Should I castrate my cat?

What is involved with a cat castration?

Usually your cat will need to go to the vets for a day. Your cat will need to be starved the morning of the operation so that he does not vomit under anaesthetic and risk pneumonia. Don’t worry, once they are awake after the procedure they are offered some yummy food. Under strong sedation or general anaesthetic, the testicles and surround area are clipped and cleaned to make the are sterile, this reduces the risk of infection. Two small cuts are made and both testicles are removed from the scrotal sack. It is a permanent procedure and cannot be reversed. There are no stitches that have to be removed and they recover very quickly from the operation. Your cat will generally be back to normal by the next morning. Aftercare is quite basic, mainly ensuring that they are eating and drinking normally and do not lick at the incision site. They do not need antibiotics for this procedure.

When should I castrate my cat?

When you first get your cat please ring your vet to book a health check and your vet will discussed castration with you. There are a number of important health benefits associated with early castration. Generally I recommend castration before the cat is 6 months old and before he is allowed to go outside. It can be done as early as 12 weeks old, and this is recommended by rescue centres and charities.

Why should I castrate my cat?

There are a number of benefits to castrating your cat whilst he is young and before he explores the outdoor world.

  1. Less likely to die in a road traffic accident – castrated cats are less territorial and roam less. Studies have shown that they are much less likely to get hit by vehicles.
  2. Less likely to catch infectious and potentially fatal diseases like FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) and FeLV (feline leukaemia virus)
  3. Less likely to fight and get cat bite abscesses – also means you are less likely to be woken up by the awful sounds of cats fighting in your garden
  4. Less likely to spray urine around your house as they are less territorial.
  5. Less likely to become aggressive.
  6. Control the numbers of stray cats and unwanted litters of kittens.

At my surgery in Deal we have hundreds of owners bringing their cats in each year to be castrated and most vets are very experienced at performing a castration.

My two cats Ralph and Ron

Possible complications?

  1. More likely to gain weight? This is a myth! Castrated cats will wander less and hence can be prone to weight gain and is actually caused by over feeding or feeding an inappropriate diet.
  2. Anaesthetic death – very unlikely in a healthy young male cat. The anaesthetic drug mixes we use as very safe and tailored to your cats weight. The procedure is relatively quick and they are monitored the entire way through the surgery and whilst they recover.
  3. Vomiting under aesthetic? This can happen if your cat has had access to food the morning of the surgery. If this happened they can potentially get a lung infection if some of the vomit gets into the lungs. We minimise this risk by asking you to remove any sources of food at about midnight before the surgery and make sure that you cat cannot get outside to find other sources of food. If there is any chance that your little guy has managed to grab some food then please mention it to your vets as it will be safer to delay the operation until the afternoon or to another day.


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Deal and Sandwich vet Claire


Hi, I’m Claire and I am a veterinary surgeon working in East Kent. Having grown up locally I was delighted to be able to move home and settle near Sandwich. I love all animals but I mainly treat dogs, cat and rabbits. My lifelong passion for animal healthcare has led me to start this blog in the hope that I can interest your inner animal lover and share some fascinating stories along the way. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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