Animal homes await springtime with trepidation, when love-hungry cats reproduce, they have their hands full. There are simply too many kittens which land up in the animal sanctuaries. And there’s only one thing for it, neutering. The vets from Maxi Zoo explain why that’s so important.
That cats produce offspring is “the most natural thing in the world”, many people think. But it has long since become a real challenge to animal welfare. At around four kittens per litter, many cat owners become over-extended and on top of that come the abandoned and stray cats which can breed up to three times a year. With the result that ever more of these velvet-pawed creatures wind up on the streets suffering from hunger, disease or injury. And they, in turn, produce further offspring… Animal welfare helpers are running out of the means and resources to cope.
Those who castrate their cat(s) will be saved any unpleasant surprises by their tabby cat and ensure that their free-roaming tom can’t father any progeny.
What happens in castration?
This routine intervention is done under total anaesthetic and takes between 15 and 30 minutes or up to an hour depending on sex. In the process, a male cat has its testicles removed and with a female, the ovaries. Thus the animals are incapable of producing reproductive cells and are infertile.
What are the consequences of castration?
Under normal hormonal conditions, a sexually active tom cat will extend, mark and defend his territory against rivals. In the process, he exposes himself to greater dangers and becomes more aggressive. A tabby is often overwhelmed by her mating cycle and hardly eats at all. If she doesn’t mate, the result can be diseases of the internal organs. Some house cats are permanently in heat due to the absence of seasonal influences.
After castration, the hormonal activities in the creature’s body adapt. Their sex drive changes along with the typical behavioural patterns associated with it. Female cats no longer go into heat, are more even-tempered and often more loyal. Tom cats wander about less and leave fewer scent markings. As such, the animals are, on the whole, more peaceful. They use less energy and can therefore put on weight more easily. Our tip: have your cat castrated and adapt their feeding to their lower energy requirement!
From what age is castration possible?
The right time depends on various factors. Tabbies are sexually mature at six to nine months; toms at eight to ten months. That’s when castration should take place at the latest. Kittens born in the autumn reach sexual maturity relatively earlier. Some vets prefer to castrate cats before this time at around four to six months. Our tip: if you’re uncertain, ask your vet in good time. By the way… it makes sense to get your cat chipped at the same time while it’s still under total anaesthetic!
Call into your local store today to discuss your cat’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts