Millions of pet owners risk unwanted litters and unexpected financial costs because they haven’t neutered their four-legged friend.
An estimated 1 million cats and 2.7 million dogs in the UK* have not been neutered.
The 2017 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report found that a seventy percent of kitten litters were unplanned.
Many owners incorrectly believe that cats should have one litter before being neutered. Another common myth is that they won’t mate with their siblings.
Over the past three years, vets and nurses at PDSA’s 48 Pet Hospitals across the UK have been able to neuter over 72,000 cats, microchip over 92,000 and give health and wellbeing advice based around their 5 Welfare Needs to over 100,000 thanks to a programme generously funded by £2.6 million from The Marchig Animal Welfare Trust.
PDSA senior vet, Sean Wensley, said: “One unneutered female cat can be responsible for up to 20,000 kittens in just five years. Clearly with one million unneutered cats in the country, this poses a major animal welfare problem if left unchecked.
“Owners may not be willing or able to care for a litter of kittens, either financially or in terms of time needed to ensure they remain fit and healthy. Cats should normally be neutered at four-months-old, before they reach puberty and are able to have kittens. Not only does neutering prevent unwanted litters, it reduces your cat’s risk of contracting potentially deadly illnesses such as FIV, the cat equivalent of HIV.”
Sean Wensley concluded: “This vital work by our PDSA veterinary teams means that, as these cats age, they’ll be at reduced risk of potentially fatal diseases, won’t have contributed to the problem of stray and unwanted animals and their wellbeing will have been improved thanks to tailored veterinary advice on each of their five welfare needs. We’re hugely grateful to the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust for making this work possible.”