At what age are castrated cats? This question is asked as the owners of adult animals, and owners of kittens. There is no unequivocal answer, as the owner himself decides when to castrate the cat and whether to do the castration at all.
How many months have I castrated cats? The optimal age for castration of animals occurs immediately after the onset of puberty. Too small kittens are not recommended to undergo surgery; it is possible to castrate a kitten from 6 to 8 months. Very early castration can halt the physiological development of the animal and lead to the development of urolithiasis, and pathology of the genital organs.
It is important to remember that in small breeds of feline puberty occurs faster than in large breeds.
Still, the best age for castration of animals is 1 - 1.5 years. At this time, the cat's body is already fully formed, and the immunity has increased to the extent that it can withstand a serious operation without consequences.
To castrate a cat is better at the age of 5 years, as with a later operation there is a risk of maintaining sexual behavior. You can castrate a cat before the age of 10 years, but it is necessary to completely eliminate all possible pathologies of organs that are associated with age-related changes. When preparing for castration, an animal must be examined by a veterinarian.
It should be noted that young animals undergo surgery much more easily, they have practically no postoperative complications.
Preparing a cat for castration
The operation requires careful preparation of the animal:
- Examination by a veterinarian and delivery of the necessary tests. This is a prerequisite for the successful passage of the operation and rehabilitation without consequences. It is better to castrate cats that are completely healthy.
- It is impossible to feed the pet for 12 - 15 hours immediately before the operation. You can castrate a cat that has eaten some wet pate or porridge a few hours before the operation. At the same time access to drinking water should be open all the time.
- It is recommended to do the operation to a pet who has already been given appropriate vaccinations. This will significantly reduce the risk of postoperative complications.
- Before castration, do not bother your pet, try to provide him a calm home environment.
- If possible, bring the animal to the clinic directly at the appointed time, as long waiting in an unfamiliar place has a detrimental effect on the psyche and the general condition of the animal.
The benefits of castration
Castration has many supporters, and this is no accident. The operation has significant advantages:
- Pet behavior becomes measured, calm. The breeding instinct ceases to act, with the result that the animal does not leave a urine mark on its territory, does not scratch furniture, and does not attempt to run away from home. Uncontrolled aggression disappears, the cat does not mew at night.
- Feline health is stabilized at both the physiological and psychological levels.
- The number of homeless animals is declining. The owner does not need to worry that the offspring of his pet will inhabit the street.
- It has been scientifically proven that neutered cats live longer than their uncastrated counterparts. Diseases of the genitourinary system appear in neutered cats much less frequently than in non-castrated cats, and their course slows down.
Lack of castration
With all the many advantages, castration has its negative consequences:
- If castration was performed too early or the operation was performed on a cat already in old age, then there is a risk of developing pathologies of the urinary system. Need to castrate a cat at a certain age.
- The operation is performed under general anesthesia, which adversely affects the animal's body. Anesthesia may exacerbate certain chronic diseases.
- Complications can occur in animals if castration was performed without proper examination by a veterinarian or proper postoperative care was not observed. Bleeding, infection may occur.
- In neutered pets, the risk of developing urolithiasis increases, but it can be easily eliminated by giving the pet special food for neutered animals.
Post-operative care for a cat
Caring for a pet after castration is necessary, as negative consequences of castration of cats may occur. The animal suffers pain and is experiencing psychological discomfort.therefore, we must try to speed up the rehabilitation process:
- You can take a pet out of the clinic only after the anesthesia has passed.
- In the first 48 hours after the operation, it is not recommended to take the animal out onto the street or place it in unfamiliar places. Try to avoid drafts, harsh sounds and noise.
- If there is an opportunity, then it would be good not to leave the pet in the first day after castration alone. It can disrupt the postoperative bandage, stretch the seams, what will cause inflammation and irritation of the skin.
- Pet litter should be soft, better if it is made of natural fabrics. It will be difficult for the cat to get to the tray, so you need to change the litter several times a day.
- After the operation, the pet will be drowsy and tired, you need to give him time to rest and recover. No need to bother the cat, and without the need to pick up.
- It is not recommended to feed your pet in the first 24 hours after surgery. Access to drinking warm water should be constantly. Due to the weakness and residual effects of anesthesia, it can be difficult for a cat to stand up and walk to a cup of water; it is necessary that the bowl stand next to it.
- With the help of a veterinarian, you need to pick up specialized food for castrated animals that is right for your pet, and strictly adhere to the norm and diet.
