Cat and Kitten Neutering FAQs
However, as your cat reaches sexual maturity between four to six months old, they could potentially have kittens while they are still kittens themselves! That is why as a new pet owner, you might want to start thinking about cat neutering at an early stage to avoid any unplanned pregnancies and protect them from certain diseases.
Spaying a cat
Neutering or spaying your cat doesn’t have to be a daunting decision.
Our Pet Care Team is here to tell you all you need to know about neutering, so that you can make a decision that is best for you and your cat.
It is a common and routine operation of removing your cat’s sexual reproduction organs. It is also known as ‘spaying’ for female cats and ‘castration’ for males.
For female cats, neutering involves removing their ovaries and uterus, though sometimes only their ovaries are removed. This is usually done by a small cut on her left side, or along her middle.
For male cats, the procedure involves removing their testicles. It is much simpler for males, and does not require any stitches.
Not at all! It is a simple operation and anaesthetic will be given to ensure that they do not feel any pain during the procedure.
After the operation, the vet will give your cat pain relief injections to help with any post-surgery discomfort. You should also be given anti-inflammatory medicine and painkillers for your cat to take at home.
As the procedure is much less invasive for male cats, they should only need medication for a day. Female cats will need medication for about three days to help them recover as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Neutering a cat has multiple benefits for your pet. For example, your cat will be less likely to contract certain diseases as well as avoid unwanted pregnancies. Other advantages of neutering or spaying a cat include:
- Stopping their naughty behaviour of spraying urine to mark their territory.
- Reducing the likelihood for them to stray from home.
- Increasing the chances of them being friendlier and loving.
- A reduced risk of getting certain diseases, including feline leukaemia, mammary (breast) cancer and feline AIDS.
- A decreased risk of your female cat developing a womb (uterine) infection.
We recommend neutering them around the age of four to six months old, before they reach sexual maturity. A way to know when they reach puberty is when they call loudly (female cats) or when they spray urine to mark their territory (male cats).
Some rescue centres and vet recommend cat neutering as early as 12 weeks of age, or sometimes even earlier.
To protect your cat from having or causing unwanted pregnancy, keep them inside until they have been neutered.
It’s not actually good for cats to have a litter of kittens before they are spayed!
For more information, contact our Pet Care Team.
Just head on over to your vet and set an appointment with them. They may ask you to bring your cat in for a pre-anaesthetic check-up before the actual operation.
If so, your vet will also ask you not to feed your cat the evening before to the anaesthetic – make sure water is available as usual, but take it away in the morning of their operation to stop them from drinking before surgery.
Your cat will normally need to be dropped off with the vet in the morning, and you should be able to pick them up later that day.
It is very normal for your cat to be a little drowsy after their operation, but they should be back to normal very soon. After that, the recovery process varies per gender, as the operations are different. There are a few things you can do to help your furry boy/girl heal recover:
Urinary tract problems
After neutering, your pet might be more likely to develop urinary tract problems. If you notice any changes in your cat’s urinary habits such as going more often, squatting without peeing or passing blood, talk to your vet.
Sometimes neutering is associated with weight gain. Although the operation is not directly responsible for a cat’s weight gain, it can stop them from roaming for a mate, which means they move less, and therefore easily gaining a bit more weight.
If you notice your pet putting on weight, get them moving by playing with them or walking them on a harness.
You can also modify their diet – one of our lighter formulas can help:
- Your female cat will come into season approximately every three weeks once she’s reached sexual maturity. During her season, she may loudly ‘call’ and be very restless, which can make home life more difficult for you.
- When your female cat is in season, you will need to be very alert to protect her from any males in the area that may be in heat to prevent her from becoming pregnant.
- Your cat could have as many as three litters each year, with up to six kittens in each litter. This can be very expensive.
- Your cat may be more inclined to roam away from home, increasing their risk of being involved in traffic accidents
- As male un-neutered cats tend to be more aggressive, they are more likely to fight with other cats. This puts them at risk of getting injured and catch certain diseases.
- Un-neutered female cats are at a higher risk of developing mammary tumours (breast cancer) around 6-7 years old. Check your cat for any lumps in the mammary area regularly and, if you find any that cause concern, speak to your vet.
Cats do not usually show any obvious physical symptoms until they reach the 2nd or 3rd week of the pregnancy.
If you think your cat might be pregnant, contact your vet for confirmation as soon as possible.
Your cat can still be neutered while they are pregnant. This would mean that her pregnancy ends and it stops her from getting pregnant again in the future. Your vet should be able to provide more information on spaying a cat when pregnant, to help you make a decision. Cat and kitten neutering depends on your personal circumstances. Before making your decision, please consider what is best for you and your cat.
If you’d like more information on if you should get a cat or a dog, or have any other queries, contact our PETCARE EXPERT TEAM at 1800 88 7462