Desexing is a common, routine surgical procedure that vets undertake weekly. But what actually happens when you desex a male cat?
Desexing involves the removal of your cat’s reproductive organs to prevent unwanted breeding. Desexing also ensures a better relationship and life experience between pet owners and their cats.For convenience and safety, most kittens are neutered or spayed before or around six months of age.
Here, we’ll outline the importance of desexing your cat, what to expect about the procedure, and what happens afterwards.
Why it’s important to desex your cat
One male and female cat can produce 420,000 kittens within a 7-year period. Female kittens can end up pregnant at four months old, and are able to reproduce for their entire lifespan.
It’s this level of virility that puts enormous pressure and strain on shelters, pounds and rescue organisations, and why so many unwanted cats are euthanised in Australia every year.
Male cats that aren’t desexed end up with behavioural issues driven by hormones. They have a desire to roam, looking for female cats in heat, and are aggressive – wanting to fight other cats. When given this space to roam, cats end up with injuries, illness and diseases – some of which are incurable, such as Feline AIDS.
Another huge issue is that cats that wander outside often end up causing mass destruction of Australian native wildlife. When allowed outdoors, pet cats kill 66.9 million native mammals, 79.7 million native birds and 82.9 million native reptiles every year. They can also carry nasty diseases and bacteria, which can be passed on to humans, and even passed on to native wildlife – which can be fatal.
Desexing your male cat will prevent unwanted litters, helping to ease the strain on animal shelters, and reduce behaviours that can hurt them and other animals.
Benefits of desexing your male cat
Desexing your male cat can improve his affection towards you, leading to a calmer, happier and more content cat.
They’re also likely to be safer, reducing the need to roam, get into fights, or end up with prostatic diseases or testicular cancers. Life expectancy of male cats who are desexed is also higher, which means more time with your furry companion.
Your home will be cleaner when you desex your male cat, as it’ll reduce his need to mark his territory. You should also end up getting better sleep, as desexed cats are less restless or prone to wake you in the wee hours of the night.
Before the operation
Your vet will give you a set of clear instructions to follow, and it’s important that you follow them exactly.
To prepare your furry companion for their operation, you’ll need to ensure they have an empty stomach on the day of the procedure. Remove their food and water the night before (after their evening meal) to prevent risk of vomiting or choking whilst under general anaesthetic.
Your vet will instruct you what time to bring your cat or kitten to the practice. Before the operation, the veterinary team will examine your cat thoroughly and get them ready.
Under general anaesthetic, your cat will have their hair shaved around their scrotum to ensure a clear, sterile space is possible for the procedure to take place. Once the area is prepared, the vet will make a small incision to remove the testicles, which will stop the release of sex hormones.
After the operation your cat will be closely monitored by the veterinary team as they awaken from anaesthetic. You’ll then receive a call when it is safe for you to bring your cat home.
Although the procedure is safe and routine, your cat may stay groggy from the anaesthetic when they come home. Male cats and kittens are resilient and should be behaving normally within two days, but restricting vigorous exercise is important – you don’t want their stitches to come out by accident!
Pain management can be discussed with your vet, should your cat require it. It’s also important to keep their elizabethan collar (or cone) around their neck to prevent unwanted issues with their stitches.
Stitches will need to come out within 7-10 days of the operation, which your vet will advise accordingly and arrange your follow-up appointment as needed.
The highly experienced team at Matraville Veterinary Practice are here to support you and your cat in every stage of their life’s journey. If you’ve got questions around desexing we’re here to help – simply call our team and book an appointment with one of our friendly staff members today.