What is Sterilisation?

Sterilisation is the surgical removal of part of the reproductive organs (ovaries and uterus of females and testicles of males) from an animal so that it can no longer reproduce.

It is a safe and quick procedure that is performed by a veterinarian. The cat is under general anaesthesia the entire time, so it will not feel any pain. The procedure takes 5-15 minutes and the cat is back to normal in 1-2 days.

Why should I sterilise my cat?

Not only will it help to cut down on the serious over population that leads to the abandonment and euthanasia of millions of animals each year, but it will benefit your cat medically and behaviourally.

When should I get my cat sterilised?

It is highly recommended that your cat be spayed or neutered as soon as he or she reaches six months of age although some female cats may come into season as early as four months.

Signs of heat (oestrus) include: increased appetite, restlessness, being more affectionate than usual, rolling on the ground and emitting short low calls. At this point, she will also start to attract males.

When a Tom cat, reaches sexual maturity, they will instinctively spray their surroundings with a strong-smelling urine and may become more dominant and aggressive.

How does sterilisation benefit my cat?

A spayed female cat will be less likely to develop breast (see mammary carcinoma) and ovarian cancer, pyometritis (a potentially fatal uterus infection) and there is no chance of the extra burden of unwanted kittens. There can also be a number of complications during the birthing process which could involve huge medical bills and the potential loss of the mother cat's life. If the mother cat has not got enough milk for all the kittens, the kittens will have to be hand reared.

Neutering of a tom cat will prevent testicular cancer, prostate disease, hernias and abscesses due to fighting. It will also lessen the cat’s impulse to roam (which may result in a road trauma accident), mark territory and may eliminate aggression.

There is also a less likely chance of the male or female cat contracting FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), which is the feline equivalent to human AIDS – this is not contagious to humans. This disease is contracted through deep bite wounds. The feline leukaemia virus (FelV) is also spread through deep cat bites and mating. Unfortunately there is no known cure for either one of these diseases. and this is only two of a few fatal diseases that are contracted in this way.

Both sexes also tend to be more affectionate and become more homely after being spayed or neutered.

Should my cat have a first heat cycle or a litter before being spayed?

It is a common misconception that a female cat needs to have her first heat cycle or have a litter of kittens before being spayed.

Will my cat get gain weight after sterilisation?

Not all cats will necessarily gain weight once they have been spayed or neutered. Cat with this tendency can however be put on an appropriate, specially formulated light diet to prevent weight gain. .

Should only female cats be sterilised?

Sterilising male cats will result in health benefits and eliminate anti-social behaviours. Also, if a male cat is not sterilised in an area of sterilised female cats, it will roam further afield to look for non-sterilised females and impregnate them.

Not sterilising a male still contributes to the population explosion.

I'm sure I can find good homes if my cat has kittens.

Unfortunately, there are already so many cats and kittens that need homes - finding homes for the will be very difficult. You will also be taking a home away from a desperate cat who may be in danger of landing up in a shelter or being euthanised.

I would like for my children to experience the miracle of life by having a pregnant cat, is that so wrong?

Teaching your children to be responsible is just as important. Take them to visit a shelter and explain to them why it is important to have their pet spayed and not to add more unwanted animals to the already over populated shelters.

The miracle of life can be shown in adopting and saving a life.

Fact: An intact female, her mate and all of their offspring producing 2 litters per year with 2.8 surviving kittens per litter can equal to 11 801 cats in 5 years or 11 606 077 cats in 9 years!

Now ask yourself – would you like to be part of the problem or the solution?


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