Castration – is it necessary?

1st March 2018

When a dog or cat is castrated or neutered, both testicles are surgically removed, making them sterile and unable to produce offspring.

The operation always takes place with the animal under a general anaesthetic, and whilst the surgery and anaesthetic is considered routine, there are still some minor risks. In this article we look at the 7 reasons we recommend surgery.

What are the advantages?

At Bollington Veterinary Centre our vets will, in most instances, recommend that most pet dogs, cats and rabbits are neutered. There are many reasons why we feel this is important:

  • Being a responsible pet owner – probably one of the most important reasons we recommend you neuter your pet is to ensure that unwanted puppies and kittens aren’t born. Pregnancy accidents do happen, so talk to us today if you need to organise the ‘snip’.
  • Less aggressive behaviour – most unneutered dogs, cats and rabbits tend to be more aggressive and territorial. By neutering them when they are young they will be more social and better behaved.
  • Less urine marking – the desire for a male animal to mark its territory will be less important and therefore they’ll will be less likely to urinate around the home.
  • Less chance of cancer – unneutered male cats and dogs have an increased risk of testicular, prostate and perianal cancer. High levels of male hormones (testosterone) make them more susceptible to these diseases, so by operating and removing the testes, we remove the main source of the hormone, thereby exposing them to less risk throughout their lifetime. Unneutered female rabbits have an 80% chance of developing uterine cancer.
  • Less roaming – neutered animals tend to have reduced sexual urges, which in turn makes them less likely to wander off in search of mates. Male cats stay closer to home. Male dogs are more likely to return when called if out on a walk.
  • Fewer fights – neutered tom cats are less inclined to take part in fights. Our vets at Bollington Veterinary Centre have noticed that we see fewer bite wounds and abscesses in cats that have been castrated. Neutered rabbits are also less likely to fight or show aggressive behaviour towards humans and other rabbits. 
  • Road accidents are less likely – wandering roaming dogs and cats often get involved in road traffic accidents. By removing their urge to wander, they cross fewer roads and therefore are less likely to be run over.

Two Neutering Myths

  1. Dogs become soft – some pet owners will keep dogs for protection and think that by neutering them they will become less effective at guarding the home. This isn’t really true, as most dogs will have a natural instinct to protect their home and family members.
  1. Castrated animals become fat and lazy – this is really not true. Proper nutrition and regular exercise are what will keep your pet fit and well proportioned. At Bollington Veterinary Centre we see many very healthy neutered dogs and cats. The most common reason we find animals become overweight and unfit is through being fed diets which are too high in calories, especially when they don’t do enough exercise.