Castration is nothing more than an operation to prevent a cat from becoming pregnant and a male from fertilization. What is castration and what are its pros and cons? When to castrate a cat?
What is castration?
Castration is a surgical procedure in which the reproductive organs of an animal are removed. In cats, it is the removal of the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus. Castration in male cats involves surgical removal of the testicles. The entire procedure is performed under anesthesia, therefore the pet should be fasted for several hours before the planned procedure. In addition, a few days before the planned operation, it is necessary to perform basic blood tests and assess the pet’s health. During the research, we should focus on performing morphology and biochemistry. In addition, we can perform an additional ultrasound of the organs if the blood tests deviate from the norm. In addition, if you have a cat breed that is prone to heart disease, it is worth examining its heart.
When to castrate a cat?
There are many supporters of neutering young cats, even those a few weeks old. When the pet reaches the age of several months, many owners decide to undergo this procedure. However, it is worth emphasizing that castration should not be performed before the cat reaches maturity! It is very important. In the case of a developing organism, the reproductive system is an important organ affecting the proper growth and development of the organism in every animal. Although the aforementioned castration procedure is a great solution for uncontrolled reproduction of cats, in the case of a young individual we should give him time. Castration should be performed after the kitten’s growth and development stage is completed.
Veterinarians often say that cats can be neutered after the first estrus and males around 4-5 months, when the testicles descend into the scrotum. However, we should not be guided by this principle. The correct action is to analyze each cat individually. And at the same time, it should be determined how long the breed has been developing, how long the parents have been developing, what condition the animal is in.
Many veterinarians assume that cats reach sexual maturity at the age of 5 to 8 months of age. However, on average, a cat takes up to two years to develop. Therefore, castration should take place at the earliest after the age of 1.5 years, and preferably after the age of two. Then we can be sure that the cat is fully developed, and castration will not adversely affect the functioning of its body and will not cause additional diseases.
The pros and cons of castration
Castration is becoming very common and recommended by all veterinarians and carers who have a cat as a family member, not intended for breeding. Castration itself is a very good way to:
- preventing unwanted pregnancies in female cats,
- preventing cyclic heats,
- unbearable meowing all day and night during estrus,
- Pyometra prevention,
- reduced risk of mammary tumors in female cats.
In males, castration contributes to:
- prevent peeing and marking areas,
- prevents going on long hikes during estrus in cats,
- reduces the risk of being bitten or hit while hiking,
- the tom doesn’t get into fights.
In the veterinary community, it is said that castration can help prevent the development of various diseases, such as testicular cancer in male cats. However, there is no general and hard data based on research that would support this thesis.
In addition, if a cat is neutered before puberty and before the end of growth, the animal may be exposed to:
- growth failure due to abnormal skeletal development, which is caused by retardation of cartilage ossification due to impaired osteoclast maturation. This is due to the lack of sex hormones. Previously neutered cats have been found to be more susceptible to bone fractures.
- inflammation of the genitourinary system (especially urethral obstruction in males),
- significant reduction in immunity,
- behavioral disorders,
- dermatological disorders.
In conclusion, neutering is a great way to prevent unwanted litters and uncontrolled reproduction of cats. In addition, it has its advantages that make life with a cat easier and protect it from threats. However, if we plan to castrate a cat, we should first consider its development and sexual maturity. It is worth waiting with the procedure until the cat is fully developed.