Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Male Cat and Neutering / Castrating

The male usually becomes sexually mature at 11 to 12 months of age and in most cases the signs may be all too evident to the owner. The cat may begin to spray urine around the house, backing up against furniture or drapes with his tail held high and quivering, and urinating in a standing position. This behavior is a way of marking his territory. The strong male odor of the urine is supposed to invite all female cats into his den and warn other males that he “owns” the territory. The male cat’s desire to roam increases and he may be reluctant to stay in the house. He’s also likely to vocalize at odd hours – usually while you are sleeping.

Neutering, or castrating, the male cat involves the surgical removal of both testes from the scrotum. It is a simple, inexpensive procedure and presents few problems. It’s done in the veterinary hospital under a general anesthetic and the cat can usually go home the same or the next day. Most veterinarians advice that the male cat should be neutered at the age of eight to nine months.

Male cats that are not neutered will spray urine and have tendency to roam. Neutering usually reduces or eliminates these bad habits without altering the cat’s basic personality – he may even become more affectionate. It’s not true that neutered cats become fat and lazy. However, weight gain after neutering is possible if the cat is overfed, so diet control is important.

A big advantage of neutering is that it lessens the cat’s chances of getting into fights with other tomcats. These fights between male inflict a lot of bites that develop into painful abscesses.
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