I Had to Get My Cat Castrated

10/29/2007  //  30 Comments   //   tags: , ,

For many reasons, I had to get my cat castrated, or “neutered,” as they call it. It was required by law since I got him at an animal shelter, it will prevent him from breeding freely with multiple female strays in the neighborhood, and it has other practical benefits for me as well, most importantly he won’t start spraying urine all over the house. I had mixed feelings about it going in, knowing that “neutering” was just PC for “cutting his nuts off”, to put it in terms we all understand.

I named him Trouble for a reason. He is a wonderfully mischievous kitty, and his antics have earned him the name “Chaos” by some of my neighbors. If he wasn’t out causing a ruckus somewhere, I would start to worry that something was wrong. I didn’t want the operation to tame him so much as to just meet the legal requirements, prevent him from impregnating multiple female strays, and keep my furniture urine-free. What I didn’t want was for him to become an androgynous, boring, depressed shell of a cat.

Trouble sitting in a box

What’s done is done, and he is now essentially the feline counterpart of the 18th century castrati – boys castrated before their voices started to lower to preserve their “angelic” high register for singing. I’ll never get to hear his mature baritone “meow” in all its glory ;). Apparently I’ll also miss getting to see him with face shields, but I don’t think I’ll mind that too much.

I know if I lived on a farm somewhere in the country, I wouldn’t have gotten him neutered. There’s no reason to do something so extreme just to prevent some errant urine. Also, I’ve been pretty successful training him not to do things like scratch my couch using my “water bottle technique”, which involves blasting him with a strong gust of H20 when he’s in the middle of an undesirable behavior. I imagine it could work for spraying urine as well. Also, he’s outdoors for 75-90% of the day, so I’m sure he’d do most of his spraying outside.

The procedure itself is quite simple, as shown in a slide show on this page. They anesthetize the cat, make a small incision, cut the testicles off, and tie the cords together. Amazingly, they don’t do anything to close the incision afterwards. The vet tech told me, “they press it together and it sticks.” Yeah right. It looks like an open wound, although it’s not bleeding or inflamed, so he should be OK.

What have I noticed so far? He’s been a bit less vocal, less rambunctious, and less eager to be outside constantly. When he has gone outside he’s returned in just a few hours. This is a change from what he usually does, which is to stay out all day and all night until I go looking for him in a back alley around my house. It has been colder outside so I’ll count that as a confounding factor to my observations. A lot of people would say these are desirable behaviors, but I actually hope he returns to his old self. Cats that never meow, express nothing, and stay inside all day are sad and boring as hell. It’s too early to say if he is really changed, if he’s just recovering from his trauma, or if I’m over-analyzing.

He still plays with as much energy and animal instinct as before, making his little rattling plastic balls pay dearly when they cross his path. I haven’t heard any cats screaming and meowing outside yet like I used to, so I suspect his sex drive has decreased, as expected. Overall, I wouldn’t say there’s been a dramatic change in his behavior, thankfully. And he’s purring as much as ever, so he must be content. I still feel terrible about taking his manhood away from him, even if it was necessary, and I hope he doesn’t hold an eternal grudge against me for it.

Comments

Aww he’ll be ok. He’ll still be playful, maybe just not as aggressive as he could have gotten if he wasn’t neutered. I bet his personality would have changed more as he grew up if you DIDN’T have him fixed. Now he’ll stay sweet tempered and playful like before.

— susan · Oct 30, 04:19 AM · #

All that I know having
been neuterd myself, is that it has truly changed my life forever in a very positive way. then again I got neuterd after my voice changed.

— Aron Majic · Nov 1, 11:24 AM · #

That’s hilarious Aron, who was your surgeon? Sounds tempting!

Trouble seems to be back to himself now. The one thing that’s still different is that he actually comes home a lot more reliably these days, which is good. I guess he’s not looking for females all night to hook up with anymore.

Andrew Swihart · Nov 4, 03:14 PM · #

You actually let your cat roam about? Unless you live in very different circumstances than me you’re taking a major chance with your cat’s life.

— Keith · Feb 2, 05:20 PM · #

I know there are risks, but his quality of life is so much more when he gets to be outside. I live in a quiet residential area and he roams in a pretty small area of it. You’re right though, and I will probably have to start keeping him indoors when I move back to Pittsburgh. I only have one cat too, so I will have to get another one so he isn’t bored all the time at home alone.

