Each year, millions of unwanted cats are abandoned. Animal shelters must destroy many of these homeless cats. Countless other strays die of starvation, injury or disease. Because the problem unwanted cats is so serious, owners should not allow their cats to mate unless a good home can be provided for the kittens.
Owners can try to prevent cats from mating by keeping them indoors. But this method of birth control is difficult. It also does not prevent such undesirable sex-related behavior as the spraying of urine by the male at to mark their territory. Or the howling of female cat during oestrus.
A veterinarian can permanently prevent a cat from reproducing by neutering it, that is by surgically removing some of the cat sex organs. Neutering also ends sex-related behavior. The operation is called spaying when performed on a female cat and castration when done on a male cat. Many verterinarians recommend that female be spayed before their first oestrus and they will suggest the right age for a particular kitten. Male cats can be neutered from about 4-6 months of age.