In South Australia it will be mandatory for any cat born after July 1st 2018 to be desexed with exemptions for registered breeders. Similar laws are already in existence elsewhere. What are the advantages of getting your cat desexed in addition to complying with any legislation relevant to where you live?
Reasons for desexing a cat include -
Stops unwanted litters
Decreases the risk of developing some cancers
Decreases the inclination to roam
Decreases unwanted behaviours
Boosts the cat's health
Stops unwanted litters Cats are able to breed from 4 to 6 months of age. Every year many unwanted kittens are born. Some are dumped in areas such as National Parks where they destroy native wildlife. If they survive they will breed. Others are disposed of by inhumane ways such as drowning. Some are taken to an animal shelter and will need to be euthanased if homes are not found for them.
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Decreases the risk of some cancers If a female cat is desexed before her first cycle the risk of mammary cancer is reduced, some sources claim it provides 99-100% protection. The risk of ovarian cancer is removed and the risk of cervical cancer is greatly reduced.
Desexed male cats can't get testicular cancer.
Decreases the inclination to roam Desexed cats are more likely to stay close to home. Less roaming means the chances of injury or being hit by a car are reduced. Desexing also decreases their urge to get into fights. Indoor cats are less motivated to try to escape.
Desexed cats are less likely to roam Image by Marie Vonow
Decreases unwanted behaviours The strong smell of the urine sprayed by a cat marking its territory is not pleasant. Desexing may eliminate spraying and even if there is still some of this behaviour the urine won't have such a strong smell.
Female cats on heat yowl loudly to attract male cats and sometimes mark their territory with urine. Desexing will reduce or eliminate these behaviours.
Boosts the cat's health Female cats that have frequent litters may suffer physical exhaustion and get insufficient nutrition. These factors may even lead to premature death.
Desexed cats are less likely to develop an abscess or pick up a disease after being injured in a fight. They will probably still get into some fights if they spend time outdoors but the number and seriousness of fights should be decreased.
Desexed cats are likely to live longer due to having better health and the decreased likelihood of being run over or meeting with other mishap when roaming.