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Male Cat Before & After Neutering: Behavior & Recovery

Neutering procedures are safe and common surgeries for male cats. They can prevent unwanted litters, protect cats from certain health issues, and help control undesirable behaviors. Today, our Lincoln vets will explain what you can expect before and after neutering your male cat, including behaviors and recovery.

Neutering Your Male Cat

Neutering is the process of removing a male cat's testicles, which produce most of its testosterone. This hormone controls the cat's sexual behavior, including roaming in search of females, aggression towards other males, and spraying (territory marking).

Getting your male cat neutered can help prevent or minimize these behaviors and prevent the birth of unwanted kittens and a handful of serious health conditions. Your veterinarian can help you decide whether or not to get your cat neutered.

Male Cat Behavior After Neutering 

Neutering your male cat can help reduce or eliminate undesirable behaviors associated with testosterone, such as sexual behaviors. These changes can occur immediately or several weeks after the procedure. Your cat's age, breed, or environment doesn't typically have a big impact on these changes.

Reducing or eliminating your cat's desire to roam decreases the risk of wandering-related accidents. Neutering also lowers their aggression towards other male cats, reducing the chances of being scratched or bitten, which can put your cat at risk of contracting illnesses.

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

There are also many misconceptions regarding the behavioral effects of neutering on cats. Neutering will not make your cat lazy or fat if you provide 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 a portion of its 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 the first 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? 

After neutering procedures, your cat typically recovers in five to seven days. Monitor for any signs above and contact your vet if you notice any lingering or worsening symptoms. While your cat is healing, do not let it run, jump, or play with other animals. It must rest. 

As your cat reaches the one-week post-op mark, you can slowly start letting it return to normal activity. If your cat is an outdoor cat, it can begin to venture back outside after seven days. 

What To Watch for Aftering Neutering Your Cat

It's normal for cats to experience side effects such as lethargy, lack of appetite, nausea, and vomiting after being neutered. If these symptoms persist after 48 hours, contacting your vet is important.

Your cat may also have difficulty urinating or defecating normally for the first 24 to 48 hours following the procedure. If 72 hours have passed and they still haven't been able to relieve themselves normally, you should seek veterinary care.

Monitor your cat's incision site for bleeding. A small amount of blood around the incision site during the first 24 hours following the procedure is normal, but if you notice bleeding after this time, contact your vet.

Neutered cats typically feel uncomfortable and experience some pain for about 36 hours after the procedure. Your vet will provide your pet with long-lasting pain medications in the form of an injection to help manage their pain. Call your vet if your cat requires more pain medication at home. Do not give your cat pain medications designed for humans or any medications without consulting your vet first, as many medications can be toxic to cats, cause serious health complications, and, in serious situations, even death.

Contact your vet immediately if you notice your cat exhibiting any of these signs 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

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 Lincoln vets today to schedule your cat's neuter procedure or to find out if your cat is exhibiting any complications after being neutered.

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