Having your cat neutered or castrated can sound like a form of torture, but it can be essential if you wish to prevent unplanned kittens and want to look after your cats long term health.
These procedures are not as bad as they sound, with your cat quickly bouncing back to full energy and vigor. We have put together a quick guide to neutering and castrating, so that you can make a fully informed decision on whether or not this will be right for your cat.
This is also known as spaying and is a procedure that is performed under general anesthetic. Cats can get pregnant from a very young age, taking only 9 weeks to give birth and will go back into season again 6 weeks after birth. This means that if they are left to their own devices they could potentially have 3 litters a year, which is not good for their own health or the growing cat population.
Cats can be neutered at any age, but under 4 months old is recommended. You will usually be able to pick up your cat on the same day, with some instructions from the vet on how to care for them until they are feeling 100%. This could be as easy as keeping them in for a few days following their operation, or perhaps getting them to wear a lampshade collar in order to prevent them from chewing on their stitches.
Aside from the obvious benefit of not having a house full of unwanted kittens, there are health reasons as to why neutering is a good idea. It can drastically reduce the risk of your cat getting infectious diseases and developing tumours or womb infectections. These are some of the main health problems that cats can suffer from and often it is seen as kinder to put them to sleep than to put them through intensive treatment.
Neutering can also change and stabilise hormone levels and metabolic rates in cats, meaning they can be less aggressive if they have a tendency to be so, as well as needing slightly less food - essential if your cat is prone to putting on weight.
Castration is where a male cat will have his testicles removed, therefore confirming that he will not be able to father kittens at any point. The procedure is not as big as that of the female, so your cat should be able to return home on the same day having had dissolving stitches or glue used. They will have been given a general anesthetic so may be groggy for a few hours that day, but will bounce back very quickly.
Once again, there will be less unwanted kittens in peoples homes, in animal shelters or left to fend for themselves on the street. Male cats will also be less likely to roam and fight with other cats, something we have all heard outside our bedroom windows in the dead of night. It will reduce the amount of spraying that they try to do in the house too, no longer feeling the need to mark their territory. As with the female cat, the health benefits make it worth going through this simple procedure. Your cat will be unable to have tumors grow on their testicles, therefore removing the risk of cancer in that part of the body.