It is extremely important to neuter your cat to protect its health and to help with population control.
Females or Queens:
A female cat from 6 months of age can have 1-2 litters a year on year, of 2-6 or more kittens. This is quite wearing on the mum, and can affect her health; never mind getting good homes for all those kittens (and their kittens….and so on…). Although most cats go through pregnancy and birth well, this is not without risk. In addition, they are could develop a womb infection, and then surgery is needed to sort this as it can be fatal. Usually, we spey them at 4-6 months of age.
Males or Tomcats:
They are fertile from a little younger. In order to find a mate they can eventually wander up to 5 miles, which means crossing many main roads and fighting through other cats’ territories, with all the risks involved. Fighting also puts them at higher risk of catching diseases such as the Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) and the Feline Aids- like virus (FIV). Tomcats tend to start spraying very smelly urine, so they may not be so pleasant to have in the house. Moreover, obviously, they can be the father of many kittens. Usually we castrate them at 4-6 months of age.
For some breeds such as British Blue and colour point cats, e.g. Siamese, we may recommend a slightly older age or a different op site. Please talk to your vet. 608 Pet Health for Life members and those with Kitten Packages will benefit from their special rates. Have a look!
What is involved in the operations?
Telephone your local surgery to arrange a date for the operation. You will need to withhold food from midnight the previous evening, but leave water down until 8am.
Pre-op check: We need to be sure that your cat is fit and well to have a general anaesthetic. In addition, it can be difficult to determine the sex of a kitten when they are veury small, so we like to recheck this on the day. This check-up is done on either the day, at the same time as a previous vaccination or examination, or at an appointment (usually) on the operation day.
After admittance that morning (you will be given the time when you book), your cat will be given a pre-med injection which is a combination of pain-relief and sedation, so they can settle down and relax. The operation will take place under a general anaesthetic. Tomcats have their testicles removed, and no stitches are needed. Female cats have their ovaries and uterus (womb) removed, and do have stitches – usually on their left hand side. The cats are closely monitored during the operation and on recovery, making sure they remain warm and comfortable. Once recovered, we send them home with additional painkillers for the next few days.
Micro chipping: Neutering is an ideal time to microchip your cat whilst asleep.
After an operation
At home, they need to be kept indoors, and given a light meal such as fish or chicken, or a ‘recovery food’ that you can purchase from the surgeries. A few days later, they will have a post-op check. Our nurses remove any stitches about 10-14 days from their operation. In the meanwhile, they must remain indoors: boys – until their post op check; girls – until their stitches are removed.
You will be given all this information when they go home. If you have any worries, you can contact any of our surgeries. At night-time, you should ring the main Solihull surgery on 0121 705 3044.
It is important that they do not interfere with their wounds, nor have too much space to run around. Link to post op wound protection.
Long term: their metabolic rate will go down by up to 30%, so you will need to watch their weight.
In time, moving to a life stage diet that is made for neutered adults is a good idea and helps to avoid excess weight, obesity and the problems this can bring.