To make an informed decision on whether to neuter your male or female cat here are some facts to consider.
Why should I neuter my cat?
- Cats can start breeding from just four months of age
- Cats come into season every two to three weeks for two weeks
- Cats are excellent and very fast kitten-makers! Pregnancy lasts just nine weeks and some can come into season just a few weeks after giving birth!
- Cats could have up to 3 litters a year with on average 3-6 kittens within each litter (that is 18 homes you would need to find)
- Cats can and will breed with sibling and parents
- It is untrue that having a season will benefit a cat's health
- Cats that are not neutered have amazing ways of getting to each other and they can out smart us humans!
- Spaying reduces the risk of breast cancer by up to 90% and completely removes the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer and pyometra (womb infection)in female cats
- Un-neutered queens (female cat) will “call” when in season (this noise is something you WILL remember!)
- Un-neutered cats will mark their territory with a very smelly spray – once smelt never forgotten and difficult to remove from the walls, carpets and sofa!
- Female cats WILL and DO spray around the house
- Castration removes the risk of testicular cancer in male cats
- Un-neutered males are more likely to go wandering for miles to look for a mate, really increasing the risk of them getting lost
- Un-neutered cats have an increased the risk of being involved in car accidents
- Male cats are much more likely to end up in a cat fight resulting in cat bite abscesses and possible surgery
- There is a much higher risk of un-neutered cats spreading infectious diseases such as FIV
- Un-neutered cats are more likely to get aggressive with their owners due to increase in hormones
When can I neuter my cat?
We strongly advise that neutering is carried out around 5 months of age. At this age they are usually over 2kgs which means that they are able to receive a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) analgesia that helps control pain after surgery.
If you have a cat that has just had kittens, the mum cat can be neutered when the kittens are around 8 weeks old.
What does the surgery involve?
Your pet will come into the surgery as a day patient and will go home the same day. You will be asked to starve your pet from 8pm (depending on age) the night before and to take away water in the morning. We would ask you to keep your cat indoors overnight as cats are very clever and will find food elsewhere.
A female cats operation is called a Spay. Spaying is performed under General Anaesthesia and is the surgical removal of both the ovaries and uterus through a small incision made through the flank (side) of your cat. Sometimes this can be performed midline but does come with a slight increased risk of wound interference by cats so they must wear buster collars. This is usually only done for show cats or if there is a medical reason for this approach to surgery. Sutures are generally buried and dissolvable so there is no need for a return visit for these to be removed.
The recovery period is usually very quick and the majority of owners are surprised with how well they do when they are home.
A male cats operation is called a castrate. Castration involves removing both testes under General Anaesthesia through small incisions into the scrotum. Usually the skin incisions for a castration are so small that sutures are not required.
What is the cost of neutering?
The price for surgery (APRIL 2020)
Male (routine) £50
Female (routine flank spay) £75
If you are entitled to benefits, on a low income, receive a state pension or the cat is a stray there are charity schemes that you may be able to benefit from to help with the cost.
If you would like to arrange surgery or would like more information, please call us on 020 8850 3206.
The risk of unplanned, unwanted pregnancies is all too common, even for stay-at-home cats - all it takes is one open window….!
Emmie Beale Bsc (Hons) RVN
Bachelor of science Honours Veterinary Nursing (Bsc Hons)
Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN)