A routine operation, neutering is performed by a vet to remove a cat’s sex organs, ensuring your cat is unable to reproduce. The procedure also stops the production of hormones that are responsible for the cat’s sexual behaviour.
Why should you neuter?
There’s a cat over-population crisis in the UK, and the sad reality is that many healthy cats and kittens are destroyed every single day, while many others suffer and die of neglect.
Neutering is also an effective way to prevent certain behavioural and medical problems in cats.
The advantages of neutering
- A reduced chance of fighting and associated injuries
- It reduces ‘Tom cat odour’
- An improvement in the breeding quality of the cat population, with a reduction in the number of kittens born with hereditary diseases and bad temperaments
- Reduced aggression towards other cats, due to lack of testosterone
- Decreased spraying
- It can prevent roaming, as they will generally not sense female pheromones
- Prevents unwanted litters
What age should you neuter your cat?
Male cats can and should be neutered at six months, which is usually the time they become sexually active, however, they can be neutered at any age thereafter. If a cat is neutered after he reaches 12 months of age, be aware that you may not benefit the full behavioural impact of neutering. This is because the cat will have already started to learn certain behaviours, like fighting, and so will no longer just be responding to instinctive cues.
The operation will be carried out under general anaesthetic, and will involve the removal of the testicles through two small incisions made into the scrotal sacs. The procedure only takes a few minutes, and the total anaesthetic time is typically less than 15 minutes in most cases. Following the surgery you will usually be able to take your cat home on the same day.
The cost can vary between clinics but typically neutering costs approximately £40 – £80.
If you decide to allow your cat to breed, make sure you do so responsibly. Know that you will find homes for the kittens and find your cat a suitable female who has tested negative for FeLV and FIV.
How to feed your neutered cat
After your cat has been neutered, it’s important to provide a good quality lower-calorie diet, which is specifically formulated for neutered cats to help control body weight. After neutering male cats, energy requirements are slightly lower. It is recommended that you feed higher protein quantities and foods containing L-carnitine to male neutered cats to encourage and help maintain a healthy weight.