Routine sterilisation, usually referred to as neutering, is widely recommended for pet cats for a number of reasons. Left to their own devices, cats are surprisingly efficient at reproducing but, with rescue centres full of unwanted cats and kittens, neutering for population control is important.
The Cat Group, consisting of a number of feline welfare organisations and experts, now recommend neutering at 4 months of age, before kittens become sexually active and have the chance to take you by surprise!
The procedure also has a number of benefits for your cat’s health – they are less likely to roam and fight, activities which put them at risk of injury and certain infections, and the risk of diseases of the reproductive system is reduced. In fact, a study* has suggested that a neutered cat will live, on average, twice as long as an entire cat.
All in all, having your cat neutered is a positive and responsible step but it is important for you to be aware that it will result in some changes in your cat, so it is important you take steps to adjust diet and activity to keep your neutered cat in a healthy, lean body condition, contributing to their long term health.
*Ref: Kraft W, Geriatrics in canine and feline internal medicine, Eur J med Res, 1998, Vol 3, 31-41