You need to spay or neuter your cats

My garage is terrible. An unheated shack that I’m unwilling to actually park a car in, the doors don’t close properly and it’s generally used to store patio furniture and other things that won’t fit in my house.

Which, weirdly, gives it a purpose, since it is an accidental shelter for cats to get out of the wind. Any given morning I find a pile of paw prints leading in and out of the building, because while it’s not particularly good at being a garage, a fluffy animal can use it to curl up in the corner overnight, before skipping town in the morning under threat that I’d find them and take them to a rescue somewhere.

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The phantom paw prints are just a reminder why it’s a good idea to spay and neuter your pets. After all, the cats that hang out in my garage didn’t appear out of nowhere, they had cat parents who created them, and now they run around back alleys and run away if you try to approach them. I’m not actually very good at coaxing them into having a permanent home somewhere – they outrun me all of the time – so they still haunt local alleys and haven’t darkened the doorstep of any local rescues, sorry about that.

What I can’t understand is why someone wouldn’t spay or neuter a cat.

Someone will use cost reasons as a justification, because it’s not cheap, but then just having a cat isn’t cheap since you have to feed them, water them, and buy them things to scratch that aren’t your furniture. So cats require an investment, one can assume that getting them neutered is a part of it, and if you can’t afford that why are you getting a cat?

While my only real experience is with a female cat, the other reason why I can’t understand why you wouldn’t spay one is how incredibly annoying they are if you have the misfortune of having them go into heat.

While I had always planned to get my cat spayed, I happened to get it done two months after I had actually planned to, because things happened and I didn’t actually have time to call the vet until after they had closed, and basically we had two months of “I’ll call them tomorrow, she’s still a kitten, it’s fine.”

And then she went into heat, and all procrastination vanished, because this cat needed to get spayed as soon as possible. She was loud, she was constantly showing everyone her rear end, she was a strange unmanageable monster that had to be stopped. I don’t know if I could have dealt with her going into heat ever again, it was almost traumatic.

Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, I took her to the vet and everything was fine, so it never happened again. Plus, she never had kittens that would grow up to haunt my garage. This was a big success. The only real side effect was that for a full day after the surgery she did little more than sit in the bedroom and be angry, but really who enjoys surgery? One day of an angry cat beats 10 years of a cat going into heat or, worse, having kittens.

Spaying and neutering cats prevents kittens from haunting my garage and prevents you from hearing all about how much those cats want to find a new lover. It’s a great choice.

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