What is cat castration?

Castration is the specific term to describe ‘neutering’ of a male animal.

Cat castration is a relatively simple procedure that removes the testicles. This takes away the reproductive ability of the cat and also a lot of the hormonal ‘maleness’.

image of a cat for vets now article on neutered male cat
Neutering male cats has a number of advantages

Are there advantages to neutering male cats?

Cat castration has several advantages including:

  • Removal of sexual urges makes your pet less inclined to ‘roam’ in search of females ‘on heat’
  • It can reduce or prevent certain forms of aggressiveness
  • Prevents testicular cancer
  • Reduces the risk of prostatic disease in later life
  • It can help to control hormone diseases such as tumours
  • Castrated animals are often more gentle whilst retaining their spirit and intelligence.
  • No risk of unwanted pregnancy if living in a multi sex multi-pet household
  • Can often help control ‘dominance’ behaviours

What are the disadvantages to cat castration?

Many of the so-called disadvantages of cat castration are unfounded. Owners’ concerns generally centre on the following issues:

  • A castrated cat cannot ‘father’ any future offspring
  • The risks associated with surgery/anaesthetic

However, it is worth noting that while all surgery comes with a degree of risk, this is a routine procedure and there are considerably more advantages than disadvantages to neutering male cats.

Do castrated cats put on weight?

No, animals do not ‘become fat’ because they have been neutered. Their metabolic needs are slightly reduced so the amount of food they need is slightly reduced. Providing you adjust your cats’s diet, there is no reason for them to become fat as a result of neutering

Will I see a change in my neutered male cat's behaviour?

Neutered male cats do not become ‘characterless’, dull, unintelligent after castration. However, castrated animals are often more gentle whilst retaining their spirit and intelligence.

When should I get my cat castrated?

Sexual behaviour usually develops during maturity and so neutering before this offers the most benefit from that perspective.  Once learned, these behaviours are much more difficult (but not impossible) to control.

Surgery is much simpler and therefore safer when your pet hasn’t fully developed sexually and so we usually recommend surgery while your pet is still maturing.

The exact age your pet ‘matures’ will vary depending on species and breed so it is important to speak to your vet relatively early on to ensure you don’t overshoot the ideal window.

Is cat castration possible in older cats?

It’s never too late. Although some of the advantages from ‘early castration’ are no longer applicable, there are still many benefits to neutering male cats later in life.

Is there any alternative to surgical castration?

‘Chemical’ castration involving the use of oral or injectable drugs is available but does not have the permanent effects that follow surgical castration. The use of such drugs is often accompanied by side effects and so should be discussed with your vet.

What if I want my cat to have a litter?

Most ‘stud’ animals have a proven ‘excellence’. Although everyone loves their own cat and thinks they are perfect, it is important to carefully think through why you want to breed from your cat specifically. You need to weigh up the pros and cons carefully.

Don’t forget for example; you may want a ‘replacement’ for your car but you will potentially have 6 or 7 ‘replacements’ to raise and rehome.

If things don’t go to plan, medical care can be expensive and ‘breeding’ of animals is an area not covered under most insurance policies. Will you be able to afford if this goes wrong?