If you have just got a new kitten or adult cat then you will need to have them scheduled for routine and preventive care including having them fixed if they haven't been. Our vets in Egg Harbor Township share some information about what to expect before and after neutering your male cat and what to watch for during recovery.
Neutering Your Male Cat
Approximately 3.2 million cats enter US animal shelters every year according to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
The absolute best way to help reduce the number of unwanted cats in the Egg Harbor Township area shelters is by neutering your cat.
But the benefits of neutering your cat won't stop at population control. Getting your kitten fixed could help to curb many undesirable cat behaviors and help to reduce the risk of your cat developing a number of serious health conditions.
Why We Recommend Neutering Male Cats
Cat owners may feel reluctant to have their cat fixed, especially when it comes to indoor cats. Nonetheless, there are some very good reasons why your cat should be sterilized regardless of whether they spend their time indoors or outdoors:
- May Protect Against Disease - Fixing male cats eliminate the chances of testicular cancer and lower the risk of prostate problems. Generally, sterilized cats live healthier, longer, and happier lives.
- Often Curbs Undesirable Behaviors - Sterilized cats will be less likely to roam, yowl, wail, bite, display aggressive behavior, or spray or mark their territory. Intact males often escape to find females, putting them at risk of injury or fights with other males. Roaming can also expose your cat to dangerous diseases, including feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus.
- Fight Overpopulation - There are an estimated 60 and 100 million homeless cats living in the U.S. - getting your male cat neutered can help control the cat overpopulation crisis.
- Can Be More Cost-Effective - Treating cancers of the reproductive system, caring for newborn kittens, and veterinary care for injuries sustained through cat fights can be costly. Neutering can help to reduce these costs.
- A More Contented Cat - It is believed that fixed cats live longer because they are less likely to wander away from home, become involved in road accidents and fight with other male cats.
What To Expect With Your Cat's Neutering Surgery
You are bound to feel anxious leading up to and following your cat's surgery, but knowing how to provide your cat with the care and attention they need will help your kitty get back to their regular self as quickly as possible.
After your cat's surgery, your veterinarian will provide you with detailed instructions about how to care for your kitty and recover at home. You must follow these instructions carefully. If there are any steps you are unsure about, be sure to follow up with your vet for clarification. If you return home and realize you've forgotten some aspect of your cat's aftercare, don't hesitate to call and clarify.
Getting Over the Effects of General Anesthetic
We use general anesthetics during our surgical procedures in order to render your cat unconscious and to prevent them from feeling any pain during the operation. However, it can take some time for the effects to wear off after the procedure is completed.
Effects of general anesthetic may include temporary sleepiness or shakiness on their feet. These after-effects are quite normal and should fade with rest. A temporary lack of appetite is also quite common in cats who are recovering from the effects of general anesthesia.
Recovery After Your Cat's Neutering Surgery
Typically when a male cat is neutered the testicles are removed in order to prevent the production of sperm. This means that they will no longer be able to father kittens.
Following these surgeries, your pet will need a little extra love and attention to ensure that they recover well.
It is very important to prevent your cat from licking or chewing at their incision site. Your vet may recommend an e-collar or recovery suit (surgical onesie) to block your cat from being able to reach the area.
Male cats will have two incisions, one on either side of the scrotum.
It is important to check your cat's incision site daily. There should be no sign of redness or oozing, and swelling should be minimal. In some cases, males may appear as if they still have testicles. This swelling is normal and should gradually reduce throughout the recovery period.
If you see any signs of infection contact your vet for further instructions.
Your cat will most likely have internal sutures that are absorbable, with the outer layer of skin held together with water-soluble surgical glue. Do not wash the area, or apply any ointments. Follow the post-op instructions provided by your vet.
If your cat happens to have external sutures or staples they will need to be removed at the end of the recovery period. It's a good idea to book your pet's follow-up appointment when you pick them up on surgery day.
Every cat is different and some are more energetic than others, nonetheless, as challenging as it may be it's important to limit your cat's activity for about 14 days following their surgery.
Stretching and strenuous activity could cause the wound to open, disrupting the healing process and possibly leading to infection. So, that means no running, jumping or playing and your cat should be kept inside.
Baths are also not allowed during this 14-day recovery period.
Your animal will be given general anesthesia as part of the surgical process. When your cat first comes out of surgery the after-effects of general anesthesia can leave them feeling a little nauseous and lethargic. Expect your male cat to gradually recover their normal appetite about 24 hours after surgery. Begin by offering smaller portions at first before moving to full-size meals.
If after 24 hours your cat is still lethargic or has symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, call your vet immediately.
Signs of Potential Complications
While neutering surgery is a standard and relatively safe procedure there are rare cases of complications occurring. Some symptoms that you should monitor closely are:
- Lethargy more than 24 hours post-op
- Discharge or bleeding from the incision site
- Pale gums
- Trouble urinating
- Heavy breathing, panting
- Open incision site
- Cat sitting or laying in an unusual position
- Restless behavior
- Shaking or trembling
- Constant or repeated whining
- Relentless attempts to lick or chew incision site
- Hiding or other unusual behavior
How Long Will Your Cat's Recovery Take?
Every cat is a little different and your cat's recovery time will depend upon a number of factors including their age, size, and overall health. Generally, your cat will be okay to resume their normal activities after about two weeks of recovery time. Your vet may recommend a follow-up appointment before allowing your animal to resume strenuous activity.
Be sure to follow the post-op instructions provided by your vet and contact your veterinary clinic right away if your cat is taking longer than expected to recover from their surgery.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.