Myths of Spay/Neuter

 If there is any problem easily solved, it should be pet overpopulation, right? All a pet guardian has to do is spay or neuter their animal companion.

Simple enough.

No, it’s not that simple. In fact there is such reluctance among many guardians to have their animals spayed or neutered that in the United States, 5 million unwanted cats and dogs are destroyed each year.

There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about spaying and neutering. It’s a real tragedy that so many dogs and cats are killed each year, and yet we can’t kill the myths perpetuating their destruction.

Will you help us destroy the myths that are destroying the animals? You can start with yourself. Here is a list of some of the more popular myths. Which do you still believe?

Myth: It’s better to allow your female to have one litter before she is spayed.

Fact: Not true! There is no information to prove this claim. In fact, the best time to spay your dog or cat is before her first heat. It’s better for her to be spayed at a young age because spaying prevents uterine infections that often occur later in her life. Spaying also reduces the incidence of breast cancer, and eliminates unwanted crowds of males from bothering her. Having a litter does not provide any health benefit for the dog or cat, but it does create puppies or kittens that need homes.

Myth: Dogs and cats have to be six months old to get fixed.

Fact: Puppies and kittens who are as young as 8 weeks old can be spayed or neutered, as long as they weigh at least two pounds. And spaying before a female’s first heat is almost guaranteed to prevent breast tumors.


Myth: Mother dogs and cats cannot get pregnant if they are still nursing a litter.

Fact: Dogs usually only come into heat twice a year, but there can be exceptions. And cats usually come into heat and can get pregnant while they are nursing.

Myth: Pups or kittens from the same litter cannot breed with each other.

Fact: Brothers and sisters can, and often do, breed with each other. And parents can breed with their babies.

Myth: The operation costs too much money.

Fact: There are many low-cost spay/neuter clinics and there are even private veterinary hospitals providing low-cost spay/neuter surgeries. Many local veterinarians participate in STAF’s low-cost spay/neuter program. Call us at 856-218-7006.

Myth: Preventing pets from having litters is unnatural.

Fact: We’re already interfered with nature by domesticating dogs and cats. In doing so we helped create this problem. Now it’s our responsibility to solve it. Killing thousands of animals simply because there aren’t enough homes is unnatural.

Myth: Pets become fat and lazy after being spayed or neutered.

Fact: All animals tend to get calmer as they pass puppy or kitten stages. They need exercise and just enough food to keep them healthy. Surgery doesn’t make them fat – fat animals are usually overfed and underexercised. It’s true there can be a tendency for a pet to put on some weight after the operation, but it is not true that the operation causes the condition. Male dogs and cats, in particular, will roam less and burn fewer calories. If you see signs of weight gain, reduce the calories and increase walks or play sessions; that will keep the waistline trim.

Myth: A pet’s behavior changes dramatically after surgery.

Fact: The only change in behavior you’ll see are positive ones. Male cats tend to reduce their territorial spraying, depending on the age they were neutered. If neutered young enough, they may never develop the habit. Neutered male cats and dogs fight less and wander less since they aren’t interested in pursuing females in heat. Therefore their chances of injuries, being hit by a car or getting lost are greatly reduced. Females will stop calling for a mate, and their urine will no longer be a long-distance calling card for throngs of suitors.

Myth: I can find homes for all the puppies and kittens that my female produces.

Fact: Finding good homes for kittens and puppies is not easy. Many pets are discarded when they start to grow. And, who will make sure that your pet’s offspring won’t mature, breed and contribute to the existing problem. There is no way you can guarantee that. Do yourself a favor and avoid the problem of trying to find homes for your pet’s litter. If you know of good homes, send your friends to the local animal shelter. There are many animals waiting for good homes and their time is running out.

Myth: It’s okay to spay female dogs and cats, but males don’t need to be fixed, because they aren’t the ones having litters.

Fact: Our favorite myth because it’s the most ridiculous, yet the most prevalent. I guess the immaculate conception explains canine and feline pregnancies. Don’t forget that it takes two. Male dogs and cats who are not neutered usually develop prostate problems as they get older. They also react to every female in the neighborhood who comes into heat. That’s why 80% of road killed dogs and cats are unneutered males looking for love in all the wrong places.

Myth: If a dog or cat is kept inside all the time, they don’t have to be spayed or neutered.

Fact: Females can have false pregnancies, breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and other health problems. Males can have prostate problems, mark their territory with urine, fight with other animals, try to leave home, and feel frustrated all the time.

If you pet isn’t spayed or neutered, please make an appointment today. Help us help the homeless animals by destroying these myths. We can’t do it without you.

For more information on low cost spay/neuter, call 856-218-7006.