- During the rehabilitation period, it is necessary to limit the movement of the cat on furniture, window sills and protrusions in the walls, as if the cat fails to jump or fall unsuccessfully, the cat can damage the site of the operation.
Eating Neutered Cats
After castration, the cat's diet and its frequency undergo significant changes:
- feed the animal often, but little, you should not leave a large amount of feed in its bowl,
- when gaining weight, transfer the animal to low-calorie food,
- provide free access to drinking water, it is desirable that it is warm,
- it is better to feed the animal with a special food that is designed for neutered cats,
- reduce the intake of calcium and magnesium, they contribute to the formation of stones in the urogenital system,
- regularly add to the cat's menu dairy products that improve metabolism.
It is important to remember that a veterinarian can choose the right food for a neutered cat.
Myths related to the castration of the cat
Many people do not castrate their pets, because they are at the mercy of the myths that society has imposed on them. Rumors and speculation associated with castration are actively cultivated, but have no relation to reality. Consider some of them:
Castrated cats quickly lose their activity and often become fat. This is not true. Physiological changes affecting the cat, definitely affect the work of the genitourinary system, and the lack of sex hormones affects the work of the whole organism.
But properly selected specialized food will allow to maintain the balance of intestinal microflora, will provide the neutered cat with all the useful substances and elements it needs. Thanks to proper nutrition, the activity of the animal will not changeand its weight will remain the same.
To castrate an adult cat is to denounce his life in constant suffering. Not at all. As after any operation, after the castration, a rehabilitation period is necessary. When the wounds are healed, and the stitches are removed, the cat will heal with its former active life.
A remote gland that produced hormones also removes the sexual desire of animals. Cats forever forget the craving for individuals of the opposite sex and do not experience any psychological discomfort.
The male will become aggressive. After castration, the males, on the contrary, soften their behavior, which can be aggressive due to an excess of sex hormones. Castrated cats are tender to children, do not attack relatives.
If you do not plan to participate in the breeding of animals, then the cat must be emasculated. This will avoid a number of pet's behavioral problems, keep him healthy and prolong his life. Choosing the right age, during which the castration is transferred by the cat easily and without consequences, the owner will not only provide the pet with an active and fulfilling life, but also get rid of unwanted feline offspring.
The recommended age of castration of cats.
Currently in most countries of the world it is recommended to castrate cats aged 5 - 7 months. You can castrate cats later, but then the risk that testosterone-dependent behavioral problems may develop.
The reasons for castration at 5–7 months of age are mostly related to the safety concerns of this procedure. Most veterinarians believe that at this age you can do not use general anesthesiawhich makes the operation much safer, since the liver and kidneys of small kittens are less developed than in older animals. Younger kittens can worse tolerate the effects of anesthetic drugs, less efficiently metabolize and remove them from the body. The recovery time after surgery in kittens is longer, in addition, with general anesthesia, the risk of complications increases, particularly in the liver and kidneys. Based on these considerations, to avoid general anesthesia, many veterinarians recommend castrating cats not earlier than 5 months.
Currently, however, advances in the development of anesthesia have led to the fact that its danger to kittens younger than 5-7 months is seriously doubted by many veterinarians (in other words, they consider it completely safe). The recommended age was established quite a long time ago, even in those days when anesthesia was not as safe for animals as it is now, and relied, to a large extent, on drugs, unlike modern ones, which have the risk of suppressing the cardiovascular system and increasing the load on kidneys and liver. To avoid complications, it was required that the kidneys and liver were sufficiently developed by the time of the operation. Since modern means of anesthesia are much safer than previous generation drugs, the minimum age of castration of cats in veterinary practice has decreased markedly everywhere.
Whether there is a limitations have castration at the recommended 5 - 7-month age? Yes, the same as in castration at a very early age (see below), some flaws are also present in castration at the usual (5-7 months) age:
- Some people find it inconvenient to wait up to 5-7 months,
- There is a possibility that up to seven months a cat may grow up enough to become a dad of unplanned kittens, increasing the number of stray cats,
- Owners who would like to chip the kitten under anesthesia along with castration, believe that the kitten may get lost waiting for the recommended age to be reached,
- Many behavioral problems characteristic of breeding cats may occur earlier than the kitten is 5 months old (urine spraying, aggressiveness). Such problems, having appeared, can be fixed and persist even after castration,
It should be noted that according to the sources used in the preparation of this article, the ability to produce viable sperm and, therefore, fertilize cats aged 30-36 weeks (that is, up to 7 months), is considered unlikely for cats. Cats usually reach puberty from the age of 18 months to two years. It is also uncharacteristic for cats to start marking the territory and starting fights for cats and with the aim of raising their status until they reach the age of one year (usually from 18 months to two years).
