by Alexandria Nicole D. Agustin and Jasmin Joyce P. Sevilla
“Spaying and neutering is part of responsible pet ownership.”
This is according to Joan Manguiat who patiently waited while her cat, Tri, was being spayed during the Free Spay and Neuter Day for Cats organized by the Zen Cats Association Inc., in cooperation with the UP Los Baños College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) last Saturday (January 12) at Hayop Kalinga Veterinary Clinic in Calamba.
Helen Quimson, one the volunteers of Zen Cats Association, said that spay and neuter are two types of castration, which is an effective tool to prevent the rapid pregnancy among cats.
“Basta kapag [ano] nasa anim na buwang gulang na yung pusa, pwede na ‘yung kapunin. (As long as the cat is around six months old, then it can be castrated,” Quimson added. According to Dr. Andrew Bernardo, professor from CVM and a volunteer on the said event, spaying is castration among female cats wherein the uterus and ovaries are removed so they cannot be impregnated. Neutering, on the other hand, is castration among male cats wherein the testicles are removed so they cannot impregnate.
“The procedure is done in five minutes. Matagal lang pagpapatulog sa kanina. (It is making the cats sleep that takes a lot of time.) After the surgery, the cat will recover within the next 30 minutes,” said Dr. Bernardo.
The first step: A volunteer from UPLB CVM shaves the abdomen part of a female cat as part of the first stage of spaying
Luckily, owned cats are not the only ones that can be spayed and neutered. With the help of barangay officials and animal lovers, stray cats within the Calamba area are being trapped and brought to Hayop Kalinga Veterinary Clinic to be spayed and neutered for free.
According to Rosemary Yates, founder of Zen Cats Association Inc., after spaying or neutering the stray cat, it would be taken cared of for about three days to be able to recuperate and then it would be brought back to the place where it was caught.
Dr. Bernardo further explained that castrated cats will be marked with a V-shaped notch on their ears for easy identification, especially for the stray ones.
Quimson said that cats would be healthier and a lot more tamed once they were subjected to castration. Dr. Bernardo also added that castration would tend to lengthen the lifespan of cats.
“Ang maganda sa kinakapon na pusa, hindi na siya nakakaperwisyo. Di na sila kumakalkal ng basura, di na sila maingay. Di na pwedeng dumami. [Ang] pakinabang ng pusa na lang pag nakapon, manghuli ng insekto, matulog. (The good thing about cat castration is that they would not be a disturbance anymore. They won’t scavenge for food in trash bins. They’re not noisy. They won’t multiply. The purpose of castrated cats is to just catch insects, sleep,)” added Quimson.
Quimson explained that cats release certain type of hormone that makes them feel the urge to be sexually active and mate. Attracting mates would cause the non-castrated cats to be noisy.
Pet owners within the vicinity of Laguna grabbed the opportunity to have their cats be spayed and neutered for free.
One of them was Joan Manguiat, 24, nurse, whose cat, Tri, had been spayed. It was her first time to have a pet spayed. When asked what her purpose of spaying is, she replied, “Roaming ang cats [at] independent. Unlike dogs na sa bahay lang na di mo palalabasin pwera lang pag exercise. Ang cats, roaming, mabilis mabuntis. (Cats roam [and] are independent. Unlike dogs that just stay in the house unless you’d walk around with it for exercising. Cats are roaming and can be easily impregnated.)”
Another pet owner, Gemma Salinas, 42, office worker, also shared the same insights with Manguiat. She has ten adopted cats and two of which have been spayed and neutered before.
According to her, castration of cats is highly beneficial because her two castrated cats have been a lot healthier and livelier now.