Let’s Get Real: The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

February is Spaying and Neutering Awareness Month. Not only is it responsible pet care, but it also brings benefits for our furry friends. And with HDB’s new ruling allowing cats in flats in Singapore, this subject couldn’t be more relevant.

When you first welcome your new pet into your home, ensuring a healthy beginning involves spaying or neutering them. But rather than saying these are just mere medical procedures, let’s instead emphasise that they are acts of love and care for our furry companions.

What it means for you and your pets

A longer, healthier life
Having your cat or dog spayed or neutered can contribute to a longer, healthier life for them. Typically, spaying or neutering your dog can extend their lifespan by 1 to 3 years on average. For cats, it could mean enjoying an extra 3 to 5 years of life.

By having your pets fixed, you’re not just ensuring their well-being, but also giving them more cherished years by your side.

Fewer health issues
We all want our furry friends healthy for as long as possible. Studies show neutered male dogs and cats have fewer prostate issues, and spayed females are less likely to get breast tumours or uterine infections.

While you can have your pet spayed or neutered at almost any time, it’s ideal to have your kitties done by 5 months, once they reach an acceptable weight. For pups, small breeds under 45 pounds should get snipped around 5-6 months generally, while big guys over 45 pounds can wait till 9-15 months when they’re mature.

But every pet is different, and it’s best to talk to your vet about it. They can give you tailored advice based on your pet’s breed, age, and size.

Less desire to roam
When it comes to our male pets, getting them neutered can really save a ton of headaches! Those raging hormones also means a much intense desire to roam. Neutering helps simmer that urge and reduce the risk of fights with other pets. Intact males are more likely to escape in pursuit of mating opportunities, increasing their risk of becoming lost.

Cats can be quite loud when they’re in heat. They often vocalise and persistently attract male cats for mating. From subtle meowing sounds to loud yowls, it can be a pain for you and your neighbours. Spaying helps stop this behaviour and keeps your community peaceful too.

Cut costs
Pet bills rack up fast, and they skyrocket when your furry friend unexpectedly becomes pregnant. Getting pets fixed certainly isn’t free, but way more affordable than accidentally ending up with 4 litters of kittens or pups to feed. Prevention saves tons of hefty bills down the line.

Plus, many shelters need to turn away pets because they just don’t have room. Spaying and neutering helps so shelters are not overwhelmed for space and resources. Less accidental litter keeps the pet population in check.

Calmer, tidier household
Heat cycles can make even the friendliest pets super moody and stressed. While in heat, female cats and dogs might not feel like eating much because they’re focused on mating. Similarly, male cats and dogs can get distracted and less interested in food when they’re thinking about mating.

We can prevent most of that behavioural chaos! Studies have shown that spayed or neutered pets are way less territorial and aggressive overall. No physical mess to clean up, and no more mood swings or anxiety that often go along with those cycles. Less stress, less mess—what’s not to love?

Environmental responsibility
Strays can impact wildlife too. Because they don’t have proper care, strays compete for food and can throw ecosystems out of balance. Small actions like spaying and neutering prevent larger disruptions down the road for vulnerable species.

While it may not seem an obvious connection at first, pet population control and environmental health go hand in hand. Spaying and neutering can help reduce pet abandonment cases. Overall, it helps keep ecosystems flowing smoothly. At boneve, we advocate for the well-being of animals, the environment, and unity among all.

A Positive Choice for Pet Health

As we celebrate Spaying and Neutering Awareness Month, let’s not forget that these decisions impact more than just our pets. They also influence our community and environment too. Through these seemingly small yet powerful choices, we’re crafting a brighter future for our beloved furry companions.

Love in Every Paw Print: The Healing Power of Pets in Our Lives

If you feel calmer and happier around your four-legged friend, you’re not alone. Many studies have shown that our pets can provide more than just snuggles and kisses. They actually do wonders to our mental health.

This World Mental Health Day, we shine the light on the furry members of our family. They’re always there for us, and we often feel they know when we’re feeling sad or upset. When we’re overwhelmed and having a rough time, they give us extra love and compassion. 

The therapeutic power of the human-bond is a deep connection that knows no bounds. We become each others’ confidant, listener, and most loyal friend. We’re pleased to share stories that beautifully illustrate how sometimes the most profound healing can come from four-legged friends.

