Neutering a male cat is an excellent step to help your young man grow into a loving, well adapted household citizen. However at Vetmed we understand that making the decision to desex or castrate your male kitten can be a scary one so we have put together some information to help you gain some understanding into both the procedure and the benefits for desexing your young man.
Why do vets recommend desexing?
This is an easy one to answer – basically because there are so many health and behavior benefits for your little kitten. These include
- Less roaming. Intact adult male cats tend to disappear for days at a time, searching for females and staking out their territory. (They really are tomcatting around!)
- Less aggressive behaviour. Nearly all cats will fight, but most fights are between intact males. Fights lead to abscesses and the spread of disease.
- Less spraying. Intact male cats (and females) mark their territory by spraying walls or any other vertical surface. Neutered males are less likely to spray and their urine is not as strong smelling as an intact male’s is.
- Longer life and reduced injuries. Because they get into fewer fights and do less roaming, neutered cats live longer than intact male cats do and have less injuries.
- Population control. Many cats are euthanized because they are unwanted. Preventing unwanted litters of kittens is part of responsible pet ownership.
When is the best time to castrate my kitten?
The best time to neuter your kitten is around six months of age. This is because the kitten is old enough for the body to have matured enough to make the anesthetic low risk but young enough so he hasn’t reached sexual maturity yet.
What does castrating a kitten involve?
In a feline castration, both testicles are removed through small incisions made through the skin of the scrotum while the kitten is under a general anaesthetic. No sutures are required and this is generally a very quick and very painless procedure which only requires your kitten to be in hospital for the day.
What do I do before the procedure?
At Vetmed, kitten castrations are performed Monday to Friday at all three of our vet hospitals by appointment only. When you ring to book in your young man for castration, our lovely reception staff will answer any questions you may have and reinforce any important details you need to know. It is very important that you kitten has nothing to eat from approximately 8pm the night prior to the surgery to ensure that there is nothing in his stomach which could lead to vomiting during the anaesthetic. It is also vital that your little one is brought into the veterinary hospital between the hours of 7:30 and 9:00 am as this allows our dedicated vets and vet nurses to preform their pre anesthetic health checks and procedures which ensure a painless, stress free procedure and to ensure that the risks involved are mitigated as much as possible.
What does the day of the procedure involve?
After you have dropped off your young man with the vet nurses and you have signed the consent form giving permission for the procedure to take place, there are several procedures which take place prior to the induction of the general anaesthetic:
- Pre anaesthetic examination: It is important that your kitten is check over by a veterinarian prior to any sedation or pain relief to ensure that he is healthy and to ensure that there are no physical signs of illness.
- Pre anaesthetic blood tests: included in all of our anaesthetics, pre anaesthetic blood tests are preformed in-house and provide the veterinarian with vital information about the internal health of you young man prior to any anaesthetic.
- Pre medication with sedation and painrelief: once the veterinarian has establised that your kitten in health using the physical exam and the blood tests, a sedation and painrelief is given via injection and your young man is moved into a special area within the hospital especially designed for awaiting and recovering from anaesthetics.
- Induction of anaesthetic: once your kitten is sedated and he has plenty of painrelief provided, a catheter is inserted into his vein and the anaesthetic is inducted using a fast acting anaesthetic agent such as alfaxan. A tube is then placed into their throat to ensure that their airway is protected. He is then place on a mixture of oxygen and an inhalation anaesthetic to maintain his anaesthetic whilst and the procedure is completed
- Recovery: Once his testicles have been removed he will then be slowly woken up. This takes place in a special area of the hospital where specially designed cages provide plenty of warmth. Further painrelief is then provided to ensure that your young man is relaxed and painfree as he slowly recovers. We allow at least 2 hours from the time he is awake till the time he is allowed to go home to eliminate any complications which can occur during this period
What about after the procedure? What should I expect at home?
The veterinarian or vet nurse will contact you as soon as your little one is in recovery but you must allow at least 2 hours after this call before you will e able to pick your young kitten up from the hospital. Your young male will go home with medication such as painrelief, and you will be provided with a discharge statement which states how to use the medication, what to feed your little one and other important information. A vet nurse or veterinarian will go through this statement and how to give the medication.
Expect your little kitten to be a bit quiet on the night of the procedure but he should return to his normal self by the next morning. He wont have any sutures in the wound but it is recommended that you do keep your little man inside for the first few days post procedure to give him time to heal. If you have any further questions we are always here to help. Please contact us at one of our three locations and one of our team members will be able to answer any questions.