Neutering pets needs to be done
Neutering, de-sexing, spaying, fixing. Whatever you want to call it, it is an important responsibility that comes with being a pet owner.
Unless you are a breeder, or plan to arrange for your pet to be bred in a specific mating, then you should have your pets neutered to prevent unwanted kittens or puppies. There are no negatives for the pet with neutering, and many positives for the owner and our community.
Unfortunately, far too many pet owners don’t know, or don’t care, if their cat or dog breeds. They are the irresponsible ones. They are the ones who end up dumping kittens or puppies at the SPCA, the Cats Protection League, at vet clinics, or sadly, in the river or the bush.
Every day the gallant people at the SPCA deal with unwanted pups. Sometimes there are more than they can find homes for.
A growing problem in New Zea- land, including the Wellington region, is with the feral (totally wild) and stray (semi-wild) cat populations. Cats are very efficient breeders, usually producing their first litter of kittens before they are a year old. If left unchecked, two cats quickly lead to many cats.
Feral and stray cats create many problems. They kill native wildlife, they harbour disease (feline Aids, cat flu, ringworm), they fight with domesticated cats for territory and food and they, of course, breed more.
Cats and dogs, unless you truly plan to mate them, should be neutered before six months of age. If cost is the reason you don’t then you probably shouldn’t have a pet.
I often hear people want to allow their pets to have their ‘‘fun’’. Breeding and sex in cats and dogs is functional, not recreational. There are far too many unwanted kittens and puppies euthanased every year in New Zealand to know that some people have a problem understanding this.
Dr Ian Schraa is an experienced veterinarian and the owner of Rappaw Veterinary Care.
Born to be wild? One cat can quickly lead to many cats if it isn’t desexed.