Neutering, or orchiectomy in medical terms, is probably the most common surgical method performed for sterilization of male cats. The procedure is referred to as spaying in the context of female cats. For all cat breeds, neutering is a wise step towards making a more obedient pet with less objectionable or aggressive behavior. However, similar to any surgical procedure, there are both, pros and cons of cat neutering, which pet owners should be aware of, before they consider it for their pets.
Cat Neutering: An Overview
In the present scenario, you will find a majority of the rescue groups and animal centers insisting pet owners to get their cats neutered or spayed before they enter puberty or attain sexual maturity. It is because of this increasing interest in cat neutering that there are very few homeless or unwanted kittens.
In cat neutering, the testicles or reproductive organs of the male cat are removed permanently. As a preparation step, the cat is allowed to fast overnight prior to the surgery. During the fasting period, it can be given water. On the day of surgery, even water is restricted. This pre-surgery fast is essential to minimize the risk of aspiration (or vomiting) during the neutering procedure.
Once in the veterinary clinic, the vet may consider screening the cat and performing blood work for any health conditions. If everything goes well, then the cat is given general anesthesia and positioned on its back or side. A small incision is made on the scrotal area after disinfecting and shaving the fur. Following this, the scrotum is opened and the testicles are exposed. The vas deferens or cords are tied together to minimize bleeding and the testicles are excised.
The incision site is relatively very small and thus, it doesn't require stitching. The vet may spray antibiotics at the cut scrotal portion to avoid infection. Immediately after the procedure, the cat may feel nauseated, and vomit. These symptoms are quite normal and will subside gradually. In order to minimize post surgery pain symptoms, pain killers are administered. During the neutering recovery period, the incision or suture site should be kept clean. Also, you need to ensure that you feed your pet frequently in small servings.
Neutering doesn't just minimize pregnancy risk and overpopulation, but also helps in several other aspects. For instance, a neutered cat hardly roams, fights, or leaves urine markings. Also, with neutering, your cat will remain healthy with minimal medical problems, like scrotum cancer and prostate cancer. According to veterinarians, neutered cats make healthier pets than their un-neutered counterparts.
Cat neutering complications are negligible; of which the most obvious negative effect is that it won't be able to reproduce henceforth. Also, it is non-reversible, meaning if you have your cat neutered, the procedure cannot be reversed. Another side effect is the increased risk of becoming overweight. As you can see, the benefits of this procedure far outweigh its side effects.
Cat neutering is mostly conducted when the pet cat turns 4 - 6 months old (before puberty). By doing so, you can prevent development of secondary sex characteristics. If performed after puberty, the cat will still develop a muscular body, facial shields, and spines in the penis. On an average, the cost is about USD 60 - 70. If budget is the main issue, you can do a little research and gather information regarding veterinary clinics that conduct fixing at a minimal cost, as low as USD 15 - 25 per surgery.