
There are literally millions of wonderful cats and kittens waiting to be adopted at shelters all over the country. If you're really good at finding homes for kittens, why not start with some of those? If you know anyone who's looking for a cat - great! Refer them to your local shelter and help save a cat's life!
I have a purebred cat. Surely I can breed her and find good homes for the kittens?
Please read the answer to the previous question. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that one of four cats in the shelters is a purebred cat. Unfortunately, purebred cats are just as much a part of the cat overpopulation problem as mixed-breed cats.
Breeding cats can be very complicated and requires professional knowledge about the breed and its genetics. Don't become a backyard breeder just because you own a purebred cat. You could end up with a bunch of sick kittens with congenital defects. As a matter of fact, unless the breeder who sold you the cat specifically told you otherwise, your purebred cat is probably not suitable for breeding programs and was sold to you as a pet.
If you are truly interested in breeding cats, start by reading on the subject, visiting cat shows, and discussing the technicalities and problems with as many breeders as you can. Don't start by breeding your cat without the required knowledge and expertise.