Pet rescues are bursting at the seams with unwanted cats and kittens so ensuring your pet cat is neutered is more important than ever. The procedure is simple and routine and will have many positive effects on your cat’s behaviour and health.
After neutering you may notice some less desirable changes in your cat. It’s important to be aware of them and learn how to manage your cat’s diet and lifestyle to ensure she lives a long and healthy life. zooplus is pleased to be able to offer customers a large variety of Neutered Cat diets.
What is neutering? Neutering involves the removal of the testes in male cats (also known as castration) and the removal of the ovaries in female cats (spaying).
When should I neuter? Cats can be neutered from four months of age. It is a myth that allowing your female cat to have one litter before neutering is better for her health.
What are the benefits of neutering? For male cats unwanted behaviours such as spraying, fighting and roaming will be virtually eliminated. Female cats avoid completely the risk of unwanted pregnancies and the complications which can arise. A neutered cat is much less likely to contract FIV (a sexually transmitted disease) and suffer from tumours in the testicles or ovaries. They are also likely to have a longer life span.
What changes will I see in my cat? Neutering has two possible side effects you will need to watch out for.
1 Weight gain
Why? Neutering causes a reduction in sexual hormones and a slowing down of the metabolism. Despite your cat’s energy requirements decreasing, his appetite will actually increase. This makes the job of satisfying your cat’s hunger, while also keeping weight off, a serious concern.
The solution? The correct diet (and carefully controlled treat rationing!) can help. Look for foods with controlled calorie content and reduced fat . Some formulas will also include ingredients such as L-Carnitine, known to prevent fat storage on the body. Low starch diets will avoid over stimulating your cat’s hunger whereas certain carbohydrates help keep you cat feeling fuller for longer.
2 Kidney & urinary tract health problems
Why? Neutered cats do not drink as much as they need, resulting in concentrated urine and the ideal environment for minerals to build up and form crystals or bladder stones.
The solution? Creating the right pH level in your cat’s urine is tricky but many diets now exist which have been carefully designed by vets to do just that. Phosporus and magnesium are thought to be the key culprits for urinary problems. Look for cat foods with reduced phosphorus and carefully balanced mineral content.
Of course diet is only one element in your cat’s life where you can make changes to help reduce the risk of neutering relating health problems. Burning calories during play sessions with a laser dot toy or interactive intelligence toy are a fun way to keep your cat in top shape. Indoor cats will benefit from a cat tree with multiple levels which they can use as a gymnasium.
Encouraging your cat to drink plenty of water will help avoid long term urinary problems as this will flush out the cat’s urnary tract, preventing build ups of minerals and the forming of bladder stones and crystals. Providing fresh, filtered, oxygenated water from a cat fountain is a perfect solution.