Neutering of Cats – Advantages and Disadvantages

Many people believe neutering is cruel to cats. The truth, however, is a bit different. Neutering not only prevents the cat from having kitten, but it also keeps the cat healthy.

According to a survey from 1995, about 80% of the cats and dogs in the USA are spayed or neutered.

What Does Neutering Mean?

Neutering is a routine surgery for removal of the cat’s sex organs. After this surgery, the cat is unable to reproduce. In addition, the procedure stops the production of sexual hormones which cause the cat’s sexual behavior. The decision whether to neuter your cat or not is one of the most important decisions that a cat owner has to take.

What Exactly is Done during the Surgery?

Neuter is a very simple and routine surgery performed in veterinary medicine. The cat should not be feed the night before because anesthesia is performed on an empty stomach. When the procedure is for male cats, it is called castration, while for female cats it is known as spaying.

Castration involves the removal of the gonads, or testicles. This intervention removes the sperm source and the source of testosterone. Under general anesthesia, two small incisions are made in the scrotum’s skin and both testicles are removed. In other words, the male cat is castrated.

Female cats undergo spaying which is the removal of the uterus and the ovaries. A small area on the stomach is shaved and a little incision is made. The ovaries and the uterus are removed through this incision. This surgery is equivalent to a full hysterectomy.

When Should a Cat be Neutered?

Most vets recommend the cat undergoes this procedure when it is about six months old, before the car reaches sexual maturity. However, this may vary for the different cats. A common practice in the USA is cats to be neutered while they are very young, and sometimes cats aged eight weeks undergo such surgery.

A pregnant female cat can be neutered, too, but it may be very dangerous for the mother, especially if the procedure is performed in late pregnancy.

How Long Does the Rehabilitation Take?

Males cats are usually back to their normal lives on the day after the surgery. Female cats need some more time – about one or two days later they will be healthy.

The Advantages of Neutering

Most cat owners don’t know exactly why they should neuter their cats. Here is a quick list of some of the key reasons.

– Male cat usually develop some undesirable changes in their behavior after their puberty, when they are approximately 6-8 months old. These changes include marking of their territory by spraying urine around the house, or expanding their territory and spraying urine outside and around the house. This is usually one of the reasons for cats being involved in car accidents. You can prevent these changes by neutering your cat.

– Neutering stops the cat spaying in the house. Urine is unsanitary and has a bad odor that can’t be removed easy.

– Neutering will remove heat cycles at females. These heats occur several timed every year and cause some behavioral changes such as kneading, howling and restlessness. Also, it will prevent the cat from spraying. Neutering reduces the risk of mammary cancer and eliminates the development of pyometra – a serious infection of the uterine.

– Neutered cats cannot reproduce and will not have unwanted kittens.

– Neutering will make a female cat more attentive and loving. It will also protect her from sexually transmitted infections and some cancers.

– A neutered female cat will not attract males that urinated in her territory to mark her as their property.

– Neutered cats are more affectionate and calmer. They are more interested in their owners and are more social with people. Some statistics show that neutered male cats live longer than male cats that are not neutered.

The Disadvantages of Neutering

– Neutered cat cannot have kittens. Do not perform this surgery if you want to breed your cat.

– Some neutered cats make gain extra weight after the surgery because they will not use their energy to find mates, as they did before.