The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Spaying, neutering protects pets in long run

By Denise Tristan/reporter

Controlling animal overpopulation is very important. Spaying or neutering cats and dogs is the best way to prevent unwanted litters and improve their overall health and behavior.

According to the Humane Society, 70 million stray dogs and cats live in the U.S. Many of these dogs and cats die due to harsh weather conditions, other wildlife and traffic.

Anywhere from 6-8 million dogs and cats are in animal shelters across the country, but only about 3-4 million of them get adopted. This means about 10,000 healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized every day because of overcrowding in shelters.

A fertile cat can have three litters in one year with about four to six kittens in each litter. This means one cat can produce 100 to 400 kittens in seven years.

Sterilizing pets helps prevent thousands of kittens and puppies from going to shelters, ending up as strays or in the hands of cruel and careless people.

It can also help your pet live longer. A USA Today article says male dogs that are neutered live about 18 percent longer than dogs that have not been fixed. Female dogs that have been spayed live about 23 percent longer than fertile female dogs.

Part of the reason why these unaltered pets are not living as long is their stronger desire to roam looking for mates. As a result, they more often get into fights with other animals, get run over by cars or face other dangers in the streets.

Spaying and neutering also help reduce the risk of several cancers and fatal uterine infections known as pyrometra. Veterinarians say that female cats spayed before their first heat are typically healthier than other fertile cats.

Not only will spaying or neutering pets benefit them, but it can also benefit pet owners. Male dogs tend to mark things with their urine when they are not neutered, but marking stops once they have been sterilized. It’s not as common in female dogs, but they may do it as well.

The urge to spray is very strong for cats that have not been sterilized. The easiest way to prevent this issue is to get them neutered or spayed before they are 5 months old since this issue is not typically present in cats this young. Spaying or neutering solves marking issues by 90 percent even in cats older than 5 months. Spaying and neutering pets controls aggression between males and reduces excessive barking, mounting and anything else an animal may see as proving his dominance.

Sterilizing animals is critical for controlling animal population, but it is also important for the animal’s health and the pet owner’s peace of mind and happiness.

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