Reasons for spaying and neutering cats

Spaying and neutering are essential parts of responsible cat keeping.

This is especially pertinent here in the UK where the numbers of unwanted & abandoned cats are astronomical.

It’s sad but it’s true – here in the UK, thanks to generations of unchecked breeding in domestic cats & in un-neutered strays & ferrols, there are far too many cats & kittens for the shelters & animal protection agencies to deal with. As a result, many cats & kittens are at risk of awful experiences at the hands of desperate people.

I’m going to cite for you as an example, our current cat, Loki.

She, like all our cats before her, was a rescue.

We have previously had cats through the Cats’ Protection people, for whom we fund raise.

Loki was different though.

She was part of a litter born to the cat of one of our neighbours.

Unfortunately, one fateful day, a male show-cat, a Persian, named Ollie, who lived up the street, got out at the same time as Flossie, a white & tortie who belonged to our downstairs neighbours.

The rest was history & in due time, Flossie had an enormous litter of ten kittens.

At the time the kittens were born, Flossie was poorly with a virus. Unfortunately, the kittens also got sick & two of them died.

This was a very sad time for our neighbours, but they duly set about the duties that come with small kittens – feeding, litter-training, and attempting to find homes for them.

By the time the kittens were six weeks old, they’d found homes for just three of them.

Not all the kittens were completely litter trained either & it transpired that the rent lady had let herself in for a spot inspection when collecting the rent that week.

The result was, our neighbours were told “get rid of them by tomorrow or you’re out”. When they pointed out that the kittens were a) too little to be away from Mum & b) didn’t all have homes yet, they were told “that’s not our problem. Get rid by tomorrow, drown them if you can’t home them. Any that are left at 4pm when we come, we’ll make sure we have a black bag.

Well, you can imagine, as cat lovers, our neighbours were beside themselves & the whole community got involved.

So, we came to have our Loki (as we called her), the runt of the litter, very weak form the virus that had affected the kittens & not really expected to survive.

In fact, not only did she survive, but she thrived – which brought us to a conundrum.

Loki was the first female we’ve ever had. Obviously we’d always neutered our male cats at six months, even though they’ve all been house cats, but a female, there were all sorts of other factors to consider.

In the end, after weeks of discussion & research, we decided to let her have one litter, for a combination of her emotional & physical well being & have since neutered her.

Loki has had a litter of 5 kittens. One, the youngest, died after being born. The other four are now four months old. There were three boys & 1 girl. The oldest two, a boy & girl, have gone together to a friend of ours in the countryside. The youngest surviving one went to some friends who’d got a kitten for their kids, but it dies of feline leukemia (incidentally, a condition that’s become quite so prevalent, partially, due to unchecked breeding)

& the remaining boy, “Oddball” has stayed with us, as company for Loki & for us.

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