About Spaying and Neutering
Why Spay and Neuter?
Two unaltered cats and their offspring can produce 370,000 kittens in seven years, and more than two million in eight years.
Two unaltered dogs and their offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in six years.
Benefits of Spaying and Neutering
Statistics provided by Spay USA.
- Eliminate spotting when a dog is in heat
- Eliminate the annoying pacing and crying of female cats in heat
- Eliminate the attraction of persistent males looking for a mate
- Eliminate the complications associated with mating, pregnancy and birth
- Almost completely eliminate the risk of a life-threatening infection of the uterus called pyometra, which requires emergency surgery
- Greatly reduce the risk of breast cancer, especially if she is spayed before her first heat
- Completely eliminate the risk of uterine or ovarian cancer and provide several other health benefits
- Reduce sexual frustration and stress
Spaying a female animal will:
- Reduce or eliminate irritability
- Reduce or eliminate annoying behavior like urine marking, spraying and mounting
- Reduce the tendency for him to escape and roam in search of a mate, and the risk for injury or death that could occur
- Reduce fighting with other males, and the risk for injury or death that could occur
- Greatly reduce the risk of prostate infections in male dogs and feline AIDS (feline immunodeficiency virus or FIV) in male cats
- Eliminate the risk of testicular cancer
- Provide other heath benefits, like reduced risk of benign perianal tumors
- Reduce sexual frustration and stress
Neutering a male animal will:
Common Myths about Spaying and Neutering
- Preventing pets from having litters is unnatural.
- We’ve already interfered with nature by domesticating dogs and cats. Killing (euthanizing) excess animals is unnatural.
- I can find homes for all the puppies or kittens of my female pet.
- Finding good homes is not easy. Simply finding a home does not guarantee a “good” home. Each year, 25 percent of all purebred pets are surrendered to shelters. There are already too many pets and not enough homes. We must correct this rather than add to the problem.
- I want my children to see the miracle of birth.
- The birthing process can often be traumatizing. A female in labor is often anxious, and may bite or snap. Kittens and puppies can become “stuck” in the birth canal, needing surgical intervention. Mothers may eat their newborn. Stillborn and deformed offspring are common. Videos depicting the miracle of birth exist. A better lesson to teach is how spay/neuter can reduce the number of cats and dogs surrendered to our shelters and ultimately killed because there are not enough homes for them.
- We don’t need to neuter males because they can’t give birth.
- Don’t forget it takes two. A high percentage of animals injured and killed when hit by cars are unaltered male dogs and cats out looking for unaltered females. Neutering males has many health and behavior benefits, as mentioned above.
- My pet never leaves the yard.
- Gates can get left open and fences can blow down. Your pets can get out even if you don’t intend them to. It only has to happen once. (Note: Licensing and microchipping can help lost pets find their way home.)
- Neutering will make my pet fat and lazy.
- Too much food and too little exercise make a pet fat and lazy. An altered pet will likely become more attentive to you and your family.
- Surgery is dangerous and expensive.
- There are risks involved with any surgical procedure, but they are minimal compared to the consequences of not spaying and neutering. Your pets will live longer, cost you less in veterinary bills, and be healthier if they are spayed/neutered. Many low-cost spay/neuter programs exist.
- A female should have a litter so she’ll be a better pet.
- This is a common misconception, with no medical proof behind it. Females may even become more aggressive immediately after giving birth. Each heat cycle a female goes through will increase her risk for developing breast cancer. A non-spayed female is at risk for developing uterine infections — very often a life-threatening problem that requires immediate surgery. The birthing process carries risks and potential complications.
For more information, download our flier “Why Spay and Neuter?”