most obvious benefit of neutering your pet is to help control an exploding
pet population. There are some misconceptions about having your pet “fixed”.
However, being spayed directly helps the health of your pet. The urge to
roam and find a mate decreases, which reduces the risk of getting lost,
running away, or falling victim to outside threats. For both males and
females the risk of certain cancers are reduced. Also the risk of contracting
contagious diseases also goes down. Some behavior problems can also be
eased. For male cats and dogs marking or spotting reduces and territorial
behavior especially in cats frequently improves, and aggressiveness in
both male cats and dogs tends to ease and fighting is usually less frequent.
For females, their mood tends to be more balanced and agreeable. There
is also a significant convenience factor of not having to deal with a female
pet in heat. Also health risks associated with pregnancy obviously are
Unfortunately, there continue to be a variety of misconceptions about
having a pet fixed. There are a variety of reasons given by people not
wanting to spay their pet. However, they generally are not factual or well
thought out. Some don't want to pay the cost of surgery. However, the cost
of caring for newborn kittens or puppies is not cheap. Also, one can receive
a certificate from a local shelter or humane society for a significantly
discounted procedure. Some don't want their pet's personality changed.
For most animals the change is mild to non-existent, and generally if there
is a change it is towards a less aggressive milder manner. Some are concerned
with their pet gaining weight. Especially for males if the desire to roam
is reduced some pets will put on weight. However, this can be countered
with appropriate diet and exercise, and the health benefits of neutering
outweigh a possible weight gain. Others want another pet just like the
one they have. The odds of this are extremely low, especially for mixed
breed animals. Looking at a litter of kittens frequently even brothers
and sisters look completely different. For people who feel their purebred
pet should be allowed to breed, the argument is similar. Even experienced
breeders don't get all the traits they are looking for most of the time,
and there are plenty of purebred animals that are currently in shelters.
Others believe this is a good way to teach children about life. Many animals
will hide when giving birth, and a cat or dog is probably not the best
teaching tool to teach about birth and life. Some don't want to deprive
their pet of a partner. However, the emotional needs of pets are quite
different from that of a person and they really aren't being deprived.
A myth also exists that a female cat should have one litter before she
is spayed. This is unnecessary and over the years can lead to hundreds
of thousands of kittens. Finally, some feel that it is simply unnatural
to have their pet fixed. However, much of the pet population situation
is unnatural, and having a pet fixed is a much kinder solution than allowing
the pet population to expand exponentially. In reality the lifespan of
spayed and neutered pets is longer than those that aren't, and having your
pet fixed is a great service to them and the pet population as a whole.