First time owners of kittens are always horrified by the prospect of their little fluffy bundle being “fixed” – they just would not dream of it. Should you neuter or spay a kitten?You may think that this is far too brutal at such a tender age, but many cat experts would recommend that you consider this seriously before you make the commitment to buy/adopt a kitten.
It is surprising to most new owners that a cat can produce kittens as early as 6 months old. Not being prepared for, nor being informed of, this can cause great problems and heartache not so far down the road. Could you really cope with a litter of kittens? Unless you have had some previous experience, it can be an upsetting time for the whole family. There is no doubt that many people take this in their stride, which is to be commended, but, if you have no idea what to do in this situation, then “fixing” your cat is the most caring and responsible option.
Neutering your male cat, although it may seem too early in your relationship, is not cruel and will, in many ways, enhance his quality of life. Your male kitten will be less likely to wander far from home and will have no desire to get involved in neighbourhood fights.
It is a fairly easy operation, although it might make your stomach lurch to think of it. A small incision is made to the skin covering the testicles. A little pressure is applied, the testicles are popped out and removed and the wound sutured.
If you have a female kitten, you should be gratified to know that spaying should significantly increase her lifespan by reducing the likelihood of contracting possible uterine infections (which can be fatal) and lowering the risk of contracting cystic ovaries.
For females, it is a more invasive, but still relatively simple, procedure. It is a surgical process which involves a small cut to the abdomen allowing the ovaries and uterus to be removed – then the wound is sutured. As a female cat can go into “heat” every 14-21 days until she is mated, and with a heat cycle lasting from 3-16 days, the benefits of spaying are evident for both kitten and owner. A female that is not neutered will make every effort to seek out a mate and try to escape. She will also regularly spay urine during this period which is unpleasant and difficult to stop and probably not what you signed up for!
FIV – Feline immunodeficiency virus in male cats
Male kittens are susceptible to FIV – a virus likened to HIV in humans – which can be contracted by a bite. As neutering significantly reduces the likelihood that your cat will be involved in a cat fight, this also reduces the chances of FIV infection.
Please note – humans cannot contract FIV or HIV from cats and cats cannot catch either disease from humans. They are both species specific.
You should always discuss neutering and spaying with a trusted vet and give the matter some earnest consideration. As a matter of interest, Blink was “fixed” and we have no regrets that we made this decision.