Spaying and Neutering

Myths and Facts

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"My pet will get fat!"
"Surgery is such a risk."
"My male will turn into a wimp."
"A female needs to have a litter before she's spayed."


"My pet will get fat!"

Pets gain weight from a combination of being fed too much and receiving too little exercise. If you feed your pet a sensible diet and be sure it gets regular exercise, it will almost certainly remain fit and trim. While it's possible for a tiny drop in metabolism to occur after spaying or neutering, this usually occurs naturally anyway as a puppy or kitten reaches maturity.

"Surgery is such a risk."

Surgery is always a risk, but with the huge improvements in anesthesia, testing, and other areas of veterinary medicine, any risks associated with spaying or neutering are minimal. The risk does increase, however, with the animal's age or the presence of disease. Have your pet spayed or neutered at an early age, before any problems develop!

"My male will turn into a wimp."

Nothing could be farther from the truth. A sterilized male will be easier to control and less inclined to roam as it won't be high-tailing it off in search of females in heat. The surgery may reduce aggression and fighting between other animals, although there are other reasons for aggression as well.

Neutering your male has significant health benefits, as it will reduce the risk of prostate cancer and testicular tumors. Neutering a male cat by the age of six months will greatly reduce the risk of spraying and will also reduce the smell of the cat's urine. It won't "cure" the cat once he has started spraying, however, so it's best to have him neutered early, before the behavior occurs!

"A female needs to have one litter before she's spayed."

If a female is spayed before her first heat, the likelihood of uterine, ovarian, and breast cancer may be reduced by as much as 80%. In addition, she won't have to endure the frustration of being in heat--and you won't find unwelcome males camped on your doorstep. Incidentally, unspayed female cats may spray just as males do!

Pet Overpopulation

An intact pair of dogs and their offspring are capable of producing 4,372 puppies in seven years; an unsterilized pair of cats and their offspring may produce as many as 420,000 kittens in the same amount of time!

Cats are what is known as "induced ovulators", like rabbits--this means that the act of mating stimulates ovulation. A female cat can literally have a litter of kittens every 63 days.

In the United States, millions of unwanted dogs and cats are put to death in shelters annually. Often these are wonderful animals--but there are just too many animals and too few caring homes for them. Please, please don't add to the already huge number of unwanted dogs and cat--spay or neuter your pet!

For More Information

Why Spay and Neuter?
Humane Society of the United States
Myths and Facts About Spaying and Neutering
Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pet

The Dog Hause

Spay and Neuter Page
Low Cost Spay/Neuter Programs


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