Responsible cat ownership involves controlling the number of kittens your pet gets especially if you cannot keep up with their breeding.
A Pawrenting reader wanted to know how they can have their cat Nana not give birth anymore. This was a valid concern seeing that cats are effective breeders as their kitten production will keep on if they have enough food and a good shelter.
Cats start breeding from just four months and they will easily breed with their brothers, sisters and parents. Their gestation period is nine weeks and they can get pregnant six weeks after giving birth. This means in a year, they can easily have up to three litters with five to six kittens in each. That is around 18 kittens from just one cat.
Unneutered cats are somehow good at finding each other, and you will realise it is hard to keep your cat at home as a way of preventing them from getting pregnant.
Neutering is a surgical operation that stops female cats from getting pregnant and prevents male cats from making females pregnant.
Spaying and neutering
To prevent them from breeding, a female cat is spayed, which is having her ovaries and uterus removed whereas a male cat is castrated, which is having their testicles removed.
Experts recommend that kittens be neutered at four months or younger, from eight weeks, though you can neuter them at any age.
Neutered male cats are less likely to roam around reducing their risk of car accidents. They make better pets as they are home a lot.
Unneutered female cats, apart from adding to the cat population which also increases feeding costs for the owner, will call and wail every three weeks during the breeding season to attract a mate, until they get pregnant. Some will be missing from home till they get a mate.
To neuter your pet, you will need to get your pet a qualified vet. The vet will tell you how to prepare your cat for the procedure like how many hours before the surgery they should not eat. The operation for both male and female cats is uncomplicated and you will most likely pick them up on the same day after the procedure. The recovery process is also simple, though kittens may recover faster than adults.
According to experts, after neutering, your cat will require less food as their body has less work to do. So reduce their portions to avoid them getting overweight.
The neutering costs are not prohibitive, the price is definitely less than the costs of caring for the many kittens, so go ahead and have your cat neutered.
Maryanne is a pet owner. [email protected]