Do cats change personality after being neutered?
5 good reasons to neuter your cat
World Spay Day has been set up to remind pet lovers everywhere about the importance of neutering – which is particularly pertinent when it comes to cats. Leading feline welfare charities stress that getting your cat neutered before they can breed is an essential part of responsible cat ownership.
This year, World Spay Day falls on 28 February. This international event is supported by nine of the UK’s animal welfare charities – The Blue Cross, Battersea, Cats Protection, Celia Hammond Animal Trust, International Cat Care, Mayhew, PDSA, RSPCA, SSPCA and Wood Green, who all know a thing or two about the very best ways to care for our beloved pet cats.
If you haven’t got around to neutering your favourite feline yet, here are some essential things you need to know about the benefits that this simple operation can bring. Plus, find out how your cat’s needs will change once they’re neutered and what you can do to help.
- Neutering prevents unwanted litters
Cats Protection makes no bones about the problems unexpected kittens can bring, stating: “While having a huge number of kittens might sound like fun, recent research has shown that 70% of kitten litters in the UK are unplanned. That’s a lot of kittens needing care, attention and homes – something that can be difficult to prepare for. To avoid more unwanted cats in the UK, our advice is simple. If you can, book your cat in for neutering at four months old.”
With their independent lifestyles, accidental pregnancy is a big risk. Incredibly, one unneutered female cat can be responsible for 20,000 descendants in just five years.
Cats Protection adds: “A cat can quite easily have up to three litters a year with five or six kittens in each. That adds up to 18 caring homes for Cats Protection to find each year, just for one cat’s kittens. This level of breeding is very draining and can be harmful for the mother cat.”
And, contrary to popular belief, it’s not beneficial for a cat to have a season or ‘just one litter’ before being spayed. What’s more, neutered cats do not ‘miss’ their organs or opportunities to reproduce or rear a litter.
- Neutering protects your cat from serious diseases
Cats Protection advises: “Neutering is one of the kindest things you can do for your cat and helps protect them against picking up nasty diseases and some cancers.”
Blue Cross says, that for male cats: “Neutering reduces their chance of catching feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), an incurable disease similar to HIV in humans which is spread by saliva usually from bite wounds during fights.”
When it comes to female cats Blue Cross states: “Spaying cats, especially if it’s done when they’re young, greatly reduces the risk of them getting breast cancer and infection of the womb (called pyometra). Both of these can be fatal.”
- Neutering deters your cat from getting into fights
Neutering won’t change your cat’s personality – but it may mean some rather less desirable behaviours are quietened down. Blue Cross advises: “Some people worry that their cat’s personality will change. This isn’t true but you might see a fall in certain behaviour – roaming, mounting, or fighting.”
This could be music to your ears if your fearless feline has emerged through the cat flap sporting a torn ear and several battle scars. Cats Protection says: “Male cats that have been neutered are less likely to end up injured from fighting or stray from home.”
- Neutering means less spraying around your house
No matter how much you love them, having a cat who likes to spray your curtains and your couch can test the limits of your devotion. However, male cats that have been neutered are much less likely to spray smelly urine in the house as a way of marking their scent to appeal to potential female mates, which is a big plus for all desperate male cat owners!
- Worried about the cost of neutering? You may be able to get help
The cost of a neutering operation varies depending on the vet practice that you use. However, the average cost to get a male cat neutered is around £40 to £80 and the average cost for neutering a female cat is around £50 to £100.
If the cost is putting you off, there are schemes that can help.
- Cats Protection may be able to help through its means-tested neutering scheme. For more information, you can call the charity’s neutering helpline on 03000 12 12 12(Mon-Fri, 9.30am to 1pm).
- Also check with yourlocal RSPCA to see if you are eligible for low-cost vet care, including neutering, as well as PDSA and Blue Cross.
Did you know that neutering means that your cat’s nutritional needs can change?
While neutering has many benefits, it does mean a cat’s needs can change. Your feline friend will require fewer calories, as his or her body has less work to do. In fact, just 48 hours after neutering cats need an estimated 20% fewer calories.
Neutered cats are also more likely to have urinary tract infections and it increases the likelihood of hairballs.
Burgess Pet Care’s in-house vet, Dr Suzanne Moyes, advises: “It’s a good idea to regularly monitor your cat’s weight and switch to a diet specially created for neutered cats to prevent them from becoming overweight and to help with other changes.”
EXPERT NUTRITION FOR NEUTERED CATS
Burgess Pet Care has undertaken detailed nutrition research – along with all-important taste tests – and have created an advanced, high protein recipe that contains the essential nutrients and vitamins that your neutered cat needs to help them stay healthy and content. Suitable to feed from the age when a cat is neutered, award-winning Burgess Neutered Cat is:
- High in tasty and digestible meat protein to help maintain lean muscle mass
- Contains *added L-Carnitine to help weight maintenance
- Formulated to support a healthy urinary system
- Contains a specialist ingredient to help teeth and gum health
- The fibre in our recipe helps to prevent hairballs
- Added yucca extract helps to reduce litter tray odours and helps with stool formation
Dr Moyes adds: “At Burgess, we believe this recipe containing a whole host of beneficial ingredients – including L-carnitine to promote the use of fat stores for energy and to help preserve muscle mass – will help support the health and wellbeing of neutered cats of all ages.”
