Reasons to Have Your Pet Spayed or Neutered


We’ve all heard our old television friend say it at the end of every “The Price Is Right” episode.  Mr. Bob Barker would always end the beloved game show with the phrase, “Help control the pet population.  Have your pet spayed or neutered.”  He was right then and still is!  (He is still promoting this worthy cause on programs such as the daytime drama “The Bold and the Beautiful,” by the way.   Thank you, Mr. Barker)!

This is a very important topic for dog and cat owners and there are a lot of myths out there.  So, I thought today that we should look at some statistics and see exactly why we should all have our dogs and cats spayed and neutered.

How Many Cats Can One Unspayed Cat Produce?

The statistics on unspayed/unneutered cats and dogs is alarming.  Let’s take a look at some of the numbers:

  • According to most websites, including the Watauga Humane Society, one unspayed female cat and one unneutered male cat can result in 420,000 kittens in a mere seven years. (According to this number is greatly inflated as it is assumed that all the kittens survive and continue to reproduce.  However, the number can easily be assumed to be quite large).

The Arcanum Veterinary Service, Inc. website charts the number of kittens a cat could theoretically produce in 9 years and the number is a whopping 11,606,077!

The Watauga Humane Society goes on to consider many other statistics as well:

  • A female cat can have 29 litters in 10 years.
  • A male cat can sire 2,500 kittens in one year. A male dog can sire almost as many puppies.
  • One unspayed female dog and her unspayed offspring could produce 67,000 dogs theoretically.
  • And, maybe the saddest statistic of all, only 1 in 9 cats and dogs born in the United States will find homes.

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But Won’t Spaying Or Neutering My Pet Harm Them?

The answer to this myth is No!  In fact, spaying or neutering your cat or dog will actually help them.  Let’s look at some of the myths and the truth behind the procedures.

Myth Fact
1. Neutering will make my pet fat. 1. Actually, an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise can cause your pet to become overweight.
2. Neutering will take away the “guard dog” instinct. 2. The need for a dog to protect his territory is instinctive.  It will be the same after surgery as it was before.
3. The surgery will hurt my pet. 3. During the surgery, your pet will have anesthetic and will feel no pain.  After surgery your pet will have some slight discomfort for a short time but your veterinarian can help remedy that.
4. My pet must be one year old to spay or neuter. 4. Ask your veterinarian for the proper time to spay or neuter.  But, current thinking is that as young as 2 months old and weighing at least 2 pounds can be sterilized.
5. My pet needs to have a litter first. 5. Actually, your female puppy or kitten will be healthier if they are spayed before their first heat.
6. My pet’s behavior might change. 6. This one is actually true…but the change is for the better.  Generally, pets that are spayed and neutered become less aggressive, don’t “mark” their territory as often, and are less likely to roam (which can obviously decrease the chance of them being lost, taken, or hit by a vehicle).


Other myths or reasons that we have heard for not spaying or neutering are things such as, “My child should see the miracle of birth.”  While we agree that the process of birth is truly amazing, most animals prefer to give birth in private.  Your child may not even see the birth.  Instead, please consider educating your child about all of the pets in rescue shelters that are just waiting for a loving home and a best friend to play with.

Also, a cat litter could have 12 kittens in it.  You may feel that it will be easy to find homes for each of them (and maybe you are right).  But, those are 12 homes that animals currently in a rescue shelter could call their home.

Please Spay and Neuter Your Cat or Dog

We hope now you see the importance of spaying and neutering your pets.  There are many myths out there and we have tried to provide the facts so that you can make an informed decision.  We love all of our cat and dog clients.  But, we don’t want the pet population getting out of hand.  Let’s take care of our furry loved ones and follow Mr. Bob Barker’s plea…”Please have your pet spayed or neutered.”

photo credit: Pacificat Ragdolls via photopin cc



  1. Name* says:

    I spent 2 months to gain the trust of a stray male kitten. He was just neutered and has become the most lovable little guy you have ever seen

    • Lori Miller says:

      It can really make a difference sometimes. Thanks for commenting and please stop by often for more pet care articles!

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