Lil was a rescued one year old, long haired tabby cat who had already had a few litters.
As a result, she was tiny and needed a lot of support to get better.
Before her rehabilitation, she was spayed, vaccinated, escaped, dewormed, and was gaining weight.
Unfortunately there are still thousands of unwanted cats and kittens in the UK, with rescue centers full of cases like Lil.
It only takes one hangover in one area to cause many unwanted pregnancies.
A female cat can become sexually mature and pregnant as early as six months of age.
The gestation period is only nine weeks and a woman can become pregnant again while feeding a current litter.
She can therefore have up to three litters per year with up to six kittens per litter – 18 kittens per year!
Ideally, it is recommended that a female cat be spayed and neutered before sexual maturity to reduce the risk of unwanted, repeated pregnancies that can endanger her general health and result in weak, unwell kittens.
Gray fluffy cat licks itself and brushes its skin
The benefits of castration include a significant reduction in the risk of breast cancer later in life; complete prevention of the risks of uterine infection and prevention of ovarian cancer.
In the male cat, the risk of testicular cancer is reduced, and in all cats, territorial battles whose bites can become infected and the spread of viral infections are reduced.
Neutering also reduces the risk of cats wandering, which in turn reduces the risk of them being involved in road accidents, other injuries, or becoming tired and malnourished.
Kittens born from crossbreeding can often have serious congenital birth defects, and pregnancy and childbirth are not always easy and can pose health risks.
Cats can also be bothersome and cause a reasonable level of excessive noise throughout the mating process.
Men can hike at some distance from home and continuously mark their territory with a very harsh spray.
If a woman fails to mate within her seasonal cycle and becomes pregnant, she becomes extremely vocal and constantly calls for a partner. This is repeated every three weeks until the mating season is over.
These mating seasons occur in the spring and fall, with the female calling behavior in turn leading to further spraying and fighting of the male territories.
While neutering may seem costly at first, the cost of dealing with complications is much higher, not to mention the cost of health care and feeding a whole litter.
Spaying and neutering are standard practices and generally your cat will come home the same day. There are some excellent local charities that can sometimes help with the costs. There are generally some discounts at the in-house veterinary practice “Health Clubs”.
All advice on neutering procedures and costs can be provided by your veterinary office. The advantages far outweigh any disadvantages.
Please be a responsible pet owner and do not increase the ever-increasing number of unwanted cats and kittens.
Alison Laurie-Chalmers is a Senior Consultant at Crown Vets in Inverness.