Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
My male cat was desexed three days ago. How long till his hormones calm down? He won’t leave my queen alone–and she had five healthy babies last week. He is already driving me and her insane! Help!
Siouxsie: According to our vet, it takes about three weeks for the male sex hormones to leave the body of an adult cat after he is neutered.
Thomas: Because your female cat just had kittens and is therefore obviously not spayed, your male is still going to react to the pheromones she produces.
Dahlia: Your female won’t go into heat again all that soon, but we strongly recommend that as soon as the kittens are fully weaned (between 8 and 12 weeks of age), you have your queen spayed. You can make the appointment now.
Siouxsie: Also, if you’re going to keep or sell the kittens, you’ll want to make sure they’re fixed and have their vaccinations, too.
Thomas: Four million cats and dogs–about one every eight seconds–are put down in U.S. shelters each year. Often these animals are the offspring of cherished family pets, even purebreds. Millions more cats suffer and die on the streets because of uncontrolled breeding.
Dahlia: Even though you’ve neutered your own male cat, it’s very likely that the next time your female goes into heat, she will find a mate and get pregnant again. Cats’ sex drive is very strong, and a female in heat can be a surprisingly adept escape artist.
Siouxsie: If finances are a concern, there are lots of resources available to help you pay for the cost of spaying your cat. In fact, February 24 is Spay Day USA, and humane societies all over the US and US territories are holding low-cost or free spay/neuter clinics. Here’s a listing of some Spay Day USA activities from the Humane Society of the United States website.
Thomas: We’ve written extensively about the benefits of spaying and neutering, and if you look through the Paws and Effect Archives and Mama’s Corner, you can find a lot of this material. If you just want a short list of why you should spay and neuter, here’s what the ASPCA has to say about it.
Dahlia: We’re even getting in on the Spay Day USA action. Mama has submitted two photos of us to the Spay Day 2009 Online Pet Photo Contest. We’re raising money for Spay Maine, a consortium of animal shelters and humane organizations working to provide free or low-cost spay/neuter services to Mainers on fixed incomes or otherwise in financial crisis.
Thomas: So, Jess, if you wait a few weeks, your male cat’s hormones will calm down, and if you wait a couple of months you can have your female cat spayed, too.
Dahlia: Good luck, Jess!