Intro: This is an article converted from a comment written by a visitor. It argues against the conventions of the surgical removal of ovaries or testes in cats (spaying and neutering aka gonadectomized cats) and suggests alternatives if there genuinely is a cat overpopulation problem. He says there are health and behavioral issues linked to gonadectomies – the surgical removal of an ovary or testis. His comment made an additional reason why some people don’t spay or neuter their cats.
When an animal (human, feline, canine, whatever kind of animal for that matter) is desexed, their adrenals are forced to compensate for the loss of the testes and ovaries, therefore, the adrenals are forced to work overtime to keep the endocrine system balanced. The animals may still seem fine at first, especially if the desexing occurred later, but as the animals get older, the ability of the adrenals to compensate decreases and decreases.
Spays and castrations are the ultimate endocrine disruptor in our feline friends just like it is to our human and canine friends.
Shelters and rescues keep spaying and neutering every dog, cat, and rabbit that enters their shelters and rescues and never give the adopters a choice to opt out. They never stop to think about the harm they are doing when they take out the healthy testicles and ovaries of animals, when they do medically unnecessary gonadectomies indiscriminately and routinely, all the lowered qualities of life and all the health and behavioral issues caused by the gonadectomies, and especially when they do them so darn early (basically on animal equivalents of toddlers) in the animal’s life.
Health & Behavioral Issues
Many animals actually get surrendered to shelters (incontinence in female dogs caused by spays) or die (urinary blockages in male cats caused by castrations) due to health and behavioral issues caused by gonadectomies. The higher chance of shelter surrenders that desexing can cause also leads to a higher chance of the animals’ being put down due to having behavior problems so bad that they are deemed unadoptable.
Shelters and rescues just think that desexing is a trivial as simple shave and haircut that saves lives, is necessary to control the (perceived) overpopulation*, can do absolutely no harm, and is worth doing against against an animal’s wishes and will. That is like thinking the Nazi Holocaust is a trivial footnote in history that as Ebeneezer Scrooge says, “decreases the surplus population,” is necessary and for the greater good of humanity, and is morally justified even against an individual’s own wishes and will and worth forfeiting one’s rights and freedom to.
If your issue is overpopulation and there honestly is overpopulation, not just a claim of it existing, then vasectomies, tubal ligations, and (for dogs prone to pyometra) ovary sparing spays, which spare the endocrine system and only sterilize, totally suffice. Note, the former two are reversible; although tubal ligations are harder to reverse, vasectomies can be reversed easily. Ovary sparing spays, a.k.a. Uterus Only Hysterectomies, are permanent however.