Surgical sterilization, or neutering, of your cat is a responsible decision for any cat owner. It is important to reduce the soaring pet population, reduce the number of homeless pets, and protect your cat’s health. Male cats are surgically castrated, while female cats are surgically spayed (ovariohysterectomy). Consider the following facts:
- Neutering reduces the risk of cancer in older pets. Spaying female cats before a heat cycle or pregnancy virtually eliminates the risk of breast cancer which, left untreated, can be fatal in up to 80% of cases. It also eliminates ovarian or uterine cancer. Castration of male cats prevents testicular cancer.
- Spaying eliminates life-threatening uterine infections.
- Spaying eliminates future heat cycles which are annoying and may cause your cat to roam. Male cats are typically attracted to a house that has a female in season.
- Castration of your male cat markedly reduces his tendency to roam thereby reducing his chance of injury from cars, fights with other cats or dogs, or from protective homeowners.
- Castration at a young age decreases or eliminates urine marking/spraying behavior in male cats.
Don’t let the myths about neutering your cat dissuade you from this important decision. The procedure will not lead to obesity or laziness. Those conditions are brought on by the consumption of too many calories and having too little exercise. There is no benefit to allowing your cat to have a first heat cycle or pregnancy before neutering. In fact, it’s medically beneficial (see above) to spay your cat prior to a heat cycle or mating. There is also no scientific support for waiting for sexual maturity in order to reduce the likelihood of urinary problems in male or female cats.
We recommend that neutering be done in the age range of 4-5 months. This provides the optimum size and age for a safe and easy procedure and rapid recovery. If desired, surgical declawing procedures may be done at the same time as neutering so the number of anesthetic procedures is minimized.