We recently shared info on five persistent myths about spaying and neutering. These myths just seem to cling on like pesky fleas. After sharing the article, we noticed many comments from people sharing similar myths they’ve heard first-hand. So here’s a follow-up about those myths, with even more damaging falsehoods!
Unfortunately, there are a lot of “Google University” scholars who want to keep perpetuating false information. Nevertheless, spaying and neutering remains the best way to help cats live longer, happier lives, like the Cole and Marmalade Fam! Getting cats fixed also prevents millions of cats and kittens from suffering needlessly.
Spaying Myth #6: Female Cats Should Have One Litter Before Getting Spayed
As shared by Daniela K., “Another popular spaying and neutering myth is girl cats should have one litter first before they get spayed.” Similarly, people say cats should have one heat before spaying. But these are extremely outdated concepts! And the costs for believing them can be high – in veterinary bills or even the loss of a pet.
As another person shared, this myth is deeply rooted, going back to the 70’s or longer. But there aren’t any health benefits in allowing a cat or dog to go into heat. On the contrary! The medical procedure is generally easier if the cat is spayed before the first heat. Best of all, the health benefits of spaying before puberty are magnified!
“All the benefits you get from spaying or neutering your pet are magnified by spaying or neutering before the animal reaches puberty,” states WebMD.
If there is such an easy way to boost a cat’s health and lifespan, why wouldn’t you do it?
Delaying Spaying Can Lead to Serious Health Problems
If allowed to go into heat or have one litter, the risk of potentially fatal mammary cancer and uterine problems increases. Other potential health concerns include mastitis or a retained placenta and many other issues. Sadly, many people have learned this too late and lost a beloved pet.
For example, LeighAnn N. sadly lost her Siamese mix cat when she developed cancer after having a litter. We’re so very sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing your story. Sharing her story is going to help so many others out there!
“Cats remain healthier when they don’t have to go through heats, and you don’t have to listen to constant yowling or have males spraying around the place,” she concluded.
Also, cats that have a litter can go back into heat immediately. Before you know it, there’s another litter of kittens. It happens all the time, to the dismay of rescuers everywhere. Caring for one litter of kittens is expensive, and you can also expect serious heartbreak and expenses if a kitten has ongoing health problems or crosses the rainbow bridge, which is unfortunately quite common.
Rather than bringing more kittens into the world, consider adopting cats that desperately need homes everywhere right now. Then, you can spoil them as much as you like!
Spaying Myth #7: Cats Will Be Sad If They Can’t Have Kittens
Kathy R. shared another common myth about spaying and neutering:
“Another myth is they want to have a litter because they would be sad if not,” she shared.
People do tend to project their human emotions on cats, one of many reasons they have ruled the internet for over 30 years. But, as with projecting our opinions about gender onto cats, it’s all in our heads, not theirs.
If YOU’RE sad because YOU don’t see kittens, hey, it sounds like you need to adopt! If you are ready for the lifetime commitment and your current pets enjoy the company, what are you waiting for? Please be aware it can take several months for newly-adopted cats to feel completely at home.
Can Cats Be Depressed?
Cats can be depressed, but not over something in the future, like if they are going to have a first litter of kittens. Unlike many folks, felines live in the present, and wouldn’t it be great if we could do that more?
“Good meowning everyone!! 😸”
It IS possible for cats to be depressed from things in the present, like declining health, a change in routine, or losing a human or feline companion. If you suspect a cat is depressed, you might consider adopt another cat for them to play with or introducing more engaging enrichment.
When it comes to having kittens, every rescuer knows the story of a mother cat who is much relieved to return to a carefree life without the burdens of motherhood. These cats are anything but sad; they’re able to be happy, playful kittens, often for the first time ever. Felines can have kittens as 4-month-old kittens and then repeatedly have more despite being malnourished and struggling. Talk about depressing!
Neutering Myth #8: Neutering a Tomcat is ‘Mutilation’
As shared by Jan B., a neighbor told her that neutering their two rescued tomcats would be “mutilation” or barbaric.
It’s similar to the myth in our previous article: neutering tomcats harms their sense of masculinity. Again, this is a case of projecting our human ideas onto a cat. It’s a little silly, and no, it doesn’t hurt a tomcat’s sense of “manhood.” And it also doesn’t mutilate their body in any sense. Consider that neutering a tomcat can increase life expectancy by 62%. Likewise, spaying a female can help them live 39% longer lives.
There’s nothing remotely barbaric about neutering a cat, but unfixed tomcats can be quite brutal with each other. That’s a big part of why TNR (trap, neuter, return) rescuers neuter tomcats. So they stop having territorial fights, spraying urine, and yowling over females. Instead, they can live far more peaceably. Importantly, neutering keeps the peace for the colony cats and people living nearby.
It’s Hip to Snip
As a result of neutering, the tomcats stay out of shelters and aren’t euthanized. Some lucky ones, like our own GoldenBallz Bond, become happy, beloved house cats, and, no, he doesn’t miss those family jewels one bit! Just look at the picture below for the evidence.
“When Bond was at the Humane Society after his neuter… then a couple of years later living the good life indoors!!” via Facebook/GoldenBallzz Bond
“It’s hip to snip,” says Cat Man Chris.
Video about neutering by Cole and Marmalade: