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Male Cat Before & After Neutering: Behavior & Recovery

Neutering, or castration, is a common procedure for male cats that involves the removal of their testicles. This surgery not only helps in controlling the cat population but also offers numerous health and behavioral benefits. Understanding what to expect before and after neutering can help cat owners effectively prepare and care for their pets.

Neutering Your Male Cat

Many cat owners have to decide whether to get their cats neutered. Your veterinarian can help you make this important decision. Neutering involves removing a male cat's testicles, which produce most of their testosterone. Testosterone controls a male cat's sexual behavior, including roaming in search of females, aggression towards other males, and spraying (territory marking). Neutering your male cat can prevent or minimize these behaviors and prevent the birth of unwanted kittens and several serious health conditions.

Male Cat Behavior After & Before Neutering 

Neutering your male cat helps to stop or limit undesirable behaviors associated with testosterone (sexual behaviors). These changes can occur immediately or several weeks after the procedure. Your cat's age, breed, or environment typically does not significantly affect these changes.

By reducing or eliminating your cat's desire to roam, the risk of them being in wandering-related accidents decreases. Neutering also reduces their chances of being scratched or bitten by other cats, which can put them at risk of contracting illnesses because their aggression towards male cats is lowered.

Neutering may also reduce your cat's desire to spray to mark his territory. However, this behavior may not be eliminated entirely, as cats also do this when nervous. You will notice that the urine smell is less intense in neutered cats.

There are also many misconceptions regarding the behavioral effects neutering has on cats. Neutering will not make your cat lazy or fat if you provide your furry friend with a healthy diet and enough exercise. However, neutering does slow your male cat's metabolism slightly, so you may need to reduce the number of calories you feed them and provide them with extra playtime.

Any behaviors unrelated to hormonal influences, including your cat's ability to hunt, will not be affected.

Male Cats Recovery After Neutering

It's normal for male cats to experience side effects from the anesthesia and procedure after being neutered, such as lethargy, nausea, vomiting, and discomfort. Therefore, following your vet's post-operative care instructions carefully is important so your cat can recover as safely and quickly as possible. 

When you first bring your kitty home, keep it in a dark, quiet room. Your cat's eyes may be sensitive due to the protective ointment your vet may place on them (so they don't dry out). Cats can sometimes be aggressive due to discomfort, so we recommend keeping other people and pets away from your furry friend during this time. 

Other precautions you will need to implement to help your cat recover smoothly include:

  • During the first 24 hours, give your cat a small amount of water to sip on and only a quarter or half portion of their food to limit vomiting.
  • Keep a clean litter box close to their resting area so they don't need to walk far to relieve themselves.
  • For the first week, use shredded paper instead of kitty litter to prevent dust and dirt from getting stuck in the incision site.
  • Don't let your cat run, jump, climb stairs, or go outside for seven days after their procedure because it could slow their healing. We recommend keeping them in a crate or secure room during this time.

If your cat is still vomiting, lethargic, having diarrhea, or its appetite isn't returning after 48 hours, call your vet immediately or bring it to the closest emergency veterinarian.

How long does it take a male cat to recover from neutering? 

Typically, a male cat will recover from neutering within five to seven days. However, complete healing of the incision site may take up to two weeks. During this time, continue to monitor their behavior and the incision site to ensure a smooth recovery.

What To Watch for Aftering Neutering Your Cat

It's normal for cats to experience side effects after being neutered, such as lethargy, lack of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. If these symptoms persist after 48 hours, contacting your vet is important. Additionally, your cat may have difficulty urinating or defecating normally for the first 24 to 48 hours following the procedure. If this continues for 72 hours, seek veterinary care.

Monitoring your cat's incision site for any signs of excessive bleeding is essential. A small amount of blood around the incision site within the first 24 hours is normal, but if bleeding persists beyond this time frame, contact your vet.

Neutered cats typically experience discomfort and pain for about 36 hours after the procedure. Your vet will administer long-lasting pain medications as an injection to manage your cat's pain. If your cat needs additional pain medication at home, consult your vet. Do not administer human pain medications or any other medications without consulting your vet first, as they can be toxic to cats and lead to serious health complications or even death.

Finally, contact your vet immediately if you notice any of the following signs in your cat after being neutered:

  • The incision site has reopened
  • Pus or discharge coming from the incision site
  • Your cat hasn't urinated in 24 hours
  • Refusing to eat
  • Swelling or redness at the incision site

Neutering is a beneficial procedure for male cats that can lead to a calmer and healthier pet. Cat owners can ensure their furry friends are well taken care of by understanding the changes in behavior and knowing what to expect during the recovery process. 

Always follow your veterinarian's advice, and don't hesitate to contact them if you have any concerns about your cat's recovery.

By staying informed and prepared, you can make your pet's neutering experience as smooth and positive as possible.

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.

Contact our Chino Hills vets today to schedule your cat's neuter procedure or to determine if your cat is exhibiting any complications after being neutered.

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