before the first heat has many benefits. Obviously, there is no first litter,
and there can be no pyometra (
uterine infections), uterine, ovarian or
testicular cancers or problem births.
Dr. Breuninger added, “Like with
so many other areas, the review evi-
dence is far more robust in dogs.”
That’s part of the problem.
According to Dr. Glenn Olah, president of the Winn Feline Foundation,
the nonprofit funder of cat health
studies, many veterinarians defer to
dog guidelines because cat studies
haven’t been done and some vets still
assume if an approach works for dogs
it will work equally as well for cats.
Dr. Levy said while there are
legitimate concerns about long-term
health effects regarding spay and
neuter in dogs, “there’s no evidence
to indicate similar concerns in cats.”
So, here’s what’s happening: Without a
definitive recommendation on when
to spay or neuter, some cat owners
just don’t follow through, and spaying
or neutering doesn’t happen until
after the first heat. “Most cat owners
just don’t know that a female can get
pregnant at 4 months, and certainly
at 5 months, leading to unwanted
litters,” Miller said. And depending on
the practitioner’s recommendation,
there’s a gap between the last vaccine
and the suggestion to spay/neuter
several months later. In that gap time,
the cat winds up pregnant.
Intact male cats pose a different
kind of problem. They might be more
likely to spray, show intercat aggression and vocalize loudly at night.
Indoor cats in heat may frantically
claw their way outside to “hook up.”
If they don’t get out, they can get
anxious, which can lead to a wide
assortment of behavior problems.
While there’s no robust study to
support the notion that behavior
of intact cats is an issue, task force
When they’re hurting.
Use Vetericyn Plus to care
for abrasions,cuts, hot
spots, or skin irritations.
Start your cat’s daily skin
care regimen with
Buy locally or shop online.
Vetericyn.com | 866.318.3116
CONTINUED ON PAGE 70
Visit our site for exclusive deals and tips.
DOES YOUR CAT
PEE ON THE SOFA?
Want more tips
Sign up for free
WHAT YOUR CAT’S LITTER
BOX SAYS ABOUT YOU
Jeans or slacks? Boxers or
briefs? Basic box, self-cleaning
– or designer? Like the clothes
you wear, the litter box you
choose for the feline members
of your household says a lot
about who you are. C
Cats aren’t purposely being
naughty when they urinate
on couches or the places we
sleep. Marilyn Krieger offers
tips to identify and correct the
behavioral causes of improper