Neutering Cats

Spaying and neutering is beneficial not only because it promotes feline health, but also because it makes cat care significantly easier. While spaying refers to the process of removing the female cat”s ovaries, neutering is the sterilization of male cats. Neither procedure has side effects.

Aside from preventing cats from yowling and spraying urine while in heat, spaying and neutering helps with the severe overpopulation problem. One of the major health benefits associated with spaying and neutering is a lower risk for certain diseases and cancers.

Neutering a male cat has many benefits.Behavioral Changes

Many people shy away from spaying and neutering because they believe that the surgery will affect their feline”s personality and behaviors. However, this superstition is unfounded. In truth, the primary behavioral change they exhibit after being spayed or neutered is that they stop going into heat and/or seeking out partners. Aside from this, some owners report that spaying or neutering will calm their cat down, making them mellower.


Females go through messy heat cycles, can become pregnant and are at risk for a number of diseases if they are not spayed. Although many believe that cats are better off being spayed after delivering one litter of kittens, spaying is, in fact, most beneficial when done early on in a cat”s life. Ideally, owners should try to have their female kittens spayed before heat cycles even begin.


Spaying females, a process that involves removing the ovaries and uterus, eliminates the possibility of pregnancy and heat cycles. In addition, cats are no longer at risk for mammary tumors or pyometra (a life-threatening infection of the uterus) after being spayed.


As with females, males should be neutered as kittens. Not only will male kittens recover faster from the surgery than older cats, but the surgery is also far less complicated at a young age.

Facts About Neutering

Some of the benefits of neutering male cats include:

  • a cessation of spraying
  • a lower risk for feline diseases, such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
  • a reduced urge to fight
  • a reduced urge to wander or escape to look for a mate.

For a long time, it was widely believed that neutering male cats put them more at risk for urethral problems because the process would constrict the diameter of the urethra. However, male cats have the same urethral diameter before and after surgery. Although males are more likely to suffer from urethral problems than female cats, this problem is not created or enhanced by neutering.


Castration is just another name for neutering a male cat. During the castration surgery, a vet removes the male cat”s testes. The process can be performed when a kitten is as young as six weeks old.

When to Neuter

Neutered Male CatMost authorities believe that cats should be neutered or spayed as early as possible. Kittens can go through the procedure starting at about six weeks of age. Because kittens have less layers of fat to cut through, they suffer less trauma, have a faster recovery time and are at less risk during the procedure than older cats.

Kittens also come out of anesthesia more quickly and return to their normal behavior faster. The older a cat is when being neutered, the more chance there is of complications.

Similarly, because overweight cats are at a higher risk of suffering from surgery-related complications, neutering kittens before they potentially suffer weight problems ensures a smoother surgery.

If you are debating whether or not to get your cat spayed or neutered, keep in mind that millions of cats are euthanized every year because of overpopulation. If you aren”t a professional breeder, seriously consider preventing your cat from getting pregnant or having him impregnate a female, as this tends to add to number of cats currently at shelters.

Humane societies offer information on low-cost spaying and neutering, making it easy for owners to get their cats this beneficial procedure.

Related Cat Sites

More on the Benefits of Cat Neutering

Spay/Neuter Program