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Cat Neutering FAQs

Nervous about your cat being neutered? We have put together a definitive list of FAQs when it comes to neutering your cat.

 
  • What are the major benefits of all neutering?
  • From what age can we neuter?
  • What are the risks?
  • Should they have a litter before neutering?
  • Can I spay my cat if they are already pregnant?
  • Can it change their behaviour?
  • Will their be a wound?
  • Can cats have a lap spay?
  • Are the testes always removed?
  • What is the latest they can be fed prior to surgery?
  • Is my cat still fertile for a while after being neutered?
  • Do they have to be vaccinated to be neutered?
  • Do you do neutering at the weekends?
  • How long will my pet be in the hospital for?
  • Why do they need to be admitted so early?
  • Can they eat normally afterwards?
  • Will they put on weight after neutering?
  • Will my pet need to wear a buster collar afterwards?
  • Are disolvable stitches used?
  • The wound - should it be flat post operation? what if there is a lump?
  • What if my cat suffers vomiting and diarrhoea on Loxicom? Is there an alternative pain killer?
  • Do they NEED a post op check especially if they had disolvable stitches?
  • What are normal expected after effects? things to look out for if needed an earlier recheck?

What are the major benefits of all neutering?

The major benifits of neutering is to prevent unwanted litters.  It also prevents the inconvenience and upset of seasons in female bitches and cats.  There are many heath benifits including prevention of certain tumours ie mammary, uterine or testicular, and prevention of uterine infections.

From what age can we neuter?

We neuter from 4 months in both males and females.

There is no upper age limit for neutering but the risks of a general anaesthetic do increase as animals get older due to potential underlying problems, but it is advised on each individual case as there are risks in un neutered older animals ie pyometra, testicular tumour.

What are the risks?

There is always a risk with a general anaesthetic but your pets will be given a full health check on the day of admission and they will be fully monitored throughout the procedure by our qualified nurses.  We have all the latest monitoring equipment very similar to human hospitals that check oxygen levels, ECG and blood pressure to name a few. 

With any surgical procedures there is a risk of bleeding and infection but this is closely monitored and all our surgeons are experienced.

Should they have a litter before neutering?

There is no need for them to have a litter before neutering. There is no physical or mental advantages for a cat having a litter prior to spaying.  It is one of the common myths that they should. 

Can I spay my cat if they are already pregnant?

Spaying whilst pregnant in all species comes with a higher risk due to an increased blood supply to the uterus so this would really be done on a case basis after discussion with the owner.

Can it change their behaviour?

Tom cats neutering can reduce the risk of roaming, urine spraying and aggression.  

Females neutering will stop the cats coming into heat so will eliminate the behaviours associated with this i.e. excessive vocalisation, rolling and even roaming to find a mate

Will their be a wound?

Yes - we usually spay cats via an incision on their flank (left side). We can also spay them midline – this is usually of benefit if they are pregnant or for colour point cats whwere their fur may naturally grow back a darker colour.

Male cats will have a small incision over each testicle.

Can cats have a lap spay?

There is questionable benifit in performing a lap spay in cats due to the size of the incisions that are made in laproscopic surgery being similar to conventional surgery.

Are the testes always removed?

Yes the testes are always removed in a castration as we want to eliminate the affects of testostrone (male hormone) as well as making them sterile.

What is the latest they can be fed prior to surgery?

We usually recommend starving from about 10pm the night prior to surgery but they can have access to fresh water through the night.

Is my cat still fertile for a while after being neutered?

Males – males of all species can remain fertile for up to 6 weeks post castration

Females – females will no longer be able to have litters as soon as they have been spayed

Do they have to be vaccinated to be neutered?

It is advisable that cats are vaccinated when they come into be neutered as they will be in a hospital enviroment and vaccinations help prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Do you do neutering at the weekends?

We do not do routine surgeries i.e. neutering at the weekends as we have a reduced number of staff available and we need to be able to deal with any emergency cases. Neutering procedures are carried out Monday to Friday at our main hospital and at our local practices.

How long will my pet be in the hospital for?

All neutering's are carried out as day cases.  They are usually admitted from 7.30 to 9am on the day of the surgery and they are usually ready for discharge after 3.30pm.  Once back in the recovery ward after their surgery you will receive a call from our nursing team or vets to advise that the procedure has been completed and confirm your discharge time. 

Why do they need to be admitted so early?

We like to have our patients admitted before 9am to give them time to settle in the kennel prior to their procedure and also to allow time for their pre med to take affect prior to surgery.  It also enables us to plan the procedures that are in for the day when we know they have all been admitted.

Can they eat normally afterwards?

We would normally recommend a recovery or intestinal diet after surgery.  These tend to be palatable to encourage them to eat, bland as not to upset their gastrointestinal system which can be a little sensitive after an anaesthetic and contains the right nutrition to aid healing.

Will they put on weight after neutering?

It is a myth that pets will put on weight after neutering.  They will have a reduced energy requirement making them more prone to weight gain but this is easily managed by having them on the correct diet and regular exercise. Neutered diets are available to compensate for this.

Will my pet need to wear a buster collar afterwards?

This does depend on how much they lick at the wound.  We like to keep licking at a minimum to prevent post-operative infections.  There are other options available to the traditional plastic collar such as medical shirts and inflatable collars

Are disolvable stitches used?

In female cats we will usually use all internal dissolvable stitches but we still advise that they come in for a post op check to ensure that the wound has healed.  Male cats do not require sutures but again a post op check is advised

The wound - should it be flat post operation? what if there is a lump?

The wound should be flat post surgery although there can be some minor swelling, we would always recommend a check of the wound if any change is noted after discharge.

What if my cat suffers vomiting and diarrhoea on Loxicom? Is there an alternative pain killer?

It would normally be recommended that loxicom is stopped if there is any signs of vomiting or diarrhoea. There are alternative pain killers available if your cat still seems in discomfort. A consult or talking to a vet would be recommended.

Do they NEED a post op check especially if they had disolvable stitches?

The post op check is for assessing the wound not just removing stitches so we do advise a check even if there are no stitches to remove.  This is to enable to assess that the wound has healed and advise owners on their dpgs return to exercise

What are normal expected after effects? things to look out for if needed an earlier recheck?

It would normally be expected for them to be a little quite for a few days post general anesthetic but should be more or less back to normal withing 24-48 hours.  Things to look out for would be any swelling, redness or discharge from the wound, excessive licking, not wanting to eat or drink, not passing urine or faeces, vomiting or diarrhoea. If a client phones and they are worried its often best to speak to a vet or nurse or possibly book them an appointment