- Paying to spay or neuter your cat is less expensive than the consequences of not doing so
- The financial repercussions of not fixing your cat can range from costly vet bills to expensive home cleaning or repairs, and even medical bills for humans
- By fixing your cat you’ll be saving money, protecting your pet, and easing your impact on the environment
There are several severe consequences of not spaying or neutering your cat, including costly veterinary bills, home cleaning expenses, expensive doctor visits for human injuries, and more.
Is your male or female cat looking for love in all the wrong places? If they’re not neutered or spayed, the answer is very likely yes and that could get expensive for you.
Un-spayed or neutered cats are driven by an all-consuming urge to reproduce. Propelled by raging hormones, they will roam incessantly and fight over territory and mates, leading to overpopulation, illnesses, injuries, and even death.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of spaying or neutering your cat, the consequences of not doing so, and some affordable ways you can be a responsible pet owner even if you’re on a budget.
Is Getting a Cat Fixed Expensive?
Getting your cat spayed or neutered is not nearly as expensive as not doing so. While getting your cat fixed can be a bit costly, it’s a price well paid for the safety of your beloved furry friend and the environment.
There are many low-cost spay and neuter options all over the United States and in most countries.
Many veterinarians are also animal-loving humanitarians and will often give a sliding scale rate or even do spay and neuter pop-up clinics at a reduced price. These vets put in this effort to give back by helping reduce the population.
The ASPCA keeps a database of low-cost spay and neuter programs in the United States on its website. You can put in your zip code and find all of the options within a certain radius.
The Overpopulation of Cats Has an Impact on the Environment
Cats eat meat, of course. Compared to a plant-based diet, meat requires more energy, land, and water to produce and has more significant environmental consequences of erosion, pesticides, and waste.
In a paper published in the journal PLOS One, UCLA professor Gregory Okin reported that he found that our four-legged friends, both cats, and dogs, are responsible for nearly 30 percent of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the United States.
“I like dogs and cats, and I’m not recommending that people get rid of their pets or put them on a vegetarian diet,” said Okin. “But I do think we should consider all the impacts… so we can have an honest conversation about them. Pets have many benefits, but also a huge environmental impact.”
Do the responsible thing and help prevent overpopulation – and a higher demand for animal protein-based cat food – by getting your cat spayed or neutered.
Un-spayed Female Cats Go Into Endless Heat Cycles
Kittens are cute (who doesn’t love kittens?), but unexpected and unwanted litters are the leading cause of abandonment and euthanasia.
Of course, if you’re reading this article you’re not likely one to do such an inhumane act. Thus, if your female cat has kittens, you’ll likely find yourself shelling out big bucks to get those babies vaccinated so that you can help them find forever homes.
If you plan to keep them – well, that means higher kitty litter and kitty kibble bills for you.
They will also contribute to the epidemic-level overpopulation of cats: one unspayed cat and her line of descendants can produce an astonishing 4,948 kittens in seven years.
An un-spayed female cat will incessantly cycle through heat until she has mated. So, unless your little vixen gets lucky soon, you’ll be treated to a perpetual cacophony of ear-splitting yowls. Do yourself, the planet, and your pocketbook a favor – get your pretty kitty fixed.
Un-neutered Male Cats Roam
Un-neutered male cats have a fierce compulsion to roam. They patrol a large area searching for a mate and aggressively defend that mate or protect their territory.
An intact male can roam for days and get into many intense battles, returning with severe bites and scratches, which can, in turn, cause dangerous abscesses. Abscesses, of course, mean a trip to the vet and expensive antibiotics.
When your male cat wanders the neighborhood, he is also at the mercy of cars, predators, inclement weather, toxins such as rat poison, fertilizers, antifreeze, or deicing salts (cats can get on their paws and ingest while self-cleaning), infectious diseases, and parasites.
Your Tom may even roam so far away that he can’t find his way back home.
Un-spayed Female Cats May Get Tumors
Many un-spayed females develop breast tumors, and in cats, these tumors are usually malignant.
They are also vulnerable to uterine and ovarian cancer and deadly uterine infections.
Like male cats who aren’t fixed, they often contact other cats and exchange blood and saliva, making them susceptible to feline AIDS and feline leukemia.
Cats That Aren’t Fixed Become Escape Artists
Cats who aren’t fixed are prone to door dashes. Raging hormones give them a burning desire to roam, yet they’re confined to surroundings where they can’t. Enslaved to their hormones, they will try any means of escaping your home so that they can mate.
Few things will hamper an intact cat’s escape. Even fences are irrelevant to a cat who’s struggling to answer the call of the wild.
Un-Neutered Male Cats Spray to Mark Their Territory
Their territory or yours, it’s all the same to your tom when he feels the need to mark.
There isn’t much worse than the pungent odor of cat pee.
When a tomcat isn’t neutered, he’ll spray urine to mark his territory and warn rivals to stay away. Unfortunately, he doesn’t discriminate outdoors from indoors and will spray inside your house.
The spray has a highly pungent, eye-watering ammonia smell and is very difficult to remove from things such as furniture and walls. Of course, cat marking can lead to expensive cleanup bills.
Likewise, the odor can draw other cats from nearby, leading to catfights, upturned trash cans, even more urine spraying around your yard and garage, paw marks and scratches on your car, and more.
Male Cats May Have Territorial Aggression Inside the House, as Well as Outside
When a male cat looks to mate, he may aggressively protect his indoor territory and his outside turf. If he lives with other toms, especially those that aren’t fixed, he’ll try to fight them. He may become intensely protective of his food, water, bed, or litter box. He may even stalk you, pounce on you, and bite or scratch you. Cat scratches and punture wounds can quickly lead to infection and so could require a visit to the doctor for you or a loved one.
Save Money – Spay or Neuter Your Cat
When cats aren’t spayed or neutered, they’re vulnerable to hormone-driven behavior, life-threatening diseases, and other dangers. Having your cat fixed is one of the kindest (and most affordable) things you can do as a cat owner.
Lynette Garet is a bilingual freelance writer. A U.S. ex-pat living in Costa Rica with her partner Sil, when not busy with writing projects, she can be found hanging with her favorite “stinky boys” (the Grand-Littles), tending her garden, cooking, reading, enjoying good wine, and dancing in the kitchen to music from a limitless list of genres.