The optimal age of castration of kittens.
Kittens can be neutered already at the age of 8 - 12 weeks. By the way, it is to this age that the kittens can already be excommunicated from the cat and given to the new owner! Since modern anesthesia products have become much safer and rarely cause complications, the debate about the recommended age of castration of cats in the veterinarian environment has resumed (in 2008). Many doctors consider permissible early castration, believing that although small kittens tolerate surgery more severely than older ones, the risk of complications associated with anesthesia does not exceed the allowable one. Thus, owners can now resort to castration at the age of 8 to 9 weeks (at the same time, veterinarians choose anesthetic drugs that do not create a cardiovascular risk and a heavy load on the liver and kidneys).
The idea of early castration received strong support in 1993, when the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) announced that it supports the castration of cats aged 8-16 weeks. In Australia, due to excessive growth in the population of stray cats in many states, the law prescribes castration before the kitten reaches the age of 12 weeks. Thus, early castration is mandatory there, and owners who have not castrated a kitten before the previously recommended 5 months violate the law.
Early castration has its advantages. The obvious reasons for early castration of kittens are:
- Owners do not have to wait until the kitten is 5 - 7 months old, the kitten gets to them already neutered,
- Cats cannot have random matings, and therefore no new stray kittens will appear,
- Owners who want to chip a kitten do not have to wait a few extra months to avoid repeated anesthesia,
- Many behavioral problems characteristic of breeding cats are prevented, as the kitten is neutered before puberty (urine spraying, marking of the territory, aggressiveness to other cats),
- The duration of the operation and stay under anesthesia for a kitten is much less than for a mature animal. The operation takes only about 1 minute for a kitten at the age of 9 weeks, whereas for an adult cat - up to 5 minutes,
- Exit from anesthesia is faster, bleeding during surgery is less,
- Since the operation is carried out faster, and the consumption of drugs is less - the cost of castration is reduced,
- Routine polls early castration in shelters and nurseries eliminates the need to conclude an agreement on castration with a potential owner of a cat. The problem is that such a contract is often not respected (especially if the cat seems to be "purebred"), and such cats increase the number of useless abandoned and stray kittens,
However early castration of kittens has its drawbacks. Arguments against early castration of kittens:
Note: while the article was being written, the author (Dr. Shauna O'Meara) worked as a veterinarian at an animal shelter in Australia with a large number of pets. Since the shelter policy did not involve the use of their animals for breeding, all cats, including kittens, were necessarily neutered. Therefore, castration at the age of 8 weeks was common. Hundreds of kittens annually endured this operation before they acquired their new home, while complications directly related to castration were extremely rare.
Causes of cat castration
Opponents of the operation say that this procedure is not humane and even criminal, representing unnatural interference with natural processes, and leading to disability of a helpless creature. Some even call it a clear manifestation of egoism. Nevertheless, castration is a good way to adapt a domestic cat to atypical living conditions at home.
It is interesting! Zoopsychologists consider the castration procedure not only useful, but also necessary. The point is primarily in the physical and psychological health of the pet.
Adult individuals who have reached puberty, can spend most of their lives in battles for the territory and cats. As a result, every loss or loss of some area of the yard is a great stress for the animal. Yes, and cat fighting does not give anything useful - the animal receives damage of varying severity, and in some cases infection with infectious diseases and parasites.
The process of mating with yard cats is even more dangerous than a fight. If the female is ill, she will definitely reward the groom with this disease. And that's nothing, the cat can be cured. But what to do with the huge number of homeless kittens, which in the future will also produce as many unfortunate, useless animals doomed to die on the street from hunger, cold and infectious diseases?
What about the fact that the cat after the operation will no longer be considered the "master of the yard"? Do you think it matters to him? Hardly. Most likely, a contented cat will chase the birds around the yard, bask in the sun, and he will absolutely not care how many "brides" the neighbor Ryzhik has. Поэтому, принимая решение, не следует идти на поводу у собственных убеждений, а действовать исключительно в интересах четвероногого друга.
Плюсы и минусы кастрации
Sooner or later, each owner faces a choice - to castrate a male pet or leave it at that? In any case, there are a number of pros and cons of the operation, only after studying which, a person can make the right decision. Opponents of castration assert that it is not only selfish but also meaningless to castrate a cat living at home, because it does not have the possibility of contacting females.
