Neutering cats (castration or spay) is mainly done so that they will not reproduce, but there are many added benefits to the procedure.
- Neutered male cats are less likely to spray and mark the house with urine and the risk of testicular and prostate cancer is reduced.
- Neutered female cats have a reduced risk of mammary and ovarian cancer and other diseases associated with the reproductive organs.
- Neutered cats are usually less aggressive towards other cats in the same household.
- Neutered cats are less likely to roam around outside and get into fights with other cats. Cat bite wounds can easily become seriously infected and form abscesses under the skin than can remain hidden until they burst, causing severe damage to the skin and surrounding tissue and needing veterinary care. Fighting with other cats can also spread diseases, like feline immunodeficiency virus and rabies.
- Non-neutered cats that roam are more likely to get into traffic accidents, get lost, injured or stolen.
- There are other diseases that can spread from cat to cat via close contact when roaming. ‘Ringworm’ is a fungal skin diseases that will manifest as round hairless areas on the skin. Mange is another contagious skin condition, caused by microscopic parasites, producing very itchy patches on the skin. Other diseases include feline infectious peritonitis and feline leukemia virus, both serious diseases with no cure.
Reducing unwanted pregnancies and kittens is VERY important, but neutering will also help your cat live a longer and healthier life.
Article by Dr. Laura Wessman