Heximilian’s Pawrent 

“It’s been a rough year. Leaving a relationship of 9 years wasn’t easy for me or the boys. I had to reconfigure from what I was used to for 9 years, on top of juggling a career change and the launch of a side business for pet tags. I did not want to sacrifice the boys’ level of care no matter the situation. I was alone, I was tired, I wanted to scream. I suddenly had no time for myself, I couldn’t even stop to hear myself think, I felt like I was going through a mental breakdown. There wasn’t and still isn’t a day where I could admit that I needed to throw in the towel because I am not functioning right.”

“I am still struggling even after months. But though I no longer have a partner to come home to, I still had the boys who were so patient with their change of routine. Holding Hex when I can’t take it anymore and need to catch a break also helped me a lot. I lost a partner, and the boys lost a parent. Taking care of three boys as one person isn’t easy, but I don’t think I’ll be able to make it this far without them giving me the drive and comfort, as well as my three good friends from within the cat community.”

Princess’s Pawrent

“At the start of the covid pandemic and just before lockdown, I was already suffering from anxiety and depression as we were previously living in quite a depressing city. A colleague who knew about my mental health recommended getting a cat to keep me company at home, and showed me videos of Princess (then Tallulah) at the shelter. Talking to my therapist, we agreed that adopting a cat will definitely help with my mental well-being, but only if I was sure I could properly care for her and not cause additional stress and anxiety for myself. I met Princess and immediately fell in love.”

“Having Princess at home helped establish a routine both for me and her. Feeding, playtime, etc, even down to cleaning her litter box. She gave me purpose – to give her the best life she could have. Throughout lockdown, I never experienced cabin fever like I thought I would because I had Princess around all the time. I knew friends who were desperate to go out, but I just wanted to stay in and spend time with my baby girl.”

These are just a few of the countless stories on how our furry friends can give inspiration, hope, and a renewed sense of purpose. And in the hustle and bustle of life, it’s quite easy to forget that our furry companions are not just pets. In their presence, we have peace and a refuge from the battles we silently face. 

Our furry friends are truly the unsung heroes of our lives, giving love and comfort that words alone could never express. They remind us that healing happens in many forms. And that sometimes, it comes in four paws, wrapped in fur, and filled with boundless affection.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, please do not hesitate to seek help from a qualified mental health professional or a trusted healthcare provider. There is hope, support, and healing waiting for you.

Responsible Pet Ownership as Singapore Explores Cats in HDB Flats

Big changes are on the horizon as Singapore considers allowing cats in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats. This new development signifies a progressive shift, recognising the bond between pet parents and their feline companions.

The ban on cats remains in place to this day. This decision is based on concerns about cats freely wandering around. Some get a bit uneasy around them, and others claim that cats relieve themselves in public places as a result of inadequate care from their owners. Additionally, their meowing are said to be bothersome to some. But a lot of these concerns can be easily managed with responsible cat ownership.

Things are changing, and living with cats might not be too far away in the future. And with July being Lost Pet Prevention month, it’s the perfect time to reflect on responsible pet parenting. As HDB considers allowing cats in homes, here’s what to remember to keep your feline companions safe, sound, and healthy.

Microchipping

A simple yet effective way to ensure the safety of your feline friend. With a tiny identification chip, pet parents provide a permanent link between themselves and their beloved pets. In the unfortunate event that a cat goes missing, microchipping significantly increases the chances of a joyful reunion. Don’t forget to update or register your microchip with AVS here.

No free roaming

Allowing cats to roam freely poses numerous risks to their safety. Cats can face dangers like traffic accidents, encounters with aggressive animals, exposure to diseases, and even getting lost. By keeping cats indoors or providing them with a safe, enclosed outdoor space, we ensure their protection while still allowing them to enjoy in a controlled environment.

Spaying and neutering

These measures not only help avoid unplanned litter but also offer a range of health advantages for cats. By spaying female cats and neutering male cats, we can reduce the chances of certain cancers and behavioural issues. This also helps minimise caterwauling, particularly when they are in heat, which is one of the reasons why neighbours might complain.  Spaying and neutering plays a vital role in managing the population of stray cats, leading to a healthier and more balanced community.

