Desexing or neutering your pet is a surgical procedure that prevents them from being able to reproduce.
In males the procedure is called ‘castration’ – we remove the testicles and the spermatic cord so that your cat cannot father any offspring. Castration also removes the risk of testicular cancer. The testicles are the main producer of the hormone testosterone, which can influence behaviour. By removing them, the level of testosterone in the blood is reduced, which should lower the chance of your pet straying and spraying.
In females the procedure is called ‘spaying’. We remove the ovaries and the womb (the uterus) so the female can’t produce any eggs, come into season or become pregnant. The ovaries are the main producer of the hormone oestrogen – removing them results in more docile behaviour and a reduced chance of straying. Spaying also removes the risk of:
- Ovarian cancer, as well as reducing the risk of mammary (breast) cancer later on in life
- Pyometra – a serious infection of the womb
Both spaying and castration are routine procedures and we carry out hundreds of them every year. Most cats go home the same day and we then see females two to three days later to ensure that the incision is healing well.
The most common age to desex your cat is between 5 and 6 months, however they are never too old to be desexed.
There are many benefits to desexing your cat before 6 months. They include:
- Preventing unwanted litters, which can be very costly, and may add to the already overwhelming number of stray animals that are put down each year
- Prevention of testicular cancer and prostate disease in males, and it can help prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus) and mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females
- Stopping the “heat” cycle in females
- Decreasing aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males
- Being less prone to wander, especially in males
- Living a longer and healthier life
- Reduction of council registration fees