Monday, May 12, 2008

Are we sure we should neuter humans?

Dear George,
While I agree with some of Jonesey's points in the previous letter, my own feeling is that neutering might not have the "calming' effect on humans that we might hope for. After all, I was neutered, way back in 2002, and I can't say it changed my life in any significant way. Sexuality had always been a bit of a grey area for me anyway; originally, until the vet inspected me properly, I was told that I was a girl called Prudence. These days, I find that my needs are amply catered for by the weird skinfur from the big fluffy baa animal that my owners (not neutered) drape across the arm of their sofa - although it's important not to get this confused with the other skin from the less fluffy horn animal that likes mountains (scratchy! eugh!). To see me padding and humping away at this, with a string of drool hanging out of my mouth, it would be obvious that I still have needs and I see no reason why, having undergone the appropriate surgery at their special vets, humans wouldn't still have them as well. I say, leave them as they are! After all, if they did get neutered or spayed, who's to say that they wouldn't start seeking their pleasure on MY special fur too? And then there really would be trouble. It's bad enough having to share it with my brother Shipley and our four step siblings, but you can sod off if you think I am letting some galumping six food human dribble all over it as well.

Dear Ralph,
You are being too generous to your human, Tom Cox. Are you being quite honest? I happen to know that he has just made you and your friends famous by publishing 'Under the Paw. Confessions of a Cat Man' (Simon and Schuster £12.99). Has it gone to your head? Are you cutting him slack just because he is making you into a celebrity cat?  Shouldn't you be taking a firmer line. After all, after neutering he could still write about you. Indeed it might make it easier for him to concentrate on the higher things of life like cats.
Just to recap. The Meezers (see comments below the last post) and perhaps the Cat Realm guys are in favour of it on a revenge basis. I can't help feeling there is something in this. After all we cats suffer at the hands of humans. Why shouldn't they suffer at ours, just for a change. Do it to them as they do it to us. Smudge thinks it's only the males should be snipped and I have heard female humans who seem to agree with her (which seems a little unfair). Others like Oscar Snuggles and the Crew simply get on with making sure they have comfortable surroundings undisturbed by human mating rituals. Anonymous makes sure that there are  no human kittens by simply interfering by leaping on the beast with two backs - splendid stuff, Anonymous.
So, putting aside the natural feline desire for revenge, I think we need to take a second look at the topic. Humans don't just do it to us, they do it to horses, dogs, bullocks, and other farm animals. Why would they bother, unless it was in their interests to do so. Let us take a look at the issue. 
a)Neutering gets rid of unwanted young. What cat can say with paw on heart that human kittens are desirable in the home. They can't use a litter tray for months and months. They can't wash themselves. They don't eat solid food for months.  They are noisy, can't walk properly and dribble. Appallingly backward when compared to feline kittens!
b) Neutering changes behaviour. Most trained animals, like dogs and horses, are easier to train after neutering - that's why humans do it to them. The horses and dogs don't go off on their own looking for mates, nor do they get distracted when they see an attractive female. Incidentally, Smudge, you are right in some ways. Humans tend (with the exception of cats and dogs) to go for castration rather than spaying. It's the quick snip and it's over op. They leave the females alone.
c). Should we consider vasectomy? Humans never seem to vasectomise their pets (except for ferrets), because that would get rid of the tackle but leave the behaviour. OK so the human would be shooting blanks (no human kittens thank goodness) but that disorderly bedroom behaviour (and elsewhere) would still be rampant.
I go for the Cat Realm message - YES! SNIP AND OP!
PS. Ferrets are vasectomised because the female ferret can't get out of heat until she has been mated and if tiny ferrets are unwelcome a vasectomised male does the job. Makes you pity the female ferret.


  1. Dear George (and Ralph).

    After reading your careful and well thought out arguments on this subject we..................

    are still vengeful creatures and still vote for neutering on a revenge basis. after all Do Unto Others as You would have done to you. SO, if they neuter us, it means that they WANT to be neutered. RIGHT? Besides, we're cats. We don't get mad, we get even.

  2. AnonymousMay 13, 2008

    I think I'll pass on this subject this time. However, I would like to say, the weather has warmed a bit in Georgia and I love being outside. My condo on the side porch is a perfect place for an afternoon nap. You see my human made me a perfect condo out of a NEW covered litter box. She put nice soft padding in the bottom that is a wonderful bed just for ME.

  3. George, I tagged you for a meme. Come to our page to find out about it.

    Max S


Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online