Should You Neuter Your Female Cat?

Neutering your female cat is by far the best thing that you can do for her health. Not only does neutering help to eliminate some of the bad behaviors associated with mating, but it will also drastically reduce her chances of some more serious health complications.

Neutering Process

Neutering is the process of removing all of the internal reproductive organs, and is also known as a hysterectomy. The reproductive organs include the ovaries, oviduct and uterine horns. This tract of reproduction is responsible for maturing the ova, or eggs, and allowing them to travel to the point where they can be fertilized and conception can occur.

When these organs are removed, the heat cycle in your female will no longer occur. This is important because the hormones that are released during the heat cycle will no longer affect your cat. The hormones are what attribute to the behaviors of the mating process. They are also responsible for creating long-term effects in your female, like diabetes and ovarian cancer.

This is a surgical procedure and is always done under the effects of general anesthesia. Whereas the surgery usually only lasts for about an hour, the recovery time can be anywhere from one to five days.

Benefits of Neutering

One of the major benefits of neutering is that your female can no longer get pregnant. Cats reproduce at astronomical rates and can produce several litters each year if given the chance. The problem is that, in most cases, there are more kittens than there are available homes. This in turn leads to euthanasia and a crowded cat population.

Another benefit of neutering is the elimination of the hormones which cause the behaviors of mating. Both estrogen and progesterone are released during the heat cycle of your female. These hormones are responsible for the persistent meowing, crying and seeking of the male. They are also responsible for the spraying that your female will do while she's in heat.

Additionally, certain cancers of the ovaries and mammary glands can be significantly reduced by neutering your female. It's estimated that the risk can be reduced by as much as 60% with the help of neutering. Because these cancers can go on undetected and be difficult to treat, the benefits of neutering to avoid them are very large.

Cost of Neutering

The cost of neutering can range anywhere from $30 to $150, depending on if any complications are encountered. Although it may sound like an unnecessary cost, it's worth paying when you consider the possible scenarios that can arise from not having your female neutered.

In order to help curb the extremely high population of cats, some humane societies, cat shelters and animal control organizations offer low cost neutering programs.