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Desexing

From 1 July 2018, all new generations of cats born after this date must be desexed. These new laws are designed to reduce the number of unwanted litters ending up in pounds or shelters, where sadly, many are euthanised.

There are many benefits to having your cat desexed:

  • Can reduce nuisance noise, spraying, wandering and fighting with other cats.
  • Reduction in the number of entire cats going into semi-owned colonies
  • Can reduce the risk of disease spread to other cats i.e FIV

Low cost desexing is available through the National Desexing Network. This is a low cost desexing program and has a directory of participating vets in South Australia on their website.

In South Australia, some councils require that you have your cat desexed already.

If you live in one of the councils areas listed below your cat will need to be registered with the council and desexed:

  • Kangaroo Island
  • Roxby Downs

Councils may offer exemptions if you are a cat breeder or upon veterinary advice.

From what age can a cat have kittens?

Kittens can get pregnant from four to five months of age.

Many people wait to have their cat is six months of age before having it desexed, only to end up dealing with an unexpected litter.  Consider keeping your female kitten inside until she is desexed.

Similarly, young male cats who are undesexed and allowed to roam may be contributing to the number of unwanted and stray cats in your area. They are also more likely to get in to fights over territory which could lead to injuries, disease and expensive trips to the vet.

Cats can be desexed from two months of age. The surgery is safe and in most cases your cat will be ready to return home within twenty-four hours.

 

The population model below was produced by Dr Carole Webb, Feline Association of Victoria.

AUSTRALIAN POPULATION MODEL 2010 - CITY FELINE

Owned cat population = 500,000

Average life span of a cat = 7 years

Hence

No. of kittens required for replacement each year = 71,428

On average population spread of 52% females,

No. of Female cats in population = 260,000

Average litter no/year = 2.1

Average litter size/year = 2.85 kittens

(allows 30% mortality)

Average no kittens/year/undesexed female = 5.99

% of females not desexed = 9.8%

No. of females not desexed = 25,480

hence kittens produced per year = 152,625

% of females having one litter before desexing = 18%

hence contributing kittens per 7 years = 133,380

thus kittens produced per year = 19,054

TOTAL KITTENS PRODUCED PER YEAR = 171,679

Common myths about desexing

Myth: Desexing will change my cat’s personality.

Fact: Desexing should not change your cat’s personality. However, it does reduce anti-social and territorial behaviours. This should be viewed as a positive change for your cat.

Myth: My cat will put on weight after being desexed.

Fact: It is commonly thought that desexed cats can gain weight more easily than un-desexed cats. While it is true that desexed cats may be less active due to a reduced desire to roam, there is no need to adjust your cat’s diet after the operation. If you are concerned about your cat gaining weight after desexing speak to your vet before making any dietary changes.

Myth: Desexing is expensive.

Fact: Desexing is a one-off expense. It is important to remember that a desexed cat has a reduced risk of many health issues that can be costly to treat, saving you money in the longer term. Some SA councils offer incentives for desexing your cat.

Do not contribute to the cat overpopulation problem. Be part of the solution. Have your cat desexed for your sake, your cat’s and your community’s sake.

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