Spaying, Neutering, and the Mental Health of Cats and Dogs

Arf you better be careful….

 Illustration by Mark Alan Stamaty.

Not even PETA objects to cutting the testicles off a cat. For decades, pet owners have been taking their companion animals for genital snips and other forms of ungendering, with the laudable goal of reducing the number of unwanted offspring and staving off unpleasant behavior around the house. Animal welfare organizations concur, neutered pets are less likely to escape and roam the neighborhood, get hit by a car, or scent mark the furniture. Spayed females don’t go into yowling heat or bleeding estrous, and have a reduced risk of breast cancer. A male without gonads has zero risk of the various diseases that afflict them. There’s hardly any controversy over the unsexing of America’s cats and dogs: According to an epidemiological study published in April, something like four-fifths of the former and two-thirds of the latter have been spayed or neutered. But how does it feel for the animals? Could losing its genitals make your cat a little blue?

Studies show if you remove a woman’s ovaries for medical reasons, you increase her risk of anxiety and depression. The gradual decreases in hormone levels that come with aging can cause mood swings, but going from youthful levels to neuter levels overnight seems to be even worse. The Mayo Clinic studied more than 600 Minnesotan ladies who had both ovaries surgically removed before menopause, and found they had an increased risk of being diagnosed with depression or anxiety in later life. Men whose testicles are amputated, or who receive another form of androgen deprivation therapy for the treatment of cancer, may also be at increased risk for mood disorders.

by robin

Posted in 1, Arf the Dog, European, Far East Asia, sex, They Said, WTF. Comments Off on Spaying, Neutering, and the Mental Health of Cats and Dogs
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