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All About Neutering

Whether you have a cat or dog, at some point, you may want to consider neutering. There are several reasons why you may choose to neuter your pet, so we’re going to dive into what it is and why you need to think about it.

What Is Neutering?

Neutering is the surgical procedure that vets perform to remove both testicles of a male cat or dog. The main purpose for neutering is to prevent the animal from reproducing. When it comes to females, that operation is known as spaying.

Benefits Of Neutering Your Pet

A common question is whether or not neutering is safe for a pet. In short, yes. While there is some new research that shows a possible increased risk of certain illnesses and joint conditions, there is no large body of evidence that shows neutering is detrimental to the health and life of pets. With that in mind, let’s dive into the benefits of neutering your pet.

Decreased Risk Of Health Conditions

When you neuter your cat or dog, you are removing the testicles. So, effectively, you are removing any risk of testicular cancer or masses they may develop as they age. 

Along with the eliminated risk of testicular cancer, you are reducing the chance of an enlarged prostate, prostate infections or hormone-related conditions. In neutered cats, for instance, we see a decrease in the incidence of prostate disease. On average, neutered dogs live longer than unneutered dogs. 

Behavioral Improvements

When it comes to behavior, neutering can help reduce or eliminate some issues. 

The majority of aggression in male cats is found between intact males. This aggression is present because unneutered male cats roam and compete, and the instances of these fights decrease among neutered males. 

Sexual attraction may remain the same as before the operation, depending on the age of the male. If he is experienced, he may still show an interest in females and attempt to mate. 

When your cat or dog is neutered, their desire to roam will decrease in most cases. There is no guarantee of behavioral change in a neutered pet, but there typically are some behavioral improvements.

Urine Odor Improvement And Reduction Of Marking

When we look at physical changes as a result of neutering, we see a change in the odor of urine in cats and a reduction of marking behavior in dogs. 

Male cat urine contains hormones that make it smell stronger and more pungent than their neutered counterparts. This reduction in hormone-packed urine often reduces spraying. 

Once a dog is fixed, the incidence of marking should decrease or be eliminated altogether. 

When Should You Neuter A Cat Or Dog?

Choosing when to neuter your cat or dog can be tricky. Every pet is different, so it’s always best to consult your veterinarian for the most appropriate time frame. 

If you have a cat that you’re considering neutering, there are generally three options when it comes to timing. Early neutering takes place around 6 to 8 weeks, traditional neutering is at 5 to 6 months and waiting until sexual maturity has been reached around 8 to 12 months. 

All dogs are different, but in general, most dogs can be safely neutered once they reach 9 to 18 months old. As we’ve said before, though, the timeframe for neutering is something that should be discussed with your veterinarian.

Consult With Your Veterinarian

If you’re considering having your pet neutered, set up an appointment with one of our veterinarians so they can help you decide what’s best for your cat or dog.

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