Reproduction and desexing

The basics of desexing

Desexing is a routine procedure performed by a qualified vet. Your pet’s reproductive organs are removed so they can longer breed. In male pets it’s called castration, in females it’s known as spaying.

Desexing and the law

Although it is not compulsory to desex your pet under Victorian law, many local councils do have mandatory desexing policies, and we applaud them! We highly recommend desexing for the wellbeing of your pet and to reduce the population of homeless and unwanted animals in Victoria

FACT: If not desexed, one female cat and her offspring can produce up to 5,000 cats in seven years.

When to desex

Cats can start breeding at four months old, dogs in the first six months of life (depending on the breed) and rabbits between three-six months old. Unwanted pregnancies are a major cause of pet abandonment, overpopulation and overflowing RSPCA shelters.

FACT: One female rabbit can have 60 babies per year

Although pets can be desexed at any age, we recommend getting it done while they’re young as they recover quicker – the earliest age we recommended is eight weeks for cats and 16 for rabbits. Speak with your vet to find out the best time to desex your puppy or dog.

Why desex?

There are many advantages to desexing. Even if your pet doesn’t come into contact with others, we still recommend getting them desexed because:

  • Desexing prevents unwanted litters
  • Desexed pets often live longer and healthier lives
  • They’re more affectionate and less aggressive
  • Females do not display behaviours associated with heat cycles
  • They won’t scent mark their territory.

The cost of desexing

The cost of desexing procedures can vary from clinic to clinic. All pets available for adoption are desexed, which is included in the adoption fee. RSPCA Victoria Well for Life members receive discounts on veterinary care for their pets – it’s just another perk of signing up.

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