Cat charity urges vets to sign up to the Early Neutering Register
Cats Protection is urging all veterinary practices to sign up to a new online register to help people locate a local veterinary practice that carries out neutering at four months of age or earlier.
The national register is being launched at the British Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress on 1st April 2011 and will be free of charge.
According to the charity, early neutering is the most effective method of controlling the population of unwanted cats in the UK and it recommends that cats and kittens are neutered at four months of age or younger as opposed to the traditional six months of age.
Maggie Roberts, Director of Veterinary Services at Cats Protection, explains: “Our research shows that, although over 90% of owned cats in the UK are neutered, around a fifth of all queens have had a litter before being spayed. The key to population control is neutering cats before they reach puberty which can occur as early as four months, so we should be aiming to neuter most cats by this age.”
Cats Protection already provides vouchers to help neuter over 160,000 cats each year but, despite these efforts, rescue facilities all over the country are inundated with kittens and are constantly full - often with extensive waiting lists.
Numerous scientific studies have proven that there are no long-term negative consequences following early neutering. In fact there are many benefits which include:
- Fewer unwanted kittens
- Cats can be neutered prior to rehoming from rescue centres reducing the need for follow-up
- Fewer pregnant cats presented for neutering
- Fewer cats developing pyometras, mammary tumours, mammary hyperplasia etc or needing Caesarean sections
- Reduced surgical time and quicker recovery for the cat (standing to standing 45 mins)
- Reduced blood supply to the immature organs and therefore likely reduced risk of bleeding during surgery
- Feral cats can be neutered after weaning avoiding the need to recapture young animals
Vets can sign up to the register by completing the flyer at www.cats.org.uk/enr