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Pet Advice Categories

Female Cats

Neutering for female pets is referred to as ‘spaying’. This is in effect an ovario-hysterectomy removing both the uterus and ovaries and so permanently preventing pregnancy.

Although this is major abdominal surgery our vets are doing this procedure several times every week and are skilled and experienced. Your cat will have stitches on her side or abdomen and will need to take it easy for 10 days until they are removed. Cats are more easily spayed through a side or ‘flank’ incision although a ‘midline’ spay is occasionally performed for colour point cats.

As well as preventing any unwanted litters spaying at a young age significantly reduces the incidences of mammary tumours in older cats. After your pet has been spayed any behaviour changes linked to hormonal fluctuations will disappear. This often means that female cats stop ‘calling’ to attract a mate and settle in the home.

When to neuter

If not breeding it is generally recommended that female pets be neutered when they reach sexual maturity.

Ideally, female cats are spayed at 6 months old. Occasionally they can be spayed sooner if they have reached sexual maturity or are in a situation where they are at risk of unintentional pregnancy. Female cats come into season frequently and are ready to mate again only 3 weeks after giving birth so the risk of unwanted pregnancy is high.

There is no reason for a neutered cat to put on weight provided they are fed a balanced diet. The reduction in sexual hormones may affect their activity levels and cats should be encouraged to exercise through play.

Male Cats

Neutering for male pets is termed ‘castration’ and involves surgically removing the testes. This is a short procedure done under general anaesthetic by your vet. No stitches are used and he will heal quickly.

Male pets rarely have complications following castration and behave completely normally. Their testosterone levels are reduced often improving hormone-related aggression or domineering behaviour. For the same reason, neutered male cats are less likely to roam in search of a mate and pungent territorial spraying is usually curtailed.

Castration at a young age also significantly reduces the incidences of testicular cancers and prostate problems as your cat gets older.

When to neuter

If not breeding it is generally recommended that male pets be neutered when they reach sexual maturity.

This is at around 5 months for male cats who will be displaying visible testes at this age.

Very occasionally one or both of the testes are retained internally. This is referred to as ‘cryptorchid’ and requires a more complex surgical procedure to remove them. Our vets will explain the procedure in advance should this be the case.

There is no reason for a neutered cat to put on weight provided they are fed a balanced diet. The reduction in sexual hormones may affect their activity levels and cats should be encouraged to exercise through play.

Our vets perform neutering procedures regularly from Monday to Friday every week. However, we understand that this is usually your pet’s first stay with us and we take every care to treat your cat as an individual and to ensure that it is as stress free for you and your pet as possible. We can book your cat in on a day that is convenient for you.

For further information about how we look after your cat during surgical procedures please see our ‘Bringing your pet for Surgery’ leaflet.

Neutering process in steps

The night before

You will be asked to keep your cat in, with a litter tray, and to remove access to food and water at midnight so that your cat has an empty stomach for the operation the next day.


The nurse will admit your cat first thing in the morning. Your pet will be weighed and examined to ensure he or she is in good health to undergo a general anaesthetic.

As with all surgery, there is a small risk attached to having a general anaesthetic. A pre-anaesthetic diagnostic blood test can highlight any underlying health problems that are not yet showing symptoms and may affect the anaesthetic. There is a separate charge for this and it is optional however your vet may recommend it where your pet is known already to have compromised health.

You will be asked to complete a consent form and provide contact details for that day.

Settling in

Your cat will then be settled into one of our kennels and given a pre-operative sedative.


We use up to date drugs and equipment allowing pets to wake up quickly and experience fewer side-effects than with some older or cheaper products. A qualified nurse keeps a detailed record of the anaesthesia and monitors your pet throughout.


During the procedure the vets will need to shave the surgical site and areas where intravenous medication is administered.

To minimize the risk of infection all internal surgery is performed in a dedicated sterile operating theatre. A freshly autoclaved (sterilised) surgical pack of instruments and drapes is used for each procedure exactly as it is in human surgery.

Our vets are all experienced in surgical techniques and perform gentle skilled surgery with the comfort and care of your pet as their priority. Scarring is minimised as far as possible with high quality suture or stapling materials.

Recovery and pain relief

An initial analgesic is given with the pre-operative sedative. This is then effective as soon as surgery begins and ensures that your pet experiences the minimum of discomfort. Pain relief is continued throughout the procedure and the nurse carefully monitors your pet’s recovery.

Collecting your pet

Your appointment will be with the surgical nurse who will talk you through the operation and explain how to look after your pet at home. This is supported with a written care sheet for you to follow. A plastic collar will be recommended to prevent your pet chewing or scratching any stitches.

A Post-Op check-up appointment will be arranged, usually 2 days after the procedure, if your cat has been spayed. If your pet has stitches these will need to be removed by the nurse approximately 10 days after the procedure. Provided no further medication or dressings are required these appointments are included in the neutering fee.

24 hour emergency care

Very occasionally animals experience adverse reactions after surgery. Our 24 Hour emergency service means that if you have concerns about your pet, you can contact an Avonvale vet at any time. All our registered clients receive a 50% discount on the separate Out of Hours fee charged for this service.

Neutering Fees (Inc. VAT)

Our neutering fees include the complete care described in this leaflet unless otherwise stated.

Cat Castration - £60.00 Cat Spay - £89.00

Discounts of up to 25% are available for cats registered with our Pet Health for Life Plan. For more information, please ask about these pet care plans at reception.

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