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Why Spay/Neuter or Desex Cats on World Spay Day

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)

Did you know the last Tuesday in February is Spay Day? Passionate animal advocate and actor Doris Day launched the annual event in 1995 and is a campaign of the Humane Society Check out our unique spay/neuter graphics and their site for suggestions and low cost spay/neuter events. The International awareness and action campaign focuses on the need to spay/neuter pets and stray/feral cats and dogs to prevent unwanted litters.

For 8 years it’s been our Cat Wisdom 101 mandate to enlighten and entertain cat lovers. To our saavy subscribers, we’re preaching to the choir, but we get a lot of traffic from all over the world. It’s to those readers we keep hammering key messages like the importance of spay/neuter. We’re also joining our friends for a week long blog hop. Scroll down to the end.

A purrfect example of how learning can be fun are our popular Spay Day Posts about the feline Social Roll

It’s why we’re fond of creating new messages from vintage cat art like these cuties.


What’s the difference between Spay, Neuter, Desexing, Castration or Fixing?

  • In the North America we use the terms “to spay and neuter” or “spay/neuter” to sterilize cats and dogs from breeding.
  • To spay means to sterilize a female. The medical term for feline spaying is ovariohysterectomy – the surgical removal of a female cat’s ovaries and uterus. The surgery requires general anesthesia and usually an overnight stay at a veterinary clinic. To reduce risk from anesthesia, kittens must be at least 5 weeks old.
  • The recommended age for spaying has gradually come down from 5 months to 5 weeks but new controversies are brewing. Some veterinarians and breeders believe it’s safer to spay at 10 to 12 weeks. Whatever you do, know that kittens can get pregnant as early as 14 weeks.
  • In the U.K. Europe, Australia and most other countries we use the term to “desex” or “desexing”. There is no gender distinction.
  • Fixing is an informal term for sterilization.
  • To neuter or neutering is the sterilization of a male cat or dog also called “castration”. It’s a surgical procedure under local anesthetic to remove the testicles. The medical term is “orchiectomy.”


While spaying is a little more complicated because of general anesthesia and surgery, it’s benefits far outweigh minor risk. The procedure has been perfected, the recovery period brief without a downside. Unwanted litters save lives not to mention undue stress for the female. The biggest perk of spaying before their first heat is almost zero chance of breast cancer. Read our post about cats and breast cancer here.

Neutering is very quick and easy with almost no downtime. My old vet who volunteered his services in Canada for my cat rescue, would neuter male cats on a kitchen table of a foster home. This mancat clearly needs a snip.


All those myths about weight gain, not being a real female or mancat, missing out on having kittens are like all myths, 100% NOT True.

Desexed cats and dogs are simply happier and healthier.

If cost is a factor, there are low-cost clinics and free spay/neuter events in many communities. We’re big fans of low-cost clinics which is why we created a GoFundMe for Spay Bay, a low-cost clinic ravaged by Hurricane Michael. I’m happy to report, the clinic while not completely rebuilt yet received enough community support to operate a much needed temporary unit. If you would like to donate the price of a coffee, please do. Every bit helps ease suffering.


It would be easier if there was a global adoption of the term to desex.

What do you call animal sterilization where you live?


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