Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Wordy Wednesday - Neuter Day
The kittens are going back to the shelter to be neutered today. I know this makes some people sad; I hope this post will change your mind about that.
I know that going through surgery is hard, and I imagine not know what is happening makes it a bit harder, but kittens generally handle the surgery pretty well, waking up a little groggy but not showing any outward signs of really knowing what happened. Sometimes they will lick their incisions and their shaved bits, but it appears to be more of a 'this is so weird' kind of feeling more than anything else. I've had a few pick at the glue they use to close up the incisions and generally when this happens it is because there are a few extra bits of glue sticking to their skin. I know I can't ignore it when I have super glue on my skin.
I also know that there is some risk to the surgery. I have had a small number of kittens pass away while being neutered and one in particular who "died" twice (points at Twee). Every time you sedate someone there is risk but being neutered is a very important part of a housecat's life. Without it, they are generally not very good companions, caring more about reproducing than anything else.
There has also been some discussion about the harmful long-term effects of neutering and how a cat might live a longer life if they are allowed to progress into puberty or even keep their sex hormones throughout their lives. I don't believe the current information translates to cats. I also believe that the risks of neutering young and the possible risks of disease because of the lack of hormones is minimal compared to the known risks of the diseases that a cat faces when the hormones are on board. The behavioral issues are also a serious risk to cats. So many people want to 'get rid' of their cats simply because their cats are being hormonally intact cats.
So let's change the narrative. Neuter day is a day to celebrate. It is a right of passage that turns a kitten into a housekitten. It is the day they get their golden cat bed and makes it possible for their humans to find them so they can live a long happy life.