All You Need To Know About Neutering

Neutering really is best for your cat.
Unless you have bought a breeding cat, neutering is the best thing you can do to help your kitten enjoy life to the full. Why? Because not only will you avoid the worry of unwanted pregnancy in female cats, but also a male cat will be prevented from sexual behaviour such as spraying urine and howling, which can be very unpleasant. And, the urge to travel away from home to find a mate is eliminated, so your cat will stay loyal and affectionate, and less likely to stray. This will help reduce the risk of road traffic accidents, and fights with other cats.
Neutering has health benefits, too. The reduction in hormones can protect your cat from diseases, such as womb infections and cancer. And neutered cats tend to live longer.Most vets recommend neutering between four and six months old and will be happy to explain exactly what is involved.

What to expect
Neutering is a straightforward operation, and one that your vet will have performed dozens of times before. It’s natural to feel nervous and maybe a little guilty, but you can also feel confident that you are doing the best thing for your cat.
Your vet will probably ask you not to feed your kitten the evening before the operation. This is because she/he will have a general anaesthetic. But do call your vet so you know exactly how to prepare for the day.
Before the surgery takes place the vet needs to shave a small area of the fur, so don’t get a shock when you spot a little bald patch after the operation. The procedure is straightforward whether you are castrating a male (removing the testes) or spaying a female (removing the ovaries and uterus), with only a small incision involved. So please don’t worry, it’s very rare to have complications.
The good news is you can usually take your kitten home the same day. Remember, it’s normal for them to sleep a lot over the next few hours, while their body adjusts after the anaesthetic. They will probably be as bouncy as ever the next day, but try to keep her relatively calm for a day or two so it can heal properly. The stitches, or sutures (required for females, though not usually after the castration of males), are usually removed after 7 to 10 days.

After neutering
The change in hormonal balance after neutering will slow down your cat’s metabolism a little, making him or her more prone to weight gain. But there’s no reason why your cat should put on weight; you just need to take care that you feed the correct food in the right quantities. Also, while urinary problems are common in all cats, they are more likely after neutering. You could consider switching to a food specially formulated for neutered cats once your kitten has been neutered, such as Hill’s Science Plan Neutered Cat or the Royal Canine equivalent. This food contains the correct energy levels, balance of vitamins, minerals and safe salt levels and you’ll help prevent any problems. If you’ve any doubts about what to give your cat, or have any questions, your vet will be happy to advise you.

Below is the guide from the Royal Canin site

Reduced number of unwanted litters

Cats can be surprisingly adept at breeding! Once they reach sexual maturity, which can be as early as around 5 months of age, they will make every effort to seek out a mate. Even cats kept indoors can be very clever in their attempts to escape and they are not fussy about mating with siblings either. The mating process is very efficient too – a female cat in season will only ovulate once she is mated so timing is always spot on and a pregnancy will usually result.

So your female kitten or cat may well take you by surprise!  But it is important to remember that for every pregnant cat there will be a litter of kittens needing homes, and it will be down to you to make sure that each one goes to responsible owners. While rescue centres are unfortunately full of kittens and cats in desperate need of loving homes, an unneutered female cat could go on to have 2 or even 3 litters per year.

It is a myth that female cats should have at least one litter before they are neutered.

Health benefits

Because neutered cats are less likely to wander and stray away from home, they may be at a reduced risk of injuries, on the road forexample. Wounds and abscesses caused by fighting with other cats are a verycommon problem in entire cats but are much less likely in neutered cats. Importantly, neutered cats are at a much lower risk of contracting infectious diseases such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (for which there is no vaccine available) and Feline Leukaemia Virus. Both these virus are spread through close contact and fighting and are extremely prevalent in unneutered cats.

For female cats, spaying removes the risk of infections or tumours of the uterus. If testicles are retained in the abdomen in male cats they are at a high risk of developing tumours so castration is always advised in this case.

So neutering your cat has a number of health benefits and, in fact, has been shown to potentially double the life expectancy of a cat.