Many cat owners have questions about the neuter surgery, what is involved, when is the best time to do it, side effects of the surgery, what it costs, as well as many more questions. In this article, we will address some common questions about cat neuter surgery including benefits of neutering a cat.
What is a cat neuter surgery?
The word “neuter” is from the Latin word neuter that means the removal of an animal’s reproductive organ. The term neuter refers to both male and female animals. Other terms commonly used to describe neuter surgery is “castration” which refers to the removal of an animal’s reproductive organ in males or the term “spay” or “spaying” for females. Other terms used to refer to neutering is “de-sexing” and “fixing”.
What are the benefits of getting your cat neutered?
Common benefits of neuter surgery include:
- Help control the animal population. According to Wikipedia, “six to eight million animals are brought to shelters each year with an estimated three to four million are subsequently euthanizing, including 2.7 million considered healthy and adoptable”. Neutering can help avoid pet overpopulation. Accidental and unwanted litters commonly happen to even the most careful cat owners.
- Control roaming. Intact cats commonly roam and run away which can lead to fights, exposure to toxins, ingestion and exposure to garbage, being hit by a car, gunshot wounds, and much more. There is also a risk of your cat biting a person which can cause liability, expenses, and legal issues.
- Eliminate pregnancy risks. There are several health problems and risks that can be associated with pregnancy that can be life-threatening and expensive to treat.
- Eliminate medical problems and expenses associated with having kittens and the medical issues that commonly develop.
- Decrease behavioral problems. There is an increased risk of behavioral issues including territorial spraying and marking behavior, and/or aggression with intact cats.
- Decrease the risk of cancer. Neutering can remove or reduce the risk of testicular, uterine, mammary (breast), and ovarian cancer.
- Eliminates the risk of a life-threatening uterine infection (pyometra).
What are the risks associated with neuter surgery?
The major risks are those of general anesthesia, post-operative infection, bleeding, and wound breakdown over the incision. Overall, the complication rate is very low, but serious complications can result in death or the need for additional surgery.
How long is a cat in the hospital after neuter surgery?
Most cats come to the veterinary hospital in the morning, have surgery and are released the same day or occasionally the day following surgery.
How do you take care of a cat after neuter surgery?
After being neutered, your cat may feel tired or groggy that night and for the first 24 to 48 hours. Most cats are back to a normal attitude and appetite in 1 to 2 days.
Post-neuter surgery care for cats includes:
- Give any prescribed pain medication or antibiotics.
- Keep your cat quiet for approximately two weeks after he returns home from the hospital to allow him to heal. Ideally, he should be kept inside with no excessive running, jumping, or playing.
- Monitor the skin sutures, if present. Look for abnormal signs of redness, swelling, or discharge. Call your veterinarian if you see any abnormal signs that can suggest infection.
- See your vet for recommended suture removal. Sometimes sutures are absorbable.
- Return to your vet for rechecks. Many veterinarians may want to check the incision one-week post-surgery to ensure it is healing normally.
- Do not allow your cat to lick or chew at the incision. If your cat licks the incision line, prevent them from licking by placing an e-collar on your cat or a t-shirt to prevent exposure to the incision line. Call your veterinarian if you see this happening with your cat.
When do you neuter cats?
The best time to neuter is when your cat is young and healthy as opposed to when your cat is older and has life-threatening uterine infections (Pyometra) or prostate problems.
Neutering is most commonly recommended around six months of age. However, neutering is done in some situations as early as 6 to 8 weeks but can be done at any age.
Learn more about The Pros and Cons of Spays and Neuters In Cats.
What does cat neuter surgery cost?
The cost for cat spays can range from $40 to $350 depending on the age and sex of your cat. It is less expensive to castrate a male cat than to spay a female cat. Pet insurance can help cover the cost of spaying depending on your policy. Learn more about Pet Insurance for Cats.