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Cat Over-Population – Why to Spay and Neuter Your Cat

Spring is eventually going to get here and along with warm weather comes kittens.

Cats are seasonally poly-estrus – meaning their heat cycles generally come during the warmer months and longer days, in Nova Scotia that runs March-September. Cats are also considered induced ovulators, which means they ovulate when in the presence of an intact male cat. A female cat can go through her first heat cycle and get pregnant as young as 5 months old, a kitten having kittens herself. Cats breed on instinct alone. They do not make the conscious decision to become pregnant, regardless if they have access to food, shelter or are still nursing their previous litter. A cat can have on average 3-6 kittens per litter and could have up to 3 litters a year… that’s a lot of kittens! Kittens sure are cute, but these kittens will grow up to become adult cats who will start to contribute to the overpopulation as well.

If you purposely want to breed your cat, it is important that they are checked by a vet and deemed healthy, of appropriate age, fully vaccinated and treated for parasites to prevent passage to the babies.

If your cat if left intact (not spayed/neutered) they are not only at risk of having unwanted litters:

Females:

  • roaming
  • transmission of STI’s (FIV, FeLV)
  • mammary cancer
  • pyometra

Males:

  • roaming
  • fighting
  • spraying
  • transmission of STI’s (FIV, FeLV)
  • testicular cancer

Give us a call if you have any questions about when to bring your pets in to be spayed/neutered.

Written by: Nicole Lambert, RVT

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