Should I Neuter my Cat?
Neutering means removing the reproductive organs; this is either the ovaries in females (known as spaying) or the testicles in males (known as castration).
Neutering is a routine procedure which does not require overnight hospitalisation, with an average recovery time of 5-10 days.
What are the benefits for female cats?
• Cats can become pregnant from 4-6 months of age; spaying prevents this so stops unwanted litters
• Cats come in to season every 3 weeks between March and September; during this time they are very vocal, often sounding like they are screaming in pain!
• Spaying prevents cancer of the ovaries and uterus, and vastly reduces the risk of mammary (breast) cancer which is usually very aggressive
• Spaying prevents infection of the uterus, known as pyometra
• Entire females often escape to look for a mate, making them more prone to car accidents or other injuries
What are the benefits for male cats?
• Castration prevents breeding and unwanted litters
• Uncastrated males often have a distinctive and unpleasant tomcat smell
• Entire males are more likely to roam, and have a higher incidence of car accidents
• Entire males are much more likely to get into fights, causing injuries and abscesses as well as risking spread of diseases like feline leukaemia virus
• Castration does not prevent cats spraying urine, but it does make it much less likely that they will do this
What are the risks with cat neutering?
All procedures have risks, however neutering is generally considered a routine and safe procedure. Specific risks include:
• Swelling or infection of the wound; risk reduced with rest and use of a buster collar
• Anaesthetic deaths and excessive bleeding during surgery can happen but are extremely rare
• Energy requirements drop drastically after neutering so weight gain is common; obesity can cause many problems so careful weight management is important
When should cats be neutered?
Both male and female cats can be neutered from 4 months of age. If your cat is very small and doesn’t live with a sibling of the opposite sex you may be advised to wait a bit longer.
Your cat should be kept indoors until they are neutered. It is recommended to place a microchip while your cat is under anaesthesia, even if you aren’t planning on allowing them outside.
Cats are full of surprises!
Sadly, life can surprise us with an unexpected financial burden of a veterinary bill if our purrfect pals develop an unexpected illness or have an accident.
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