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Spaying and Neutering 

Spaying or neutering increases your pet's chances for a longer, healthier life.

  • Spaying a female greatly reduces the chances of breast cancer and the threat of uterine and ovarian cancer and uterine infection, thus your pet may live longer.

  • Neutering a male reduces the chances of testicular tumors, hernias, abscesses, prostrate enlargement and prostate cancer later in life, thus your pet may live longer.


A spayed/neutered cat is a better pet for your family.

  • Neutered males (especially young males) are less aggressive and less tempted to leave your property.

  • Neutered males also are less likely to mark the inside of your house with urine (often called spraying).

  • Spaying your female pet eliminates the problem of stray males camping in your yard and decreases her desire to roam and breed.


No family wants to cope with an unwanted pregnancy. 

  • Spaying prevents your pet from giving birth to unwanted puppies or kittens. More animals cost more money.


Less animals will die in shelters if your pet is spayed or neutered.

  • Hundreds of unwanted cats are euthanized (killed) at shelters across Canada on a yearly basis. Most animals are brought to a shelter because of accidental breeding by free-roaming, unaltered pets which the owners can't find homes for. More pets spayed or neutered = fewer cats killed


The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has published info sheets on the Benefits of Neutering Male Cats and the Benefits of Spaying Female Pets.


The BCSPCA's SNIP Program for Low-Income Pet Owners 


The Nanaimo branch of the BCSPCA runs a program dedicated to assisting low-income pet owners with the costs of spaying and neutering. They will cover a portion of the cost on a sliding scale depending on the owner's income level. For more information and to see if you qualify, please contact the Nanaimo shelter at (250) 741-0778.



Spay/Neuter Legislation in Nanaimo


Did you know that the City of Nanaimo currently has NO bylaws that apply to cats? This is a huge gap in the animal control bylaw. Mandatory spaying and neutering of cats is one of several bylaws that CatNap has been asking the city to enact. The only way the hundreds of cats needing help in our city will start to decrease will be when spaying and neutering is realized as something that needs to be done. Spay and neuter bylaws are desperately needed in our city. Cats shouldn't be roaming unfixed - this is a community problem and it's huge!


Please write the city and tell the Mayor and Council that you want a cat spay and neuter bylaw! If you have a story to share, please tell them about it.


Please send in your emails to the email address below: mayor&



Myths vs. Truths


Myth: My cat will get fat and lazy.

Truth: Cats that become fat and lazy after being spayed or neutered usually are overfed and do not get enough exercise.


Myth: My pet doesn't go outside, so he/she doesn't need to be fixed.

Truth: There is no guarantee that your cat won't get loose by accident and there are health and behaviour benefits if you fix your pet. The cat over-population problem is caused by animals which are not fixed and get out, even if it's just once.


Myth: My cat's personality will change.

Truth: After being fixed, your cat will be less aggressive toward other cats, will be more affectionate towards you and will be less likely to wander. Your cat will be unlikely to spray (urine marking) after they are fixed.


Myth: I just couldn't look my cat in the eye if I had him castrated.

Truth: You're giving your cat human feelings. Your cat doesn't have a sense of gender in the way humans do.


Myth: Reproduction is natural and it wouldn't be fair if we didn't let them have at least one litter.

Truth: There hasn't been anything "natural" about cats since we domesticated them thousands of years ago. We've interfered with nature by domesticating them, so they are no longer wild animals and are dependant on our choices. By domesticating animals we've created the tragedy of pet over-population. We now have the responsibility to solve it. Giving birth has health risks, not giving birth doesn't.


Myth: My children should witness our pet giving birth.

Truth: Cats usually have their litters at night or in a hiding place so you'll rarely see it. If cats are disturbed or can't have privacy when giving birth, it can result in an animal refusing to care for their babies. A great alternative is to foster a pregnant mom, or nursing mom with babies and teach your children the value of saving animals and the responsibility of finding them good homes. (Click on the Volunteer page to learn more.)


Myth: I can sell the kittens and make money.

Truth: The cost of raising a litter is very expensive and will be more than the profit of selling the animal. Why would someone buy from you when they can get a pet from a shelter for the same price which is already fixed and has a tattoo?


Myth: We want another pet just like Fluffy or every one wants my animals/purebreds.

Truth: Breeding two purebred animals rarely results in babies that are exactly like one of the parents. With mixed breeds, it is impossible to have offspring that are exactly like one of the parents.


Myth: I'm afraid the surgery isn't safe and my pet might die.

Truth: Getting a pet spayed or neutered is the most common surgery performed and is very safe. Many veterinarians use equipment which monitors heart and respiratory rates during surgery to make sure the pets are doing well. The health benefits of having your pet spayed or neutered are far greater than the risk involved with surgery.

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