Indeed, an untapped cat that lives in an apartment does not have the ability to satisfy its natural needs, therefore it usually behaves in the way that natural instincts dictate to it - “marks” everything in order to allow females to find it, scratching cabinets and sofas, thus removing irritation. At one moment, a gentle kitten just yesterday is capable of becoming nervous, angry, and also suspicious, scratching, hissing and biting on every occasion. Moreover, the punishment of an animal can only aggravate the situation.
It will also be interesting:
After the operation, the behavior of the beloved cat changes significantly - its hormonal background stabilizes, more recently, “loving”, it ceases to pay attention to the females. Not a trace remains from aggressiveness, because the feeling of chronic dissatisfaction has disappeared. The cat also loses the feeling of fear that arises earlier in the moments of shouts and punishments. Yes, and the psychological state of the owner is also improving - the disgusting smell disappears, the furniture is again safe, and the cat itself is a complete charm.
It is interesting! The next argument of the opponents of castration - it makes the animal a disabled person. As a result, the cat will become unhappy, because now it is a kind of asexual creature, driven by its full-fledged rivals, and even yesterday’s “brides” are ignored.
However, it is known that a cat, as a rule, mates with females not for the sake of obtaining some pleasure, but obeying natural instincts, that is, one can say its purpose. And from this need to continue the kind of beloved animal can be freed with the help of castration. After the procedure, he can choose whether he needs a cat or not?
And when he does it for the sake of pleasure, he will not cease to pay attention to females, because as an adult beast, operated already some time after receiving experience in satisfying its natural instincts, he remembers the purpose of cats. Such fluffy catchers live in feline nurseries, removing females from a critical state, but not fertilizing them.
The opinion of some that the cat who survived the castration will live less is also not true. Castration not only prolongs the life of an animal, but also significantly improves its quality. Stressful situations are no more, fights too, the risk of infection with all sorts of diseases is minimized, there is no aggression from the owner. Normal and hormonal background - the body produces as much testosterone as needed for a normal life. Not life, but sheer pleasure.
However, castration is an operation. Therefore, like any surgical intervention, it has its side effects:
- The use of anesthesia is a health risk, albeit a small one. By the way, the older the animal, the greater the likelihood of complications after anesthesia.
- The appearance of complications in the form of bleeding and infection. This can happen as a result of poor-quality operations. Therefore, trust your pet only to a qualified specialist.
- After castration in cats, the risk of urolithiasis increases. Therefore, it is recommended to give it a special feed and a large amount of water.
Recommended age of castration of cats
According to veterinarians, the appropriate age to perform castration is seven to nine months. The pet is already sufficiently adult. He has already begun, but the process of puberty has not yet ended. Kittens under the age of seven months should not be operated.
This can lead to the development of complications in the urinary system. In small kittens, the urinary canal is too narrow, so the smallest inflammatory process (and it is almost impossible to avoid during such an operation) can cause the formation of adhesions and the overlap of the ureter.
To prepare an animal for surgery, the desire of the owner alone is not enough. First of all, the cat must be completely healthy. In addition, he must have a normal appetite and a stool, the animal must be grafted and ingrained.
It is interesting! Twelve hours before the procedure, it should stop feeding. In some cases, the doctor offers to give a laxative. For three hours they stop giving water.
Castration (orchiectomy) - is one of the most common "cat" operations, which is the removal of the testes. This procedure is not unique and particularly difficult, but it must be carried out under sterile conditions. Castration is usually performed using general anesthesia and takes about five minutes. On the wound stitches that do not require removal. In some cases, the use of local anesthesia is permitted.
As a rule, a healthy cat after castration does not require special care. When the operation is performed in the clinic, the owner takes the animal after awakening. And when the operation was done by the visiting team in the owner’s house, the cat must sleep for a while. All this time, the animal will have to warm up, because under the influence of anesthesia the body temperature drops. After waking the cat, you need to observe its behavior.
If the cat tries to lick the wound, will have to wear a collar. It is important not to miss the right moment, because as a result of intensive wound licking the quality of the seams can be compromised. It is allowed to feed the cat only on the next day after the operation (only water can be given at the first evening), because certain drugs used in anesthesia can provoke an attack of vomiting.
Important! In addition, it is necessary to monitor the work of the digestive system of the animal and in case of problems with the chair, consult a doctor.
For some time after the operation, the cat may continue to “mark”. This is due to the fact that the level of testosterone in his body decreases gradually. Two months later, and in some cases even earlier, he stops doing this on the condition that the “tags” are only “tags” and not a way to attract the attention of the owner.