Andrew Swihart · Feb 4, 04:50 AM · #

We adopted a stray cat who was not castrated and he only ever appeared to be fed and catch up on some sleep. We hardly ever seen him until he came in one day and had to be rushed to the vet with an abscess after a bite to his leg. The gist of this story is that the vet roughly guessed he was about 3 years old and suggested castration.

I now have a cat that looks a bit depressed and as soon as he sits next to me he starts humping the cushion. He is worse than a dog and a vet suggested that he will grow out of it once all his testosterone is gone and he starts to think about something other that what used to be his favourite pastime.

— Shirley Adamson · May 4, 12:29 PM · #

I think animals should not be neutered to prevent reproduction people just should recommend vasectomy or tubal ligation it doesn’t affect their natural behavior and prevents reproduction so sad that this days we still have this kind of barbarism even to an animal is a damage that you make to him don’t hear to those organizations that promotes neutering they just wash your brain to put in you something completely false and even say to you that you are a unresponsable person because of refusing to do it.

— Renato · Nov 6, 09:33 AM · #

Thanks for your post Andrew. It is important to get a cat “done”. I just had two brothers neutered at the same time and brought them home tonight. They don’t seem to know what has happened. Surely the anesthesia and what not, but their behavior is inevitably a response to something quite necessary. I adopted them too, and was obliged to have them “fixed”. They are apartment cats but will surely have as an exciting time and future as your own.

— ec · Jan 14, 11:14 AM · #

Hi Andrew, your cat looks full of personality nice pictures. I also had my cat neutered, I read that it was for the best, however I now feel pretty bad for doing it. The operation has changed his life, he used to be out all the time, but now he sleeps alot and has lost his spark. He didn’t wee everywhere but did get into a lot of fights. The last time he came back with a scratch right next to his eye and I thought I need to do something. Perhaps I over reacted but I dont think I would have another male cat neutered again. Cats deserve to live freely in the right environment.

— Andrew · Dec 22, 11:51 AM · #

What colour and how in general should look cat male’s testicles or what left fro them after he was castrated? My cat had this surgery a week ago and today I saw them very dark. It’s like black or very dark purple. I’m really worried. I have big doubts it suppose to be like that.

— Inga · Apr 3, 06:28 AM · #

Your cat is so cute. He looks as mischievous as little Lewis- my cat. I just got Lewis neutered because like you I read that if i didn’t he would start spraying, wandering, could get diseases etc etc. I looked into alternatives and felt totally depressed taking him to the vets and back. Its only been a couple of days but yeah he seems really quiet and sleepy and he seems to have lost his spark. Also doesn’t seem to trust me too much any more :-(

— chala · Sep 30, 10:38 AM · #

If you wouldn’t have your human kid castrated, then don’t have a cat castrated. It’s a simple as that.

We’re smart enough to know neutering is an elusion of the truth and invented-English for castration, which performed against the will of a pubescent human would screw him for life and be punishable by death, yet authority-recommended for other species to keep their numbers down and so they don’t get hairy or soil our homes—and it’s cheap, too, like the unfit-for-human consumption parts of already-used-up animals that are boiled up and repurposed into the bargain not-food we leave uncovered in a corner for our loved ones to eat alone.

Huuumans [said as if it tastes bad]. How far we go to protect self-interest . . .

— John · Oct 27, 01:34 AM · #

I have an FIP cat that I took from a cat shelter – he was due to be shut into a windowless room and left until he died, they gave him a week. I took him home and promised I would give him love and good food until he died a peaceful death. I have now had him for ten weeks, he is very loving, very clean BUT he has sprayed everything in my home many, many times, I have had to book him in for castration. I feel so bad but apart from putting him in a cage (no end for my little lad). By the way, he ended up in a cat shelter because someone took a machette to his head, he now has one eye, metal holding his nose together and has to eat soft food, he is adorable.

