Dogs and cats should be desexed
The City of Sydney encourages all cat and dog owners to have their pets desexed. There are too many unwanted and stray animals in Australia already. For example, cats can have 4 to 6 kittens per litter. If the cat and her offspring are allowed to breed for 7 years, they can add 420,000 new cats to the population.
The RSPCA alone euthanises more than 60,000 cats and dogs annually. The total number of animals euthanised around the country each year is in the hundreds of thousands.
Book your puppy or kitten in for desexing when you pick him/her up so you won’t forget later. Desexing can be carried out safely on dogs and cats from the age of 12 weeks (though some vets prefer to wait until the animal is between 5 and 6 months old).
Cats can fall pregnant at just 4 months old; dogs can fall pregnant from the age of 5 months. Many unwanted litters are born because owners didn’t get around to desexing their pet in time.
It is not too late to desex an adolescent or ‘senior’ pet. Cats and dogs risk major health problems, including prostate, testicular or breast cancer, or haemorrhaging, if they fall pregnant later in life.
Benefits of desexing pets
Desexing your pet has benefits. Desexed dogs and cats are less likely to:
- be aggressive around people and other animals
- be picked on by other animals
- mark territory, spray or breed in the house
- wander off or escape to look for a mate
- become injured fighting for mates
- get certain cancers
It also costs less to register your pet if it is desexed.
Undesexed pets – the costs
If your undesexed female pet falls pregnant, you’ll need to find each puppy or kitten a new home. Cats usually have between 4 and 6 kittens and dogs can have 10 or more puppies.
Whether you sell or give them away, legally they have to be microchipped and vaccinated before they are old enough to go to their new home (at about 8 weeks old). Microchipping and vaccination will cost about $100 for each pup/kitten, plus they’ll need worm tablets, flea treatments and food (once they’ve been weened) until they are adopted.
If your male pet fathers a litter, you may be expected to help find new homes for the puppies or kittens and pay half the expenses.
Note: It is unacceptable and illegal to dump pets and especially cruel to leave a litter of vulnerable puppies or kittens to fend for themselves. Dumping animals carries heavy penalties in NSW.
The City offers residents who hold a pensioner concession card or health care card a discount on pet desexing. Please contact the City on 02 9265 9333 to enquires about this service.
If you don’t qualify and are struggling to meet desexing costs, contact the RSPCA (02 9770 7555) or the Cat Protection Society (02 9519 7201); both offer pet desexing, microchipping and initial vaccinations at a discounted rate to owners in genuine need. You can also register for discount desexing through the National Desexing Network (1 300 368 992).
Last updated: Friday, 24 May 2013