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View Full Version : Neutering your cat...why, when and how


Dr Brooks
December 2nd 06, 01:11 AM
Neutering a male is a procedure known as castration. It involves
complete removal of the testes via two small surgical incisions over
the scrotum. The scrotal wound is usually left open to heal up by
itself. Cats do not have vasectomies like humans do as they are
neutered for other reasons in addition to birth control. There have
been several occasions where owners have been unaware of this fact
until the operation has been done, causing resentment in some cases.
The pros and cons of castration will be discussed shortly.

Neutering a female is a procedure known as spaying. It usually involves
an ovariohysterectomy, removal of the ovaries and uterus via a surgical
incision over the belly button or left flank. However some vets prefer
to carry out an ovariectomy alone, leaving the uterus in place. Note
how this differs with the equivalent human procedure, a hysterectomy,
where only the uterus is removed.

Why should I neuter my cat?

For males, the reasons in favor of castration are:

1. Birth control. If you also own a female cat that has not been
spayed, this will prevent unwanted pregnancies.
2. Stopping territorial behavior such as urine marking or spraying in
the house.
3. Reducing aggression and making the cat less fractious.
4. Making the cat less likely to wander in search of mates, and
therefore less likely to suffer a road traffic accident.
5. Reducing the number of fights the cat gets into as a result of
territorial disputes, and therefore reducing the chance of injuries
such as abscesses, and reducing the probability of the cat contracting
Feline Aids or Leukaemia virus.

The arguments against castration in male cats are:

1. The anesthetic risk. With every general anesthetic there is a risk,
but in a young cat that risk is very, very low.
2. Other potential complications. These are very rare and usually
easily resolved and include infection, bleeding into the scrotum and
herniation.
3. The cost. This will vary hugely between clinics, and can be from $10
to $50

For female cats, the reasons in favor of spaying are:

1. Birth control. Unwanted pregnancies are a hassle, if they occur you
have the responsibility of terminating the pregnancy (this can be done
via a pregnant ovariohysterectomy), paying for any complications with
the birth (Caesarian sections are expensive) or finding loving homes
for the kittens.
2. Stopping the cat from wanting to wander around the neighborhood
looking for tom cats to mate with.
3. Stopping erratic behavior associated with being on heat.
4. Eliminating the risk of ovarian or uterine cancer and other rare
diseases such as infection of the uterus.

The argument against spaying in females are:

1. The anesthetic risk. With every general anesthetic there is a risk,
but in a young healthy cat that risk is very, very low.
2. Other potential complications. There include infection, breakdown of
the abdominal wound and internal bleeding. These are very rare and
usually easy to resolve.
3. The cost. This will vary hugely between clinics, but is usually
around $50-$100

When should I neuter my cat?

The answer is the same for males and females, 6 months of age. Cats
become sexually mature at this age. Leaving it any longer than this
risks an unwanted pregnancy as cats are exceptionally good at getting
pregnant given the opportunity. There is no such thing as too late for
a cat, but the closest to 6 months the better.

It is a bad idea to spay a cat too soon after having kittens as the
uterus is swollen with a larger blood supply then, so the risk of
bleeding is increased. Hence vets like to leave it until 3 months after
a litter, when the uterus has shrunk again and the surgery is easier
and safer.

How do I get my cat neutered?

Very easily. Both castration and spaying are routine operations
performed by virtually all veterinary clinics, often on a daily basis.
Before booking your cat in to be neutered your vet will need to do a
quick clinical examination to check your cat is ready for the
operation. This will usually involve just listening to the heart and
lungs to confirm there is no underlying disease that might jeopardize
an anesthetic. In male cats, the testes are felt to make sure they have
descended properly. If they have not, a more complex procedure might be
necessary to remove them. In females, the mammary glands are often felt
to check she is not lactating as this can complicate the surgery.

Once booked in, your vet will usually ask you to starve your cat from
midnight the night before the operation, to ensure he/she has an empty
stomach at the time of surgery. The cat is then dropped off at the
clinic and usually collected later on that day. Cats having routine
neutering rarely have to stay at the clinic overnight. When they go
home they are often as playful and bright as ever, were it not for the
small wound you would not know they had had a surgical procedure!

