What is neutering?

Neutering or ’spaying’ a female animal involves removing the womb and ovaries (an ovaro-hysterectomy). Males are castrated – the testicles are removed. Both operations are straightforward – they are carried out under general anaesthetic and they recover quickly.

When should a cat be neutered?

Cat neutering should be carried out as early as possible in order to avoid unwanted litters. Most cats are sexually mature at six months, but some cats can become pregnant as early as five months. The ideal age to neuter your cat is between five and six months. Your vet will be able to offer you further advice on when to neuter your cat.

Will my pet behave differently afterwards?

Possibly, but most owners think any changes are for the better. Unneutered male cats can be great wanderers and fighters which can lead to injury and infected wounds. Tomcats also mark their territory by urinating – this is called ’spraying’. The smell is difficult to eliminate.

A female cat in season also has great powers of attraction – legions of cat-calling suitors will come in search of her attention. An unneutered female cat can have three pregnancies a year and five or six kittens per litter.

Will neutering make my cat fat?

No. A neutered animal may not need as much food as before and you should keep an eye on what you are giving it. There are also diets available for the neutered cat.

Is it best to let my pet have one litter first?

No, this is a myth. There is no good reason for letting a cat produce a litter and the normal health risks associated with birth and pregnancy can actually be harmful.

How much will neutering cost?

This is a matter that you must discuss with your veterinary surgeon. Cost depends on the size of the animal and whether it is male or female. As a rough guide, in the UK cats can cost between £45 and £65.

Feline Welfare run a special neutering / spaying scheme on the Isle of Wight. We help low income families to have their cats or kittens neutered / spayed which includes microchipping. All this is done at very affordable prices. This scheme has a knock on effect of controlling numbers on the Isle of Wight and that in turn helps reduce the cruelty figures in our area, which is beneficial to all concerned.

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