Neutering FAQs

Neutering - Frequently Asked Questions

Due to our wholehearted support of neutering, we naturally get asked a lot of questions about it!

We hope that this FAQ can answer some of your queries and concerns about the process and also explain how it benefits your cat.


What is neutering?

Neutering is a surgical procedure carried out under anaesthetic. In a male cat, both testes are removed from small incisions made in the scrotum. In females, the uterus and ovaries are removed via an incision either on the left side or underneath.
 

When can a female cat start reproducing?

Puberty usually occurs at around five to eight months in cats, although it can happen as early as four months depending on the breed of cat. We recommend neutering both male and female cats from an early age. However, it is important to note that the vet responsible for your cat will specify when they are prepared to carry out the neutering operation - usually at around four months of age. Your vet will consider each case on its own merits. Cats Protection’s current policy is to neuter pet cats from four months.
 

Can you tell me about early neutering?

Early neutering is proven to be a safe and effective method, avoiding many of the potential complications of neutering later in life.

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

 

How can I tell if my kitten is male or female?

To tell if your kitten is male or female, you will need to lift the tail and look at the back end. Both sexes will have two holes but on a female the holes will be fairly close together, whereas on a male there will be a space where the testicles will develop.
 

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 pre-anaesthetic check before the day of the operation. The cat will normally be admitted between 8am-10am in the morning and able to be picked up that evening and will need to have been kept indoors without food for some of the night before. Your vet will advise.
 

WIll the neutering process hurt my cat?

Modern anaesthetics and pain relief mean that the process is really painless these days. Many vets also operate using a tiny incision on the left side of the cat, reducing pain in comparison to the equivalent procedure in dogs or humans. Vets will also give the cats pain relief injections covering the period after surgery. If you are unsure, please speak with your vet.
 

What aftercare will the cat need?

The vet will probably advise you to keep the cat indoors for a few days after surgery. It may need to wear a buster collar,a plastic lampshade shape collar to stop it chewing its stitches. Stitches may need removing after seven or 10 days, or may be dissolvable. Male cats have no sutures and are normally able to go outdoors again within two days of surgery. In the longer term, cats will have a lower energy requirement and so will need less food.
 

How will my cat benefit?

The cat will be less likely to wander, stray, call (if female), spray (if male). The chance of contracting some infectious cat diseases will be reduced, as will the likelihood of developing mammary tumours (breast cancers), pyometra (life threatening womb infections), testicular cancer, and many other illnesses. Male cats in particular will improve in physical body condition and their urine will smell less pungent!
 

Will the cat get fat?

Neutered cats need less food after surgery, so you will need to reduce their daily food intake after they are neutered. Neutering in itself doesn’t make cats fat.