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Cats Neutering








What is neutering and when should it be done?

Neutering is the surgical removal of the testicles of the male cat, thus making him sterile. Other terms used are "castration" or "fixing" or "altering". We recommend neutering your kitten between 3 and 8 months of age (although it can be done at any age), when sexual development is about complete but the undesirable habits have not been started. Studies on neutering as early as 8 weeks of age ("early-age neuter") indicate it to be safe and to not cause any behavioral or physical problems.


Why are male cats neutered?

Male cats are neutered in order to prevent development of the unaltered adult male cat's (tomcat's) normal behavior, which is usually objectionable. The undesirable habits that are prevented (if neutered early) or reduced by neutering are spraying, roaming, seeking out females in heat, fighting, aggressiveness, and poor grooming.


Spraying urine is the way a tomcat marks his territory. It is done by the cat backing up to an object, raising his tail, which then starts to quiver, and squirting urine on the object. This spraying is often done in the house, staining furniture, carpet, and walls. The urine of a tomcat has a very strong and objectionable odor.


Tomcats roam, often quite far from home, to seek out females in heat. This roaming increases the possibility of being injured or killed. This roaming leads to intruding on another male cat's territory resulting in fighting over females in heat and territory. Thus occurrence of abscesses (wounds) and contracting deadly cat viruses increases dramatically.


Tomcats tend to neglect their grooming and are frequently dirty and develop a condition called "stud tail," a greasy accumulation of oil secreted by glands at the base of the tail.


What are the effects of neutering?

The level of the male hormone testosterone, which produces masculine characteristics, declines rapidly after neutering. The objectionable odor of tomcat urine is eliminated. Urine spraying is prevented or reduced by neutering. Stud tail is prevented or eliminated.


Neutered male cats stay closer to home, they do not seek out females in heat. Roaming and fighting decline, thus less injuries and wounds. The frequency of abscesses and the risk of contagious deadly cat viruses decreases.


A neutered cat has fewer medical problems, lives longer on the average, does not add to the pet overpopulation problem, and makes a more loving and rewarding pet.


I have heard that...

Neutered cats become fat and lazy.

False. Too much food and lack of exercise leads to obesity. You must be willing to control the cat's food.


Neutered cats are more susceptible to cystitis (bladder infections) and bladder stones.

False. Medical evidence has disproved these ideas.





What is involved in neutering my kitten?

This elective surgery should be performed when the kitten is healthy and has finished his kitten vaccines.


Anesthesia is required to perform this operation. Although anesthesia always carries a degree of risk, the modern anesthetics and monitoring equipment used in modern hospitals and clinics minimizes this risk.


This surgery is performed aseptically after the scrotal area has been shaved and surgically scrubbed. An incision is made over each testicle and the testicles are removed after the spermatic cord is tied off to prevent bleeding. No stitches are placed in the scrotum.


An analgesic is given to prevent discomfort and the kitten is monitored during recovery from anesthesia.


It will be necessary to withhold food after 6 PM the night before, and to withhold water after midnight the night before.


Your cat should be admitted to the hospital in the morning and will generally be ready for discharge that same day in the late afternoon, during doctor's hours.


Your kitten will need to stay indoors that evening and be kept quiet and safe to insure that no accidents (falls, and so on) occur until complete recovery from anesthesia. If that is not possible, you may elect to have the cat spend the night in the hospital.


Please withhold food and water for one hour after returning home. The cat should be given a small amount of food and water that evening and returned to normal feeding the next morning, at which time he should be completely recovered from the anesthetic.


Confinement indoors for one week will provide the cat rest and you the opportunity to watch for swelling or bleeding. To prevent kitty litter from contaminating the incision, we recommend you use shredded newspaper instead of kitty litter for a few days.


What is a cryptorchid and how is this treated differently?

A cryptorchid is a male cat with one or both undescended testicles (sometimes called retained testicles). Normally both testicles migrate during the kitten's development down into the scrotum. An undescended testicle may be located anywhere near the kidney, inside the abdominal cavity, at the inguinal ring or outside the ring underneath the skin.


The surgery to neuter this cat takes longer, is more extensive and thus more expensive, and may include exploratory abdominal surgery to locate a testicle. In this case, skin sutures are used and will need to be scheduled to be removed in approximately 10 days. Your kitten may need to stay in the hospital for a few days for optimal recovery.