Dr David Brooks is one of the veterinary pet experts at
www.whydoesmypet.com. Our dedicated community of caring pet experts are
waiting to offer you advice, second opinions and support

-L.
December 2nd 06, 10:05 AM
Dr Brooks wrote:
> Neutering a male is a procedure known as castration. It involves
> complete removal of the testes via two small surgical incisions over
> the scrotum. The scrotal wound is usually left open to heal up by
> itself. Cats do not have vasectomies like humans do as they are
> neutered for other reasons in addition to birth control. There have
> been several occasions where owners have been unaware of this fact
> until the operation has been done, causing resentment in some cases.
> The pros and cons of castration will be discussed shortly.
>
> Neutering a female is a procedure known as spaying. It usually involves
> an ovariohysterectomy, removal of the ovaries and uterus via a surgical
> incision over the belly button or left flank. However some vets prefer
> to carry out an ovariectomy alone, leaving the uterus in place. Note
> how this differs with the equivalent human procedure, a hysterectomy,
> where only the uterus is removed.
>
> Why should I neuter my cat?
>
> For males, the reasons in favor of castration are:
>
> 1. Birth control. If you also own a female cat that has not been
> spayed, this will prevent unwanted pregnancies.
> 2. Stopping territorial behavior such as urine marking or spraying in
> the house.
> 3. Reducing aggression and making the cat less fractious.
> 4. Making the cat less likely to wander in search of mates, and
> therefore less likely to suffer a road traffic accident.
> 5. Reducing the number of fights the cat gets into as a result of
> territorial disputes, and therefore reducing the chance of injuries
> such as abscesses, and reducing the probability of the cat contracting
> Feline Aids or Leukaemia virus.
>
> The arguments against castration in male cats are:
>
> 1. The anesthetic risk. With every general anesthetic there is a risk,
> but in a young cat that risk is very, very low.
> 2. Other potential complications. These are very rare and usually
> easily resolved and include infection, bleeding into the scrotum and
> herniation.
> 3. The cost. This will vary hugely between clinics, and can be from $10
> to $50
>
> For female cats, the reasons in favor of spaying are:
>
> 1. Birth control. Unwanted pregnancies are a hassle, if they occur you
> have the responsibility of terminating the pregnancy (this can be done
> via a pregnant ovariohysterectomy), paying for any complications with
> the birth (Caesarian sections are expensive) or finding loving homes
> for the kittens.
> 2. Stopping the cat from wanting to wander around the neighborhood
> looking for tom cats to mate with.
> 3. Stopping erratic behavior associated with being on heat.
> 4. Eliminating the risk of ovarian or uterine cancer and other rare
> diseases such as infection of the uterus.
>
> The argument against spaying in females are:
>
> 1. The anesthetic risk. With every general anesthetic there is a risk,
> but in a young healthy cat that risk is very, very low.
> 2. Other potential complications. There include infection, breakdown of
> the abdominal wound and internal bleeding. These are very rare and
> usually easy to resolve.
> 3. The cost. This will vary hugely between clinics, but is usually
> around $50-$100
>
> When should I neuter my cat?
>
> The answer is the same for males and females, 6 months of age.

Cats can and are neutered safely as young as 8 weeks. They merely have
to be big enough to handle the anesthetic. Early Spay and Neuter is
routinely performed on cats that are 2 lbs or more. There is no need
to wait 6 months! Find a vet who practices early S/N and prevent
unwanted pregnancy!

-L.

silvercelt
December 2nd 06, 04:39 PM
Vets here will do them at the min. of 6 months. I have known some may
do them slightly earlier depending on the circumstances. Locums are
more willing to do them younger, esp. the ones from Australia.

meeee
December 4th 06, 03:41 AM
"silvercelt" > wrote in message
ups.com...
> Vets here will do them at the min. of 6 months. I have known some may
> do them slightly earlier depending on the circumstances. Locums are
> more willing to do them younger, esp. the ones from Australia.
>

Not so....it took me several months to find a vet that will spay/neuter
early; unfortunately some parts of Australia are still backwards in such
things.

Phil P.
December 4th 06, 05:12 AM
"Dr Brooks" > wrote in message
ups.com...
>
> The answer is the same for males and females, 6 months of age. Cats
> become sexually mature at this age.

Nope, Doc. Females can become pregnant at 5 months old and some cats, even a
little earlier.


> Dr David Brooks is one of the veterinary pet experts


You might want to take a few more credits in feline reproduction before you
call yourself a "pet expert".