And there’s no better way to show your pets love than by having them spayed and neutered. According to Danielle Bays, Senior Analyst of Cat Protection and Policy for the Humane Society of the United States, cat pregnancy takes about nine weeks from fertilization to giving birth. Mama Cat can become pregnant multiple times a year and even become pregnant while she’s nursing her previous litter. That means that one unspayed female cat can have approximately twenty-five kittens in a single year!
There’s no denying that puppies and kittens are cute. But litter after litter leaves shelters with an overwhelming number of pets to care for. And unfortunately, many pups and kittens born to unwanted or unexpected litters do not make it to adulthood.
In addition to the reduced risk of some reproductive illnesses, this important surgery can reduce unwanted behaviors that make training a challenge. Following a spay or neuter, you might see a decrease in dog-to-dog or cat-to-cat aggression, urine marking, and wandering. Plus, spaying prevents female cats and dogs from experiencing their heat cycle, which occurs multiple times a year and is accompanied by yowling, crying, and other behavioral changes.
Spay and neuter surgeries are common procedures offered at most veterinary offices and low-cost spay and neuter clinics.
A searchable national database such as Community Cat's Alliance or Best Friends Network Partner can help you locate a low-cost or subsidized spay and neuter clinic near you. Local shelters or Humane Societies may offer low-cost procedures as well.
For pet owners experiencing financial hardship, there are low-cost clinics all over the United States staffed by licensed veterinarians. Clinics may offer a limited number of feline procedures as low as $20.00 and canine procedures as low as $80.00. Your local veterinarian may also offer spay and neuter surgical plans that are tailored to your pet’s individual needs.
Bays adds that when choosing to adopt a cat, kitten, dog, or puppy from a shelter, they’ll typically be sent home spayed or neutered. "Whatever the adoption fee, it is very likely to be less than the cost of having your new pet spayed or neutered and vaccinated by a veterinarian," she says. We all want what’s best for our pets and spaying or neutering them is the first step in keeping them safe and healthy.