Short answer – YES!
Let’s get back to basics first. The term “desexing” is used to describe a surgical procedure to stop animals from breeding.
Males – removal of testicles and is referred to as “castration”
Females – removal of the ovaries and uterus and is commonly known as “spey”
But there many other good reasons to get your pet desexed other than to stop unwanted breeding. It can reduce behavioural problems that occur in both cats and dogs. These are problems that occur either directly as a result of the reproductive cycle, or because of “dominance” or “territorial” behaviour where your pet wants to demonstrate his/her dominance over other animals (and people!) around them. Desexing can also help prevent illness later in life. There are a number of common illnesses (many of them life-threatening) that can be prevented by desexing. These are:
- Uterine cysts
- Prostate problems
- Cancer of the mammary glands
- Tumours and cysts of ovaries and testicles (not common but are serious when they do occur).
- Infectious diseases – animals who have not been desexed are more likely to roam, fight and mate with other animals, thus more likely to come into contact with a variety of diseases including Feline Aids.
Some owners are worried that having their animal desexed will change them. Will it change your pet’s personality? It won’t. He/she should be just as smart, active and playful as before.
Some owners just can’t stand the thought of getting their “best friend” castrated. But it really isn’t cruel and it won’t make your pet feel deprived in any way. In fact it may even relieve any existing sexual frustration.
As far as being “unnatural”, it should be remembered that we’re not talking about wild animals. Dogs and cats are bred to be our companions. If we can accept that it’s OK to keep them as pets, then surely the most responsible thing to do is to care for them in their role of companion as best we can. Desexing helps to keep our pets healthy and makes them better able to fit into our community and be the companions that we want them to be.