A Cat Neutering Guide
If you don’t intend on having your cat reproduce, neutering or spaying your furry friend is, perhaps, one of the most humane things you can do.
Neutering your cat can hold a number of benefits including; prevention of disease, reducing risks of fighting other cats, eliminate pungent odors caused by “spraying,” reduces the chance of your pet roaming around for a mate, and decreases the risk of overpopulation. Lowering the chance of your cat being lost and randomly mating with outdoor cats, causing overpopulation, is your responsibility as a cat owner.
What is neutering?
Neutering is a surgical procedure that removes the reproductive organs from your cat. In male cats, the procedure generally involves removal of the testicles and in female cats, the removal of the uterus and ovaries. By removing these organs, many natural tendencies like seeking a mate, “marking” and fighting over territory, and reproducing, are all reduced or eliminated… overall being a great benefit for you and your pet.
Is Neutering my cat safe?
The procedure is extremely common and most veterinarians will have the experience needed to ensure the surgery is as safe as possible. There is a slight risk of a problem when anesthesia is used, however, during preexamination you’ll be providing the veterinarian with your cat’s history and any preexisting conditions. There are a number of tests and procedures that are run prior to surgery, to make sure your pet is safe.
When should I have my cat neutered?
Veterinarians recommend having your pet neutered at an early age, even prior to reaching sexual maturity. The procedure can be done as early as two months old, while the average age is about four months old.
It’s important to note, some states have laws in place that require your pet to have the procedure by a certain age… the earlier the better.
Cats tend to recover fairly quickly after surgery and most of the time without any issue.
The first 24 hours
After surgery, your cat will still have some lingering effects from the anesthesia, don’t worry though, these effects will generally wear off within 24 hours. During this time, it’s recommended to have your cat in a dark, warm, and quiet indoor location to recover. Try to give your cat a small amount of water to avoid the risk of any vomiting. Most importantly, keep your cat separated from other animals and away from children.
The effects of the anesthesia may cause your cat to be less active, have reduced appetite, “zone-out” and be pretty quiet overall. Once the anesthesia effects wear off, your furry companion should be back to normal.
Typically, most abnormal effects are in relation to the anesthesia. Still, you’ll want to carefully monitor your cat for the first 24 hours to ensure it’s making a healthy recovery. Keep a lookout for things like excessive bleeding, swelling, and redness in the surgical area. If these issues do arise, be sure to contact your veterinarian for further instruction.
Your veterinarian might give you some form of pain medicine for your cat. This pain medicine should help alleviate any pain or discomfort, that may occur a day or two after the operation.
The veterinarian may also recommend a “recovery collar” or “pet cone.” The collar is a protective device meant to prevent your cat from biting or licking at the surgical site while it heals.
During the first week
- Overall, cats tend to have a complication-free recovery. There are some pretty basic, general guidelines to follow.
- After the first day, your cat’s appetite should return to normal… make sure you have them stick to a regular diet.
- To ensure a speedy recovery, you’ll want to keep your cat indoors and routinely check on it during recovery.
- You’ll need to keep your cat calm, this means no excessive running or jumping… having your cat move around excessively after the procedure can slow down the healing process.
- You may also want to keep the litter-box close to your cat’s resting area. This will reduce the need to move around and be more convenient for the cat to do its “business.”
- Keep a lookout for any excessive blood in its urine and consider using shredded paper for litter as well… dirt or dust could potentially enter the surgical wound and cause infection.
Again, the whole procedure and aftercare are relatively complication-free. If any issues arise, that you are unsure of or wary about, please contact your veterinarian for advice.