Cat Neutering: What You Need to Know
There are a lot of different things that go into responsible cat ownership. One of these important things is spaying and neutering cats that you do not plan on breeding responsibly and reputably. Since the majority of people are not cat breeders, most people decide to get their pet cats fixed.
While there are some considerations to make before neutering a cat, the benefits of the procedure usually outweigh any potential drawbacks. Not only does neutering prevent unwanted litters of kittens, but it also usually benefits the behavior and health of the cat.
In this article, we will be explaining everything that cat owners need to know before neutering their cat. This will include explaining what neutering is, what the procedure is like, and what you should ask your vet. Additionally, we will also be outlining all of the benefits and possible drawbacks of neutering cats. Let’s get into it!
What is Neutering?
Neutering is a procedure that involves removing the testicles of a male animal. This procedure should always be done while the animal is under anesthesia and only be performed by a licensed veterinarian.
Generally speaking, the term neuter is generally reserved for the fixing of male animals, mainly cats and dogs. Castration is a term that is also reserved for the fixing of male animals. Meanwhile, spaying is the term that refers to sterilizing female animals.
While there is some debate as to when you should neuter your cat, most veterinarians prefer doing the procedure as young as four months old. This is because the cat is old enough to have all of their vaccines and they will handle the procedure well in most cases, but they are not at risk of reproducing with other cats yet.
What are the Benefits of Neutering Your Cat?
There are many benefits to neutering cats. For one thing, neutering cats prevents your cat from creating kittens that would need good homes or be strays. In addition to this, there are also many health and behavioral benefits to neutering male cats at an appropriate age. Here are all of the benefits of neutering your cat.
Your Cat Will Not Contribute to Overpopulation
Believe it or not, there is a big issue in the United States with pet overpopulation. Specifically, the overpopulation of cats. There are a few potential reasons for this problem. For one thing, there tend to be more feral and stray cats in the United States today than there are dogs.
Additionally, cats tend to reproduce more often and have more litters than dogs do. Dogs only go into heat twice a year, which means that it is only possible for them to have two litters, and this hardly ever occurs in most dogs. However, cats can have up to four or five litters of kittens in a year.
If you get your cat neutered, you can rest easy knowing that they will not be contributing to the cat overpopulation problem in the United States.
Your Cat Will Stop Spraying and Marking
Male cats will often spray and mark their territory with urine when they are left intact. They do this to communicate with other cats, especially when there is an intact female cat around. Most cat owners report that their cat’s spraying habits are greatly reduced, or stop altogether, once they have been neutered.
Your Cat Will be Less Aggressive
When cats are neutered their testosterone levels are reduced significantly. In cats, this means that neutered cats are much less aggressive than intact male cats. This includes aggression towards both humans and other cats.
Your Cat Will No Longer Be at Risk of Certain Types of Cancer
Neutering improves the health of cats as well. For one thing, neutered cats are no longer at risk of developing testicular cancer. Some studies have also found that neutered cats tend to live longer on average than intact male cats do.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Neutering Your Cat?
There are potential drawbacks when it comes to any type of surgery. However, most of the time the benefits of neutering cats outweigh any potential drawbacks. Here are some things that can occur once neutering your cat.
- Complications with anesthesia
- Complications with the incision site or incontinence right after surgery
- Neutered cats are technically at a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese.
- Neutered cats are technically at a higher risk of developing Urinary Tract Infections. (UTIs)
Most of these complications occur at low rates in cats that are neutered between 5 and 9 months of age. However, it is still important to be knowledgeable about these potential drawbacks before getting your cat neutered.
Of course, there is also the potential drawback of the cost of neutering for some cat owners. Luckily, many veterinary clinics and other animal welfare groups have worked to make spaying and neutering more affordable and accessible for pet owners. This means that there is often an affordable and safe neutering option for cat owners.
Questions to Ask Your Vet Before Neutering Your Cat
It is always a good idea to take your cat in for a checkup before getting them neutered. This way you can ask your vet questions about the procedure before getting it done. Here are some good questions to ask your vet before getting your cat neutered.
- Do you believe that my cat is healthy enough to get neutered?
- At what age do you recommend I neuter my cat?
- Are there any complications to neutering that I should be aware of?
- What should I look out for after my cat has been neutered? What are the signs that they are experiencing complications from surgery?
When asking these questions, it can be helpful to have them written down. This will prevent you from forgetting to ask a question in the moment. Additionally, it is also a good idea to write down the answers that the vet gives you. You could also record the conversation. This way you will not forget any important information or advice.
Now that you are well-informed on the practice of pet neutering, you can think about if it is the right option for your pet. If you are looking to have your cat neutered or speak with a veterinarian in Clarion, PA, Clarion Animal Hospital is here to help. Call us today at (814) 227-2603 or request an appointment online.