For a nation of animal lovers, some of us have a strange way of showing how much we care for animals, with shelters reporting a surge of kittens and pregnant cats being left with them and what appears to be a worrying new trend of ‘kitten dumping’. Some shelters are having to turn people away as they are unable to take in any more cats and feel people have started to see pets as ‘disposable’.
It costs little to have your cat neutered and it can save them and you from a number of problems – not just unwanted kittens!
Female cats first come into season and are able to have kittens from around 6 months of age. The feline season is known as ‘calling’, with very good reason as the cat will roll around on the floor with her bottom in the air, crying as though in pain. This lasts for 3-5 days every 2-3 weeks throughout the breeding season (early spring to late summer). You are likely to have any male cats from the neighbourhood visit you at this time, often in the middle of the night.
An ‘entire’ tom cat will tend to roam around the neighbourhood or further afield, spray urine in the house to mark his territory and is more likely to fight with other cats. This increases the risk of him catching, or passing on, several feline diseases, including FIV, the equivalent to human HIV.
Neutering your cat prevents pregnancy as well as this undesirable behaviour and is best done at 5. to 6 months old, before the onset of puberty. The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic. For a male cat it involves removing the testicles from the scrotum. For a female, the ovaries and uterus are removed, leaving a small wound, usually on the left flank or underside, from which sutures (stitches) may need to be removed about 10 days later. Your cat will be back to normal within a day or so and you’ll only have the cat, or cats, you chose to have. For further advice, call Clockhouse on 01453 752555.