Spaying and neutering will only reduce or eliminate the behaviors that you don’t want, such as aggression and urine marking. Neutered males are less likely to roam, fight, or mark their territory with urine, and spayed females experience less hormone-related moodiness. In exchange, your companions will likely become more interested in you (rather than finding a mate) and will still protect your family.
No. Cats and dogs become overweight and inactive because their guardians feed them too much and exercise them too little, not because they are sterilized.
Male animals contribute to the companion animal overpopulation crisis even more than females do. Just one unsterilized male animal can impregnate dozens of females, creating dozens upon dozens of unwanted offspring. Neutering also eliminates male animals’ risk of testicular cancer and reduces unwanted behaviors such as biting.
It’s best to spay animals before they reach sexual maturity in order to reap the full health benefits. Spaying your female companion animal before her first heat cycle means she will have one-seventh the risk of developing mammary cancer. Spaying also eliminates female animals’ risk of diseases and cancers of the ovaries and uterus, which are often life-threatening and require expensive surgery and treatment.
Allowing your animal to reproduce only teaches your children irresponsibility. Every year, 3 to 4 million animals are killed in U.S. animal shelters, most simply because of a lack of good homes. Bringing more animals into a world that is already short of homes means that animals in animal shelters will die. Numerous books and videos are available to help you teach your children about reproduction responsibly.
Even if you manage to find loving, lifelong homes for all the puppies or kittens, that means that there will be that many fewer homes for puppies and kittens in animal shelters who desperately need to be adopted. And unless you ensure that every puppy or kitten you place is spayed or neutered before going to his or her new home, they can go on to produce litter after litter of offspring themselves. Just one female dog and her puppies can result in 67,000 dogs in six years, and one female cat and her kittens can lead to 370,000 cats being born in seven years.
Spay and neuter surgeries are the most commonly performed animal surgeries. Most animals experience relatively little discomfort (anesthesia is used during surgery, and pain medication is generally given afterward) and are back to their normal activities within a day or two.