Facts About Neutering
What is neutering?
It is a surgical procedure performed under general anaesthetic and involves the removal of the reproductive organs. In female cats this is the removal of the entire reproductive tract (uterus and ovaries); in males the testicles are removed.
Is neutering dangerous for the cat?
Neutering is one of the most common surgical procedures performed by vets. The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic and the animals are usually fully recovered in a few days.
Why should cats be neutered?
Neutering helps to reduce the number of unwanted cats and kittens. It makes cats safer, healthier and happier. The male cats are less likely to wander or get into fights with other cats and so less likely to get bitten and infected with diseases such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or the leukaemia virus (FeLV).
At what age should my cat be neutered?
A kitten should be neutered at or after it is five months old. This applies to both male and female kittens.
Should female cats have kittens before being neutered?
No. It is better for them not to have a litter before being neutered. A kitten should be neutered at the latest five months, this applies to both male and female kittens
Does neutering make cats fat?
No. Lack of exercise and overeating cause weight problems in cats.
GCWS Policy on Neutering Pregnant Cats
It is the policy of GCWS to neuter pregnant cats unless it is the opinion of the veterinary surgeon operating that to do so would pose an unacceptable risk to the animal’s life.
Whist is it not ideal to neuter pregnant cats, and most charities will do so reluctantly, the reality is that when dealing with stray populations it is not practicable to wait for animals to give birth before being neutered. Cats can become pregnant again within a few weeks of giving birth, and there is no guarantee that they could be recaptured before falling pregnant again, so most charities will prefer to neuter them as and when they can be trapped. Given the size of many stray populations, delaying neutering only adds to the numbers, making the charity’s work even harder. In any case, it is often not possible to tell if a cat is pregnant until it has been anaesthetised, by which time it would be unfair to let them recover, release them and go through the stress if being caught and anesthetised again later. Sadly kittens that are born to feral cats often fail to thrive because they are living under such poor circumstances, and for this reason most charities will take the decision that on balance it is better to spay the mother knowing that the kittens are already anaesthetised and will feel no more pain. This is not an easy decision for charities to make, but it is only by bringing stray populations under control that they can ensure the animals under their care will have a chance to live happy and healthy lives.
The risk of anaesthetising and operating on a pregnant cat is not significantly greater than on a non-pregnant one, and cats generally recover quickly after surgery, but the veterinary surgeon will always use their clinical judgement if the animal’s health is compromised in any way.
Please neuter your cats to save them suffering