— saunders · Jan 13, 11:50 PM · #

My male cat was neutered three weeks ago and i regret getting it done.
His once bright,bumbling personality that was so sweet and playful is no more. I was brainwashed by my vets- who happen to be a charitable organisation for people on low incomes- into getting it done just because i also have a female cat.
Every time i took my male cat for a check-up they would harp on about getting him nuetered,so i did. I must confess, i did not do any research, instead kept thinking about my vet almost telling me off for not getting him neutered. If only i had thought to myself that he doesnt even go out like some male cats,doesnt spray or fight with my other male cat and generally got on with the other two, i wouldnt have got it done.
I honestly feel like i can see such sadness in my cat’s eyes, that i feel like getting him euthynised. I made this point to two vets at the charity and they told me i was being over dramatic. I suggested neuticle surgery (cosmetic surgery) to replace his testicles but there’s no way in hell they’d even consider it and going private costs a fortune.
Does anyone have any ideas how i can make my cat feel less anxious and nervous? Any advice would be gratefully received.

— NATASHA · Feb 11, 10:43 AM · #

Hi there my cat is going in on Thursday to have his done am in two minds to say if its gona be a good thing or bad my cat goes missing all the time and always comeing home with cuts all over him I am hopping this will help and stop him from comeing home like that but am a bit unsure now with all the different comments really hope this does work for me as it costing a lot keep going to the vet for treatment on him dew to comeing home with cuts but there are lots of female cats where I live so hopefully it should work

Chloe · Feb 24, 09:31 AM · #

i saved to 2 cats from dieing in Cairo. the streets are full with cats and in every corner you see a dead cat and nobody cares. 90% of cats in egypt die from hunger. they are not castrated of course! but they are suffering, they dont even have sex because they are so hungry!!!!

many men in this word are castrated for different reasons, I have a friend of mine who became a woman. She seems very happy now?

All i want to say is: i feel very sorry for my cat that i had to castrate him :( but if i left him there in the street he would have died in a very bad way! i saved another cat from the street and took them both home, they made babies and all their kittens are now in a safe home. i felt more sad that i had to take her babies away from her, but i had a small house. than months later i had to bring them to the vet, because i couldnt handle the male, he came back with a broken leg, oh i found him after looking for him for 4 days. again he almost died.

Now he is so healthy and still fighting everyday with the cats around him. He is the king of my town, he walks with pride and he got to much temper! he is also very dominant and thinks he is human!

I pray that in the next life time he will be a free cat.
but i also pray that the humans that are dieing now of hunger will have a beautiful life.

Life is hard but you cant have everything. accept and forgive..there are 10000 of humans getting killed before they even had sex..look for a good reason or just dont castrate ur cat!

Take care

— I love Cats!! · Mar 4, 11:02 PM · #

I’m sure there must be some other way to achieve the desired results. But what is it?

— 10001100 · Aug 23, 12:22 PM · #

My 1 yr old cat, was castrated yesterday. He’s back to his normal self already. He’s been at the bedroom door, meowing to get outside. It’s like nothing has happened. Should i let him out. The 24 hr will be up in 4 ,& a half hrs. He’s very persistent on wanting to go outside, as he’s normally the outside an lounge about in the sun. It’s confusing an frustrating at the same time. He won’t stop meowing at the door. Help please. Anyone..??

— Nicole · Jan 30, 07:26 PM · #

My 1 yr old cat, was castrated yesterday. He’s back to his normal self already. He’s been at the bedroom door, meowing to get outside. It’s like nothing has happened. Should i let him out. The 24 hr will be up in 4 ,& a half hrs. He’s very persistent on wanting to go outside, as he’s normally the outside an lounge about in the sun. It’s confusing an frustrating at the same time. He won’t stop meowing at the door. Help please. Anyone..??

— Nicole · Jan 30, 07:27 PM · #

My 1 yr old cat, was castrated yesterday. He’s back to his normal self already. He’s been at the bedroom door, meowing to get outside. It’s like nothing has happened. Should i let him out. The 24 hr will be up in 4 ,& a half hrs. He’s very persistent on wanting to go outside, as he’s normally the outside an lounge about in the sun. It’s confusing an frustrating at the same time. He won’t stop meowing at the door. Help please. Anyone..??

— Nicole · Jan 30, 07:27 PM · #

My 1 yr old cat, was castrated yesterday. He’s back to his normal self already. He’s been at the bedroom door, meowing to get outside. It’s like nothing has happened. Should i let him out. The 24 hr will be up in 4 ,& a half hrs. He’s very persistent on wanting to go outside, as he’s normally the outside an lounge about in the sun. It’s confusing an frustrating at the same time. He won’t stop meowing at the door. Help please. Anyone..??

