Castration in Cats

Overview of Castration in Cats

Castration (orchiectomy) is a surgical procedure in which the testicles are removed from the male cat’s body. Castration is commonly referred to as a cat neuter. It is performed most commonly to make pets unable to breed, thus helping to control pet overpopulation.

Castration may also be indicated for:

Castration is also recommended for cats in which one (or both) testicles failed to descend into the scrotum to minimize the chance for future problems (such as tumor development) associated with the tumors being in the abdomen, rather than in the scrotum.

Veterinary Care for Castration in Cats

Most castrations are performed on young healthy cats, and extensive pre-operative work-up is not usually necessary. Pre-operative evaluation usually involves a thorough physical examination and may include blood tests. When the castration is being performed in older cats and for reasons other than to prevent reproduction, additional diagnostic tests may be necessary to exclude concurrent diseases and to minimize the risk of anesthesia in these patients.

Both testicles are removed through a incision over each testicle. Most veterinarians use a technique in which sutures are not used to close the skin.

Home Care After A Cat’s Castration

Keep your cat quiet and indoors for approximatley two weeks after he returns home from the hospital to allow him to heal. Do not allow him to be excessively active and prevent him from “rough-housing.”

Monitor the incision daily for signs of redness, swelling or discharge. Do not allow your cat to lick or chew at the incision. If you find it is impossible to stop your cat from doing this, you should obtain an “Elizabethan” collar that is placed around the neck to prevent access to the incision.

Skin sutures, if present, will be removed in 10 to 14 days. If the castration was performed for reasons other than to prevent reproduction, further treatment and/or monitoring may be necessary. Sutures are generally not placed in cats.