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Neutering - Cat Encyclopedia | Pets.ca



Short Description
Neutering cats - Orchidectomy, castration
Affected Animals
An orchidectomy should be considered for any unneutered male cat, in order to prevent unwanted reproduction and undesirable behaviors such as spraying and roaming. Many medical conditions also require neutering as part of treatment, including testicular neoplasia, severe testicular or scrotal trauma, and perineal urethrostomy, a surgery for male cats that have recurrent urethral obstructions. This surgery may be performed on cats of any age, though younger cats will have an easier recovery.

Orchidectomy, or neutering, is a procedure commonly performed on male cats for ethical, behavioral, and medical purposes. The surgery requires general anesthesia, but is a short and simple procedure. Most cats behave normally following surgery, but should be kept quiet and indoors for a week afterwards, in order to facilitate the healing of incisions and prevent complications. An orchidectomy will not affect a cat's personality, and it will prevent certain potentially serious problems, including unwanted reproduction and undesirable behaviors such as spraying and roaming.

Most veterinarians will discuss neutering and its benefits with an owner when their pet is still a kitten. Some owners are hesitant when it comes to having their pet neutered, but a veterinarian should be able to counter any of the prevailing popular myths. Talking to owners of neutered cats is the best way for a cat owner to become more comfortable with the procedure.
Clinical Signs


In an orchidectomy, the testicles are removed by a surgical procedure that may vary depending on their location. If the testicles are located in their normal position within the scrotum, a small incision is made in the skin over each testicle. The testis is pulled out of the incision and the spermatic cord is tied off to prevent bleeding. The spermatic cord is then cut, examined for bleeding, and allowed to return to its normal position inside the incision. Because the incisions are small, they do not need to be sutured closed.

If the testicles are not in their normal position, the veterinarian will try to locate them by palpation. The testicle may be anywhere from inside the abdomen to along the inguinal tract. If the testicle is located under the skin along the ventral abdomen, an incision is made just over it. The remainder of the surgery is performed as above. If the testicle is located in the abdomen, an incision is made in the ventral abdomen, while care is taken to avoid the area blood vessels. In this case, the testis is located by following the spermatic blood vessels and ducts to their testicular connection within the abdomen. Once found, these structures are tied off and the testis is removed.

The prognosis for cats that have been neutered is good. If complications arise, they should be treated by a veterinarian.


A cat should have its health evaluated by a veterinarian prior to this procedure. Older cats should have blood tests performed to screen for any evidence of subclinical disease. Feline neutering is one of the easiest surgical procedures to perform, but requires the same precautions as any other surgery that makes use of general anesthesia.

A cat that has undergone an orchidectomy should be kept indoors and calm for seven days after the surgery. The cat should be prevented from licking its incision, and should have its surgery site checked daily so that potential problems may be prevented or detected early.

Complications are rare in male cats, but may include bleeding at the surgery site, bruising and swelling, infection, and self-induced trauma caused by the cat's licking of the incision. If the post surgical instructions are followed, most cats will heal very easily and quickly.

It is recommended that cats be neutered when they are young in order to lessen the risks associated with anesthesia and complications arising from the surgery. Older cats will probably require preoperative tests and monitoring.

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