7 Serious consequences of not spaying or neutering your cat.
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.
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.
The following are seven severe consequences of not taking the responsible action to spay or neuter your cat.
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 greater environmental consequences in terms 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 definitely 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.”
Unspayed 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.
An unspayed female cat will incessantly cycle through heats until she has mated. So, unless your kitty gets lucky soon, you’ll be treated to a perpetual cacophony of ear-splitting yowls.
They will also contribute to the epidemic-level overpopulation of cats: one unspayed cat and her line of descendants can produce an astonishing 11 million offspring in a decade.
Unneutered male cats roam.
Unneutered male cats have a fierce compulsion to roam. They patrol a large area searching for a mate, and they are also possessed by aggression to defend that mate or protect their territory.
An intact male can roam for days and get into many intense battles, returning with severe bites, scratches, which can, in turn, cause dangerous abscesses.
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 (which 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.
Unspayed female cats may get tumors.
A large number of unspayed 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 come into contact with 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. This is because they have 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.
Very 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.
Unneutered male cats spray to mark their territory, even if it’s yours!
There isn’t much worse than the strong 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 the indoors and will spray inside your house, as well.
The spray has an extremely pungent, eye-watering ammonia smell and is very difficult to remove from things such as furniture and walls.
Likewise, the odor can draw other cats from around nearby, which can lead to catfights, upturned trash cans, even more urine spraying around your yard and garage, paw marks on your car and more.
Male Cats May Have Territorial Aggression Inside the House, as Well as Outside
When a male cat is pumped up with hormones, he may aggressively protect his indoor territory, as well as his outside turf. If he lives with other toms, especially ones 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.
When a cat isn’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 things you can do for them, and for cat overpopulation, as well.
Is getting a cat fixed expensive?
Not as expensive as not doing so. While yes, getting your cat spayed or neutered can be a bit costly, it’s a price well paid for the safety of your beloved furry friend and for the environment.
There are a lot of 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 spade and neuter clinics at a reduced price in order 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 web site. You can put in your zip code and find all of the options within a certain radius
Lynette Garet is a bilingual freelance writer. A U.S. ex-pat living in Costa Rica with her wife Silvia, when not busy with writing projects, she can be found hanging with her favorite “stinky boys” (the Grand-Littles), tending to her garden, cooking, reading, enjoying good wine, and dancing in the kitchen to music from a limitless list of genres.