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To protect her from getting pregnant, your cat will need to go the vet to have a simple operation called spaying (also known as ‘fixing’, ‘neutering’ or ‘being done’).
When your girl cat is about four months old, she will start to attract the attention of tomcats who will want to have sex with her.
This is why it’s important to have her spayed before she is four months old to protect her from getting pregnant while she is still a kitten herself.
You may have heard that it’s good for cats to have a litter of kittens before they are spayed - but this isn’t true. Once she has been spayed your kitten will be able to do all the things cats enjoy doing, like going outdoors, climbing trees and playing.
Your boy cat will need to have a simple operation, called the snip. This can stop him from spraying in your house to mark his territory, which can be very smelly, and getting nasty injuries from fights. He will also be less likely to wander off and get run over, as cats that are snipped tend to stay closer to home.
Having your cat snipped will protect him from a nasty disease called FIV - which is the same as HIV in people, but for cats. It is spread through cat bites, often between males fighting over a female. It can’t be caught by people.
Your cat will need to be dropped off at the vets, and picked up again later that same day.
The operation is very simple. He or she will be given an anaesthetic. Once they are back at home, they will need to stay in for a short time - your vet will advise - but they will soon be fit and well again.
If you receive benefits you may be able to get some help with the cost of having your cat spayed. Contact your local RSPCA branch.
Other charities, such as Cats Protection may also be able to help.
The cat population in the UK has reached crisis point. Despite the best efforts of the UK’s rescue organisations in providing subsidised neutering schemes, the cat population has continued to spiral out of control. Urgent action is required to increase the neutering rates of the country’s owned cat population and reduce the unacceptably high numbers of cats that end up in rescue.
A report - Tackling the cat crisis: a collaborative approach to neutering (PDF 2.73MB) - details the research findings and sets out a number of solutions.
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