Ask the vet
Ester Van Luipen
It is that time of the year again, funny enough always around Valentine’s Day, that all animals start to run after each other. Male animals (two legged or four-legged ones) are trying to woo the females into romantic get-togethers. Animals are starting to build nests to get ready for the young ones to arrive.
This is also the time of the year that cats are getting frisky, after a short winter-stop. We all know what that means: The cat that arrived in our yard and that we fed over the winter will soon be getting kittens. Maybe you have seen her already with her tail straight in the air, loudly vocalizing. This means she’s in heat. Maybe the cats have even kept you awake at night with their ‘love-songs’. The male cats are spraying their urine everywhere to mark their territory and to make sure that no other males are going near the females.
Benefits of neutering
There are many good reasons to neuter cats. First of all you prevent getting lots of kittens. Second of all, the more cats there are in an area the more quickly disease spreads. Many feral cats already struggle to survive under often harsh conditions, and their immune systems are often challenged to the max.
If you have a neutered cat around the house it often keeps other cats away, so your problems with too many feral cats coming around genuinely stop. Cats are also great mouse and rat catchers. They are very hard workers. A cat is a cheap and environmentally friendly way of keeping your premises rodent free. Remember if you round cats up and euthanise them, or even kill them yourself, the problem won’t be solved. Other cats will simply move into the area and the breeding starts again.
Now’s the time
A female cat can produce 30 kittens per year. Needless to say, if you have a cat, this is the time to act to make sure that you will not have an enormous amount of kittens soon. Catch your cat and bring it to your local vet to have it neutered. It is also important to get the males done; it will stop them spraying urine and thus producing an awful stench around the house and it will also stop them fighting with other tomcats to protect the territory.
If you have problems catching your cat, please ask at your local animal rescue organisation for the loan of one of their traps; they really are a humane way to catch a cat. Please contact the Mayo Cat Rescue (www.mayocatrescue.org) on 098 35920 if you want to avail of neutering-discount vouchers for my clinic.