Why should I have my male cat neutered?
Neutering, or castration, offers a number of advantages, especially if performed at an early age (6-9 months).
Following puberty, at approximately 8-9 months old, the male cat develops a number of often undesirable behavioural changes.
The longer a tomcat is left to spray and fight, the less likely neutering will stop it.
- He will become territorial and start to mark areas, often in the house, by spraying urine, which will by now have developed a particularly strong (and difficult to remove) odour.
- He will start to enlarge his territory by straying ever farther from the house, particularly at night. It is for this reason that many cats involved in road traffic accidents are non-neutered males.
- By increasing his territory he will come into contact with other cats and so fight for dominance.
- Inflicted fight wounds can result in severe infections and abscesses. Since diseases such as FIV and FeLV, diseases that can cause AIDS like syndromes and cancers in cats, can be spread through bites it comes as no surprise to find that those cats most commonly affected by such incurable viruses are non-neutered tomcats.
- Finally, but not least, neutering prevents the siring of often-unwanted litters.
Cats most commonly affected by such incurable viruses are non-neutered tomcats.
When should I have my cat neutered?
In most cases, for the reasons stated above, it is desirable to neuter before puberty, and it is customary to operate on kittens at an early age. The actual age chosen will depend upon the preference of your veterinary surgeon – many individuals will neuter both male and female cats at around 6 months old. Cats can be neutered at any age. It is possible to neuter in early pregnancy. Please contact the surgery for further details regarding our neutering policy.
What does the operation involve?
Both male and female cats will have to undergo a general anaesthetic. This will involve a period of starvation (usually overnight) before the operation, however most animals can return home on the day of surgery, providing they have fully recovered from the anaesthetic.
In male cats both of the testes are removed in their entirety through a small incision in the scrotum. Stitches are rarely required in the skin.
What adverse affects might neutering have on my cat?
In the vast majority of cases no adverse affects are noted following neutering. However, some neutered animals have a tendency to put on excess weight by storing surplus fat. Such pets require a balanced diet and should not be over-fed.
In certain cats, notably Siamese, the hair that grows back over an operation site may be noticeably darker, due to a difference in the skin temperature. This darker patch should grow out with the following moult as the hair is replaced.