Should I sterilise my pet cat?
Yes. They will benefit health-wise and you will gain when they stop trying to leave your home to mate, spray urine around the house and get into fights with each other. Also, you will not have unwanted litters of kittens on your hands. A breeding pair can produce 3-5 kittens, 3-4 times a year. That would result in 9-20 kittens being born in a single year.
With so many cats in the house, owners then feel overwhelmed not just by the sheer numbers, but by the time and effort it takes to take care of so many, as well as the financial cost of food, litter and veterinary bills. Many then decide to abandon their cats. Abandonment is a major factor in hindering the efforts of volunteers to control the cat population in Singapore.
Isn’t it cruel to deprive my cat of a chance to have a family?
Cats do not mate for pleasure. They have no control over their mating i.e. they are slaves to their hormones. Studies have also shown that it is actually a rather painful experience for the female cat. It is more cruel to let the cats breed when we cannot find enough homes for their litters. Many cats, including kittens, have been abandoned by their owners who end up with more cats that they can handle. Most do not survive.
I don’t think I can afford to sterilise my cat.
The question you should ask yourself is "Can I afford NOT to sterilise my cat?" Your cat may have kittens and finding good homes for them will not be an easy task. If you do keep all of the kittens, the cost of food, litter and medical bills may prove to be a heavy financial burden. Abandoning your cats or kittens when there are too many to handle is simply not an option.
Cats that are abandoned often do not have the skills and instincts to survive on their own and you will be directly causing their suffering or death from starvation, being knocked down by cars or caught by pest control to be culled. Sterilisation is a vital personal responsibility of a cat owner.
Under the Animals and Birds Act, anyone who is found guilty of pet abandonment can be imprisoned for up to 12 months, fined up to $10,000, or both.