When your kitten turns four to five months old, you must make an important decision concerning their reproductive health. As you consider neutering your cat, you may have a few questions.
What is neutering a cat?
The female-specific term is spaying, and the term castration (neutering) is for male cats. Neutering (castration) is the standard term used when defining the surgical procedure scientifically known as an orchidectomy. During this procedure, both testicles are removed to sterilize the male cat.
Would a Vasectomy be better than neutering?
Vasectomies performed only sterilize the cat but do not stop the production of male hormones. Neutering causes both sterilization and the removal of male hormones. It’s the removal of hormones that also provide behavioral benefits and reduce and prevent some health issues.
What are the benefits of neutering?
Neutering helps reduce the overpopulation of cats. Approximately 50% of cats entering shelters get adopted, and 27% (860,000 cats) are euthanized each year.
Neutering diminishes the chance of prostate and testicular cancer.
It will reduce roaming. Although neutering is not a sure-fire way to keep your cat from escaping the house, it will defiantly curve those impulses to seek out the opposite sex. During “the hunt,” your cat will risk getting into altercations with other animals, getting lost, catnapped, or hit by a vehicle.
It will reduce the urge to spray urine to mark territory. Only around 10% of neutered males will continue to spray. Neutering also leads to a more normal urine odor, not an intense and robust order.
It will reduce unwanted behaviors such as inter-cat aggression between other house pets.
When should I have my cat neutered?
The optimal period to neuter a male cat is between 4 to 5 months old after completing their primary vaccinations when the cat reaches sexual maturity.
Is it too late to neuter my older cat?
Fit cats can be neutered at any age. The health benefits will still apply to your older cat. Nonetheless, fixing them will likely give them a better quality of life.
The veterinarian will require blood work before surgery in almost every instance with mature cats. The veterinarian will verify that the liver and kidneys are healthy and able to process the anesthetics used for the procedure. If the cat is over the age of 5 years, a thyroid gland check may be recommended or required. In some cases, they may also check your cat's clotting ability with a blood test.
Is neutering painful for cats?
During surgery, the cat is fully anesthetized and feels no pain. The veterinarian administers a long-acting pain medication post-surgery. It’s normal for your cat to experience minor discomfort and soreness after surgery. However, they may not experience pain at all with the correct pain management. The goal is to keep your pet as comfortable as possible.
How long does neutering surgery take?
The surgery takes between two and twenty minutes. With today's reversible anesthetics, your pet should be completely normal by discharge, awake enough to walk around. However, your cat will sleep more or be more tired after returning home. The feeling will last for twelve to twenty-four hours after anesthesia.
Does neutering cause my cat to get fat?
Yes, neutering your cat can cause them to gain weight; because the surgery slows down a cat's metabolism rate by roughly 20 percent. If you keep your cat on the same diet post-neutering, they will gain a noticeable weight. Some of the body fat could be redistributed to other parts of the body, especially in the abdomen area, known as an "abdominal fat pad."
After neutering, it is essential to monitor the amount of food you feed your cat and adjust their intake as warranted. The "kitten stage" may last for the first twelve (12) months of a cat's life. Although this may be the case, it may be necessary to switch from kitten food to adult maintenance food with fewer calories before the end of their first year. It would help if you continued to encourage your cat to play and exercise.
Will neutering have adverse effects on my cat?
In the vast majority of cases, neutering has no adverse effects after the procedure. However, some research data show an elevated risk for prostate cancer and transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. It's believed that for most pets, the health benefits outweigh the risks. In some cat breeds like the Siamese breed, the hair that grows back over the operation site may be noticeably darker due to the difference in skin temperature. This darker patch generally grows out with the subsequent molt as the hair is naturally replaced.
What surgical complications could arise from neutering?
There could be an unexpected adverse reaction following any anesthetic or drug administration. Such cases are impossible to predict, but they are scarce.
A post-operative infection most generally occurs when the cat licks the site excessively. This may happen externally or internally near the incision site. In most circumstances, the infection can be managed with antibiotics.
Self-inflicted trauma can be caused to the surgical site by licking or other damaged. An Elizabethan collar (e-collar) will help prevent some of these injuries.
Scrotal bruising/swelling in males:
Swelling of the scrotum area occurs typically after surgery. The swelling can be temporary and should go away after several days. However, it is essential to prevent your pet from damaging the incision site by licking at the incision site.
Internal bleeding can occur if the ligature around the blood vessel slips or breaks off after the abdomen has been closed. This is more likely to occur if the cat is highly active, but this is rare.
It is less frequent and possible that older neutered males can have urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control) from a deficiency in testosterone.
Below are some signs of complications and infections you need to keep your eye out for:
Your vet will provide you with more informative information on the care of your cat and what you can expect after the neutering procedure. Nevertheless, if you detect any of the above symptoms in your cat, it's important to call your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Does my cat need to wear a cone (E-Collar) after neutering?
Yes, your cat needs to wear an e-collar (Elizabethan collar) or medical shirt to protect their wound after being neutered. This is to protect the cat from chewing or licking the incision site. Most cats should wear their cone for 5-7 days after neutering. If an abdominal incision was necessary to remove the retained testicle(s), then the cone should remain on for 10-14 days.
Why does my neutered cat still look like they have testicles?
After a cat is neutered, the testicles are removed, but the scrotum (ball sack) stays in place. Sometimes, it will look like they still have testicles after their operation. However, the scrotum will shrink and become less noticeable over time.
Can cats use the litter box after being neutered?
After surgery, to prevent cat litter from adhering to the incision, it's recommended to use dust-free litter or, more preferably, a shredded newspaper for 5 days.
Do cats get Microchipped when neutered?
Numerous kittens are microchipped simultaneously as being neutered, but this is not necessary. The microchipping procedure is performed using a pre-loaded syringe and feels about the same as having blood drawn. A microchip can be implanted at any convenient time.
Neutering provides a range of great benefits for both you and your cat. The benefits of neutering outweigh any potential risk, and it's good for your cat's overall wellbeing. Neutering surgeries are best performed on cats before they reach 5 months old when the cat reaches sexual maturity. In addition, sterilization practices reduce the overall population of homeless and sheltered cats.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.