Cats reach sexual maturity between the age of 5 and 8 months and are then capable of breeding. Neutering means castration in a male (removal of the testes) and spaying in a female (removal of the ovaries and uterus).This prevents unwanted pregnancy and undesirable behavioural patterns such as urine spraying. Neutered cats also live more harmoniously with each other and humans. They tend to wander off less and are not as aggressive.
We generally advise neutering (spaying or castration) from 18 weeks of age.
Spaying a Female
Once sexually mature a female will come into season every 3 weeks. They can be very noisy and often appear agitated.They will also be very attractive to tom cats who may try to get into the house! Spaying prevents this unwanted behaviour and unplanned pregnancies. Spayed females will not suffer from diseases of the uterus and ovaries in later life, and the risk of mammary (breast) cancer is markedly reduced.
The spaying operation involves a general anaesthetic and the surgical removal of both ovaries and the uterus through a tiny incision made on the flank of the cat. We will ask you not to feed your pet from 8pm the night before the operation, to ensure that there is no food in the stomach when the anaesthetic is given. Your cat will be able to return home the same day. There will be dissolvable sutures under the skin that will require a check by one of our nurses after 7-10 days. Some fur will be shaved off on the flank where the incision was made and possibly also on one or both forelegs where anaesthetic injections were given.
Castrating a male
Entire male cats have a tendency to roam, be aggressive to other males, fight and mark their territory by spraying urine. Aggressive behaviour puts them at a higher risk of catching infections such as FIV (feline AIDS), FeLV (feline leukaemia virus) and cat bite abscesses.
Castration involves removing both testes under general anaesthetic through small incisions in the scrotum. We will ask you not to feed your cat from 8pm the night before the operation, to ensure that there is no food in the stomach when the anaesthetic is given. Cats can go home the same day. The skin incisions are so small that sutures are not required.
Post-operative care (both sexes)
Cats recover from the neutering operation remarkably quickly.They may be drowsy for a few hours as the sedative and anaesthetic drugs wear off. A small bland meal can be offered in the evening. We can supply a suitable recovery food for your cat .We advise
It is important to remember that once a cat has been neutered, there is a stronger tendency to become overweight. This is due to the hormones and the more relaxed lifestyle a neutered cat usually leads, as well as their metabolic rate being reduced by about a third. You may need to adjust the amount of food you provide after the operation. Remember that it is easier to prevent your cat becoming obese than to put them on a diet later! If you are concerned your cat is gaining weight please make an appointment for a free weight check.
Our vets and nurses provide a 24 hour emergency service from our Bicester Veterinary Hospital.