Neu­ter­ing pets needs to be done

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

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.

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