WHY SHOULD MALE CATS BE CASTRATED?
Entire male cats. or toms develop many characteristics which make them difficult to keep as pets. These include a much greater tendency then females or neutered males to spray urine around their territorv (tom cat urine has a particularly pungent smell) and a desire to establish large territories and to defend them very aggressively against other cats. This means that tom cats are
likely to roam away from home for several days at a time and to get involved regularly in fights with other cats. This not only means that your tom cat is likely to keep getting abscesses from fight wounds, but is likely to make you somewhat unpopular with neighbouring owners whose cats arc getting beaten up by your tom. All cats, male or female, neutered or entire, may fight to defend their territory but the problem is much greater with entire tom cats. AT WHAT AGE SHOULD A MALE CAT BE CASTRATED?
The operation can be carried out at any age, but it is usually recommended at about five to six months. The cat will have matured somewhat, but is unlikely to he old enough to have developed antisocial habits.
WILL HIS NATURE CHANGE AFTER CASTRATION?
Your cat will obviously not develop the appearance and behaviour of a tom cat, but neutering should not cause any change in his character as you have come to know him. Since neutered male cats are not as preoccupied about defending their territory as toms, they may become somewhat lazy and prone to put on weight.
However, the vast majority of male cats kept as pets are neutered, and make very satisfactory companions.
ARE THERE ANY POSSIBLE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH NEUTERING?
Yes. Since both spaying a female and castrating a male cat must involve the administration of a general anaesthetic some risk exists. Complications due to a problem with the anaesthetic,
bleeding directly after surgery or to secondary infection following recovery from the operation can arise. WhiIe anyone putting their pet through an operation should be aware that there are risks, it must be stressed that routine surgery on a heaIthy
young cat is very safe and that problems are fortunately very rare indeed. It is probably true to say that the normal risks to the health of a cat simply by going through a pregnancy are greater than the surgical risks of spaying.
Modern anaesthetics and surgical techniques make the spaying operation safe and trouble-free. The incision may be on the flank, or the midline, but is generally very small, and heals rapidly, Most cats behave as if nothing had happened within a couple of days of the operation, and after about a week the stitches are ready for removal and the hair is already beginning to regrow.
SHOULD I ALLOW HER TO HAVE ONE L1TFER BEFORE SHE IS SPAYED?
If you want your cat to have a litter of kittens for the experience or because you want to keep one of her offspring, then all well and good. However, it will make no long-term difference to your cat whether she has one litter or is spayed before she begins to call, so dont do it for her sake.
Shall I HAVE MY CAT TATTOOED FOR IDENTIFICATION?
If possible. Tattooing is permanent form of identification which can very easily be carried out while your cat is anaesthetized for neutering . In the cat the numbers are most commonly tattooed on the ear.
WILL A SPAYED CAT STILL HAVE SEASONS?
Not normally. The ovaries are removed together with the uterus at the time of spaying, and this usually prevents her from calling. However, some spayed females do show signs of (ailing at certain times of the year, although they are usually very muted. This is likely to be due to other tissues in the body producing small amounts of female hormones.
WHAT CARE WILL MY CAT NEED AFFER SPAYING?
You will take your cat home on the same day as the operation if all is well. Follow the directions given to you when the cat is discharged and do not hesitate to telephone the vet if you are concerned. Most cats are sleepy for the first 24 hours or so after surgery, but some seem to recover remarkably quickly. Others may remain a little sleepy for a few days. Check the wound once or twice a day and contact your veterinarian if it becomes inflamed or swollen or starts to discharge. Most cats will lick at their stitches after surgery, but fortunately only a few succeed in pulling them out.