Can you help us? It’s nicer to neuter!
If you ask anyone in the animal welfare industry what they’d like, almost all would say they’d really prefer not to be needed at all. Quite what we’d do with ourselves if the animal problems were all solved overnight is another matter; but what we do know is that if more animals were neutered (especially if it was done in time), then we would have much less of a problem. There’s more information in our neutering download; but have a think about the following:
- You‘ll be doing the right thing helping ensure that all dogs and cats have a loving home to call their own, and that strays are not roaming the streets, making noise at night, and that feral cat colonies do not develop. We don’t like to talk about it much, but in many parts of the UK, unwanted and stray animals are still euthanased as there are no homes for them. In our local area, there are hundreds if not thousands of feral cats living rough, whose kittens may not survive the first two months of life. There are also lots of animals having a rough time in private homes, whose owners never intended to get a dog or cat, but ended up with the unwanted results of an accidental breeding. If we all neutered our pets this wouldn’t happen – indeed in several European countries with higher neutering rates than the UK, there are virtually no unwanted animals and shelters are empty.
- You are demonstrating that you really love your pet - we often hear people say “I love my dog/cat too much to neuter him/her”. But by neutering your dog or cat you can reduce, and (in some cases if done early enough) eliminate, the risks of all sorts of diseases and conditions from cancers and some other tumours to nasty infections and killer diseases.
- You’re investing in a really good way to save you money - it is very expensive to feed a litter of puppies and kittens, and we consistently hear that people’s dreams of making a bit of extra cash from them rarely becomes a reality when they have to pay for food, vet costs, and other items; or when they find that they can only give the animals away, not sell them (in fact we recently heard of someone who ended up needing to use a food bank because they had used up all their spare cash on feeding puppies). Breeding animals for profit may also jeopardise state benefit entitlement.
- Your pets will become easier to manage too; they will be less likely to call, mount, spray, roam, and all the other associated behaviours. Contrary to urban myth, they won’t become fat and lazy; far from it – cats will still play and hunt, and dogs will still want to be walked. You need to feed them less food though once they are neutered as their bodies have less to do.
What if I can’t afford to neuter?
There is help available if you can’t afford it: contact the Dogs Trust on 020 7837 0006 or Cats Protection on 03000 121212 for information and assistance with the costs of neutering. Vouchers from these charities are accepted in many vet practices in Cumbria.
When should it be done?
Cats - ASAP! Cats can get pregnant from 3 months of age, can have 3 litters a year, and will readily mate with their brother/sister/mother/father. We recommend getting cats neutered by 4 months of age – or earlier. Our own cats on site are neutered at 8 weeks. There is no need to have a litter first – in fact it is safer not to. You can find a list of vets who neuter at younger ages than the outdated 6 months, at this site: http://www.kind.cats.org.uk/ (scroll down for a postcode finder). Please talk to us on 01228 560082 if you need help catching or transporting feral cats or neutering lots of cats.
Dogs - Talk to your vet about the best time to neuter your pet; the earlier the better in most cases.