I loved reading your reply about spaying and neutering in dogs. I was wondering if you could talk about the pros and cons for cats.
The age of desexing cats is not discussed as much because there is far less controversy compared to dogs. Cats are already very long lived and are prone to less variety of cancers compared to dog breeds.
The benefits of desexing female cats are:
Uterine infection prevention
Mammary cancer prevention
Prevents undesirable or distressing oestrus behaviour (eg screaming like they have a broken back)
Less attractive to tom cats (as in, neighborhood toms wont come to your house and piss on everything. Your cat will still be as lovely as she always was.)
The risks of desexing female cats are:
Conditions associated with weight gain.
The benefits of desexing male cats are:
Less desire to roam (and be hit by car)
Less offensive smell
Less urine marking
Less likely to fight (and get associated FIV infection)
The risks of desexing male cats are:
Conditions associated with weight gain, including urinary blockage.
It used to be thought that desexing male cats to early would result in an underdeveloped penis and higher risk of urethral blockage. This hasn’t proved to be the case, and we have large numbers of cats in long term studies that have been desexed at the youngest possible age (1kg bodyweight, usually under 12 weeks) and the risk of urethral blockage correlated with weight gain and inactivity, not age of desexing. The same is true of UTIs and FLUTD in female cats.
Accidental pregnancy is a major concern in managing cat populations, even now. There are so many people who still simply don’t do it. It’s maddening.
So desex your cats. We still need a strong message going out to the public for population control, because there are always more kittens than there are homes every year.
Cats do not have the same risk factors in juvenile desexing that dogs might (size and breed dependent) so desexing at 6 months (or earlier, some go through puberty at 4 but from 8 weeks still seems to be no greater risk) is fine. Younger animals also tend to have shorter surgery time, and seem to recover quicker.
Other than the plated scales, tough leathery skin, frilled head, horned skull anatomy and sinuous tail, mythological and folkloric dragons have very little in common anatomically with actual reptiles. They have MORE in common with the Felidae genus (cat family) and the Aves Phylum Chordata (bird classification).
Like a cat’s eye, a dragon’s eye has a comparatively large iris with a vertical pupil. This arrangement allows the pupil to open extremely wide and receive more light than that of a human eye.
A dragon’s legs are also decidedly nonreptilian, despite the scaly coverings. A dragon’s legs are positioned more or less directly under its body, in the manner of mammals. (Most reptiles’ legs tend to splay out to the sides, offering much less support and mobility than a mammal).
Lasly, a dragon’s four feet very closely resemble those of a great bird. Each foot has three or four clawed toes facing forward (the number varies, even among dragons of the same kind), plus an additional toe, also with a claw, set farther back on the foot and facing slightly inward toward the dragon’s body, like a human’s thumb.
A dragon’s resemblance to a reptile is literally only skin deep So the next time someone you know refers to mythical dragons as giant lizards, you’ll have the know-what to save a life.
natgeo Video by @bertiegregory. A female leopard and her little cub relax in a dried up river bed in the Sabi Sands, South Africa. Leopard cubs are born blind and start to develop sight after 10 days. Cubs will stay then stay with their mothers until they’re around 2 years old. Follow @bertiegregory for more wildlife adventures!