Cat Neutering Complications

Cat neutering is the surgical removal of the testes of the male cat. The medical terminology for cat neutering is Orchidectomy and a neutered cat is called a Gib. Although it’s a routine operation, only licensed vets are allowed to perform it. 

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and is a short and simple procedure. This procedure should be considered for any unneutered male cat as it helps control cat overpopulation and also controls medical and behavioral problems such as urine spraying, roaming, and fighting with neighborhood cats. Neutering is also required to treat certain medical conditions such as testicular cancer, testicular or scrotal trauma and recurrent urethral obstructions. As with any surgical procedure, certain complications may arise and care should be taken to minimize these.

Early Age Neutering

The removal of the sex organs of the cat before it attains puberty is termed as early age neutering and is typically performed between 8 to 16 weeks of age. The advantages are that young animals recover more rapidly from anesthesia and experience fewer complications. Asthma, hyperactivity, and gingivitis are decreased, as are aggressive behavior, sexual behavior and occurrence of abscesses. However, there's an increase in behavior issues such as shyness.

Complications Arising from Cat Neutering:

  • An adverse reaction could follow the administration of anesthesia. Pre-operative tests are advisable to determine how well the pet would be able to handle anesthesia.
  • Gibs tend to be obese. The reasons for this could be altered feeding behavior, reduced metabolism, and increased inactivity.
  • They’re more likely to develop osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma and urinary tract cancer than unneutered cats.
  • Neutered cats tend to develop hormone-responsive hair loss.
  • They’re also more likely to suffer from adverse reactions to vaccinations, though the incidence isn’t high.
  • Gibs are 4 times more likely to develop prostate cancer.
  • They’re more susceptible to urinary diseases caused by stones or a plug in the urethra, and urethral blockage.
  • Neutered cats are at increased risk to develop problems associated with lower urinary tract disease.
  • They may experience personality changes and most cats lose their libido.
  • There’s risk of internal bleeding especially in cases of overactive cats. If your pet shows symptoms such as a distended abdomen, weakness, pale gums, depression and anorexia you should seek vet care immediately as this is an emergency.
  • A post-operative infection can occur internally or around the incision wound. If there’s discharge, swelling, redness or if the incision is open, prompt medical care is vital as this is an emergency situation.
  • There could be self induced trauma caused by the cat’s frequent licking of the incision.

Pre-Surgical Care

Blood tests should be carried out to check for anemia, kidney function, liver function, blood sugar and infection. The vet should also be informed of known allergies exhibited by pets and intolerance to any medication.

After surgery, the gib should be kept calm and preferably indoors for a week after the operation. He should also be walked on a leash. The surgical site must be examined daily and he shouldn’t be bathed for a week. It’s important to prevent the pet from licking the incision wound. Vet advice regarding post-surgical care should be followed and any prescribed pain medication should be administered on time.