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Care of a Pregnant Cat

Lesson 3 Part 3: Spay & Neuter Your Pet Cats :

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Cat nursing her kittens Anthony Bradshaw/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

A critical part of caring for a pregnant cat is ensuring that neither she, nor any other female cats in residence, ever become pregnant again. Once you have verified your cat's pregnancy and made the decision either of spaying her and terminating the pregnancy or allowing the pregnancy to continue, the very next thing you should do is take positive steps to ensure this will be the last feline pregnancy in your household.

 

Neuter Your Male Cats


This is the most proactive step. Neutering is a simple surgery with a very quick recovery period. Besides preventing unwanted pregnancies, neutering a male will help mitigate certain problem behavior found in whole males, and it will help prevent certain medical conditions, too.
  • Neutered cats are less likely to spray strong urine
  • Neutered cats will lose the urge to fight
  • Neutered cats will be less likely to try to escape
  • Neutered cats will not suffer the abscesses from fighting
  • Neutered cats will be less likely to contract diseases such as FeLV and FIV
  • Neutered cats will not be subject to testicular cancer
  • Neutered cats will not likely develop "stud tail," caused by overactive glands in the tail
  • Neutered cats have a decreased risk of mammary cancer
  • Neutered cats are less allergenic
Basically, you have every reason to neuter your male cat. He will be a much more pleasant companion, and will ultimately be happier and healthier.

 

Spay Your Female Cats


Anyone who has lived through the misery of having a female cat in almost constant heat cycles will attest that it is not a pleasant experience. Their loud calling, often accompanied by spraying urine (to attract a mate) are evidence that they are, if not actually physically in pain, at least uncomfortable and unhappy.

Aside from the very real feline overpopulation problem, there are some valid health reasons for spaying female cats.

  • Decreased Risk of Mammary Cancer
    Ideally, to give a female cat protection against mammary cancer, she should be spayed prior to her first heat. Each subsequent heat brings a greater chance of mammary cancer at a later time.
  • Eliminates Risk of Ovarian or Uterine Cancer
    Spaying a cat involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries. No organs: no cancer; simple as that.
  • Eliminates Chances of Pyometritis
    Pyometra is a virulent bacteria that attacks the uterus of cats, usually a week or so after estrus, and is a potentially fatal infection.

The old adage that "if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem" is particularly applicable to unwanted pregnancy in cats.

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