If you are not going to use your cat for breeding, then there are many benefits of neutering your cat, whether it’s a male or a female. The article is based on conversations with Bozita’s own cat expert Elin Hirsch, doctor in ethology with a focus on cat behaviour.
WHEN CAN A CAT BE CASTRATED OR STERILISED?
In Sweden, cats are not recommended to be castrated or sterilised until they’ve reached an age of four months. Cats reach sexual mature at around 6 months and vets often recommend neutering just when the cat has reached that age.
NEUTERING A CAT – HEALTH BENEFITS AND BEHAVIOUR
Neutering prevents unwanted kittens and leads to reduced homelessness in cats, but neutering also has many health benefits. Further, neutering or sterilising a cat leads to a number of positive changes in the cat’s behaviour and the risk of the cat urinating indoors and outdoors also drops. Neutered outdoor cats roam shorter distances from the home and mix less with other cats, which also reduces the risk of infections and injuries from fighting. If you have a neutered female cat she will not longer be in heat and you don’t have to deal with a frustrated cat and possibly sleepless nights. Cats in heat are not quiet. Neutered cats are often calmer and more affectionate towards their owners. So, neutering your cat is not only beneficial to the cat but also to your relationship.
INCREASED RISK OF OBESITY
A thing to keep in mind is, after neutering, the cat’s metabolism changes and they tend to eat more food and exercise less. There is therefor a risk of unhealthy weight increase. It’s a good idea to change to a cat food specific for neutered cats – for example Bozita indoor & sterilised grain-free clean – and keep a close eye on the cat’s weight. Make use of Bozita’s weight assessment guide
NEUTERING A CAT – HOW IT WORKS
Castrating, spaying or chemical neutering – there are many ways to prevent the cat from reproducing. As a cat owner, you may find it useful to know how neutering works and how to care for your cat before and after the surgery. To avoid vomiting when it’s under anaesthetic, it needs to avoid food from midnight the day before surgery. It can, however, have water in the morning of the surgery. Keep your cat indoors so that you can keep an eye on it.
SPAYING FEMALE CATS
Spaying a female cat involves surgery under anaesthetic, but it’s still a routine procedure performed by vets daily. You normally arrive at the vet’s clinic in the morning and collect the cat in the afternoon. Prior to the procedure, the vet examines the cat to ensure they are in good health. Your cat is given pain killers, before and after the procedure. The coat on the belly is shaved off and the skin is carefully cleaned. The oviduct, ovaries and uterus are removed during surgery, after which the wound is stitched. After waking up from their surgery, the wound is again examined carefully before the cat can go home.
CASTRATING A MALE CAT
Castration is a simpler procedure then spaying a female cat. The routine at arrival at the vet’s clinic is the same and the cat is examined before being given anesthesia. The area around the scrotum is shaved and cleaned. The procedure involves an incision on each side of the scrotal sac so that the sperm duct can be cut and the testes removed. The scrotum will self-heal and does not need stitching. The cat is given painkillers both before and after the procedure and will be examined again when it is fully awake and can go home.
LOOKING AFTER THE CAT AFTER CASTRATION
After getting back home, leave the cat in a dark room until they are fully awake. Avoid giving the cat any food or water until they are alert and steady on their feet, and then only in small portions. Continue to give the cat the prescribed painkillers each day and keep the cat indoors until the wound has healed completely. It’s important to use a collar if you notice your cat licking the wound. Contact your vet if you notice any problems with the wound. The skin has normally healed after 10-12 days and any stitches are usually absorbed and disappeared naturally. Consult your vet if you are unsure.