Mesh windows and balcony 

Create a secure environment by installing meshes or barriers. This nifty solution prevents those accidental falls, keeps them away from outdoor hazards, and even reduces the chance of a sneaky escape. This way, your cats can bask in the fresh air and sunlight while you kick back and relax, knowing they’re well-protected.

Use carriers and leashes

When taking your cats outside, it’s essential to use safe carriers, crates, or leashes. These can help them feel secure, cosy, and most importantly, they prevent any escape attempts or accidents. Just remember, it’s all about introducing them gradually and making it a positive experience, so your cats can have a blast too.

As Lost Pet Prevention month approaches, and as Singapore considers cats in HDB flats, it’s important to prioritise the safety and well-being of our feline companions. These efforts help them keep safe and happy in our homes. Let’s take this opportunity to raise awareness about responsible pet ownership and keep our cats safe, whether indoors or out

4 Tips on How to Care for Senior Cats

Any cat parent will tell you that senior cats are wonderful companions and make excellent cuddle partners. But as your feline friend ages, their needs will change and they’ll require extra love and care to stay healthy.

What once was a rambunctious kitty is now older and beginning to show subtle signs of ageing –often referred to as ‘slowing down.’ Cats mature between 7 to 10, become officially old at around 11, and geriatric around 15 years. It’s important to recognize that senior cats have entirely different needs.

Caring for your ageing cat takes extra time and effort. You may need to make changes around the house and their everyday routine. We’ve compiled a few helpful tips to increase your cat’s quality of life as they age.

Change their diet

A proper diet means feeding the right food at the appropriate amount. As cats get older, their bodily function and nutritional needs will change. They often become thinner, losing both fat and muscle mass. Their system now makes more effort to digest and absorb nutrients, particularly fat and protein.

High quality and easily digestible protein from sources like chicken is beneficial for senior cats along with a diet that’s low in sodium and phosphorus. Senior cats are prone to kidney problems as they age so those with chronic kidney disease should go for a kidney support diet. Food with glucosamine and/or fatty acids such as DHA is also ideal, especially for senior cats with mobility issues. Gradually transition to avoid stomach issues. If you’re unsure of how to begin, your vet can help guide you on the most suitable diet for your senior cat.

Senior cats are also prone to obesity. Be mindful of the extra weight that puts more pressure on your cat’s joints.

Keep them hydrated

Staying hydrated is incredibly vital for senior cats. Water intake keeps organs functioning properly. It supports a healthy urinary tract and helps the kidneys flush out toxins. Cats can be picky with water, so it’s best to encourage them to drink enough. Getting your cat hydrated is just as important as feeding them proper nutrition.

To encourage water consumption, give your senior cat easy access to their water bowls. Don’t forget to consider your senior cat’s personal preference in water (cool, warm, etc) and to use their favorite water bowl if they have one.

Place them in areas they frequent and always keep the bowl fresh and wash every after use. A drinking fountain is also an excellent way to entice your senior cat to drink. Cats are keener on flowing water than a stagnant one.  If you suspect that your cat is dehydrated, reach out to your veterinarian.

Help with their grooming and hygiene

Cats are fastidious groomers but your senior cat may struggle to groom themselves as much as they used to. A loss in mobility or health issues may make it difficult for them to reach certain areas of their body. Help maintain their coat in good condition with gentle brushing, trimming their fur, or bathing them in lukewarm water.

The claws of an ageing feline can become thick and brittle and may require more frequent clipping. You can trim them on your own or professionally to ensure no overgrown nails could cause them pain.

It’s also important to look after your senior cat’s teeth and gums. Poor dental hygiene can put them at risk and cause damage to other organs. Brush their teeth daily at home or talk to your vet about maintaining good dental health for senior cats.

Keep them moving and active

It’s sad to see our cats become less active as they age. No more sudden swinging from drapes or chasing laser pointers! However, it’s vital that they remain active for good health, just not with vigorous exercise as it can potentially injure them.

Make time for gentle play to get your senior cat’s joints moving and increase blood flow throughout the body. Use catnip, feathers on strings, or soft toys you can toss to get them moving.

But don’t forget their mental health. Mental stimulation is crucial for preventing cognitive decline. Food games will help stimulate their mind to keep it active and sharp.

Take your senior cat to regular visits and exams with your trusted veterinarian since it’s best to detect health problems early. Senior cats need your love, compassion, and attention. Give them extra care and cherish every moment together.