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What is the procedure?

Castration is surgical removal of the testicles. This will then prevent the cat from reproducing.

Should I get my cat castrated?

Castration is strongly recommended in male cats. Intact males are significantly more likely to roam further afield, putting them at high risk of being injured on the road. They are more likely to fight with other cats which can lead to injuries, abscesses, and the transmission of infections such as FIV (feline immunodefficiency virus).

So, what are the proven benefits?

  • Protection against unwanted pregnancies and population control.
  • Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer.

Are there any other potential benefits?

  • Increased life expectancy – neutered male cats live around 62% longer than intact male cats.
  • Reduced unwanted behaviours such as urine spraying, fighting and roaming in most cases.

When should I castrate?

Cat castration is advised to be carried out before sexual maturity, at 16 weeks of age. If your cat is already older than this it can be carried out at any time. Castration is specifically recommended in the treatment of cryptorchidism. This is where one or both testicles do not fully descend into the scrotum and one or both remain within the inguinal ring (groin) or abdomen. Undescended testicles are at an increased risk of becoming cancerous, and at an earlier age.

What are the potential complications and risks of the procedure?

Castration is one of the most common operations performed in veterinary practice. Providing the cat is in good health and aftercare protocols are followed, serious complications are rare. However, despite being a routine surgery, minor to major complications can occur and it is important that you are aware of them.

  • Scrotal swelling and bruising. This is usually self-limiting and resolves with time.
  • Bleeding. This may occur during or after the surgery. The vessels supplying the testicles are relatively small so the bleeding is usually self-limiting but may require surgical intervention.
  • Infection. If infection occurs after surgery antibiotics may be required, however the incisions are left open to drain and aseptic surgical technique is used so this is an uncommon occurrence.
  • Anaesethetic risk. Multiple measures are taken to reduce this risk and your cat will be closely monitored at all times.
  • Mild gastro-intestinal upset post surgery that is usually self-limiting.
  • Weight gainpost surgery if his diet is not adjusted appropriately.
  • It was previously thought that neutering male cats at a slightly older age reduced the risk of certain urinary problems later in life, but more recent studies have demonstrated that is not the case.

What should I expect after the procedure?

Your cat will go home the same day as the surgery. Since it is a very simple and quick procedure with rare complications, no check up is necessary unless you have any concerns.