Cats are neutered for two reasons: to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to change behaviours. For alternatives to spaying and neutering to be effective, they need to address both of these reasons. Unfortunately, the available alternatives only address one of the two issues. If you do not want to have your cat neutered, however, you do have options to consider.
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In another type of surgery you can have your cat's tubes tied in a cat version of a vasectomy or tubal ligation. The surgery does not change your pet's hormone production. It just stops the sperm or eggs from reaching their target. Since hormone production is not changed, your cat may still fight, roam and spray if it is a tom. Your female cat will still go into heat and wail and present herself.
Cats are sometimes given hormone pills or injections to change their hormone production in an effort to change their behaviours. Progestogens can suppress the estrous cycle in cats. It will help control a cat's aggressive tendencies. Hormone therapy has side effects, though. It can cause weight gain, loss of hair, lethargy and diabetes. Veterinarian Bruce Fogle advises using it only on a short-term basis.
The final alternative is to confine your cat indoors and not to have cats of both genders. While this will prevent pregnancy, it will not stop any of the behaviours that owners find so disturbing. In particular you will find the urine scent of a spraying cat and the wail of a female in heat annoying.
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