Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Spaying and Neutering your cat.

BCR is very passionate about pet owners spaying and neutering
their cats or dogs.
 We do several fundraisers every year by 
selling T- shirts or entering contests to help win money
to donate to help the local clinics so people can spay or neuter
their pets. If everyone spayed or neutered their pets 
100s of thousands of cats and dogs would not be euthanized each year
because they are sick and or unwanted. 

Mandy Cooper


A female cat can get pregnant as early as 4 months old when they become sexually active

Whether you have recently adopted a cat or are considering it, one of the most important health decisions you will ever make is to spay or neuter your cat. Your female cat will live a longer and healthier life. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer which is fatal in about 90% of cats. Spaying your female before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.

Neutering provides major health benefits for your male cat. Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your boy prevents testicular cancer. Your spayed female won't go into heat. Female cats usually go into heat 4-5 days every 3 weeks during breeding season. Your male cat will do just about anything to find a mate so he risks injury, being hit by a car and fights with other males. Your male cat will be much better behaved and many aggression problems can be avoided by neutering.

Spaying and neutering will not make your pet fat. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pile on the pounds, not neutering. It is very cost effective as caring for your cat's litters will be costly as you have more mouths to feed. It is very good for the community as it reduces the number of animals on the streets having to fend for themselves. The most important benefit is that spaying and neutering helps fight cat overpopulation which can lead to lots of unwanted cats. It also helps to reduce the stray and feral cat population and also reduces the spread of some diseases and deformities.

Benefits of spaying females are:
       No heat cycles
       Less desire to roam
       Less risk of breast tumours, ovarian and uterine cancer
       Reduces the number of unwanted kittens
       Helps her live a longer and healthier life

Benefits of neutering males are:

       Reduces/eliminates the risk of spraying or marking
       Less desire to roam
       Less risk of testicular cancer and prostrate disease
       Reduces the number of unwanted kittens
       Helps him live a longer and healthier life

What is spaying and how to look after your female pet after surgery

Spaying is the surgical removal of a female cat's ovaries and uterus. 
A big part of this involves removal of the egg production and the female hormones which can cause a female to roam and call for mates.

When spaying a cat, your female needs to be fasted the night before surgery. Young kittens should not be fasted for more than 8 hours prior to surgery. Water should NOT be withheld.

When your cat has had her surgery, there are some things to consider to improve her healing, health and comfort levels. Unless your vet says otherwise, it is normally fine to feed your cat the night after surgery. Offer her a small meal in case has has an upset tummy but you can leave food for her in case she wants to eat little and often. Avoid any fatty foods for a few days to avoid any upsets. Also be aware of your cat's medication and whether they need to be given with food.

If your girl won't eat for more than 24 hours after surgery, contact your vet straight away. It takes 10=14 days for wounds to heal after surgery so it is recommended that any running around or vigorous exercise be avoided. It's very important to keep your cat inside so you can check on her progress and well being daily.

Monitor the wound to ensure it stays healthy and clean. Look out for any signs of redness, swelling and pain as well as any obvious signs of infection. If you notice anything isn't quite right, go back to the vet. If the wound gets dirty from mud or feces, you can clean the wound with warm, salty water. Do not let her lick her wounds. This causes breakdown of the wound causing bacteria to enter and causes infection so the wound takes longer to heal. At the first sign on licking, go to your vet and get a collar or cone to prevent them getting to it.

 Do not bath your cat or let them swim for the first 14 days after surgery. Most vets send your pets home with pain relief. Do not give your cat human pain killers as they are toxic to cats. Keep your cat confined and quiet so they can heal. Monitor your cat's general demeanor after spaying. Most cats should be back to normal within 3 days after surgery. If your pet shows no sign of eating or drinking or vomiting, seek help immediately.

What is neutering and how to look after your male pet after surgery

Neutering is the removal of a male cat's testicles. The parts that are removed are those responsible for sperm reduction so that he can't get a female pregnant.

Your male cat needs to be kept indoors the evening before surgery and if your cat is over 4 months old, food must be withdrawn at midnight the night before surgery. Water should NOT be withheld

After your boy has been neutered, create a safe recovery place for him. Make sure that any hiding spaces are covered so you can easily see him. Keep children and other pets away so he can rest. Keep him comfy and keep the lights low if you can. Provide a clean litter box and easy access to food and water. It's advised not to use regular cat litter for at least a week following surgery and use newspaper instead. Keep an eye on the incision area and use a collar so he can't lick his wounds. Let your boy rest, he needs that.

 Avoid picking him up unless it's absolutely necessary as this can tear any incision. Try and restrict your cat's movement by removing anything your cat can climb and jump on, like cat trees. Avoid bathing your cat for 10-14 days after surgery. Give him pain medication only as directed by your vet. Watch for vomiting and check his gums. They should be pale pink to red in colour. Look for signs of pain like lethargy, persistent attempts to hide or escape, loss of appetite, growling, hissing and anxiety.

Watch for other warning signs like vomiting on the first night, fever or chills, decreased appetite or failure to eat anything after 24 hours for a cat and 12 hours for a kitten and painful urination. Contact a vet immediately if your cat is unresponsive, unconscious, having difficulty breathing or bleeding. Make sure you keep any follow up appointments and see your vet if you have any concerns following surgery.

