Did you know……..
If left un-neutered a female cat could be responsible for 20,000 descendents over 5 years!!
Orkney has a large feral cat population and, if left un-checked, the number of cats could increase dramatically in only a short space of time. Removing a colony only allows another one to take up residence. Friends of Orkney Ferals recommend neutering all cats in the colony, allowing a controlled, healthy population to keep down on any vermin and stop other cats from moving into the area.
We are extremely grateful for the funding provided by Cats Protection to enable us to offer help with the neutering and spaying of feral cats here in Orkney.
The problems of un-neutered cats…..
Female cats (Queens)
Queens will attract a continual host of admirers. Wandering tom cats will appear, causing fights among each other. Romantic cat calls are annoying and the whole episode will inevitably lead to pregnancy and more kittens! Un-neutered female cats are prone to a condition called pyometra. This is where the uterus fills with infection and needs to be removed. This is a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition. Speying also reduces the risk of mammary tumours in later life. 90% of mammary tumours in cats are malignant.
Male Cats (Toms)
There’s no getting away from it, entire tom cats SMELL and they spray mark their territory with urine.
They are great wanderers and may cause road accidents of get into fights with other cats. These fights often lead to infected wounds, abscesses and the spread of serious diseases, such as FIV and FeLV. Neutered early enough, the tendency to scent mark territory is reduced and “Tom” is more likely to stay in his own area, reducing the risk of accidents and fights.
FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)
This is a virus similar to the HIV virus in humans. It causes reduced immunity in cats and therefore reduces the ability of the cat to fight off infection. The virus is spread by biting, mating and from mother to kitten, therefore, due to the nature of the feral colony and especially the un-neutered toms, it can spread quickly. Although some cats can live with the disease for a long time without showing clinical signs, they still spread the disease and ultimately there is no cure.
FeLV (Feline Leukaemia Virus)
FeLV is also spread through biting, mating and from mother to offspring. As well as causing immune system deficiency similar to FIV, it also causes anaemia and some types of tumour. Again there is no cure.
Click here to download our Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) Factsheet.
As neutered cats are less likely to wander and fight and are not producing kittens the incidence of these diseases can be reduced, again helping towards a healthier colony. Other problems we see in feral colonies include respiratory disease, eye infections, skin conditions, some cats can be underweight and most are suffering with parasites. A lot of these conditions can be improved when a cat is neutered as it is not going through the stress of fighting, mating and ultimately producing and feeding kittens.
What does the operation consist of?
In female cats “speying” consists of removing the uterus and ovaries, an ovariohysterectomy. In male cats, the testicles are removed, known as castration. The operation is done under general anaesthetic. Each cat receives antibiotics, painkiller and is treated against parasites. The tip of the left ear is removed to allow identification of neutered cats in future.
An old wives tale…..…
Cats do not need to have had a litter of kittens before they get neutered – health benefits are actually greater the earlier they are done.
Friends of Orkney Ferals can assist you to neuter your feral colony. Help can be given to trap and transport cats. Any donation you wish to make will be gratefully received.
So what are you waiting for, get in touch today. There’s no excuse not to and around 20,000 reasons why you should!