The proof is in the eating – so why not try Burgess Neutered Cat with your neutered cat?
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At Burgess, all our cat food is made using premium ingredients and is high in protein, to ensure excellent quality and superior taste to help keep your cat happy and healthy – from kitten, to adult and mature and our award-winning variety for neutered cats.
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Expected changes in cat behavior after spaying or neutering
Cat behavior can change dramatically after spaying or neutering surgery . There are plenty of reasons to spay or neuter your cat ; an ability to avoid pregnancy and to control the population of unwanted pets are the most obvious ones. At the same time, for house cat owners, maybe the most valuable are the changes in their pet’s behavior .
Regardless of your cat’s gender, most pets become less active, friendlier, want to play more and tolerate handling better. However, the most noticeable behavior changes happen in male cats. This is because most of their sexual behaviors are initiated by testosterone. What’s that? Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily in your male cats testes. Once your cat loses his testes, the testosterone level also drops.
Table of contents
- Do cats get nicer after neutering?
- Female cat behavior after spaying
- How to avoid unwanted kittens
- When can I spay or neuter my cat?
Do cats get nicer after neutering?
So, after neutering your male cat, you may see a decrease in sexually related behaviors. For example, urine marking (spraying), aggression towards other male cats and wanting to wander the neighborhood. Since urine marking is the most disliked behavior by male cat owners, most of them neuter their pets exclusively for this reason.
In some cases, a male cat may still spray after the surgery. Likely explanation is that the spraying has become a habit or that his hormones need more time to downregulate. While, in the latter case, the solution is to wait a little more, the first one requires additional training. You can learn more about why cats still spray after surgery here.
Female cat behavior after spaying
Female cats also show significant behavior changes after spaying. The biggest thing is that they stop coming into heat. This reduces most of the behaviors associated with the heat cycle. For example, after spaying cat behavior like excessive vocalization, being overly affectionate, and roaming behaviors stop. Spayed cats won’t be looking for a mate. Her focus on reproduction will disappear as her hormones won’t be driving her behavior.
Many a pet owner use hormone therapy to stop their unspayed cats from coming in heat. However, if if you intend to medicate your cat on a long run, we highly recommend spaying instead. The reason is that there are are potential adverse effects of hormone therapy. The benefits of the spay surgery go beyond the changes like reduced or eliminated aggressive behavior. She will be less likely to have ovarian tissue issues, breast cancer, and a uterine infection. She will also likely live longer.
You’ll want to monitor your cat behavior after spaying. That’s because the cat spaying surgery itself can be a confusing experience for a kitten or young cat. Your spayed cat will likely bounce back to normal after a few days with love and care. Your cat may be a bit guarded after her surgery which is a common behavior change. This should pass as she heals.
How to avoid unwanted kittens
Not only does neutering and spaying reduce unwanted behavior in our pets, it also has a side benefit. That’s right, you won’t have an unwanted litter. Yes, the main reason for neuter surgery and spaying surgery is to diminish aggressive behaviors shown by both genders. But not having unwanted cats is a good thing. The Human Society and other animal shelters are overrun with cats and dogs. By spaying and neutering your cats, even if you have an indoor cat, it’s better for them. These surgeries make your cats act less like sexually driven beings. It’s not your cat’s fault, their hormones drive them crazy when they reach sexual maturity.
When we have a patient that is a new cat owner, we consult with them on spaying or neutering their kitten. Often, they can’t decide whether to get a male or a female cat. We consult with them on the safety of the surgery, post operative care, and the benefits to their pet. This surgery is very common and it is not a do or die decision. Unless they plan on breeding their cat, we cannot recommend spaying or neutering their cat. Most of our patients owners do spay or neuter their pet.
In any case, it is a good idea to spay or neuter your pet cat. Especially if you are not planning to breed them. The benefits of the procedure way outweigh the risks. Besides, changes in the behavior after spaying or neutering a cat are dramatic.
When can I spay or neuter my cat?
Generally, we spay or neuter most pet cats at around the five to six month of age range. Often we will wait to spay a female cat until after her first heat. The best advice is to consult with your veterinarian when on your first visit with your new kitten. Your veterinarian will examine your cat. They can walk you through the surgical procedure, incision post operative care, and how to care for their skin stitches.
For example, your neutered cat will have his testes removed so keeping him from licking the area can be accomplished with a cone. Your female cat will have an incision which will you’ll want to keep her away from as well.
In the long run, your cat will be healthier and happier after being spayed or neutered. And a happy pet is what we are all after right?