Desexing of cats is a routine procedure carried out on a daily basis at the clinic. Cats stay with us for the day and go home the same afternoon. Below is some information about desexing. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to call us and ask.
Advantages of Desexing
- Preventing Unwanted Pregnancies
- Breeding can be very stressful and expensive, especially if the female ends up needing an emergency caesarean section (surgery) or if the kittens are unwell.
- It can often be hard to find good homes for kittens - there is a large influx of kittens born every year.
- Pregnancy and kitten rearing can be physically difficult for some females, especially young ones.
- Female cats can become pregnant again almost immediately after giving birth so they can produce a huge number of kittens every year.
- Prevent cancer
- Females: uterine, ovarian and mammary cancers can be prevented by early desexing.
- Males: prevents testicular tumours.
- Prevent problematic sexual behaviours
- Females: early desexing prevents sexual behaviours associated with coming on heat such as vocalising and “presenting”.
- Males: early desexing can help reduce aggression, problem urination and roaming to find on heat females.
- Prevent other diseases
- Females: desexing removes the risk of a pyometra, which is a life threatening uterine infection, generally requiring emergency surgery.
- Males: desexing tends to reduce roaming and fighting behaviours which in turn can reduce problems such as wounds and infections from bites/scratches.
Potential Disadvantages of Desexing
- Both females and males can put on weight more easily once desexed, so it is a good idea to cut their feed by about 1/5th - the advantage of this is you will save money on cat food!
- Desexed cats may grow slightly taller than non-desexed cats.
What Age Should I Get My Cat Desexed?
We routinely desex kittens once they weigh over 1 kilogram, or are at least 10-12 weeks of age. Kittens of this age recover quickly from the anaesthetic and procedure, and the benefits of desexing are greater if we desex them early. Cats that have been used for breeding should be desexed as soon as they are no longer being used for breeding.
What is Involved in the Desexing Surgery?
Females: Surgery involves opening the abdomen and removing the ovaries and uterus. The wound is then closed in multiple layers of stitches.
Surgery for females is more complex so it requires a longer anaesthetic and longer surgery time, however, most cats are back to normal within 24 hours of surgery. Free wound checks are available post-surgery and stitches are removed 10-14 days after surgery.
Males: The skin of the scrotum is opened over each testicle and then they are tied off and surgically removed. The wound is then left open to drain any resulting fluid. There are no stitches to be removed. A free wound check is available after surgery.
Desexing offers multiple health benefits. Aim for around 3-4 months of age.