Please have your cats neutered, both male and female. It is expensive but, if cost is a problem, there is help available. You can obtain neutering vouchers from the RSPCA or by phoning Cats Protection on 03000121212 but, for both of these organisations, you have to be on some form of means tested benefit to apply. Cats Protection also run a neutering help scheme, whereby you can have a cat neutered for £10, but this is only available at participating vets. You need to look up details of the scheme online to find out which vets are taking part and ring the vets directly to ask about it but, again, you must be on a means tested benefit.


An unneutered female could potentially give birth to this number of kittens in one year.

A female can have up to 3 litters a year with up to 6 kittens in each litter. It is likely that some of these kittens will end up unwanted, neglected and homeless and may well be responsible for forming feral colonies.That apart, constantly giving birth to kittens is detrimental to the cat’s health causing mammary tumours and other health issues.

Your female cat needs to be spayed at 5 months old otherwise, if she is going outside, she will become pregnant at that young age. If this happens, as little more than a kitten herself, she may be unable to give birth successfully. The kittens can become stuck in the birthing canal and the young cat will then need emergency surgery. Some or all of the kittens could die and she could also lose her life and all because she wasn’t spayed.

There are still those who believe that a female should have one litter.This is not true.

Ivy and her kittens

This is Ivy who was a young, very pregnant stray taken in by a kind lady. When she began to give birth she was in great pain and distress. She was rushed to the vet for emergency surgery. A kitten had become stuck in the birthing canal and died. Happily, the other kittens survived and so did Ivy who stayed with the lady who rescued her. We don’t know how Ivy became a stray but it is quite common for cats to be thrown out when they become pregnant. A happy ending but it could have been so different. Had that lady not taken Ivy in she and her kittens would most probably have died alone outside and in agony.


It is equally important to neuter male cats. Unneutered males will wander far from home searching for females. Consequently, they can get lost or be injured or killed on busy roads. They frequently become involved in fights with other unneutered males putting themselves at risk of contracting FIV ( Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) from injuries sustained during the fights. This can then be passed on to kittens. Unneutered males also spray very strong smelling urine to mark their territory. Their true personalities only emerge after castration.

Males also need to be neutered at 5 months old. You may not be troubled by kittens but all unneutered males are out and about impregnating every unneutered female they meet.


This was Tommy when we rescued him, lost, badly battle scarred and tested positive for FIV. All this because he was not neutered. Please don’t let your male cat end up like Tommy.


FIV is a virus in cats similar to HIV in humans. FIV does not infect humans and HIV does not infect cats.

Primarily FIV is contracted through fighting. It can be passed from an infected female to her kittens. It cannot be transferred from cat to cat or on people’s hands or clothes. The virus is present in blood, saliva and other body fluids of the cat. It is very delicate and cannot survive for long periods outside the cat’s body. Once a cat has the virus he/she will always have it.

There is currently no vaccine for FIV but having your cat neutered reduces the risk of contracting the virus through fighting.

Signs of FIV are varied but usually result from a weakened immune system and, therefore, there is a vulnerability to other infections.Keeping infected cats indoors with a good diet and regular health checks at the vets will help to protect them from secondary infections as well as helping to prevent the spread of FIV to other cats.

FIV positive cats can live a normal life span and often show no signs of infection for years. They may die of something entirely unrelated before the FIV infection causes any problems.