Cat neutering is key in preventing unwanted pregnancies & reducing strays.
At Pilgrims Vets in the New Forest we recommend that your male or female kitten is neutered at 4 months of age and not let outdoors until this is done. This is before they reach sexual maturity and so there is no risk of unwanted pregnancies occurring.
Cat reproductive facts
- Some kittens are capable of reproducing soon after 4 months of age and especially during the breeding season.
- Female cats will come into season every 2-3 weeks if not pregnant, making them capable of having up to three litters every year. That could be around 18 kittens in one year!
- There is no negative effect to neutering before sexual maturity is reached and certainly the myth that cats should be allowed to have one litter before neutering is completely unfounded.
Cat neutering explained
For both sexes, the procedure is very quick. Castrating male cats involves removing both testicles and this part of the procedure takes less than 5 minutes. When spaying female cats, both ovaries are removed and often the uterus too – this takes around 15 minutes.
- Neutering male and female cats requires a short general anaesthetic given as a muscle injection, which makes them sleepy within 5 minutes.
- They are generally fully awake after 1 hour and although quiet for a few hours following, they are usually back to their lively selves by the following day.
- It is advised to keep them restricted to one room of the house for approximately 7-10 days and not let them outdoors until the wounds have healed.
- You will be given a post-op appointment with one of our nurses who will check your cat’s wound and general recovery.
Pilgrims Veterinary Practice do a lot of work locally with the Cats Protection charity, whose volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year rescuing, caring for and rehoming unwanted litters of kittens, often with treatable diseases.
We therefore know there is a real cat population issue in the Dorset and New Forest area. Please do not contribute to this by forgetting to neuter your kitten before letting them outdoors!
Benefits to neutering your cat
Besides preventing unwanted pregnancies, below are some of the other benefits of cat neutering:
- Preventing associated sexual behaviour in males (Toms) – aggression; smell and marking of territory often indoors by spraying urine; increased fighting causes injury but also spreads fatal diseases such as FeLV and feline aids (FIV).
- Preventing associated sexual behaviour in females – when in season, females will “call”. This is noisy and attracts Tom cats to your area with the associated problems (see above).
- Un-spayed female cats are susceptible to mammary cancer and infections of the uterus
At Pilgrims Vets in the New Forest, we pride ourselves on offering a Cat Friendly Service with extra provisions put in place for the comfort and wellbeing of your cat, including a Separate Cat Ward for hospitalised patients.