What Do I Need To Know About Neutering My Cat?
It can save your cat's life!
Getting your cat neutered is one of the most important things you can do for him — but it’s totally normal to have a ton of questions.
Here you’ll learn what it means to neuter your cat, what the recovery process looks like — and why you should book your appointment to get this procedure done if you haven’t already.
What is a cat neuter?
Neutering is a surgical procedure done to male cats to prevent unwanted pregnancies in female cats.
During a neuter, a cat's testicles are removed to eliminate their ability to get a female pregnant.
“Neutering cats is vitally important for society as well as having individual benefits on health and behavior,” Dr. Meghan Carlton, a veterinarian at DoveLewis emergency animal hospital in Portland, Oregon, told The Dodo.
According to Dr. Carlton, male cats can reproduce when they’re still almost kittens, so she recommends getting them fixed by the time they’re 5 months old.
“Too many unwanted litters end up in the shelter or feral in the community — spaying or neutering before they reproduce will help reduce this burden,” Dr. Carlton said.
What are the benefits of getting my cat neutered?
Even if you don’t have a female cat, neutering can help keep your male cat safe. The procedure virtually eliminates the risk of testicular and other reproductive cancers, and makes them better pets because it lessens hormonally driven behaviors like aggression and spraying.
Neutering also means your cat won’t escape to try and find a female cat, which can lead to pet cats getting lost or injured if they stray too far from home.
For all those reasons, neutered cats have longer lifespans on average than unneutered cats — so your pet will be around to love for longer.
Neutering also saves the lives of other cats by ensuring fewer of them end up on the streets and in shelters.
What’s the recovery like after my cat gets neutered?
Since cats are often neutered at such a young age, their testicles are still pretty tiny and the recovery is usually easy.
The most important thing is to keep your cat calm, indoors and away from other pets until his stitches heal.
Your vet may also recommend a recovery cone to make sure your cat doesn’t lick his incisions. They’ll let you know how long you should keep it on, if it’s needed.
A few other things to keep in mind:
You’ll want to carry him up and down any stairs for at least a week — and make sure you periodically check the surgery site to make sure he’s healing properly.
Some veterinarians might recommend ointment and others might not — just go by your individual vet’s recommendations since your vet knows your cat’s situation best.
If you’re looking for more info on getting your female cat spayed, check out this article: “What Do I Need To Know About Spaying My Cat?”