To spay or not to spay - should it really be a question?

Spaying and castrating, are the simplest ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies in pets.  Unwanted babies are just the beginning. 

Apart from them being born, completely innocently, into a life of hardship and suffering, the mums can also undergo endless unnecessary suffering.  From simply not being mature enough themselves to support a successful pregnancy and then their babies, to losing their life during labour, suffering the pain of mastitis, or enduring the hardships, of trying to survive and support their babies, either in unsuitable conditions, albeit in a potentially well-meaning home, or living life as a stray, making a ‘home’ under a garden shed, or out building of a school or office block. 

Whilst boys don’t have to endure the trials of pregnancy and then supporting babies, if they are 50% of the problem with unwanted/unsuitable pregnancies.  One male could mate between 10 & 20 times a day, during the mating season, which is typically April –September, when daylight hours are at their longest.  Castrating even feral cats, is a very productive way of improving the health of the cats in that colony and controlling number also. 

Neutering cats, from an early age, quite simply stops all of this suffering before it even happens.  If you have a look at any animal rescue, across the country, you will see the vast number of unwanted pets who have been handed in, if they are lucky, or just abandoned and then found by a good Samaritan and handed in.  Whilst these animals may have been wanted as a kitten, once that initial cute phase has gone, sometimes the novelty simple wears off!  Whilst it is imperative that rescues like Woodlands Animal Sanctuary take in, and care for & rehome these animals, just think of the difference we could make, if all pets were neutered, at a suitable age & therefore prevented the vast majority of unwanted pregnancies? 

There is of course, the price of the operation to bear in mind, however, it is nothing compared to the price of veterinary costs should a pregnancy go wrong – or indeed right, but still need medical assistance!  We all know, that having any pets in your life, includes an ongoing financial responsibility and neutering, should be routinely included in that as a way of saving money, lives and suffering further down the line. 

It is for these reasons, that ALL adult pets rehomed from Woodlands Animal Sanctuary will only be rehomed once they have been neutered.  ALL kittens, who are rehomed, prior to being a suitable age to be neutered (Woodlands suggest neutering at 6 months of age, once the body has reached a certain level of maturity, strength and development) will be rehomed with money off the operation at a couple of local vets so help with the cost. 

The team at Woodlands are currently hand rearing 9 kittens, the youngest of which are only 11 days old.  These are being hand reared because their mum was suffering with mastitis and could not support them.  She needed veterinary treatment to help her beat this potentially lethal infection.  Breeding, of any animals, requires a great deal of knowledge and can turn into a very serious situation incredibly quickly.   

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