Cat Neutering

Neutering is the term used for rendering a male or female cat unable to produce kittens.

Why Have Your Cat Surgically Neutered?

cat_main_coon_sittingThere are numerous benefits that can be realized as a result of having your cat surgically neutered by your veterinarian. One of the most important health decisions you can make for the long-term well-being of your pet is to have him or her surgically neutered.

The surgical procedure in the female (ovariohysterectomy, also called a spay surgery) involves complete removal of both ovaries and the uterus through an incision in the abdomen. Sometimes (uncommonly) just the ovaries are removed (ovariectomy). Neutering the male cat (castration) is the surgical removal of both testes through small skin incisions in the scrotum, the sac that surrounds these glands. The term “neuter” is often used instead of castration when discussing the procedure in the male cat. In the tom, sometimes the testicles are not completely descended into the scrotum (cryptorchid), and a different surgical procedure is then necessary. Your veterinarian will discover this during the physical examination and inform you of the necessary alternative surgical procedure.

When Should a Cat Be Neutered?

Most veterinarians recommend that the surgery be performed when your cat is about 5-6 months old, but it’s never too late to neuter your cat if he or she is healthy. Some female cats begin their cycles as early as 4 months of age, so keep young females indoors until the surgery is attended to. Many humane shelters now do early spay and castration prior to pet adoption, and this does not produce any adverse long-term effects. This strategy helps to control the pet overpopulation problem, one of the very best reasons to have your cat neutered.

By neutering cats, you remove the hormones stimulating reproductive behaviors. This results in many benefits other than the inability to reproduce, including:

Many pet owners are concerned that their cats will gain weight after the neuter surgery. This concern is no reason to avoid neutering your cat. Although weight gain is possible, feeding a balanced diet, avoiding overfeeding, and making sure your cat gets plenty of exercise can maintain your cat’s appropriate weight. Regular examinations and weight checks with your veterinarian can keep you on track. Having your cat surgically neutered is best for your cat’s long-term health and is absolutely necessary to reduce pet overpopulation.

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