— Nicole · Jan 30, 07:27 PM · #

My 1 yr old cat, was castrated yesterday. He’s back to his normal self already. He’s been at the bedroom door, meowing to get outside. It’s like nothing has happened. Should i let him out. The 24 hr will be up in 4 ,& a half hrs. He’s very persistent on wanting to go outside, as he’s normally the outside an lounge about in the sun. It’s confusing an frustrating at the same time. He won’t stop meowing at the door. Help please. Anyone..??

— Nicole · Jan 30, 07:28 PM · #

My 1 yr old cat, was castrated yesterday. He’s back to his normal self already. He’s been at the bedroom door, meowing to get outside. It’s like nothing has happened. Should i let him out. The 24 hr will be up in 4 ,& a half hrs. He’s very persistent on wanting to go outside, as he’s normally the outside an lounge about in the sun. It’s confusing an frustrating at the same time. He won’t stop meowing at the door. Help please. Anyone..??

— Nicole · Jan 30, 07:29 PM · #

Poor you.I think when a cat is castrated, it looses its hormones, which make us happy, joyful or whatever. Cats don’t get hormone replacement therapy, and I think the vets make money from operations. I was persuaded to have mine castrated, and I refused.They said he will always spray the house etc and , well you know, he didn’t do that , actually he sprayed less as he became more confidant. So sorry to hear about this, I truly am.

catherine · Jun 8, 03:00 PM · #

i have 2 cats that have been castrated … One a stray I took in who is around 6. He used to wander around breaking into everyone’s house … Causing pandemonium spraying wherever he went.
Now he is warm and safe and comes and goes as he choses.
If you want your home to smell like a litter tray then don’t have them castrated …. It’s as simple as that. None of my cats behaved any differently,

— Patsy · Jul 19, 03:32 AM · #

i have 2 cats that have been castrated … One a stray I took in who is around 6. He used to wander around breaking into everyone’s house … Causing pandemonium spraying wherever he went.
Now he is warm and safe and comes and goes as he choses.
If you want your home to smell like a litter tray then don’t have them castrated …. It’s as simple as that. None of my cats behaved any differently,

— Patsy · Jul 19, 03:33 AM · #

i have 2 cats that have been castrated … One a stray I took in who is around 6. He used to wander around breaking into everyone’s house … Causing pandemonium spraying wherever he went.
Now he is warm and safe and comes and goes as he choses.
If you want your home to smell like a litter tray then don’t have them castrated …. It’s as simple as that. None of my cats behaved any differently,

— Patsy · Jul 19, 03:33 AM · #

i have 2 cats that have been castrated … One a stray I took in who is around 6. He used to wander around breaking into everyone’s house … Causing pandemonium spraying wherever he went.
Now he is warm and safe and comes and goes as he choses.
If you want your home to smell like a litter tray then don’t have them castrated …. It’s as simple as that. None of my cats behaved any differently afterwards.

— Patsy · Jul 19, 03:33 AM · #

i have 2 cats that have been castrated … One a stray I took in who is around 6. He used to wander around breaking into everyone’s house … Causing pandemonium spraying wherever he went.
Now he is warm and safe and comes and goes as he choses.
If you want your home to smell like a litter tray then don’t have them castrated …. It’s as simple as that. None of my cats behaved any differently afterwards.

— Patsy · Jul 19, 03:33 AM · #

Hi guys and girls.. ive now read all the comments that you guys posted. This morning i was in the shower and heard my male cat (Topher) meowing outside.. but he always does that.. wwent outside after I haven’t seen him for 3 days.. he was lying on the grass in my small back yard. Brused and scratched.. he can barely walk or stand up.. im now at a point where im thinking i just have to neuter him. I’ve left him un neutered for a year and a half now to live his life to the fullest but this morning im really getting concerned. My friends call him Tony Soprano.. cause he is a dealer mobster gangster of a cat.. he sleeps during the morning.. goes out the afternoon returns after 6pm to eat and leaves again and every morning at 3 or 4 am he comes in like he was at fight night or fight club looking like Tyler… all messed up but just scratches and cuts and so he does that every night. But what i saw this morning was probably a neighbor being fed up with my cat entering their home and spraying in their house. I live in a complex with 20 houses around me.. i just want to know will neutering (castrating) him help to not walk around and cause trouble so often..? I don’t wana change him or take anything away.. but i have over heard someone in my complex say they are going to poison him..im desperate for help.. advice?

— Rhinus · Dec 22, 02:19 AM · #