Do you have a new little boy kitten at home? Do you have an older male who is showing territorial behaviors? For all male cats not intended for breeding, veterinarians strongly recommended neutering for your pet’s health and safety.
WHAT IS A CAT NEUTER?
For a healthy cat, a cat neuter entails the surgical removal of the testes while the pet is under sedation. Generally, the scrotum is left intact, but shrinks in size a few days after surgery. Neutering is a minor surgical procedure with very low risks. Because the testes hang outside the body, the surgery is not invasive (unlike a spay for females) and therefore carries less danger of internal complications or infection. Occasionally, during adolescent development, a male cat can become cryptorchid, a genetic condition in which one or both of the testes does not descend properly. In these cases, the cat neuter is invasive, but still low risk, and is crucial for the continued health of the pet.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF A CAT NEUTER?
Male cats neutered prior to a year of age, particularly those neutered before the onset of puberty (~6 – 7 months), show a significantly decreased risk of developing cancers of the urogenital and reproductive tracts. Neutered cats are also at less risk of forming urinary tract infections, kidney or bladder stones, and urinary blockages, a serious condition that is often fatal within only a few days after a blockage occurs.
Additionally, neutered cats, especially when neutered prior to puberty, tend to roam less and engage in fewer cat fights, leading to a safer and happier life for your pet. Roaming males are much more likely to become the victims of hit-by-car accidents, dog attacks, poisoning, and other dangerous occurrences away from the home. Cat fighting is the number one method of the spread of FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) in addition to a common cause of injury and abscess development in cats.
Help keep your little boy healthy and safe by bringing in him for a cat neuter! Remember, the best benefits are the result of neuters performed between 4 – 6 months of age, but all male cats, even fully grown adults, should be neutered for their health and protection!
WILL NEUTERING CHANGE MY CAT?
Many pet owners are concerned that their male cat’s personality will change drastically after neutering. While certain habitual behavioral changes can be expected, a cat’s unique personality is not altered by removal of the testes. Kittens neutered prior to a year of age (optimally around 4 – 6 months of age) often show no change in activity level or personality tendencies and are unlikely to ever develop negative territorial behaviors such as spraying or fighting. Adult cats may become more docile, less inclined to roam, less aggressive and more affectionate after neutering, but their unique cat-ness will be the same as ever! In addition, territorial behaviors like spraying and fighting have a good chance of decreasing in adults too, especially if the cat is still young.
The health and safety benefits of neutering are too drastic to ignore, and owners can take consolation that after only a one-time, minor, low-risk procedure, their boy cat will be much the same as ever but with a considerably better chance at a happy, healthy life!