Spaying and neutering a household pet is one thing, but what about the cats in your neighborhood? If there are a myriad of strays wandering around your area without anyone to care for them, then you could end up with an exploding cat population as they breed and produce several litters of kittens. Unfortunately, more cats isn't the only problem that these feral animals can cause for your home. If you want to control or eliminate the following problems, consider trapping any neighborhood cats, spaying or neutering them, and then releasing them back into the neighborhood.
Intact male and female cats are, by nature, territorial. They protect their turf to not only ensure that they have a safe place to live and sleep, but also to indicate that they 'own' the area. Male cats and female cats alike mark their turf by spraying a stinky fluid that looks like urine but smells much worse. If you've ever noticed a pungent urine smell around your home, this is likely the cause. While cats usually do a good job of covering up their normal urination by burying it, they purposefully leave these strong smells around, which can frustrate and disgust homeowners. Spaying and neutering, however, typically helps limit this behavior.
Injury and Death
Another thing to consider is that it's not just a matter of male and female cats breeding in your neighborhood. When male cats encounter each other with a female nearby, they'll typically fight and quarrel with each other in order to acquire mating rights. Unfortunately, these fights can be quite vicious and can leave one or both cats with serious injuries, infections from bites or scratches, and can even lead to death without medical care. Female cats aren't exempt from this problem either, as male cats will sometimes be too aggressive during their efforts to mate.
Having lots of cats around is one thing, but abandoned kittens is a big problem. Unfortunately, some female cats simply dump their kittens, either due to fear, confusion, illness, or an inability to care for them. This is particularly common when the female cat who gave birth is particularly young.
Abandoned kittens are very difficult to care for, and even the most dedicated pet owners can often struggle to care for them adequately. While you're always able to take abandoned kittens to a pet shelter, you may end up experiencing this problem quite a lot without making an effort to spay and neuter the neighborhood cats.
For more information about a spay and neuter service, contact a local veterinarian.