General Question

tedibear's avatar

Which is more effective, spaying female dogs and cats or neutering the males? (Please see details.)

Asked by tedibear (17795points) June 25th, 2017

My adult niece has several dogs and cats. She lives on a road where people dump their unwanted animals and she cannot turn one away if it arrives at her home.

Unfortunately, many of the females have become pregnant before she can have them altered. She has managed to have some of them taken care of, but I believe that there are at least three cats and three dogs that still need surgery.

I would like to help her pay for these surgeries. I want to know if it makes more sense to start with the females or males, as I may be able to help her with only some of the bill. (Either the females or the males. I don’t know if we can afford to help her with both.) It seems that altering the females is most critical as it prevents them from going into heat and attracting the attention of the males. I know that territorial spraying is a problem with unaltered males, but right now I’m just trying to prevent more births!

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19 Answers

Darth_Algar's avatar

Well neutering the males is cheaper and far less risky and invasive. On the hand, personally, the racket a female cat in heat makes me want to murder things.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Mathematically it is better to spay the females One rouge male can impregnate an infinite number of females while one female can only impregnate one.

. .

marinelife's avatar

Low-cast spay and neuter clinics are everywhere now, like this one in Maryland. That’s the way to go. As to which you do first, @Darth_Algar is correct both about the cost and the complications, but if one of your females goes into heat, you will attract males from all around.

janbb's avatar

@LuckyGuy The male has to be wearing rouge? :-)

filmfann's avatar

Why not be responsible with both?

Darth_Algar's avatar

“but if one of your females goes into heat, you will attract males from all around”

Indeed. Personally I’d fix the females first, but if cost is the biggest stumbling block the I guess fix the males and lock the females up while they’re in heat.

It might also be worth noting that unneutered males are often more aggressive and more difficult to control. Dogs, especially, carry a higher risk/potential liability with this.

janbb's avatar

@filmfann Read details.

kritiper's avatar

Spaying females.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Arrrgh… Too late to change…. Thanks for pointing that it out. Now it will bother me.

kritiper's avatar

@LuckyGuy If it makes you feel better, I knew what you meant.

janbb's avatar

I did too; I just like teasing a friend.

canidmajor's avatar

Definitely spaying the females. Unfortunately, that tends to be more expensive, and requires greater care during recovery, but it will dramatically cut down on the number of pregnancies in your friend’s house, which seems to be the point.

You are a good friend, @tedibear.

seawulf575's avatar

If you are worried about your niece’s animals getting pregnant, most definitely the females. More expensive, but it eliminates all possibility of a pregnancy. If you do the males she owns and a stray happens by, you could still get a pregnant female. Better yet, though, get rid of some of the animals. I have had a place in the country with a menagerie and I can say it is expensive and intrusive into your life. You have a hard time even taking off for the night or a weekend because you now have to find someone willing to come take care of your group of animals. You cut back on food, vet bills, cat litter (if you have cats), you don’t have as much poop to scoop or step in, and the remaining animals can get more quality time with you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, one Tom can sire 50 million kittens, day in and day out.
A female has several at a time, but she’s out of the birthing business for a few weeks, too.


tedibear's avatar

I realize that doing both is the best answer, but I’m trying to make sure that I don’t get in over my head.

@Marinelife – I will see if I can find one in her area. She may already have a low-cost clinic that she uses. After all of the animals that have been dumped over her years there, I wouldn’t be surprised if she knew of one.

@seawulf75 – She does try to re-home them, but it’s not always possible. Most of the people that Dawn knows have one of her strays. :)

@canidmajor – Thank you. My niece is a wonderful, kind-hearted person. I like encouraging that behavior even if she is 44 years old.

josie's avatar

Spay the females
A.It decreases the chances of mammary cancer and uterine infections, if you do it before the first heat
B.See @LuckyGuy The math speaks for itself.

Zissou's avatar

Also, with dogs at least, normally only the most dominant male and female will breed. Spaying the females will not only prevent pregnancies, it will prevent or reduce conflict among the animals.

Zaku's avatar

Reproductive rate of a population tends to be based on the fertile females to a much greater extent than the males.

kritiper's avatar

Of course, it all depends on whose POV and whose money is being considered. The dog owner who owns the bitch and doesn’t want the dog to go into heat will prefer spaying the female. Owners of males don’t have to worry about it.

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