If you live in the Wolverhampton area and are struggling to meet the cost of neutering your cat, we can help by providing neutering vouchers to use at your vets. Please call us on 01902 651173 for more information.
Cats Protection champions neutering as the only effective way to reduce the number of unwanted cats in the UK. We seek to dispel myths, spread the neutering message and make it easier for owners on low incomes to get their cats neutered.
What is neutering?
Neutering is a surgical procedure carried out under anaesthetic. In a male cat, both testes are removed from small incisions made in the scrotum. In females, the uterus and ovaries are removed via an incision either on the left side or underneath.
Why should I neuter my cat?
Neutering is a safe procedure which has become commonplace in veterinary practice for over 30 years. The benefits to neutering are massive:
- Financial - Neutered cats cost less to feed and are less likely to get sick or injured, saving you money
- Social - There are too many unwanted cats in the UK, we don’t need more. Neutering also reduces cats’ likelihood to roam, fight, spray and otherwise be a nuisance.
- Health-improving - neutered cats are generally healthier
When can a female cat start reproducing?
Puberty usually occurs at around five to eight months in cats, although it can happen as early as four months depending on the breed of cat. We recommend neutering both male and female cats from an early age. However, it is important to note that the vet responsible for your cat will specify when they are prepared to carry out the neutering operation - usually between four and six months of age. Your vet will consider each case on its own merits. Cats Protection’s current policy is to neuter pet cats from four months and ferals from weaning age.
How can I tell if my kitten is male or female?
To tell if your kitten is male or female, you will need to lift the tail and look at the back end. Both sexes will have two holes but on a female the holes will be fairly close together, whereas on a male there will be a space where the testicles will develop.
How will my cat benefit?
The cat will be less likely to wander, stray, call (if female), spray (if male). The chance of contracting some infectious cat diseases will be reduced, as will the likelihood of developing mammary tumours (breast cancers), pyometra (life threatening womb infections), testicular cancer, and many other illnesses. Male cats in particular will improve in physical body condition and their urine will smell less pungent!
What behavioural signs does an unneutered tom display?
Unneutered toms tend to be larger and generally more confident than neutered males. They tend to maintain a large territory area, as they will cover a large area looking for females that are coming into season. Because it is so important for toms to maintain a large territory to reproduce, they are more likely to fight with other cats and leave urine spray marks inside or outside.
The neutering process - will it hurt?
Modern anaesthetics and pain relief mean that the process is really painless these days. Many vets also operate using a tiny incision on the left side of the cat, reducing pain in comparison to the equivalent procedure in dogs or humans. Vets will also give the cats pain relief injections covering the period after surgery. If you are unsure, please speak with your vet.
Taking the cat to the vet
You’ll need to book an initial appointment for the operation. Vets may require the cat to be brought for a pre-anaesthetic check before the day of the operation. The cat will normally be admitted between 8am-10am in the morning and able to be picked up that evening and will need to have been kept indoors without food for some of the night before. Your vet will advise.
Will the cat get fat?
Neutered cats need less food after surgery, so you will need to reduce their daily food intake after they are neutered. Neutering in itself doesn’t make cats fat.
What aftercare will my cat need after the operation?
The vet will probably advise you to keep the cat indoors for a few days after surgery. It may need to wear a buster collar, a plastic lampshade shape collar to stop it chewing its stitches. Stitches may need removing after seven or 10 days, or may be dissolvable. Male cats have no sutures and are normally able to go outdoors again within two days of surgery. In the longer term, cats will have a lower energy requirement and so will need less food.
I’d like to know more about neutering my cat earlier.
Early neutering is proven to be a safe and effective method, avoiding many of the potential complications of neutering later in life. There is no evidence to show that it inhibits growth, or causes urinary problems, and experience show kittens resume their normal activities and routines after surgery much more quickly than adult cats.