Tue 6 Nov, 2007 03:32 am
Ok, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to spay the cat and am wondering if there's a best time to do so or if there are good enough arguments not to do so.
Why wouldn't you?
I don't remember when -- my cat-raising days are long ago, now -- but I do remember what a relief it was when we spayed the little buggers. (They got aggressively amorous.) That's aside from the overpopulation problem.
Do you specifically want to go through the pregnancy + birth + kittens experience? My dad did -- we had one kitten, didn't spay her, and let her get pregnant. Then she had three kittens and was spayed after their birth. We kept all of the kittens and then spayed them at whatever the proper time was.
I think it's usually at the 5-6 month age, depending on the how soon the cat matures (like people, it can vary). Your vet should be able to advise.
I have one cat, Gracie, who matured very young -- before anyone thought she would. That single experience with a cat in heat was unreal, and I never want to live through another!
Why wouldn't you?
Well, I probably will. But I'd rather not. I'd rather leave my pets as natural as possible. I'm not even too much of a fan of cutting my dog's hair.
Do you specifically want to go through the pregnancy + birth + kittens experience?
To be honest, yes. I am considering raising dogs and cats. But like I said, I probably won't.
I did love that part -- the newborn kittens and watching them grow up. It was pretty cool to have three cats who I'd known their whole lives, and who didn't have to be separated from their mother. The four of them (mom and three kittens) got along wonderfully.
I have mixed feelings about it -- what if she'd had 12 kittens instead of 3? why didn't we just adopt some cats who would otherwise have been killed from the humane society? -- but it worked out well for us.
A cat in heat can be hell. If your cat is not going to be strictly inside, and be bred, Spaying is a service to cats everywhere. One female can produce a scary number of descendants in a short period of time. (One rogue male is worse)
Kittens are adorable, but there are millions of unwanted strays being euthanized at an alarming rate.
Kind of a personal crusade here. I try to sterilize strays when I can convince the to let me near enough to catch them. We have a large number of feral cats where I reside.
I know of all the reasons for doing so but not everyone's life is the same. In the house I live in, there is an enclosed outside area. Hard to describe but the backyard is a patio with a roof and 12-foot walls.
I think the chances are very slight that the cat would ever encounter another cat in its current lifestyle, and if it did I don't think it would be the end of the world if it got pregnant. I'm in a situation where I can care for as many of them as I feel like and if I didn't spay her it would be to intentionally breed cats.
Then the main reason to spay her is dealing with a cat in heat, it sounds like. And that's a pretty compelling reason, from my limited experience. (I never want to think about the verb form of "pencil" again...)
You think a male cat can't surmount a 12-foot wall to get at a female in heat?
Or do you think a horny little girl cat will happily bask in the sunlight on the patio while she listens to the boys singing on the other side of the wall?
Wrong either way. Spay her as soon as the vet says it's OK and forget about this "natural" stuff. If you wanted to give her a natural life you could feed her live mice and forgo a catbox...
Well there's a roof over the 12 foot wall. Hard to describe but the house's back yard is a laundry area with maid's quarters and a covered patio.
In any case, the decision to not spay the cat wouldn't be made on the basis of being confident that nothing would happen, but rather on being fine with the cat becoming pregnant.
All things considered, I probably don't want to raise more cats.
Have her spayed whenever your vet thinks is appropriate. You should be seeing your vet on a regular basis, since there are dewormings and/or vaccines needed every 2 weeks from 6 weeks of age until 16 weeks (when rabies vax is given in most states).
Vets are doing early spaying of cats today. Some cats can be as young as three months. I have had cats at that age spayed and they seemed to do just fine. Best bet is to ask your vet!