To Spay or Not To Spay?
Overpopulation of cats is a very sad and very real problem. Kittens may be very cute to have around but the life they lead is often fraught with danger. I cannot count the number of times I see a dead body lying on the ground. There is also the risk of disease and malnutrition. There are so many unwanted kittens that it is hard to look for homes for them as the clinics and organizations who have them adopted out don't take in kittens anymore. They are always full. I have heard of the old adage "if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem". It is the responsibility of owners to spay and neuter their pets. We already have so much homeless and unwanted kittens.
Besides preventing unwanted pregnancies, these provide several health benefits for your cats.
Neutered male cats are less likely to spray urine, lose the urge to fight, are less likely to escape and have decreased risk of mammary cancer.
Spayed female cats also have decreased risk of mammary cancer as well as lesser risk of ovarian and uterine cancer.
I've noticed in my female cats, that when they start coming into heat they often holler loud looking for a potential mate. They are restless and uncomfortable. Male cats start spraying when they come into heat and it's preferrable to have them neutered before this happens as this becomes a behavioral problem. Even after they are neutered they still have the tendency to spray.
Cats also have a tendency to increase their weight after the operation. I have not heard any explanation why this happens but in the case of my cats, this is true. My cat Peanut was 8 lbs before he was neutered and now he weighs 12 lbs. My female cat Sake' is even bigger and heavier than Peanut. Having 10 indoor cats, it is necessary to spay and neuter them. In turn, there is less aggression between them.
Another concern is for the growing population of feral cats. They don't belong to anybody but it would be better if they were taken to clinics to have them neutered and spayed. I know of organizations who do this, where they trap the animal, operate and then release it. But maybe as responsible human beings, we can also do our part in helping them. There are organizations who provide spaying/neutering services for free and some clinics which charge only minimal fees.