Caring for the physical and mental health of a pet is the primary duty of every responsible owner. Timely cat neutering is an affordable way to make the life of your pet at home happier and more comfortable. But words like “surgery”, “surgeons” and “anesthesia” may scare any loving owner. But it is necessary to study the subject of the discussion a bit closer to make sure this procedure brings a lot of advantages.
Neutering is a way to seize cat’s sexual activity. The most common method is surgical neutering, i.e. the removal of the testes through a small incision in the scrotum. The procedure takes only a few minutes, no suturing is needed, and the cat forgets about this stressful experience on the next day.
Today, the owners can decide, whether to use local or general anesthesia. If the pet behaves calmly enough – local anesthesia is used. If the cat is aggressive or very large, it is given a sedative. Many veterinarians prefer general anesthesia, but rather for their own convenience: it takes less time to prepare the cat for neutering procedure and it’s easier to perform the operation, because the four-legged patient is sleeping.
The advisability of using general anesthesia is still questionable: local anesthetics completely block the pain, i.e. during the surgery the cat simply feels nothing. The only pain it feels is pain from the injection. However, the anesthesiologist must be experienced. If a veterinarian is trying to persuade the owner to get the operation performed under general anesthesia, most likely, they are not confident in their professional skills. So either you agree to the way of anesthesia offered by the vet, or to find another specialist able to perform neutering under local anesthetic.
Neutering at home is a way to avoid the stress associated with a trip to the clinic. Since the surgery isn’t abdominal it is possible to invite the specialist to your place. However, it is a better variant only in case the pet can’t tolerate trips to the clinic and behaves very aggressively taken away from home.
Besides testectomy there are other methods of male cats neutering:
Sterilization is the ligation or removal of the spermatic cord area. The cat is no longer able to fertilize females, however, but it retains the ability and the desire to reproduce. This procedure is useful only in rare cases, as in fact nothing will change for the domestic cat and its owner: yelling, marking the territory, sexual aggression, fights with rivals and mating with stray cats when walking will remain.
Chemical cat neutering means radiation impact on the testes that leads to the inhibition of their functions. The radiation dose is calculated for each cat individually, during the procedure the cat is protected with a special radiation-resistant apron. But it is believed that this procedure may have dangerous consequences, like changes in the tissue cells structure that lead to the tumors formation or to the development of internal organs diseases.
Medical neutering implies the drug injection, which temporary deprives the cat of fertility. This procedure has its advantages: no special preparation is required, no sutures and no anesthesia are needed. However, any drug used in this case, is harmful to the health of the pet.
At what age neutering is recommended?
There are no strict age limits. It is important that the cat was absolutely healthy, especially if the operation is performed under general anesthesia. It is advisable to have the cat neutered at the age of 6-8 months when the pet is already fully developed physically, but hasn’t come in puberty yet. Early neutering (at the age of 2-3 months) can lead to underdevelopment of the urethra and, according to some zoologists, to abnormal development of internal organs.
Neutering is quite a simple procedure that can be compared to the tooth removal. However, after the neutering some complications are possible. To avoid unpleasant consequences, you must take responsibility for the choice of the clinic and follow exactly all the recommendations of your vet.
Cardiovascular system disturbance may be the reaction to anesthesia. Mature animals and cats suffering from chronic heart disease are at risk. Such animals should undergo neutering under local anesthesia only to avoid a dangerous load on the cardiovascular system.
Inflammation may be caused by the negligence of the surgeon (e.g., as a result of using not-sterile instruments). Neutering performed without compliance with sanitary standards (for example, at home) is one of the main contributing factors. Also, the owner can also be to blame for complications due to improper or irregular wound treatment, unsanitary conditions at their place etc.
Intolerance of anesthesia is the individual reaction of the organism. Allergic animals are at risk. If the operation is performed in the clinic, the pet will receive expert help and will tolerate the procedure without complications. If you know that your pet is allergic to any drugs, it is better to find a specialist who is able to perform neutering using a local anesthetic.