Pets that have been spayed or neutered are less likely to develop certain types of cancer and live longer, healthier lives. Spayed female cats and dogs are less likely to develop mammary tumors and have no chance of developing uterine infections (like pyometra, which is painful and can be fatal if left untreated). This is especially true if females are spayed before their first heat cycle. Neutered male cats and dogs won't contract testicular infections, which, though rare, can be serious. Because neutered pets are more passive, they won't be as likely to fight with other animals. And if an animal ends up in an animal shelter, being spayed or neutered can make the difference between life and death.
Female cats and dogs will no longer experience heat cycles. Female cats in heat can be noisy, meowing constantly and urinating frequently - often outside of their litterbox. Similarly, female dogs in heat often experience a behavior change, becoming "moody," and because they experience bleeding the entire experience can be messy. Spayed cats and dogs will not be producing litter after litter, costing you money and time. Neutered males won't impregnate females, and will be less likely to roam, engage in territorial disputes, or spray pungent urine on (cats) or "mark" (dogs) the items in your home they consider theirs. No more smelly male urine in the house!
Cats are best kept indoors. Outdoor animals are at risk of injury or death from poor weather, traffic, and local wildlife. Loose cats and dogs can cause car accidents, noise disturbances, and fights with other animals. Cats that are not neutered or spayed are more likely to stray from home, decreasing the likelihood of finding your lost cat. Dogs should always be tethered in public spaces, either behind a fence or on leash. Most towns and cities have formal leash laws.
You will save time, money, and energy by not having to care for a litter of kittens or puppies. Many people believe that spay/neuter surgery is expensive, but it is less expensive than providing food and the first round of vaccines and boosters to just ONE litter (not to mention the damage to your home that can ensue when puppies or kittens are around!) The MSPCA also offers affordable spay/neuter options for qualifying pet owners to help make this important surgery available for more pets.
The burden of unwanted pets is heavy. There are countless cats and dogs reproducing more and more unwanted offspring, causing many animal shelters to reach their maximum capacity. Sadly, there aren't enough good homes for them all. Spaying or neutering will make a big impact on controlling the overpopulation of cats and dogs!
Still have questions? Read answers to our frequently asked questions about spaying and neutering your pet.