Spaying/Neutering in the UK

Neutering helps to reduce the number of unwanted litters. British Vetenary Association strongly supports the practice of spaying and neutering cats for preventing the birth of unwanted litters and the cause of genetic defects. BWA believes that neutering should be preformed with adequate anaesthesia and that pain relief should be given before and after surgery. BVA recommends that pet cats are neutered from 16 weeks. In feral and rescue cats, it may be necessary to neuter earlier than 16 weeks. In these cases, neutering is carried out at 8-12 weeks and this is considered safe and appropriate compared with the harm that comes with not neutering. Cats Protection believes that getting your cat neutered before it can breed is an essential part of responsible cat ownership. Without neutering, the UK's cat population can quickly get out of control. Overpopulation increases infectious diseases, conflict and can compromise a cat's welfare. Cats Protection generally recommends that kittens are neutered at around 4 months of age. As kittens reach sexual maturity and breed from 4 months, Cats Protection recommends that cats are neutered than to prevent unwanted litters.

Spaying/Neutering in the US

A majority of states have implemented mandatory spay and neuter laws to address the overpopulation of homeless animals. The goal is to decrease the number of unwanted animals that suffer and die on the streets, decrease the risk to public health and safety and reduce the cost to local governments for impounding and putting animals to sleep. Exceptions are made for animals that are medically unfit. Violations are punishable both civilly and criminally with fines being the most common penalty.

Animals shelters are required in approximately 30 states to provide spaying and neutering of all dogs and cats they transfer or adopt out. Generally agencies are required to have a sexually mature dog or cat (usually 6 months or older) spayed/neutered by a licensed vet prior to releasing to a new owner. Animals may be released prior to spaying/neutering but in most cases, a person has to sign an agreement to spay or neuter their pet. This agreement requires you to have your pet spayed or neutered by a licensed vet within 30 days of date of adoption or of becoming sexually active. The person getting the animals without it being spayed or neutered first must pay for the procedure and a deposit is required by the adopter to ensure the neuter/spay of the animal. The deposit is usually refunded when the agency have proof of the operation being done.

There are some exceptions to the mandatory requirements such as animals used for breeding, hunting or livestock production. Animals that are medically unfit are often exempt from being spayed or neutered as it will make the procedure unsafe or endanger the life of the animal. The overpopulation of unwanted pets not only results in millions of animals being euthanised each year but puts pressure on limited public resources to care for and find homes for these animals. States have responded by adopting laws that make it mandatory for agencies and shelters to have dogs and cats spayed or neutered. The majority of these laws are directed at new owners adopting pets from animal shelters and local humane societies. Several states use the threat of criminal penalties to enforce such laws.

Cost and help with costs USA

The cost of a spay may vary but typically costs from between $300 to $500 for females and around $200 for males. This is if you have it done at a private, full service vet practice but there are less expensive options. Cat owners can have the surgery performed by a non profit spay/neuter service for around $50 and can be higher or lower depending on where you live. All surgeries are done by licensed vets. Some pet insurance plans provide coverage for spay and neuter surgery and you can find a low cost provider in your area by visiting the humane society or ASPCA websites.

Common myths about spaying and neutering and the facts

Myth: It's better to have one litter before spaying a female cat
FACT: Every litter counts. Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier.

MYTH: I want my children to experience the miracle of birth
FACT: The miracle of birth is quickly overshadowed by the thousands of animals euthanised in animal shelters. Teach children that all life is precious by spaying and neutering your pets.

MYTH: My pet is purebred
FACT: So is at least one in every four pets brought to animal shelters around the country. There are many cats, mixed breed or purebred.

MYTH: I want my cat to be protective
FACT: It is a cat's natural instinct to protect their home and family. A cat's personality is formed more from genetics and environment than by sex hormones.

MYTH: I don't want my male cat to feel like less of a male
FACT: Pets don't have concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet's basic personality. He doesn't suffer any emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.

MYTH: My cat will get fat and lazy
FACT: The truth is that most pets get fat and lazy because their owners feel them too much and don't give them enough exercise.

MYTH: My cat is so special, I want a kitten just like her
FACT: Your pet's kittens have an unlikely chance of being a carbon copy of your pet. Even professional breeders can't make this guarantee. There are shelter pets waiting for homes who are just as cute, smart, sweet and loving as your own.

MYTH: It's expensive to get my pet spayed or neutered
FACT: Many low cost options exist for spay/neuter services. Most regions of the US have at least one spay/neuter clinic within driving distance that charge $100 or less for the procedure and many vet clinics provide discounts through subsidised vouchers.

MYTH: I'll find good homes for my kittens
FACT: You may find good homes for your pet's kittens but you can only control what decisions you make with your own pet, not the decisions of other people make with theirs. Your pet's kittens could end up in an animal shelter as one of the many homeless pets competing for a home.

Every country has different laws and regulations about animals. You can check online to see what they are in your country. Bottom line though is everyone should be responsible and spay or neuter their pet.
Remember BCR is a lifetime sanctuary for cats. We do not adopt. 
If you are going to get a pet please check your local animal shelters. 
Adopt don't Shop!

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