Cat castration

Cat castration is a quick, safe and routine procedure with a quick recovery & minimal aftercare and it should be carried out in all male cats. Castration gives huge health benefits as castrated males are much less likely to wander and get themselves injured, they are less likely to fight, and have a lower risk of catching diseases.

What is a cat castrate?

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  • When a cat is castrated, the vet will remove both testicles while the cat is under a general anesthetic.
  • It is a one off procedure, and cannot be reversed.

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This cat is under a general anaesthetic, and ready for a cat castration

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Both testicles are removed when a cat is castrated.

Why should I have my cat castrated?

  • Castrating your cat is vital, it makes him a much easier animal to deal with, and leaves him with a much lower risk of catching some diseases
  • Less wandering – entire male cats will roam far and wide in the search for females on heat. They are especially at risk from road traffic accidents and becoming lost because of this.
  • Less fighting – entire male cats will often get into fights, they are very territorial, and also will wander and come into contact with many other cats. The injuries from fighting often require veterinary attention, and cat bites can spread disease.
  • Less risk of disease – Feline Aids (FIV) and Feline Leukaemia (FeLV) are both fatal diseases which are more common in the feral cat population, and are passed by fighting and close contact between cats. Entire male cats are especially at risk from FIV as this is passed in the saliva, and is often contracted from bites. To learn more about these diseases, click here.
  • No spraying – un-neutered tom cats will mark their territory by spraying strong smelling urine. This is very unpleasant to live with the the smell can be difficult to eradicate. It is a habit which does not occur in neutered males, especially if they are neutered before puberty.
  • Neutered cats make better pets – they tend to be much less aggressive than entire males, friendlier, and they also smell a lot less.

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Cat bite abscesses are common and painful injuries caused by cats fighting, which entire males are far more likely to do.

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When should I have my cat castrated

      • Cats are generally castrated before 6 months old. If they are left much later they will start displaying male behaviour such as fighting and spraying.
      • Some rescue centres and charities carry out early neutering, from about 3 months old, to ensure cats are done before they are rehomed.

How is my cat castrated?

    • Male cats are castrated under a general anaesthetic, this is a very safe procedure in young, healthy cats, but if you have any concerns, you should talk to your vet.
    • The fur is clipped from the testicles, and they are prepared to make the skin sterile, a cut is made in the skin and the testicles removed.
    • Generally no sutures are placed in the skin, it is very thin and heals very quickly on its own.

Aftercare and complications

    • Most cats cope very well with being castrated and are back to normal within 48 hours.  The aftercare required at home is minimal and  complications from the surgery are unusual.
    • It is very important your cat does not lick at or bother with the wound, he will introduce infection and cause it to become swollen and sore.
    • If you have any concerns, you should seek veterinary care immediately.

The cost of cat castration

    • The cost of having your cat castrated will vary between veterinary practices but in general it is a reasonably cheap procedure.
    • Most practices will charge between £30 and £50, which will usually include the operation, anti-biotics, pain relief and sometimes a lampshade collar.
    • Some charities provide help to reduce the cost of neutering a cat, the main one is the Cats Protection League but there may be a local organisation able to provide assistance, ask your vet.
    • Occasionally it is possible to have a cat castration performed free of charge.  Most often if you have rescued them from a charity.  However, it is important to consider whether, if you can’t afford to have your cat neutered, if you can afford a cat at all, as there will be many other costs to cover in their lifetime.

Castrating myths

  • Castrating my cat will make him fat
    • FALSE – neutered cats tend to wander less, and are more homely creatures, so are prone to weight gain. However, this is easily combated by ensuring they are fed less. It is over-eating that makes cats fat, not castration!
  • Castrating my cat will change his personality –
    • FALSE – castration removes the testosterone from your cats system, it doesn’t change his personality. In fact, neutering often makes cats better pets, more friendly and less aggressive.

Please note, this is an advice only website, if you have any specific queries or concerns about your pet, you should contact your veterinary surgeon.