Cat desexing or surgical sterilisation is a common surgical procedure that requires a considerable level of skill by the veterinarian. Our vets are very experienced in cat desexing operations, and perform hundreds of surgeries every year. Cats are put under general anaesthetic for the surgery, so it is important for cat owners to understand the procedure and what it entails.
Desexing of male cats is known by several different names. These include castration, neutering or the more correct scientific term, orchiectomy.
For female cats the procedure is commonly called spaying. Its correct name is ovariohysterectomy.
What are the advantages of desexing a cat?
Vets recommend desexing for the vast majority of cat owners, and the surgery brings numerous benefits, including:
Each year thousands of unwanted cats and kittens are euthanased at pounds and shelters throughout Australia. By desexing your cat you remove the potential of it siring or producing kittens that may contribute to the stray pet population.
Stray cats are responsible for the decimation of many species. Desexing helps reduce the feral cat population and therefore helps our native animals.
Castrating male cats completely eliminates the possibility of testicular cancer as these are removed during the castration operation. Spaying female cats eliminates the possibility of them developing ovarian and uterine cancer as well as ovarian cysts. Desexed female cats do not come into season and attract male cats. Female cats that are in season will continue to vocalise and can be quite difficult to settle. Many owners mistake this noise for their cat being in pain!
Cats that haven’t been desexed often have behavioural issues, such as inappropriate urination and marking such as territory marking, aggression, escaping, roaming and inappropriate sexual behaviour. Cats are quite territorial animals and this is particularly so for the males. Fighting amongst male cats is common and this is even more so in non-desexed males. Castrating male cats helps reduce this fighting.
The Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is transmitted by cat bite wounds. Desexing reduces cat fights, thus helping reduce the spread of FIV in the entire cat population.
Unfortunately, many conditions that we see in cats, particularly in pure-breeds, are heritable. This means they can be passed down to the next generation. Desexing a cat with a heritable condition removes that cat from the gene pool and potentially contributes to the reduced incidence of the disease.
By law all cats are required to be registered with the local council. All councils charge additional fees for non-desexed cats and these fees can be substantially higher than for desexed cats.
When can a cat be desexed?
The reality is that cats can be desexed from as early as six to eight weeks of age however we recommend and prefer they undergo the procedure when they are around six months of age
What does desexing cost?
The cost of desexing a cat depends on the sex and weight of the cat, and the presence of other medical conditions that may affect the operation. Additional charges for preanaesthetic blood tests and intravenous fluids apply. Please contact us to get further information about the costs of desexing your cat.
The Karingal Veterinary Hospital is open 7 days a week.
Our hours are
- 8am-8pm Monday-Friday,
- 9am-5pm Saturday,
- 9am-1pm Sunday,
* We are closed on public holidays.