Neutering a kitten is one of the best things you, as their owner and guardian, can do for them. This is true for both males and females. While some owners worry about the risks of the surgery and anaesthetic, the benefits far outweigh the risks for the majority of our feline patients.
Most can be neutered once they are about five months of age or older. This will depend though on their weight and general health status. If surgery is delayed for whatever reason, it is best that cats are kept indoors to prevent them from getting into any mischief.
What happens during the neutering procedure?
For males, their testicles are typically removed via two small incisions. These incisions are in fact so small, that the skin does not even require a single stitch. The tiny wound scabs over within a day or two, by which time, cats can resume their normal behaviour.
For females, their ovaries (and often their uterus) are removed. This is typically done via an incision made in their flank. Most female cats will require a couple of stitches to close the skin. As the procedure is slightly more complicated for females, they do need to be kept indoors and rested for a week or so. We would recommend keeping your male cat indoors too for at least a few days.
For both sexes, it is advised that they wear a buster collar 24/7 while healing. This will prevent them from licking their wound and introducing infection. For the first couple of days after surgery, a bland diet should be fed to avoid stomach upset.
Those clients who belong to our Healthy Pet Club all receive a 20% discount on the surgery. The benefits of the surgery are difficult to argue with.
What are the benefits of neutering my kitten?
For our males, castrating them means:
- Less testosterone driven behaviours both inside and outside of the house. For example, this means less risk of urine spraying, which can leave quite a pungent smell within the home. It can also make for a more amenable cat who gets on better with both people and other pets.
- A much reduced risk of roaming and getting into mischief when on the prowl for a female or defending their territory. Neutered cats are statistically less likely to be involved in a road traffic accident, to fall from a height and to get into a fight with another cat.
- A reduced incidence of fighting and mating. This means that neutered males are at a lower risk of contracting life-limiting diseases such as Feline Aids Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV).
- Less unwanted kittens being produced and straying in the neighbourhood.
For our females, a spay surgery means:
- Population control. One unneutered female and her offspring can be responsible for thousands of cats in their lifetime. With a huge surplus of kittens in the U.K, sadly many are unable to be rehomed and either live difficult lives as strays or are humanly euthanized.
- Cats are not going into season, calling loudly for males and disturbing the peace. At certain times of year, females can go into heat as frequently as every three weeks!
- A number of health benefits such as a reduced risk of mammary cancer and a completely eliminated risk of uterine cancer and potentially deadly uterine infections. Similarly, females that are allowed outside to mate with unknown males are at a real risk of contracting sexually transmitted and other infectious diseases.
There is a misconception that females should be allowed to have one litter, but this is an outdated notion. Some think it can be nice to teach children about ‘the miracle of life’ via kittens, but in reality, it would be better educating them on why neutering is so vital.