Neutering is a routine veterinary procedure, which involves the removal of a cat reproductive organs. It is a wise decision to make on behalf of your cat, both for health and behavioural reasons, and one most responsible cat owners will make.
BENEFITS FOR MALE CATS First and foremost, neutering will make your cat sterile so that he cannot father kittens Secondly, it will help reduce his sexual activity and the adverse behaviour associated with that activity. It will stop adult Toms roaming after female cats, as well as reducing the territorial fighting and spraying (territorial marking) with urine, that accompanies male cat behaviour. The lifestyle induced by their hormones may make male cats more prone to accidents and expose them to potentially fatal infectious diseases. Neutering may help to avoid this.
THE BENEFITS FOR FEMALE CATS If you do not want your female cat to breed, neutering is advised. There are thousands of unwanted kittens born each year, so neutering is the responsible and sensible thing to do. Neutering may reduce or eliminate certain health problems, such as uterine infections and mammary tumours. Neutering will also increase your enjoyment of owning a cat, as it will prevent her from calling when she is on heat.
WHAT DOES NEUTERING INVOLVE? Neutering is a straightforward procedure involving the removal of your cats reproductive organs under general anaesthetic. In some cases, your veterinary surgeon may decide to keep your cat under observation for a few days afterwards. Whether the veterinary surgeon does or not will generally depend on your cat’s age and general health. A pre-surgical blood screening may also be recommended to check for any complications that may arise from the anaesthetic. Female cats may be left with a small scar along the side of their tummies, which should not be visible after the fur grows back.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO NEUTER? Ask your veterinary surgeon about the best age to neuter your cat. He will usually recommend that the operation is done before your cat reaches sexual maturity (so by 5-6 months of age). In female cats, this is generally before their first heat cycle. Of course, if you want your cat to have a litter of kittens first, then wait until the kittens are weaned and the milk production is ended.
WHAT, IF ANY ARE THE RISKS OF NEUTERING? The risks to a cat’s health from leaving them ‘entire’ far outweighs the risk from the anaesthetic or surgery. Spaying or neutering will almost certainly reduce your cat’s daily energy needs, so weight gain, obesity and its associated conditions (e.g. diabetes) may be a potential side effect. Of course, you can help avoid this by feeding a grain free bilogically appropriate diet like Orijen, Acana, ZiWi Peak or Natural Instinct raw.
SOME MYTHS ABOUT NEUTERING
Neutering will change my cat’s personality. False Neutering will help reduce a male cat’s sexual behaviour and may help reduce territorial marking with urine. It may also reduce aggression. However, your cat’s genetic make-up and the attention and training he receives, are the main things that shape his personality.
Females should deliver one litter of kittens before being neutered. False Neutering a female cat before her first heat cycle helps protect her against the risk of mammary tumours. If the surgery is done later in life, for example, after having a litter of kittens, it does not usually have the same benefit.
Male cats do not need to be neutered. False Neutering is beneficial for male cats, whilst the downside of not neutering is considerable. On the plus side, neutering helps control aggressive and roaming instincts and can therefore help protect your cat from accident and disease. This will increase his chances for a longer, healthier and happier life.
Scampers Pet Care Advisors are here to help and advise you. Pop into Scampers on the A142 Soham By Pass, between Ely and Newmarket for specialist advice.