An unspayed female cat that breeds regularly can have two to six kittens thrice a year. In fact, just a pair of cats can produce 14 breeding cats. The next year, these cats can reach 182 if each of them has three to four kittens. The year after that, those 182 cats can become thousands. That is a lot of homeless cats!
By neutering or spaying a cat, you help protect its health and prevent the birth of future generations of cats who would be out and breeding themselves. This helps address the issue of cat overpopulation.
Top 4 Ways to Reduce the Population of Cats
Not Intentionally Breeding your Cat
Shelters today are often overcrowded and cats that enter these shelters are usually put to sleep because of the lack of space. When your pet has kittens, they may end up in a shelter.
By avoiding breeding your cats, the number of unwanted kittens and deaths can be reduced.
Becoming a Responsible Pet Owner
Once you have a cat, commit yourself to give them the care they need for a lifetime. This includes keeping them within your property, or safely with you when you go outside.
Also, make sure that your pet has proper identification in case they get lost so they can be easily found and returned to their home.
Adopt a Cat from a Shelter or Area Rescue
By adopting a cat from a shelter or area rescue, you are saving two lives since you are making space and creating an opportunity for another pet to get a second chance at a safe and healthy life.
Spread the Word
The best defense against the cat overpopulation crisis is a well-informed society. Make sure that your family, friends and neighbors are aware of the pet overpopulation crisis. Also, make them realize that their personal actions can either help resolve or contribute to this problem.
While these four ways to reduce cat population help, spaying and neutering your cat is considered the best choice for reducing the number of unwanted kittens. This prevents any undesirable behavior as well as health risks that could shorten the life of your feline friends.
How Spaying/ Neutering Is Done
During the operation, your cat will be put under general anesthesia. In female cats, the ovaries and uterus are removed by making a small incision in the abdominal wall. In male cats, the testicles are removed. An incision is made above each scrotum, meaning that they will have two incisions.
Taking your cats to the vet to have these procedures done can be stressful. But with the modern techniques and medicines available, vets consider these surgeries to be safe. Keep in mind, though, that aftercare is crucial and it is up to you, as the pet owner, to ensure that your pet is comfortable and that no infections set in.
How to Care For Spayed or Neutered Cats
1. Ask the vet all the questions you have
The surgical procedures of neutering and spaying are typically performed in the morning; this way, the cat can be brought home when evening comes.
Before you head home with your cat, the vet will talk to you about the condition of your pet. This gives you the opportunity to ask all the questions you may have. For instance, ask about post-surgery care tips, what to watch out for, and the dos and don’ts.
2. Take the shortest road home
Most cats do not enjoy riding cars. Due to the fact that stress does not help with healing, you must choose to take the shortest road. As much as possible, you have to minimize traveling time to avoid subjecting your pet to more unnecessary stress that could aggravate their condition. If you get your cat spayed or neutered during the warmer months, it is critical that you go directly home and you not leave them in the car unattended — hot cars are as bad for cats as they are for dogs.
3. Let your cat rest
Once you arrive home, let your cat rest in a quiet place. Keep the kids and other pets away from them. Even if your cats are affectionate and friendly, their behavior may temporarily be more aggressive. As they heal, they will return to their normal self.
4. Monitoring the cat’s eating and drinking habits
Make sure that fresh water is available to them at any time. As for food and wellness cat treats, offer them in moderate amounts. Expect your cat to refuse food for the first 12 to 24 hours post-surgery.
If they vomit after taking their first meal, don’t panic! This is a normal reaction to the anesthesia.
5. Expect plenty of urinating
It is common for your cats to urinate frequently after the surgery because their body will try to eliminate the medications used during the operation. Make sure their litter box is placed close to their resting spots. This way, they don’t need to travel through your house just to urinate.
It also sometimes happens that a cat may fall into a sound sleep and end up urinating in their bed.
6. Check on the incision regularly
You have to check the incision site daily to ensure that it is clean and is healing properly. It may seem a bit swollen for the first couples of hours, and there may be some redness and discharge. The swelling, redness and discharge will go away after 48 hours.
If it doesn’t, contact the vet immediately. A nasty smell from the incision indicates an infection so you must get your cats to the vet as soon as possible if you observe this.
If they try to hide or continue to be aggressive 48 hours post-surgery, make sure to bring them immediately to the vet for a checkup.
Spaying and neutering will cause your pet stress in the short term, but less stress in the long term. It’s good for your cat, and it’s the best way to cut down on the number of potentially unwanted cats. The aftercare you give is vital, so you must be patient about giving them all the time they need to fully recover.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.