As many as 1.3 million cats in the UK aren’t neutered, according to a survey conducted by Cats Protection in 2021.
And with females having the potential to give birth to three litters of kittens per year from the age of just four months, that can result in a huge number of strays and cats needing to be rehomed, or worse, left abandoned.
Find out everything you need to know about neutering your furry friend.
Neutering is a surgical operation which stops a cat from reproducing.
For male cats, it’s done by castration, which is removal of the testicles.
In females, the uterus is removed as well as both ovaries, so they’re unable to fall pregnant.
Neutering takes place under general anaesthetic, so it will take a while for your cat to come around fully.
They’ll be given drugs to minimise any pain or discomfort after surgery and if the operation went smoothly, it should take around a week for a male cat to recover.
Female cats will need to recoup and rest for a while longer as they’ve had abdominal surgery. Generally, this takes up to two weeks.
After your cat has been neutered, make sure to:
If you’re concerned that your cat isn’t recovering well, contact your vet who can advise on whether you need to bring them in or not.
In May 2022, the average cost of neutering a male cat was £76.06 and it was £107.95 for a female to be spayed, according to ManyPets.
Yes, spaying a female cat is a more complicated process which involves abdominal surgery, whereas castrating a male is less intrusive and can even take less than 10 minutes to perform. Because of this, you’ll pay more for neutering a female.
Also, female cats will need to rest for longer after their surgery than male cats, who may not even realise anything has changed, which can make keeping them inside for recovery a hard task.
Yes, where you live can make a difference to the cost of neutering for both male and female cats.
ManyPets found that the South East was the most expensive for male castration (£90.67) and the South West was the cheapest (£58.27).
For females, London was the most expensive (£120.58) and the South West was again the cheapest (£93.06).
Here’s a full breakdown of the average cost of neutering by region
|Region||Average cost of castrating male||Average cost of spaying female|
When a male cat is neutered, two small incisions are made, one over each testicle, which are then removed and tied off. They may not even require stitches as the cuts are so small.
For a female, the incision is made on the abdomen to access the ovaries and womb which are removed and tied off. The cut on the tummy can be done through their side (known as the flank) or on their midline (straight across the abdomen). This will then be stitched up layer by layer.
Your vet may prefer one method over the other, or they may offer both and you can decide.
The cost of neutering your cat will likely include:
It will depend on your vet though, so it’s always best to check before committing.
If your cat has complications after neutering and requires medical treatment, this won’t be included in the cost.
There are other advantages to getting your cat neutered as soon as possible, apart from the obvious lack of surprise kittens.
Apart from the benefits to your pet, neutering your cat means you won’t have to care for and rehome a litter of kittens up to three times a year. Remember that indoor cats can still escape and run riot in the neighbourhood, so it’s best to get them neutered, too.
Plus, it can help reduce the significant number of abandoned and stray cats in the UK.
It’s recommended that cats are neutered immediately after they’ve had their primary vaccinations, which is around four months old.
This is because female cats reach sexual maturity at this age and it’s six months for male cats. Getting it done before they reach puberty will eliminate the chance of your kitten getting pregnant or sowing their wild oats in the local area.
It’s possible to neuter a cat at any age though.
No, pet insurance will not cover the cost of routine procedures including: