Why Spay & Neuter?
As a rescue, Central Texas Rat Rescue requires all of our adoptable rats to be altered before adoption (health and age permitting). You may ask, why exactly do we require spay/neuter? Obviously, spaying/neutering will prevent pregnancies that result in unwanted litters. Population control is certainly a motivation behind this decision. What you may not know, though, is just how beneficial altering is for rats and rat owners alike!
Spayed female rats have a significant reduction in the occurrence of mammary tumors and reproductive cancers, which can result in expensive surgeries down the road and can greatly decrease both longevity and quality of life. Over 70% of intact female rats will develop mammary tumors, while roughly less than 10% of spayed rats will (wow!)
Spaying also greatly reduces the likelihood of tumor recurrence, so spaying rats at the same time as a tumor removal is a great idea. Spaying females also greatly reduces the likelihood of pituitary tumors, which are common in rats and usually fatal even with treatment.
Other benefits to spaying are less moodiness (rats go into heat every 4-5 days and their behavior can be erratic during this time) and in some cases, reduced aggression. Spayed rats tend to live more harmoniously together, and of course, can live with males (either intact or neutered).
Neutering male rats, while having fewer health benefits than spaying, significantly reduces/eliminates aggression (both territorial and hormonal). Fighting can result in serious injury, including deep wounds and abscesses that must be attended to and treated with antibiotics. Neutering works wonders with both rat and human aggressive rats.
Neutered males urine mark far less than intact males, and altering decreases their odor (both urine and musky rattie smell.) People who suffer from allergies to rats find neutered males to be far less allergenic than intact rats! Neutered males have little/no “buck grease” and their fur is much softer and cleaner.
Finally, spaying and neutering our rats allows our adopters the freedom to choose either sex as a companion for current residents! mixed colony is a true joy. Many people claim their rats seem happiest in a mixed-sex colony.
Altering rats is one of the best ways to ensure a happy, healthy pet. When you adopt from CTRR, you adopt a companion that has been assessed to the best of our ability for health and temperament, with a lifelong return policy. Our adoption fee is just a fraction of the cost of spay/neuter, and all rats have been vet checked, treated for parasites and given any needed medical care. Plus, you give a loving home to a homeless rattie, allowing us to rescue more rats in need! How can you beat that?