The importance of Desexing Cats
The very reason that cat protection organisations exist across Australia is that ‘less-fortunate’ felines need our help. We can all imagine the practical care and day-to-day interaction that these beautiful creatures receive, but a big question often goes unanswered. Why are they there in the first place? and why do new ‘care’ cases keep arriving? So many of the Melbourne cats that we photograph are looking for their forever-home, and yet there are always more “coming in soon”!
In a nutshell, it is because the majority of admissions to these protection organisations are kittens and young adult cats. If only we could turn off the tap, and increase the level of feline desexing across Australia! Not only would the cats themselves benefit, but so would the native wildlife. Not to mention the reduced strain placed protection groups everywhere.
Normally, cats in Victoria tend to breed between the months of August, through to the end of January. Female (Queen) cats have three-weekly cycles of ovulation. So when those hormones strike – it’s game on! They actively seek males until they have mated, or until their cycle is suppressed for another 2-3 weeks. And then they start again.
For the ‘entire’ Male (Tom) cats, this can get interesting. It is unlikely that they will be alone in finding a sexually active Queen. Instead, there will probably be some violent clashes before the victorious Tom is left-alone to mate. Injuries to male cats – whether defeated or victorious) are frequent. These can result in large gashes or (even) ruptured eye-balls, with incredible pain, bacterial infections – and even sometimes, a horribly slow death. On top of all this, the contraction of Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) – also known as Feline AIDS; is an additional risk. This is due to the severe nature of the clawing between entire Toms.
Unfortunately it gets worse for the poor male cats. The fact that they are looking for sexually active Queens, means that they are not looking out for cars, fierce dogs or other dangers out and about Melbourne homes gardens and roads.
So there we go – feline desexing is the key to improving life for all cats, and their owners. The only stand-out exception is the community of responsible breeders who do not allow their sexually active Toms and Queens to wander outside. We will sometimes hear the words “my cat is a house-cat, so it doesn’t matter”. Unfortunately it is not unknown for these normally placid pets to suddenly leap out of a door and ‘do the deed’ in double-quick time, or worse – become lost in the unknown world of the ‘big-outdoors’
The simple fact of economics is interesting as well. It costs far less to desex a female cat than it does to support a mother with a litter of 3 or 4 kittens. The financial argument is even better when a male car is neutered. Entire Toms have a habit of presenting nasty fighting-related injuries every breeding season.
The surgery itself is very low risk, and just one day afterwards – your cat will be scampering around on their paws again. The stitches will heal, and the fur will grow back within a fortnight. It will be as if nothing happened!
The lucky kittens and adult cats shown below are the lucky ones. They are well cared for in their loving homes, and they are all either already desexed, or due for desexing. We hope you love seeing some of these recent photography sessions from around Melbourne:
For more information on the actual treatment of desexing at your local vets here is some really useful advice on the subject
Desexing – Cat Photography Melbourne