Not So Humane

I had a thought last night.

If we spay and neuter all cats and dogs, won’t we one day run out of them?

I was thinking about this looking at my teeny tiny kitten who was neutered way too early by the Humane Society! Won’t this hurt him? Won’t it stunt his growth? He seems very frail and can’t even eat his kitten chow; I had to get him some kitten soft food, so he wouldn’t starve. The papers that came with his adoption claim that he is two months old. I’ve had a lot of kittens and this ones doesn’t look that old, perhaps five to six-weeks, but not eight. He doesn’t even play like most kittens at this age; in fact all he does is sleep and sometimes cry. He also is always trying to lick/nuzzle my nose or mouth looking for something to latch onto.

This was Thunder’s first photo on the way home from the animal shelter. He was so calm, he didn’t have to ride in his carrier. He was so tiny and after a week, still is.

According to catchannel.com, research shows that healthy kittens can be safely neutered at 6 weeks, or as soon as they weigh 2 pounds. Referred to as early-age, pediatric, or pre-pubertal spay/neuter, the procedure eliminates any chance of an “oops litter,” since female cats can become pregnant as young as 4 months of age.

At eight plus weeks, Thunder Bolt should be a ball of furry fury; instead all he does is sleep.

I was halted on the sentence 6-weeks or as soon as they weigh two pounds. Well, my sweet little ball of Thunder (I named him that because it was thundering and storming when we got him, and he is silver grey. Plus he was wearing a Thunder OKC blue collar), barely weight 8 ounces. So, even if he did meet the age requirement, he was certainly no where near the weight requirement.

I believe in being responsible and I understand why the shelters do this (because people won’t bring their pets back in even though they have already paid for it), but is it safe? Is it healthy? I have to say no, it is not safe or humane.

He is still wobbly like a new born.

The ASPCA website says this about this controversial subject: No conclusive controlled studies have ever been done to determine the best age to neuter dogs and cats. On the other hand, current research does show that spaying before the first heat prevents the development of mammary gland tumors. Since females can go into heat as young as four months of age, they should be spayed before then to receive that protection. Early-age, or pediatric, neutering is currently performed on animals who are six to eight weeks of age and who weigh at least two pounds.

Again, there is that two-pound rule. Granted a younger than six week old puppy may weigh two pounds, but not kittens. I’ve had him for about a week, and he just now may weigh in at two pounds (that’s two cans of soup). But he had been neutered well before we adopted him as there was no sign of healing on his little backside.

The ASPCA site went on to state: Unfortunately, despite the new studies, the controversy continues—and many veterinarians are still very hesitant to try pediatric neutering. Concerns about obesity, stunted growth, underdevelopment of secondary sex characteristics, behavioral problems and increased incidence of both lower urinary tract disease and urinary incontinence have been addressed in the veterinary literature and found to be unwarranted. Any differences that have been found appear to have no clinical significance, or occur regardless of the age at neutering.

I have always had my pets fixed; not just because I don’t want unwanted litters, but with male cats, it keeps down the spraying and wandering. I know the Humane Society wants to control the animal population, and in doing so, the amount of animals that have to be put down everyday, but I think we are trading one cruelty for another.

This is just my opinion.

In spite of it all, he is adorable and very sweet, but I can’t stop wondering if he is going to have problems down the line?

And again, I wonder if we will ever come to a day when there are no viable adults animals to reproduce offspring? Then we will have an over abundance of rats, mice and other pests!

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