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Neutering a male cat is an excellent step to help your young man grow into a loving, well adapted household citizen. The main reason to neuter a male cat is to reduce the incidence of objectionable behaviors that are normal in the feline world but unacceptable in the human world.
Another reason to neuter a male cat has to do with the physical appearance. Cats neutered prior to puberty (most cats are neutered at approximately age 6 months) do not develop secondary sex characteristics. These include a more muscular body, thickenings around the face called shields, and spines on the penis.
The feline neuter is one of the simplest surgical procedures performed in all of veterinary medicine. The cat is fasted overnight so that anesthesia is given on an empty stomach. The scrotum is opened with a small incision and the testicles are brought out. The cords are either pulled free and tied to each other or a small suture is used to tie the cords and the testicle is cut free. The skin incision on the scrotum is small enough so as not to require stitches of any kind.
A common animal shelter practice has been to adopt a young kitten with the new owner paying a neuter deposit to be refunded when the kitten is neutered at the traditional age of six months. The problem has been that new owners do not return and young cats go unneutered. Early neutering allows for kittens to be neutered prior to adoption. There has been some controversy over this practice as it flies in the face of tradition but all research to date has shown no negative consequences to early neutering.
Some myths have been:
Some clinics support early neutering but prefer that kittens weigh at least 3 lbs so that the tissues are not too difficult to manipulate.
There is minimal recovery with this procedure. Most hospitals discharge kittens the same day as surgery. There should be no bleeding or swelling. It is a good idea not to bathe the kitten until the incisions have healed for 10 to 14 days from the time of surgery.
The folks over at VeterinaryPartner.com put together a slide show to walk you through a feline neuter. They invite you into the surgery suite to see how it's done. Be aware that these are actual surgical photographs.
Information Courtesy of Veterinary Partner
Dr. Newman & Staff:
Thank you very, very much for the excellent work you did on our Cody. He came through his surgery with flying colors. A little groggy on Monday night but he sure made up for it since. You have the most wonderful & dedicated employees we have ever met. You & your staff make it a pleasure for us to do business with you always!
Sincerely, Greg & Maria C. and Cody & Sally / Northridge, CA