Neutering your cat: what you need to know

There are many reasons why it’s important to neuter your cat – it benefits you and them. Many people worry that neutering their pet is not natural, but it is worth remembering that keep a domesticated pet isn’t a natural situation.

/

Neutering helps control the population

Cats have the potential to get pregnant again immediately after giving birth, in fact one un-neutered female cat can be responsible for 20,000 kittens in just five years (source - Cats Protection). It’s a myth that all female cats should have at least one litter.

Neutering helps cat behaviour

Unneutered female cats will call regularly and will attract males. Unneutered male cats are likely to stray over a large area, mark their territory and are much more likely to fight. They will wander from home and may not return. Unneutered males may also spray inside the home and be aggressive to their owners.

Neutering is good for your cat’s health

Female cats who are not neutered are more likely to suffer from pyometra later in life. Mothers with infectious diseases may pass these on to their kittens. Pregnancy and birth are also not without risk.

Fighting males are much more likely to spread diseases such as FIV and FeLV to other cats. They are also likely to suffer from fight injuries such as abscesses. Because they wander over a large area they are also at greater risk of suffering road traffic accidents.

Also, unwanted kittens may not be cared for and are likely to suffer from various infectious diseases such as cat flu.

When to neuter your cat

Your cat should be neutered by four months of age. It is important to neuter female cats before the first season in order to keep the cat population under control.

Historically there have been concerns about neutering younger than six months, however modern veterinary techniques have reduced the risks of operating on young kittens, and studies into growth and development show no problems in neutering cats before puberty.

Care after neutering

  • You will probably see some redness, swelling and bruising around your cat’s scrotum and incision wounds after the operation. The scrotum will not shrink as soon as the testicles are removed, it will take time to reduce in size
  • Look for excessive, dark purple bruising or hardened swelling
  • In a routine cat castration, it is standard procedure to allow the incision wounds to heal by themselves.

If your cat has had an operation and you’re concerned about anything, contact your vet immediately.

Neutering costs and help available