Why It’s Important to Spay or Neuter Your Cat

Annabelle

By Jane Warshaw

The last Tuesday of every February is World Spay Day, an annual campaign by the Humane Society International and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.

Millions of unwanted cats and dogs are euthanized every year simply because there aren’t enough homes for them. And neutering means your cat will live a longer healthier life.

Dr. Daniel Lauridia, DVM of the Murray Hill Pet Hospital says, “It comes down to overpopulation of cats and dogs and protection from health issues…Male cats that are neutered can’t get testicular cancer and female cats can’t get uterine cancers.” He adds, “The risk of mammary cancer to female  cats is reduced by approximately 24% due to removal of ovaries which produce estrogen. Unneutered cats also have more tendency to wander and become aggressive toward other cats which will lead to fighting/biting and an increase in spreading Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus.”

Still some people are reluctant to spay or neuter their kitty because of common misperceptions.

My cat will get fat.
Spaying or neutering doesn’t make animals gain weight.  Dr. Mike Marder DVM, Diplomate. A.B.V.P., of The Village Veterinarian is adamant: “Surgery doesn’t cause obesity. Food does. Neutering does lower the metabolism, which lowers calories needed for maintenance, but it’s up to the owner to moderate caloric intake.” He adds, “Kitten food has more calories than adult food so after neutering, the food should be changed.”

My cat’s personality will change.
The Humane Society of the United States says that a cat’s personality is formed more by genetics and environment than sex hormones. Marder agrees. “Neutering an animal usually makes it a better pet. In males hormones can influence aggressiveness towards other males. Neutering decreases the aggression.”

There are many free or low cost clinics and programs in our area to make this surgery affordable. Here are just a few:

The ASPCA  has Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinics in all five boroughs.
$5 spay/neuter, rabies and distemper vaccination, nail trim, and e-collar on a mobile clinic in all five boroughs with proof of public assistance. $125 per animal if you are not on public assistance. You can check their website for when their mobile clinic is in your neighborhood. Phone: (877) SPAY-NYC (877-772-9692)

The Toby Project. Neuter is free for male cats. Spay is free for female cats whose owners receive public assistance (please bring photo ID/proof of public assistance) or $60 for female cats owned by NYC residents not receiving public assistance.
Phone: (212) 799-1120, E-mail: info@tobyproject.org

Friends of Animals Spay and Neuter Certificate Program, Phone: (1-800-321-7387), Email: info@friendsofanimals.org

The Humane Society of New York- Animal Clinic
305 East 59th Street, NYC 10022. Phone: (212-752-4840)

HealthyPets Project of NYC. Headquartered on the Upper East Side. Offers free spay/neuter services, pet food and supplies for low income pet owners and assistance to those facing financial hardship due to a veterinary emergency with the goal of   keeping pets in their homes, Applicants are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and must meet certain criteria. Email: healthypetsnyc@gmail.com

You can find upcoming Low- Cost Spay/Neuter events on the website for The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, animalalliancnyc.org

Spaying or neutering is so important KittyKind requires it before any cat can be adopted. The problem of pet overpopulation is so critical that the ASPCA, Bideawee, and participating rescue groups in the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals also don’t adopt out animals that haven’t been spayed or neutered.

Spaying and neutering our cats is just one more thing KittyKind does to help you adopt the healthiest, happiest cat possible!

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