Critter Culture
Clarifying the Facts About Cat Neutering

Clarifying the Facts About Cat Neutering

Critter Culture Staff



Neutering is a fairly common surgical procedure that removes the testicles, preventing reproduction. For cats, it's pretty popular, but there are quite a number of ugly myths associated with this surgery.

Some cat owners are hesitant about getting their pets neutered due to several misconceptions believed to be true. Before making a decision, you need to learn what's what. It's important to distinguish fact from fiction when understanding all that neutering entails.


It's a minor procedure

cat with a Veterinarian YourNikonMan / Getty Images

FACT. Neutering an animal is a minor procedure in this day and age. Your pet can be in and out of the office on the same day. Recovery times are fast, and your cat will experience minimal discomfort. Though they may be a little groggy and not behave normally for a few days, this will pass.


Since it's simple, the cat will recover without issue

cat laying on the bed Ksenia Valyavina / Getty Images

FICTION. The key word here is "will." It's rare for any problems to arise during or after this standard operation. Yes, the cat is anesthetized, but even this is pretty low-risk. The most harm from neutering usually happens once the patient is at home, but nothing is guaranteed.

Licking the incisions is something you'll need to prevent your cat from doing. Also, keep the surgical site clean at all times, paying particular attention to litter box use. Even a tiny grain can cause an infection.


My kitty will gain weight

cat eating Ksenia Valyavina / Getty Images

FACT. If you have your ball of fuzz neutered, their metabolism may experience a slight decrease. As a responsible pet owner, this is where you have to take charge. Electing to feed your cat a high-quality diet with portion control will help keep off the pounds. So will reserving a little daily playtime for exercise and bonding purposes.

Post-op, you can expect your kitty to be somewhat sluggish. This is normal. Don't force your little one to do anything beyond their physical means. Instead, gradually work with them to build up strength. They may not have an overwhelming appetite at this time, so don't initially worry about weight gain.


The cat won't be as playful

Person Playing With the Cat Using Cat Toy miniseries / Getty Images

FICTION. Neutering an animal has nothing to do with its inclination to play. This is based purely on the pet's personality, physical limits, and abilities. If you have a lazy cat pre-surgery, you'll have a lazy cat post-surgery. The same rings true if you have an active kitty.

Naturally, immediately following the procedure, your buddy will need some downtime. This is essential and shouldn't be any sort of cause for alarm. Within a few weeks, your cat will be back to normal.


Bad behavior is less likely to occur after surgery

cat Westend61 / Getty Images

FACT. Overall, the likelihood of a cat refraining from certain unacceptable behaviors increases when neutered. Without high testosterone levels, an animal is less apt to act aggressively. Plus, males won't be spraying in inappropriate places to mark their territory.

That being said, if your cat has some learned bad habits, they won't magically disappear once neutered. The pet's individual history, physiology, and personality all have an influence on behavior, too.


Neutering is unhealthy

cat at home Kilito Chan / Getty Images

FICTION. Once the surgery is over, and your cat heals, chances are they'll live a longer, happier, and healthier life. Eliminating the testicles also eliminates the chance for testicular cancer or other reproductive-related afflictions. Additionally, it will help reduce the likelihood of your feline developing any prostate issues.


It costs a lot to neuter a cat

Vet examining cat in veterinary consulting room with cat's owner Monty Rakusen / Getty Images

FACT. No matter the type, medical procedures aren't cheap. This includes neutering, though there are many options available. Shelters, rescues, vets, and animal hospitals all recognize the importance of neutering felines. They'll go above and beyond to ensure you can afford this surgery.

Low-cost clinics and databases to find these places are readily available. Some vets offer reduced pricing, too. The internet is a valuable resource for finding budget-friendly choices. And if you don't have any of these alternatives nearby, many veterinarians and hospitals will take payments, so you won't have to incur the entire cost at once.


It's cheaper to own an intact cat

British short hair cat sits on a wicker stool and licks her back paw Carlos G. Lopez / Getty Images

FICTION. Of course, it costs money to neuter a cat. But in the long run, it's actually cheaper than owning a fully-intact feline. Aside from the increased medical issues you and your furry friend will face, think about the added costs of an unplanned litter of kittens. Kittens will require food, supplies, litter, and additional boxes; the volume of vet bills and medication will multiply.


Shelters are filled with unwanted felines

Two cats in cat shelter gilaxia / Getty Images

FACT. Sadly, there are more than 70 million stray cats in America alone. Some live on the streets, while others wind up in shelters. Due to low adoption rates, many of these animals end up being euthanized.

This overcrowding is all due to irresponsible pet ownership. Even if your cat lives alone indoors, there's still the chance of an escape resulting in an unwanted conception, especially if there's a female in heat nearby. Neutering prevents accidents like this from happening. The higher the number of neutered animals, the lower the number of shelter cases there will be.


Purebreds shouldn't be neutered

vet and cat elenaleonova / Getty Images

FICTION. About one-fourth of all pets in shelters are purebred. If you're not a dedicated and devoted animal breeder, neutering a pedigree kitty has no bearing on their worth.

Being responsible is a large portion of your job as a cat owner. Deciding to get your little buddy neutered will go a long way in decreasing shelter overpopulation. Do your part to benefit felines by reducing pet homelessness.


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