Castration of a cat - what is it, what is it for, pros and cons, contraindications, when is it better to do it?

One of the most requested procedures in a modern veterinary clinic is castration of a cat. It is recommended for all animals not involved in breeding for a number of reasons. Castration can be performed by different methods depending on the health of the animal.

What is cat castration?

The term “castration” comes from the Latin word castratio, which in translation means – emasculation of a cat or other male mammal. This is the name of a surgical operation or medical procedure, the purpose of which is to suppress the sexual instinct and stop the reproductive function in an animal. A cat after castration is not capable of fertilizing a female and procreating.

what is cat spaying

Why is a cat castrated?

In modern veterinary medicine, it is generally accepted that castration of a cat is a necessary operation for those pets that are not used in breeding work.

  1. Many pets almost all the time are in the same apartment or house, not being able to regularly and adequately satisfy their sexual instincts.
  2. Being in a closed room, a cat that has entered the phase of puberty and is unable to mate begins to behave aggressively. He can constantly scream heart-rendingly, mark the territory with a fetid smell, spoil things, bite and scratch household members.
  3. Castration of a cat is also carried out to that fluffy pet that is on free range. Then the animal does not fertilize stray cats, which prevents the uncontrolled reproduction of animals.

Pros and cons of cat castration

Like any other medical intervention, cat castration has pros and cons. The benefits of the operation include:

  1. Stabilization of the mental state of the animal, which is not driven by the instinct of reproduction.
  2. A castrated pet does not mark the territory, it stops “shouting”.
  3. The animal does not respond to members of the opposite sex, trying to escape through the open window, having a high risk of getting lost.
  4. Free-ranging males are less likely to get into fights with other cats, and the risk of injury is reduced.
  5. Due to anatomical features, a pet cannot develop prostatitis or prostate adenoma.

The main negative arguments include:

  1. Due to a decrease in the activity of the animal after the operation, with improper care, obesity, diseases of the cardiovascular system or urolithiasis can develop.
  2. In some cases, there are complications after surgery. Mostly due to the low qualification of the veterinarian or non-compliance with the recommendations of the owner.
  3. There are a number of contraindications for a standard operation.

Castration of a cat – contraindications

Such a procedure as castrating a cat is dangerous with general anesthesia for the following groups of animals:

  • sick and weakened;
  • the elderly;
  • suffering from cardiovascular disease and kidney disease.

If the animal is included in the indicated risk groups, then it is necessary to consult an experienced veterinarian who:

  1. Carry out the necessary studies before the appointment of the operation, for example, ECHO of the heart.
  2. Choose another method of anesthesia: gas anesthesia or epidural injection of the drug.
  3. He will advise to carry out chemical castration of the cat, which is considered a temporary measure of “turning off” the sexual function.

When is the best time to castrate a cat?

Serious controversy is caused among experts at what age it is better to castrate a cat. Most veterinarians tend to believe that the procedure is best done when the animal is between 6 and 9 months of age. This position is supported by the following arguments:

  1. Up to 6-7 months. there is an active growth and development of the animal, strengthening its body.
  2. Puberty ends at around 9 months of age. After that, sex hormones are produced not only in the testicles, and the animal already has a formed behavior model.
  3. For medical reasons, emasculation can be carried out at any age, however, the older the pet, the more dangerous anesthesia is for him.

How to prepare a cat for castration?

In some cases, special special preparation of a cat for castration is not required. Veterinarians only recommend:

  1. The day before, bring the animal for a preventive examination in order to identify possible deviations in the state of health. This may require testing or some other diagnostic procedures.
  2. 12 hours before the scheduled time of the procedure, you can not feed the animal to avoid vomiting and diarrhea from the effects of anesthesia.
  3. It is not recommended to give water to the animal 3-4 hours before the operation, because after anesthesia the cat is not able to control the emptying of the bladder for some time.

How is a cat castrated?

Responsible owners, deciding to castrate a cat, find out all the details of this process, which is considered one of the simplest and least dangerous interventions in veterinary medicine. However, the success of cat castration largely depends on the experience and qualifications of the veterinarian. In the modern world, the procedure is carried out in two ways:

  • surgical excision of the genital organs – testes;
  • subcutaneous injection of a chemical preparation, which is considered a temporary measure.

Surgical castration of a cat

Standard surgical removal of the testicles in a cat (orchiectomy) takes an average of no more than 20 minutes. The whole operation consists of the following steps:

  1. Any surgical intervention, including how cats are castrated, begins with an assessment of the general condition of the animal and its weighing. This is necessary in order to calculate the correct dose of the anesthetic drug.
  2. Then the doctor injects anesthesia: general, local, in gas form, epidural – according to indications.
  3. The operation area is being prepared: the scrotum area is treated with a disinfectant solution, the hair is plucked if necessary.
  4. On the testicles, one or two small incisions are made with a sterile scalpel, through which the testes are removed.
  5. Ligation and cutting of the spermatic cords is carried out.
  6. There is virtually no bleeding during the procedure, and the incisions are so small that they are reprocessed and even left without stitches, as they are generally not required. Injuries in a healthy animal quickly heal on their own.

