Monday, 28 February 2011

TVIL: Should I let my rare ginger girl cat have kittens?

Sharon writes:

'Dear Visiting Vet- I have a girl cat who is 7 months old. She is ginger and someone told me that it's very rare for girls to have ginger hair. I would like her to have kittens but my vet tells me she should have the operation to stop her having babies.
I know there are lots of kittens with no homes but I'm sure I could find homes for her kittens, especially if they are ginger too. What do you think? Should I listen to my vet?

Dear Sharon,
Ginger female cats are uncommon, but not incredibly rare; about 25% of ginger cats are female. So the feline gene pool doesn't need any help to preserve this colour at this point in time. Unless you make sure the tomcat involved is ginger himself, then you are unlikely to get female ginger kittens from her,
Thousands of unwanted kittens are abandoned and rescued by UK charities each year. If you purposely breed a litter, you are effectively taking away homes from these unwanted cats.
If you are planning to let your cat be mated randomly, you are putting her health at risk. She will wander while in season, putting her at increased risk of a road traffic accident and her 'boyfriends' may carry infectious diseases.Unspayed females are at risk of developing womb infections and are more likely to suffer from mammary cancer.
A cat in season is noisy and sometimes very alarming! And kittens are cute but if something goes wrong during the birth, or in the early days of life, then letting your cat have babies may prove to be an expensive, or even heartbreaking, whim.
So yes, you should listen to your vet and get your cat spayed.

The Vet Is Listening (TVIL) is a sometimes weekly feature, where I respond to questions submitted by a reader or client. If you'd like your question answered please email it to me on jacq (at) thevisitingvet (dot) co (dot) uk or comment below.
Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, never really understood why vets wanted animals spayed, even when owners can be found through friends/family.

    I will keep this in mind.