When your male cat is neutered, their testicles are surgically removed. Most male cats are physically able to mate and reproduce at about six months of age. Unneutered cats are much more likely to wander the neighborhood in search of un-spayed female cats. By neutering your male cat, you curb this type of behavior (and help them avoid sexually transmitted diseases and pet overpopulation). Neutering also decreases a male cat's need to "mark" territory and often reduces any aggressive tendency to fight other cats – and potentially need treatment. After being neutered, your cat will still keep their unique personality, but will be less likely to roam, spray, or act aggressive.
How are Spay and Neuter Surgeries Performed?
While the spay and neuter surgeries are different, they have the same goal. Each is meant to keep your cat from reproducing and filling the neighborhood with unwanted kittens that may, in the end, be put down due to pet overpopulation. Here are the differences between the two surgeries performed on male and female cats:
- Neutering: your vet makes a surgical incision in the cat's scrotum. The vet then removes the cat's testicles, and then closes the incision.
- Spaying: the vet makes a surgical incision in your cat's abdomen. The vet then removes the fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus. The incision is then closed with sutures.
Are Spaying or Neutering Surgeries Dangerous?
No. These are some of the most routine procedures that we perform at our vet clinics. Complications during a spaying or neutering surgery are very rare. During the surgery, your cat is given anesthetic and will feel no pain. Most cats can go home the same day as the procedure. Depending on how well your cat reacts to anesthesia and the surgery, they may need to stay overnight. Our vet will be able to outline everything to expect during your cat's spaying or neutering, including caring for your pet over the recovery period – which is generally very short.
Helping Your Cat Before and After Spaying or Neutering
Before your cat undergoes spaying or neutering, your vet will have some pre-surgical advice you will need to follow. The main recommendation will be to avoid feeding your cat after midnight the night before spaying or neutering. Your vet will also have post-operative steps that help your cat heal faster and better. Your cat may experience some pain or discomfort following their surgery, so it may be necessary for your cat to have medication to control pain.
Tips for Your Cat's Safe Recovery
- Be sure to give your cat space and quiet to recover, and protected from interaction with other pets in the household.
- Keep your cat from activities like running or jumping for up to two weeks, and keep them indoors.
- Your cat will be restricted from licking their surgery incision site, as licking the wound can cause infections.
- Don't bathe your cat for at least a week to ten days after the surgery.
- Keep checking on their incision site to make sure it's healing properly, and report any worries to our veterinary office at once.
If you notice any swelling, discharge or discoloration at your cat's incision site, contact our clinic so we can help. Other common trouble signs to look out for include your cat acting lethargic, having a decreased appetite, or vomiting or diarrhea.