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Find out more about getting your cat or kitten neutered

What is neutering?

Neutering is an operation to prevent female cats from getting pregnant and male cats from making females pregnant. The operation will be performed by your vet, with your cat being under general anaesthetic.

You'll likely be able to drop off and pick up your cat on the same day. They'll recover quickly from the operation, and your vet will advise on the best care.

Cats Protection recommends that kittens are neutered at four months old or younger, although cats can be neutered at any age.

Why is neutering important?

There are thousands of unwanted cats in the UK already, with many of them finding a place in Cats Protection branches and centres up and down the country.

To ensure all cats have a safe and happy home, one of Cats Protection’s key aims is to champion neutering as a way to keep the cat population under control.

Cats are effective breeders and female cats can get pregnant from a very young age so making sure your kitten is neutered or spayed is particularly important.

Of course, as well as preventing unwanted kittens, neutering your cat has plenty of health benefits too.

Why should I neuter my cat?

Neutering your female cat, also referred to as having them ‘spayed’, is the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies. If your cat does become pregnant, this comes with extra responsibility and worry of having to care for her through her pregnancy, birth and then looking after her kittens.

What are the other benefits of neutering?

As well as avoiding pregnancy, neutering your cat can be good for their overall health. For example:

  • For female cats, the chance of getting some infectious diseases will be reduced and the likelihood of developing tumours, womb infections and other illnesses is also reduced.
  • Neutered male cats are less likely to end up injured from fighting or stray from home. Male cats that are not neutered often appear frustrated if they don’t find a female mate and can spray smelly urine in the house as a way of scent-marking – an appeal to potential female mates.

Find out more about the benefits of neutering your cat in our video

What is the process for neutering?

You’ll need to book an initial appointment for the operation. Vets may require the cat to be brought for a check before the operation. The cat will normally be admitted between 8am-10am in the morning and able to be picked up that evening.

Effective pain relief means that the process is painless. Many vets operate using an incision on the left side of the cat and will give pain relief injections. Your cat may also come home with some pain relief medication.

Vets usually advise that the cat is kept indoors for a few days after surgery. Your cat may need to wear a lampshade-shaped collar to stop them from chewing their stitches.

Find out more about how to care for your cat after an operation

Find out more about how to prepare for your cat's neutering operation in our video

What age is best to neuter a cat?

Kitten neutering is proven to be safe and effective and Cats Protection recommends that your cat is neutered at four months of age or younger. It is important that this is done before the cat begins puberty.

There is no evidence to show that kitten neutering causes growth or urinary problems. Experiences show that kittens resume their normal activities and routines after surgery much more quickly than adult cats.

If you're looking for a kitten neutering vet in your area, look at our register.

Will neutering make my cat get fat?

Neutering changes your cat’s hormone levels which can affect how they metabolise energy. Most cats will need slightly less food after they’ve been neutered to account for this. You will therefore need to reduce their daily food intake after they are neutered. Neutering doesn’t make cats fat.

How can I receive financial assistance with neutering costs?

As the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, we're involved in a number of programmes and work with partner charities such as PDSA as well as authorities to promote neutering. Need financial assistance with neutering your cat? We might be able to help through our means-tested neutering scheme. Find out about our campaigns to see if you are eligible, or contact our national neutering team for more information.

Related topics

Cat reproduction - Topic

Managing cat behaviour - Topic

Neutering financial assistance - how we can help with the cost of neutering

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