Should You Neuter Your Cat?

June 3, 2019 Learning Center

Before you make a decision, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of neutering.

What are the advantages of having a female cat neutered? (also known as spaying or ovariohysterectomy)

This surgical procedure involves a full general anaesthetic and removal of both the ovaries and uterus, preventing the problems associated with seasons (calling) and unwanted pregnancy. It also prevents pyometra (infection of the uterus) and if performed at an early age may reduce the risk of mammary cancer (which in cats is highly likely to be malignant).

What are the advantages of having a male cat neutered? (also known as castration)
This surgical procedure involves a full general anaesthetic and removal of both testicles. Castration can help with antisocial ‘male’ behavior such as territorial urine marking and spraying. It also reduces the tendency to roam and fight other cats, which decreases the chance of developing cat bite abscesses and contracting FeLV and FIV infections (which can be fatal).

What are the disadvantages of neutering?
Metabolic rate slows after neutering, making it more likely for weight gain to occur. The problem can be entirely eliminated by reducing the food intake slightly after surgery. As neutering is a surgical procedure, it carries all the usual risks of general anaesthetic and surgery. These include anaesthetic complications, haemorrhage (bleeding) and wound complications such as infection or swellings.

When should the operation be done?
Cats are usually neutered from 5-6 months of age onwards.

What we recommend
Although the above information is intended to provide a balanced discussion of the advantages and disadvantages, so that you, the owner, may make an informed decision for yourself, we generally recommend neutering. In our opinion, the advantages of preventing very serious medical problems outweigh the disadvantages.

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