What are the side effects from feline neutering surgery?

Written by jamie conrad
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What are the side effects from feline neutering surgery?
Many cat owners debate over having their cats neutered. (cat image by maxthewildcat from Fotolia.com)

Feline neutering surgery is the process of sterilising a male cat to prevent him from reproducing. Neutering a cat is highly recommended by animal experts as a way to prevent health and behaviour problems and pet overpopulation. The procedure of feline neutering is common practice and can benefit your cat in a variety of ways. However, neutering can produce negative effects as well.

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Complications

While your veterinarian will do everything possible to prevent complications from a neuter surgery, in some cases they still occur. Your cat can have a negative reaction to the anaesthesia, causing heart or breathing problems during the procedure. Abnormal swelling, thick or bloody discharge from the incision, foul odours or discolouration of the incision area are also possible. These complications are unlikely with proper care, but be aware that they can happen.

Pain

Your cat will likely experience temporary pain after surgery. Veterinarians provide cats with enough pain medication to see them through a day or two, by which time post-operative pain should be gone.

Sleepiness

Your cat may be sleepier or more quiet than usual following surgery. Allow your cat a chance to rest and recover for up to a week after surgery. Encourage your cat to stay calm and quiet by providing a warm, out-of-the-way place to rest and heal.

Loss of Appetite

Your cat might not be ready to eat the evening after surgery, or even the next day. Nevertheless, offer small amounts of food and plenty of water, and allow your cat to eat when he's ready. Contact your veterinarian if your cat still hasn't eaten after three days.

Behaviour Changes

The removal of sex hormones can drastically change your cat's behaviour--for the better. Neutered cats roam and wander away less since they no longer feel the instinct to find a mate, fight less because there's no need to fight for a mate or territory and vocalise less, since he'll no longer call for a mate. Your cat's personality will not change as a result of neutering, so he'll come home as a better-behaved version of his original self.

Spraying

Cats spray to mark territory, and this stops or is reduced once a cat has been neutered. Also, your cat's urine will lose that signature male cat stink, as the hormones that produce the smell have been removed.

Weight Gain

While it is a widespread belief that neutering a cat makes him obese, this is untrue. As mentioned earlier, neutering reduces your cat's tendency to roam and fight, therefore his daily physical activities change. Encourage your cat to play with you or other cats in your home, and reduce caloric intake as suggested by your vet to make up for any change in physical activity.

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