Pros & Cons of Spaying and Neutering Maine Coon Cats - Maine Coon Kittens | Maine Coon Breeders | Maine Coon Cat

Pros & Cons of Spaying and Neutering Maine Coon Cats

It’s shocking to think that a pair of cats could produce 420,000 offspring in just seven years if they and their offspring were not spayed or neutered (source: animalrescueprofessionals.org). While controlling the population is crucial, there are also other significant benefits to your cat’s health and well-being from sterilization.

Myth: Cats should have at least one heat cycle before being spayed. Veterinarians no longer recommend waiting until after the first heat cycle to spay female cats. Cats can go into heat as early as 4-6 months. Most veterinarians now recommend spaying before the first heat cycle.

Myth: Cats should have at least one litter before being spayed. Having a litter of kittens before being spayed is not recommended by veterinarians. There is no reason for a cat to have kittens before being spayed.

Health Benefits of Spaying Before the First Heat Cycle

  1. Reduced Risk of Cancer: Spaying before the first heat cycle reduces and may even eliminate the risk of mammary gland tumors, and ovarian, or uterine cancer, as certain hormones are not activated in the body.
  2. Behavioral Perks: Excessive yowling and restlessness associated with attracting a mate are also eliminated by early spaying.

Understanding Heat Cycles in Cats and the Benefits of Early Spaying/Neutering

Once a cat becomes sexually mature, normally around 6-7 months, they will have a heat cycle every two to three weeks unless they become pregnant. They can experience unnecessary stress during their heat cycle as hormones become active. They may become restless and very vocal as their hormones are telling them to find a mate, Early spay/neuter eliminates this stress. Bad habits such as urinating outside the litter box can also begin when cats are not spayed before their first heat cycle, and they feel unnecessary stress.

If your cat is currently in heat, it is normally best to wait a couple of weeks after the heat cycle, when the blood vessels are no longer enlarged and there is a lower risk of excessive bleeding for the procedure. Some cats may go back into heat a few days or a couple of weeks after the heat cycle, so you may have to work closely with your veterinarian on timing. Spaying before heat begins is another way to eliminate this issue.

The Impact of Hormones on Male and Female Cats

Hormones are secreted through the endocrine system. In cats, this consists of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, parathyroid gland, adrenal gland, pancreas, kidneys, and testes or ovaries. This is a very complex network, but basically, the glands secrete hormones that go into the bloodstream and are used by other parts of the body. Hormones help to regulate a cat’s bodily functions. When dealing with the reproductive system the most prevalent hormones are testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen. Testosterone is responsible for the male’s sexual behavior and secondary sexual characteristics. Estrogen and progesterone are the hormones inhe female cats’ reproductive system. Estrogen and progesterone regulate heat cycles in female cats.

Behavioral Effects of Hormones

Estrogen and progesterone are the hormones that tell a female cat to show physical signs of heat. Spraying urine, restlessness, rubbing around and/or rolling and yowling contribute to these hormonal changes. When testosterone kicks in, male cats will begin spraying urine too. This behavior does not always go away once they are neutered, so early sterilization can help curtail this unwanted trait. Males may also show aggression if they are not neutered before hormonal behaviors kick in. Other benefits to male cats include having a lower risk of cat fight wounds and fewer cat bite abscesses. Neutered males have a lower risk of contracting diseases like FIV too.

Spaying and Neutering Policy at Savvy Cats

Savvy Cats requires all kittens to be spayed or neutered before 10 months of age to ensure optimal health both physically and mentally. Reducing the risk of unnecessary stress and health risks is essential for your cat’s well-being.

We use a company called SpaySecure to protect your kitten’s health and hormones and let them grow to a healthy spaying/neuter. SpaySecure uses binding contracts to ensure cat sterilization at a healthy age. They’ll follow up with you to provide advice and reminders, ensuring your kitten gets spayed or neutered safely. Please visit their website here for more information.

FAQs

What are the signs of complications or infections after spaying or neutering my cat?

1. Swelling or redness at the incision site
2. Discharge from the incision site, which may be in the form of pus or drainage
3. Bleeding from the incision site
4. Excessive licking of the incision site
5. Lethargy or lack of appetite
6. Vomiting or diarrhea
7. Fever or abnormal temperature
8. Pain or discomfort 

How can I help my cat recover faster and more comfortably after the surgery?

1. Allow your cat to recover in a quiet, safe place indoors
2. Encourage frequent movement indoors to help your cat recover from the anesthesia
3. Offer small amounts of the food they eat regularly and water later in the evening
4. Keep the incision dry and clean
5. Apply a cold compress to the incision several times a day to help reduce swelling
6. Give the cat pain medication as prescribed by your veterinarian
7. Keep your cat on an exercise restriction for the next 10-14 days
8. Do not allow your cat to lick, scratch, or chew the incision
9. Use an Elizabethan collar (E-collar) or a surgical suit to prevent your cat from reaching the incision site
10. Check the incision twice daily until healed
11. Follow all aftercare instructions and schedule a follow-up visit with your veterinarian

What are the benefits of spaying or neutering my cat for the environment and the community?

1. It can help to reduce pet overpopulation
2. It can help to protect local wildlife
3. It can help to reduce disease and aggression among stray and feral cats
4. It can help to reduce the environmental impact of cat waste

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