One of our main aims is to encourage the neutering of all cats and kittens.  In 2022, Lea Valley Branch neutered 422 cats and kittens (224 ferals and 198 domesticated).  In 2023 we shall neuter many more. All cats (and most kittens) homed by Cats Protection will have been neutered.  Adopters of kittens that, for whatever reason, have not yet been neutered must agree to having them neutered as soon as possible.

Why Neuter?
Neutering is a safe, painless way of controlling the cat population. It also helps reduce your household costs as caring for a mother and kittens is very expensive. Although some owners try and recoup this cost by selling kittens, there are already thousands and thousands of unwanted cats and kittens, so we don’t need more! Many owners also find that kittens are harder to sell than they first thought.

Neutering benefits both male and female cats in a number of ways:
  • Males will be less inclined to fight, roam and spray thus lessening the risk of them catching diseases spread through bites. It will also make them more socially acceptable as the smell of tom cats’ spray is, to say the least, unpleasant!
  • Neutering reduces the risk of a cat being involved in a road traffic accident.
  • Females won't have to endure the painful mating process, will be less likely to contract diseases that are spread through bites or reproductive activity and, of course, there will be fewer unwanted kittens.
  • Unneutered female cats are at greater risk of developing mammary cancer.

You can download a leaflet on neutering here,or watch a short video on neutering here.

Early Neutering

Puberty usually occurs around five to eight months in cats, although it can happen as early as four months, depending on the breed.  Cats Protection recommends neutering both male and female cats from the age of four months.  Such early neutering is proven to be safe and effective (see More about neutering below).  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 between four and six months of age).  Your vet will consider each case on its own merits.

Please note: If you have any concerns about your cat’s health or behaviour, then please contact your vet as soon as possible.

Veterinary Costs

If you need to neuter your cat and cannot afford the cost, we can often help.
For cat owners in need, we can provide assistance in the form of money-off vouchers towards the veterinary cost of neutering.  Certain vets in our area will also provide free neutering under the London Cat Care & Control Consortium (C4) scheme that is funded by Cats Protection and several other charities.  For more information, please visit the C4 website or call our Local Helpline 0333 567 4746.

This is also the number to call for advice on cat care issues or what to do for a cat in need.

More about neutering:

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 the body.

Taking the cat to the vet

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. Normally, the cat will need to have been kept indoors without food for some of the night before the operation.  It will usually be admitted in the morning and be able to go home that evening. Your vet will advise.

Will it hurt the 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 to your vet.

What care will the cat need after the operation?
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 the cat benefit?
The cat will be less likely to wander, stray, call (if female) and 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!

Early neutering: is it safe for a kitten?

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.
Neutering information is available in a number of foreign languages; click here for more information.