Chemical castration of cats

There is also the so-called chemical castration, which is considered temporary. It is carried out for breeding individuals, when it is only necessary to remove them from breeding for a while, or for those animals for which anesthesia is contraindicated for health reasons. The whole procedure of how the chemical castration of cats takes place consists of the following steps:

  1. Consultation with a veterinarian, assessment of the health of the animal and selection of the optimal implant for subcutaneous injection. If surgical castration of a cat at home can be carried out at the request of the owner, then the installation of the implant is carried out only in the clinic.
  2. An animal is injected under the skin with a special substance that stops the production of sex hormones. Its action lasts about 1-2 years, after which the procedure must be repeated.

chemical castration of cats

Castration of a cat with cryptorchidism

Some animals have such a congenital pathology as cryptorchidism. With this phenomenon, one or both testicles of the animal do not descend into the scrotum, but are located under the skin in the groin or in the abdominal cavity. With such a pathology, the removal of the testicles in a cat is a mandatory procedure, because the testicle is in uncharacteristic temperature conditions, which greatly increases the risk of developing tumors. In addition, animals with cryptorchidism are never allowed to breed, so as not to produce diseased offspring.

Castration of a cat with cryptorchidism is somewhat different from the usual one:

  1. At the beginning, the doctor determines the localization of the testicles using palpation or ultrasound.
  2. A healthy testicle is excised in the usual way.
  3. An undescended testicle is removed from under the skin or from the abdominal cavity.
  4. The operation takes longer and costs more.

Complications of castration of a cat

It has already been said above that this operation is considered the simplest, so the risk of complications is negligible. A neutered cat will lead a normal life in 3-5 days, but you should be wary and seek veterinary help if:

  1. After the procedure, there is heavy bleeding from the wound.
  2. The cat actively licks the scrotum for the first 3-5 days, which can injure the incision site.
  3. Inflammation, abscesses and suppuration in the area of ​​incisions were noticed.
  4. A few months later, a fistula forms in the scrotum, from which a suture ligature peeks out. This is a very rare complication associated with individual intolerance to the body of animal suture material.

cat castration complications

Cat care after castration

Even after such a surgical procedure, it is important to ensure proper care during the rehabilitation period of the cat after castration:

  1. The period of deep sleep from anesthesia can last from 15 minutes. up to 2 hours. Full exit from it is from 6 hours to a day, depending on the characteristics of the organism. At this time, you need to place the animal on the floor on a warm and soft bedding in the twilight.
  2. It is better to protect access to the room for children and other animals.
  3. Under the cat, you can lay a waterproof diaper.
  4. After anesthesia, the animal does not blink for some time, which can cause dryness of the cornea. Eyes can be periodically instilled with sterile saline.
  5. On the first day, a shaky gait, lethargy and drowsiness, vomiting, and involuntary urination are possible. This is a normal reaction of the body to anesthesia.
  6. The filler is removed from the toilet or its layer is made minimal so that the particles do not enter the wound and infect it.
  7. After 4-6 hours, the animal can be offered water. In the future, the main nuance of how to care for a cat after castration is the right choice of food.
  8. With obsessive licking of the scrotum, a special collar is put on the animal.

What to feed a cat after castration?

To avoid unwanted vomiting and aspiration of vomit, it is important to know when to feed your cat after castration. Veterinarians recommend offering food no earlier than one day after surgery. The diet of the animal should be revised:

  1. When feeding with natural food, only the calorie content of the diet is slightly reduced so that the animal does not develop obesity. In the early days, it is better to give preference to meat broth, liquid porridge or yogurt.
  2. Ordinary dry food is replaced with special ones marked “for neutered cats”. They take into account the caloric content of the diet and contain additives to prevent the development of urolithiasis.

what to feed a cat after castration

Behavior of a cat after castration

It is believed that the removal of the gonads in a cat does not affect the natural character of the animal. That is, the pet remains also playful and curious or soft and docile, as it was before the operation. He ceases to be characterized only by aggressive behavior due to the production of sex hormones. Some pet owners ask veterinarians if a cat after castration can want a cat. Experts answer it as follows:

  1. In the first months after chemical castration, the animal may experience the opposite effect, due to the effect of the drug on the hypothalamus. The cat may start meowing and marking territory more actively. After 3-6 months. it passes.
  2. With a timely surgical operation up to 9 months of age, sexual desire in animals is not observed.
  3. If you castrate a cat who has already had sexual contact, he may continue to show interest in cats. This behavior is also typical when tying the spermatic cords without removing the testicles (vasectomy).