Spaying and neutering procedures are the most common surgeries performed in veterinary hospitals. And for good reason: They help control the cat population and eliminate the need to find homes for litters of kittens.
Whether your have a male or a female cat, the benefits of spaying and neutering go much further than that. Not only are you being a responsible owner when you have your cat sterilized, you're making a better pet.
What are the benefits of spaying and neutering? They include:
The association's early spaying and neutering programs call for sterilization when kittens are as young as 6 weeks old. Cats typically are spayed or neutered at about 6 months, but some veterinarians prefer early sterilization to prevent accidental breeding when puberty hits earlier than expected. If the technique is modified to accommodate young kittens, surgery is safe and recovery time is short.
Contrary to myth, spaying or neutering doesn't cause obesity. "Only too much food and too little exercise cause obesity," says Ray Snopek, a veterinarian from Abbotsford, British Columbia. "Be sure to choose the right diet for your cat's stage of development and activity level."
Because kittens are full-grown by the time they're 1 year old, it's important to stop feeding them growth or kitten foods, which are higher in calories than other formulas. Snopek recommends switching to a maintenance or adult formula then. If your cat shows a tendency to be overweight or doesn't get much exercise, feed a diet specially made for cats with a lower activity level. Iams Less Active Formula has 45 percent less fat than Iams Original Cat Food, while providing a complete, balanced diet.
Here's what you can expect when you take your cat to your veterinarian to be spayed or neutered:
Surgery of any kind requires preoperative fasting. And, shortly before the surgery, the veterinarian will prep your cat to avoid infection. Consult your veterinarian or animal shelter for more information on spaying and neutering.
your cat, fall 1999