Why neuter

What is neutering?

Neutering is a surgical operation, which results in there being no chance a cat can become pregnant. A female cat is spayed- meaning her ovaries and uterus (womb) are removed. A male cat is castrated- meaning his testicles are removed.

Why neuter-

Cats protection believes that getting your cat neutered before it can breed, is the responsible and ethical thing to do for your pet. Cats are very effective breeders, with their success increasing with the amount of food and shelter available. Without neutering- the UK cat population would explode. Overpopulation increases disease, feline conflict and compromises individual cat welfare.

The kittens born following an unplanned pregnancy may be at risk of disease, increasing the costs of looking after them through expensive veterinary care. They could also find themselves homeless due to the overpopulation of cats in Britain- and even if they do manage to be rehomed, this deprives another cat or kitten in care from a new home. Unfortunately, there are not enough homes to go around.


Tom (Male) neutered vs un-nuetered



More likely to become injured and catch diseases from fighting

Less likely to fight – reducing the risk of injury and disease

Routinely travel large territories- risking road accidents and increasing time away from you

Less likely to roam, reducing the risk of a road accident and increasing contact time

Spray smelly urine to mark territories

Are less likely to spray

Are at risk of testicle tumours

Cannot develop testicle tumours

May experience high levels of stress if unable to find a mate

Make better pets, more likely to be homebodies




Queen (Female) neutered vs un-neutered



Frequently become pregnant from 4 months old, this can be three times a year

Cannot become pregnant, so there is no extra expense from kittens

Will call and wail every three weeks during breeding season to attract a mate

Do not call or wail as un-neutered queens do. More sleep for the owners and neighbours!

More likely to contract diseases spread through mating behaviour

Less likely to contract diseases such as FIV and FeLv

At risk of cancers of the ovaries, uterus and mammary glands

Cannot develop cancers of the ovaries and uterus, less at risk from mammary cancer

More at risk of developing pyometra- serious infection of the womb

Pyometra less likely.


The operation-

Your cat will need to spend a day at the veterinary surgery, and be given a general anaesthetic- so no food should be offered prior to the operation. Your vet will advise you of this. The operation itself is very simple- and usually you can drop off and pick up your cat on the same day.

Following the operation, a female cat will have a small shaved area on her side or belly. This will grow back in a few weeks. She will also have stitches- which if they are not dissolvable will need to be taken out by a vet around 10 days later.

Cats are resilient animals, and usually recover very quickly, with kittens seeming to recover even quicker! Your vet can advise of you the best care to provide while they recover.

How much does it cost-

This is variable depending on where you live. Your veterinary practice would be happy to give you a quote before booking you in for an operation

Cats protection offers financial assistance to cat owners who receive benefits or have low income. You can also call the neutering helpline on 03000 12 12 12.

When to neuter-
Traditionally, cats were neutered from six months of age. However current research indicates that there are no disadvantages to neutering a younger cat, from 8 weeks onwards. Kittens can reach sexual maturity and breed successfully from four months old. The length of pregnancy in cats is just nine weeks, with each litter containing up to 6 kittens. Because they can become pregnant so early, have a short gestations period (length of pregnancy) and can become pregnant again quickly- one female can be responsible for 20’000 descendants in just five years! Therefore, Cats Protection recommends that kittens are neutered by four months old.

Earlier neutering has become common practise in many countries, including the USA and Australia – with a proven track record of its safety and effectiveness. Studies show no evidence of negative effects on development or behaviour and improvements in drugs and surgical techniques mean that concerns over the risks of surgery are less significant.

Watch this video from our national cat centre for more information on why neutering is so important.


If you were unsure about whether or not to neuter your pet cat, we hope the information on this page will help you decide. If you have any other queries or concerns about neutering please do not hesitate to call us on 0141 779 3341 or email glasgow@cats.org.uk.