My vet has mentioned neutering – what does it mean?
Neutering is the general term used to describe surgically removing some of the reproductive organs of your cat.
But what is the point, isn’t it harmful?
Neutering your cat will remove their sexual urges, obviously prevent pregnancy and have many health benefits. As with any surgery, there are risks associated with it. That said, the procedures are some of the most common veterinary surgeries performed today, and as such, are very familiar to the profession. This helps to minimise the risks and enables your vet to spot any potential complications rapidly. It is important you have confidence in your vet so discuss the procedure with them until you are comfortable with the process.
When should I do it?
Neutering is usually done at a young age. Traditionally, this is to maximise the perceived benefits, especially behaviourally. However, there is still much to be gained from neutering pets that are older than this. Talk through the options with your vet as they will be best able to advise you on your situation.
I’m not sure I want to do it, are there other options?
There are very few situations in which not neutering is the better option. However, if you have specific reasons for either waiting a while or not neutering at all then discuss this with your vet. They may be able to put your mind at rest or discuss a plan for the future.
Unlike for dogs, there are not really any products currently available to ‘chemically control’ your cat’s reproductive cycles, although there are hormone injections for semi controlling the oestrus cycle in queens.
What if I change my mind?
Apart from the chemical methods, neutering is a permanent process. Once it has been done there is no going back! Make sure you have thought through things carefully before committing to the procedure.
How much is it?
Every practice will differ slightly in their pricing so it is difficult to give you real numbers. In general though, castration is a quicker and simpler procedure than speying and so will usually carry a cheaper price tag and a quicker recovery time.
Please note: this advice is not a substitute for a proper consultation with a vet and is only intended as a guide. Please contact your local veterinary practice for advice or treatment immediately if you are worried about your pet’s health - even if they are closed, they will always have an out of hours service available. Find out more about what to do in an out of hours emergency.