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Spaying and neutering guide for cats

Saarrah Mussa
Written by  Saarrah Mussa
5 min read
Updated: 09 Apr 2024

One of the most important thing you need to do to take care of your cat is to get it neutered. It is a simple operation that can aid your cats health in many ways and can also help your insurance costs.

What is cat neutering? 

Cat neutering is also known as spaying for females and castration for males. It is a routine surgery performed by vets to prevent breeding. The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and is often followed by post-surgery pain medication.  

Castration: For male cats the process of neutering includes removing the testicles through a small incision. Stitches are not usually required and the healing time is usually between 5-7 days.  

Spaying: Spaying is the neutering process for female cats. It is a more complex surgery procedure than castration. During a spaying procedure, the vet will remove the ovaries and the uterus through the abdomen. Since the incision will be slightly bigger for females, stitches are typically used to close the incision. Females may take a little longer to fully recover, this is usually around 7-1o days.  


Benefits of neutering your cat 

There are many benefits to neutering your cat. Including the following:  

Unwanted litters 

Neutering your cat, first and foremost, prevents any unwanted litters, therefore alleviating any financial burdens more kittens can bring. Neutering also helps control the pet car population and reduces the number of homeless/ stray cats.  

Reduced health risks 

Neutering can significantly reduce the risk of certain diseases, for example, testicular cancer and prostate cancer in males. Neutering also helps prevent uterine infections and cancers in female cats.  

Better behaviour  

Unneutered cats, particularly males, often tend to exhibit some aggressive behaviours including fighting other cats. Neutering can significantly reduce or even eliminate those types of behaviours, making your cat a lot calmer.  

Cheaper insurance premiums 

Neutering your cat is one factor that will help reduce the price of your cat insurance premiums. Other factors such as keeping up with your pet’s vaccinations and microchipping your pet can also aid in lowering premiums. 

Neutering your cat is important to controlling breeding and it can control the behaviour of your cat to be more manageable. There are however cases in which neutering your cat may not be the best solution for your cat. This is usually the case if your kitten is too young, or you have a show cat, or if your cat is an indoor cat. Always be sure to go to a licenced veterinary practice for all your pet’s care needs.  

Risks associated with neutering  

With all surgical procedures, there is always a small risk of complicated, potential risks include:  

Anaesthetic complications: While there is a small risk associated with the surgery itself, there is a slight risk, while uncommon, that your car can have an adverse reaction to the anaesthetic.  

Post-op infection: This is also another risk that is quite rare, but the incision on the wound site can get infected. This can be controlled and treated with antibiotics.  

When to spay or neuter a cat  

It is often recommended that cats are neutered after they have completed their primary vaccinations, this is often around 4-5 months old. You can get your cat neutered even if it is older that the recommended age.  

Cost of neutering a cat  

The cost of neutering your cat will depend on a few factors. The average cost of neutering your female cat in the UK is £120. However, this price will vary based on various factors.  

The biggest factor is your cat's gender, this will affect the price the most. Where you live, your chosen practice and the type of procedure you opt for will also affect the cost.  

Preparing and caring for your cat post-neutering  

It is important that you make sure your cat is calm and warm and ensure there is a light meal available nearby. Don’t be concerned it they don’t eat it, it is normal for your cat to feel a little off, the first couple of days. It is very important to ensure they have easy access to water constantly as well as their litter tray. Rest is vital after the procedure.  

Post neutering concerns  

If your cat is not eating or drinking 24 hours after the surgery, you need to call your vet. Other concerns to look out for are any vomiting or diarrhoea or any swelling and discharge around the wound area.  

Financial help with neutering your cat  

Cats Protection can help you afford neutering and microchipping your cat. They offer a low-cost neutering and microchipping program for just £10 if you meet one of these criteria:  

  • You receive certain means-tested benefits  

  • Your household income is less than £25,000  

  • You are a full-time student living away from home 

Visit the Cats Protection website to learn more about these programs and find a participating vet clinic near you.    

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