Is Pet Overpopulation Really A Problem? By Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Absolutely! In the United States alone, more than 50,000 kittens and puppies are born each day. For every pet with a place he can happily call home, there are 4 companion animals who are homeless, neglected, or abused. Millions of these animals enter America's animal shelters and 30 to 60 percent of them have to be destroyed each year because no one wants them - that is 4 to 6 million animals.


What can I do?

- Spay and neuter your cat(s).

- Educate others about this pet overpopulation problem. People who know the facts can make the right decisions.

- Work with others in your community to gather stray feral cats and have them neutered or spayed.

- Express your thanks to veterinarians who reduce their spay/neuter fees and work with their local shelters to assure only neutered or spayed animals are placed.


In 6 years, one female dog and her offspring can be the source of 67,000 puppies.

In 7 years, one cat and her young can produce 420,000 kittens.


Myths About Spaying By Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

I heard that neutered and spayed cats get fat and lazy. Is this true?

Spaying and neutering does change the metabolism of companion animals, so in most cases, they do not need as much food to maintain their weight as unspayed/unneutered animals. The problem is not with the animal - it is us. We just tend to overfeed our cats, and neutered/spayed cats are more apt to put on weight because of that.


As for laziness, again, the amount of exercise our cats receive and their activity levels are often dependent on us. If we do not give them opportunities for play and exercise, they can become couch potatoes just like some people.


My veterinarian recommended I spay my new kitten and she is only two months old. Is that safe?

Early spaying/neutering has been shown to be safe in multiple studies. It must be remembered that younger animals may need different anesthetics and are more prone to hypothermia (lower than normal body temperature) during surgery. But as long as procedures are modified to account for these differences, early neutering is very safe. In fact, animals neutered at a younger age often have faster recoveries than those neutered when they are older.


I was told I should let my cat go through one heat before I have her spayed. Is that what you recommend?

We recommend that cats be spayed before they have a heat. There are several reasons for this:

  • Any heat brings with it a chance your cat could become pregnant. This would adversely affect the health of a young cat.
  • A heat also brings with it the chance for accidents. Cats in heat try to leave their houses and yards to find mates and may be injured by other animals or hit by cars during their search.
  • Owners of females in heat also frequently have to deal with a sudden influx of male cats around the home and yard. These amorous visitors leave numerous droppings, and spray plants and trees with urine in an attempt to mark their new found territory, and can keep you up past 2 am with their howling.
  • A further reason for spaying cats is that cats who have been spayed have a 40-60% lower risk of developing mammary cancer than those who have not been spayed.

Cat Population Control


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