Many people wonder why they should get their pets spayed or neutered - especially if they know the pet won't go outside or will never be around an animal of the opposite sex. The answer is bigger than that question, though. Keeping a pet isolated from other unaltered animals definitely helps prevent unwanted pregnancies (assuming the animal doesn't manage to escape and go on walkabout - something that animals in an "amorous state of mind" often find a way to do!). But it doesn't reduce the risk of other complications such as cancer, medical conditions that can result in emergency surgery (or death) and a host of other issues.
The most obvious result of spaying and neutering is the inability for an animal to reproduce. And with over 6.5 MILLION animals entering animal shelters every year in the United States, and 1.5 million of those animals being euthanized, eliminating the chance of more unwanted litters is definitely a positive thing. But wait - there's more!
Reducing the Risk of Serious Health Conditions
Many people don't realize that by spaying and neutering, they are helping their pets have a chance at a longer, healthier life.
Did you know that cats can get breast cancer, just like humans? But a cat’s risk of mammary cancer can be reduced by 91% by having her spayed before her first heat cycle, or before she turns five months old.
It’s not just females who stand to benefit from “fixing by five months.” Male cats who are neutered by five months old are at lower risk of testicular cancer and prostate problems. If those incentives aren’t enough to make you want to neuter your male cat by five months, how about helping to prevent him from learning to spray urine as a way to mark his territory?
Anyone who has ever experienced the smell of male cat spray knows how bad it is, and how hard it is to fully clean and remove it from whatever unfortunate object was targeted by the cat. Male cats who spray account for a large number of animals surrendered to shelters. In fact, according to the ASPCA’s National Rehoming Survey, conducted in 2015, of cats who were relinquished by owners, 42% were due to “pet problems.” This includes destructive behavior such as spraying. This unpleasant characteristic of intact adult males is something that can be prevented with neutering by five months of age.
Spay or Neuter by Five Months
The benefits of spaying and neutering cats by five months are clear, and more vets are recognizing the need to promote this message within their own practices. For more information, please visit the links listed below.
Cat owners who would like to locate a “Fix by Five Months” vet can visit our Provider Search Page.
Veterinarians who would like to be listed on our provider directory can submit a request. Veterinarians who wish share the “Fix by Five Months” message in their practice can also order a promotional kit.
Anyone interested in helping us get the word out about “Fix by Five Months” is encouraged to share our message with friends and family on Facebook and other social media outlets.
Together, we can make a difference in the lives of cats everywhere.
 ASPCA. “Shelter Intake and Surrender: Pet Statistics.” https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics Accessed May 2019.
 Cornell Feline Health Center. “Mammary Tumors.” https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/mammary-tumors Accessed May 2019.
 Emily Weiss*, Shannon Gramann, C. Victor Spain, Margaret Slater. “Goodbye to a Good Friend: An Exploration of the Re-Homing of Cats and Dogs in the U.S.” Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 2015, 5, 435-456. Published Online October 2015 in SciRes. http://www.scirp.org/journal/ojas http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojas.2015.54046. Accessed May 2019.