You have a new cat and have decided to get it neutered. You’ve gone through one mating season with him and all the spraying and trying to escape the house every time the door opened. Once was enough! What you’re wondering now is how long will it take for your cat’s behavior to change.
According to veterinarians, it takes four to six weeks for you to see a behavior change in your cat after neutering.
Neutering will change at least some of your cat’s bad behavior during mating seasons.
What is Neutering?
Neutering means performing surgery on a cat to make it impossible for them to reproduce. For males, the veterinarian removes the testicles. The procedure is called spaying for females, and the ovaries and uterus are removed.
What Are Some Behaviors That Neutering Can Change?
In male cats, mating behaviors are caused by the hormone testosterone. Testosterone is produced in the testicles, removed in the neutering process. No testicles, no testosterone, less problematic behavior. Notice the word “less.” Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that all bad behavior will stop, but it should be reduced if nothing else. Here’s a list of some behaviors that neutering can help reduce or eliminate.
|Aggression. Unneutered male cats are especially aggressive around other cats as they will fight for territory or female cats. Neutering eliminates this need, resulting in less aggression.
|ocalizing: Even normally quiet female cats can scream down the house when they’re in heat. Neutering can quiet them down.
|Spraying. About 85% of male cats stop spraying after neutering.
|Scratching and Chewing. Cats are frustrated when they have the urge to mate but can’t. They might work that frustration out on your furniture, carpets, or curtains.
|Roaming. Male cats wander far and wide in search of female cats to mate with. Neutering reduces this problem by about 90%.
|Roaming. Females like to roam, too. They are amazingly fast and able to slip through the smallest gap in the door when they’re determined to get out.
|Grooming. Your cat may become more interested in grooming and will stink less because of a change in the smell of their urine.
|Spraying. Did you know that female cats can also spray urine? It’s not as typical in females, but it can happen. Like males, most of them will stop after being neutered.
|Disease or Injury. Diseases such as feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus are transmitted from one cat to another and can be deadly. Also your cat could be injured in a fight with other cats.
|Grooming. Female cats may groom themselves excessively, especially their genital area while in heat. Grooming too much can cause hair loss and an increase in hair balls.
Why Should I Neuter My Cat?
Living with an unneutered cat can be miserable. It’s just not fun with the constant darting for the door, spraying, yowling, and potential damage to your household contents.
Male cats are always ready to mate, but female cats go into heat about every 14 to 21 days, lasting about 5-7 days. Your female will be in heat at least once a month, and they make a terrible noise that nothing prepares you for if you’ve never heard it. Get ready for some sleepless nights.
Intact males will spray urine to mark their territory. If you have a male cat, your house is his territory. He’ll want to mark it. A male’s spraying has been likened to a skunk being set loose in your house. Imagine having that stench in your home all the time. It’s hard to get rid of it once it’s there.
Aside from all that, after neutering, your cat will be more comfortable, quieter, calmer, not as likely to run out the door, get in fights, or catch a disease from another cat.
When Should I Neuter My Cat?
Do it when your cat is young. Cats mature at 5-8 months, and some breeds mature even earlier. Most veterinarians recommend you neuter your cat at four months to prevent them from becoming reproductively mature. Once the cat reaches sexual maturity, some of the destructive behaviors you’re trying to avoid may still be a problem after the procedure.
How Much Does Neutering Cost?
Having a private veterinarian perform the procedure normally costs between $200-$400. However, there are low-cost programs in every state. In some areas, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) provides the service for free to those who qualify. Cats adopted from rescue organizations are often neutered before being placed for adoption.
What Can I Expect After My Cat Is Neutered?
The recovery period is 5-7 days for male cats and 10-14 days for females. Cats generally react more to anesthetics and pain relievers than to pain itself. However, complications can arise from any surgery, so keep an eye on your cat, and if you notice any of the dangerous side effects listed below, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Mild Side Effects
- Sleeping more than normal
- Walking gingerly
- Less jumping
- Reduced appetite
- Looking “zoned out” because of medication
These side effects are normal and nothing to be concerned about unless they go on for longer than a day or two.These side effects are normal and nothing to be concerned about unless they go on for longer than a day or two.
Dangerous Side Effects
- Any time
- Redness or odor around sutures
- After the first 12 hours
- Extreme Lethargy
- After the first day
- Walking with a hunched back
- Lack of appetite
- Not urinating
How Do I Care For My Cat After Neutering?
Neutering is harder on female cats than males as her surgery is much more invasive. However, all cats need some recovery time.
- Keep them calm, and don’t let them run and jump.
- Keep them inside so you can check the cat for any complications.
- Keep them isolated if you have other pets to keep them from being bothered by friends who want to play.
- Check the surgery area at least once a day. Look for redness, swelling, weeping, or bleeding.
- Use a recovery collar, aka “cone of shame,” to keep them from licking and biting at the incision.
- Follow your veterinarian’s instructions for aftercare and make an appointment for a follow-up visit.
- Give your cat extra attention.
Can My Cat Use the Litter Box After Neutering?
Yes, but litter can get stuck to the incision, so use torn-up newspaper for the first 24 hours.
Okay, one last question:
Is There Any Reason To Not Neuter My Cat?
Unless the cat is purebred, and you’re going to breed them, and you know for sure that the kittens will get homes, the answer is no. There is absolutely no reason not to neuter your cat.
On top of all the other benefits of neutering your cat, the process will help your cat live longer. Neutered males live about 62% longer than intact males. Females live about 39% longer than unspayed females. And who doesn’t want that?
Your cat will live a longer, healthier, and less stressful life if you get him or her neutered.
My name is James, and welcome to FAQCats!
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