So Why Neuter?
Perhaps the question should be : why not??
‘Nobody’s tom cat. I am the tom cat you couldn’t be bothered to neuter. I strayed; you thought it was “natural” to let me live this way. I wandered away from home; you thought I was having fun living the natural way. I fought, I got sick. People scared me away from their door when I came begging for food, covered in fight wounds. Sick from abscesses, I stunk of male piss, spraying over territory. Then I found a house that wanted to care, because I looked so sick – but it was too late by then, I was dying. Help came too late and now I’m dead. It didn’t need to be this way – you should have neutered me if you cared about me. I wouldn’t have fought, I wouldn’t have got sick, I would have stayed at home and gladly kept the mice away. Now I’m gone and you still think I’m out having fun the natural way. I am nobody’s tom cat.’
Photo and words courtesy of London Cat Lady
An unneutered tom cat can mate with over 40 female cats per year. He can and will follow the scent of a female over seven miles away! While he’s out and about, roaming the area, he can easily get lost and find himself homeless when the romancing is over. Unless his owner has microchipped him and is lucky to have him found by a cat lover, poor tom is doomed to live a life of misery.
Nobody will adopt an entire (unnetered) tomcat, or even tolerate him in the back garden, because he fights other people’s pets, male and female, and marks houses and gardens with a pungent scent.
Homeless and hungry, he will enter houses through the cat flap in search of food, only to get shooed away. Fighting for his survival, he will soon look run-down and battered and his chances of finding a new home dwindle even further. “Mangy toms" are usually not mangy at all, they are often simply neglected, undernourished and battle-scarred.
Toms are the most frequent feline victims of road death. The newest threat of all is a virus, the killer Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which is passed on during fights through biting when the saliva of an infected cat enters the bloodstream of the another.
No cat has been known to recover from FIV, and entire tom cats are most likely to fall victim.
All of this could be avoided by neutering.
What about “the girls”?
Did you know that one unspayed female cat could be responsible for 10,924 kittens over a six-year period?
This is a minimum total calculated by assuming she has her first litter when she is a year old (although this could be as young as six months), and using the low rate of only two litters per year per mature female cat (most cats have three and four litters per year), and basing our calculation on four kittens each litter, two male and two female.
So. neutering your female kitten before she is six months old could prevent a minimum of 10,924 unwanted cats looking for new homes, and would most likely extend your cat's life by excluding the many risks involved in having kittens. It is a myth that cats should be allowed to have one litter first.
Why put your cat at risk?