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Male Cat Before & After Neutering: Behavior & Recovery

Male Cat After Neutering at Picayune Veterinary Clinic

By having your cat fixed you can not only prevent unwanted kittens but also prevent health conditions and other issues. Here, our vets in Picayune talk about the importance of bringing your male cat in for neutering, what to expect during recovery after surgery and how it affects their behavior.

What to Expect From Your Male Cat & Their Behavior After Neutering

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 Picayune 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 many serious health conditions.

Why We Recommend Neutering Male Cats

Cat owners may feel reluctant to have their cats 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 reduce the risk of disease: Fixing male cats eliminates the chances of testicular cancer and lowers 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.
  • Combat overpopulation: An estimated 60 and 100 million homeless cats are living in the U.S. - getting your male cat neutered can help control the cat overpopulation crisis.
  • Can be cost-effective in the long run: 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.
  • Your cat may be more content: 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 happens to your male cat before and after 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 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

After your male cat's neutering surgery, recovery care can include the following:

Monitoring the Incision

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.

Checking the Sutures

Your cat will most likely have internal absorbable sutures, 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.

Restrict Your Cat's Activity

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.

Return to Normal Feeding Slowly

Your animal will be given general anesthesia as part of the surgical process. After a male cat has neutering surgery, the most common side effects are from general anesthesia. This 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, contact your vet immediately.

Signs of Complications After Male Cat Neutering Surgery

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
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble urinating
  • Heavy breathing, panting
  • Open incision site
  • Cat sitting or lying 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 does it take a male cat to recover from neutering surgery?

Every cat is a little different and your cat's recovery time will depend upon several 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.

Has your cat reached the ideal age for neutering surgery? Contact our veterinary team in Picayune to schedule an appointment today.

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