If you do not neutered domestic cat
If you do not want to castrate your pet, then get ready for such surprises:
- "Tags" with a characteristic pungent smell. Which adult cats leave everywhere - on the walls, furniture, things owner. Thus they designate their own territory. Scolding an animal is useless - this is its natural behavior.
- Screams at night. With the help of which the cat drives rivals away from their home, and at the same time informs the females of their own presence.
- Aggressive behavior. Often with the advent of puberty, a cute kitten begins to bite, hiss and scratch. This is due to the increase in testosterone production, prompting the maturing animal to lead and seize territory.
In addition, owners of untrimmed cats, releasing them on the street unaccompanied, put their pets in danger. After all, on the street:
- cars that can knock down an animal,
- mentally ill people who can harm a cat,
- scattered poisoned food,
- a huge number of infections
- swarms of evil dogs
- cat fighting for the redistribution of territory.
Variants of castration of a cat at home
Call the vet home
Three-part European anesthesia
Removal from anesthesia
PS Dropper and the introduction of hyperimmune sera completely normalizes the condition of the animal and protects it from infectious diseases for 2 weeks.
Recommended age of cat castration
Here came a small miracle to the world, and many owners immediately wonder - at what age can the cat be neutered? Often they call us at the clinic and ask:
Question: “We have a cat a week ago gave birth to kittens, out of 6 kittens 3 boys. We would like to castrate them. When can I come to the vet clinic for surgery? ”
Answer: Dear owners. The earliest age when cats can be castrated is 6 months. Before this period, castration is not allowed for the following reasons:
- The complete formation of the organs and systems of the body ends in one year, but physiologically, the body is already 6 months old.
- Before this period, the operation is not carried out, since the consequences of castration of cats will be deplorable: the urethra of the cat is not yet fully formed, and later development of urolithiasis (ICD) is possible.
- The testes may be still in the abdominal cavity or in the area of the inguinal ring, which makes it impossible to conduct castration in a standard way.
Conclusion: think, do you need castration of cats at such an early age, or will there be such deplorable consequences?
Castration of old cats
We talked about the earliest stage - castration of cats whose age is not less than 6 months, and what can be said about older cats?
Most often, castration of old cats is carried out for medical reasons: prostate hyperplasia, urinary incontinence, aggression, testicular disease, etc. Of course, the consequences of castration of cats of such old age are possible, but in order to minimize the risks, in a veterinary clinic or by calling a veterinarian at a house , a series of surveys will be conducted:
- physical examination of the animal,
- laboratory tests of blood and urine,
- chest x-ray,
- Ultrasound of internal organs
- a visit to a cardiologist may be necessary if heart murmurs are detected.
Only after the above examinations, your cat will be allowed to undergo surgery, under the careful supervision of an anesthesiologist and the guidance of an experienced surgeon.
The consequences of castration of young cats
As mentioned above, the animal's body develops and grows after birth and up to 1 year. Consider these periods of growth.
• The postnatal period is the age from 1 day to 6 months. The body intensively grows and develops, organs are formed, increase in size and begin to consistently perform their functions. If the operation is carried out during this period, the consequences of castration of the cat will be dire - the delay in the development and formation of the whole organism.
• Puberty is the age from 6 months to 1 year. The main development is completed, the first sexual characteristics, the desire to find a cat appeared, however, the body is not physiologically mature yet and continues to form. In particular, the consequences of castration of a cat at this age leads to an underdevelopment of the urethra, that is, the urinary canal. This is one of the main causes of anuria in urolithiasis (ICD).
• The period of physiological maturation is the most suitable age for castration of cats. The body is fully formed, the animal has reached the required body weight.
Let's tell how is the castration of cats
Either in the veterinary clinic, or by calling a veterinarian to castrate a cat at home, the veterinarian acts as follows:
- Initially, a clinical examination of your pet is performed, it listens to how the heart works, the purity of breath, checks the color of mucous membranes, and body temperature.
- Next, the veterinarian performs premedication, that is, drugs are injected that help the animal's body to undergo surgery more easily.
- Now the veterinarian makes an injection that puts the cat in artificial sleep, that is, anesthesia.
- Actually, the cat is castrated - a scrotum incision, an incision in the common vaginal membrane, extraction of the testes, imposition of a ligature on the spermatic cord to prevent bleeding and surgical removal of the testicle.
- Stitches - our doctors use the seamless method of castration, therefore, they do not impose stitches on the scrotum, so they also do not need to be removed.
This is actually the castration of cats.