Why Fix by Five Months?
Our animal shelters are full and homeless cats and dogs are a common problem in the United States.
According to an IPSOS survey conducted for PetSmart Charities, nearly 75% of people either “do not know”, or think that 6 months or later is when a pet should be spay/neutered. To end pet overpopulation, we need to update the public’s knowledge about this important subject.
The resources and references listed below show what a difference it would make if veterinarians pushed back the age of spaying/neutering by a mere four weeks. Instead of 6 months, no later than five months! You can help turn things around, reduce shelter intakes and help keep cats in their homes by sharing this information with your veterinarian and everyone else who cares about cats. Use Facebook and twitter, pass out our bookmarks, print out the articles and give them to people, talk with your friends, family and coworkers. In this information age, some important things get lost; make sure this does not! You will change the whole world for cats.
There are three main reason why you should Fix by Five Months - all objective, and all backed by studies that you can read in-depth on our Resources & References page.
1. Medical Reasons
Recent research has revealed that cats spayed before their first heat cycle have a 91% lower risk of developing mammary cancer. Cats and dogs in the United States have a far greater risk of dying from mammary gland cancer than from contracting rabies (about 1500 times greater). The morbidity and mortality of feline mammary gland cancer are so great that it takes the lives of an estimated 75,000 cats every year.
One could argue that the standard of vet care requires practitioners to advise their clients of this at the first puppy or kitten visit. The risk of pyometria is eliminated.
2. Behavioral Reasons
Spaying/neutering generally results in the following behavioral changes:
reduces roaming behaviors, aggression, territorial marking, howling and
other heat-related behaviors and is therefore useful in keeping cats in
homes. Over 80% of cats relinquished to shelters or abandoned are
unspayed or unneutered.
3. Community Reasons
Spaying eliminates the possibility of unwanted litters; each year millions of surplus kittens are born who may or may not find a permanent home.
Shelters are inundated with kittens, and older cats who may have found homes are often passed over. Cat complaint calls are at or near the top of the list of complaint calls to public health and/or animal control departments. And there are millions of feral cats, the result of people abandoning cats often due to preventable behavioral problems and unwanted litters.
If you are a veterinarian, there are reasons why this supports your practice.
Juvenile spays/neuters are quicker and easier to perform than surgeries on cats that are in heat or pregnant. Spayed animals are more likely to remain in your client’s home – intact animals enter shelters at rates two to three times that of sterilized animals. And your client will thank you for preventing mammary gland cancer – which kills about 75,000 cats annually.