Neutering & Spaying in Dogs and Cats

Keeping a pet healthy involves a truckload of responsibilities. However, it is equally good if we can do our job flawlessly. There are a few situations when we have to make a tough call; Neutering and Spaying comes under that foot. These are the crucial topics of discussion which involve professional advice from the Vet. The whole process is called surgical sterilisation where the reproductive parts in pets are removed permanently. Let’s understand these scenarios in detail and help our pets live a healthy life.

What differentiates Neutering from Spaying?

Although used interchangeably, Spaying and Neutering have a lot of differences.

Spaying is the process in which the reproductive body parts are removed from the female cats or dogs. In medical terms, the process is called Ovariohysterectomy that defines a procedure in which the ovaries and uterus are removed completely. In today’s share of advancements, veterinarians have cut short the process to Ovariectomy where Vets remove only the ovaries.

Neutering/Castration for dogs and Orchidectomy for cats gives the same results as spaying, but it is for the males. During this process, the testes are removed surgically with an incision by a certified Vet. In some cases, the testes are retained elsewhere in the body because they are not completely removed. Such conditions are called Cryptorchids. Yes, they are sterilised, but they can still produce male hormones because of the presence of the testicles. Therefore, the complete process of Neutering is performed.

Spaying and Neutering surgeries are common, but some consider it dangerous. Well, such surgeries are quite sensitive to animals, therefore affecting them in different ways. Let’s study a few of the changes which they experience so that we can reach a healthy conclusion for them as such surgeries will completely change their lifestyle.

Behavioural Changes

You will notice a change in their temperament. You may notice variations relating to their personality, such as the difference in their ability to play or stay active, these are often based on their upbringing. Majorly you will see a transformed pet in your home with unusual traits. They will gradually reduce their humping habits; become mild when it comes to showing excitement about sliding outside. You will observe moderation in their daily activities such as territorial markings. When earlier they couldn’t stop themselves from spraying all over the place, they will be able to steer it without any problems.

Sexual Changes

Cats and dogs both feel an aggressive sexual urge, and sometimes it becomes difficult to control them. When they are neutered or spayed, their sexual urge dies which automatically settles their territorial marking behaviour to attract other animals. You will notice your pet’s reduced roaming activities too.

Physical Changes

Stud tail is a rare skin condition caused with an excessive release of oils from the skin. It helps them to become a pro at flaunting in front of other female dogs. After neutering this situation neutralises. Apart from that, they have a strong & pungent urine smell & this too gradually settles down. 

Advantages of getting your cat/dog neutered or spayed

Considering to go ahead with it isn’t all bad; focus on the fact that you will be taking a step further for their healthy lifestyle. Even the Animal Welfare Board of India has reshaped its guidelines to sterilise cats to stabilise overpopulation. Read through and decide:

  1. Sterilisation will majorly help in controlling overpopulation
  2. It will help in eliminating phantom pregnancy or false pregnancy
  3. Prevent urine infection in dogs and cats: Pyometra
  4. Spayed female dogs have a less likely chance of getting breast tumours
  5. Neutered male dogs help in preventing testicular cancer and other prostate problems
  6. Male dogs won’t run away from home
  7. It will help keeping their body weight in-control
  8. Help improve body odour in dogs
  9. Neutered/spayed cats are less likely to have Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) which is often caused by the bites and saliva of other animals

Disadvantages of getting your cat/dog neutered or spayed

  1. Reduces metabolism and you will have to re-check with the Vet for a prescribed diet so that they can stay healthy.
  2. Large breed dogs if neutered/spayed before their bone growth they will get prone to cruciate ligament tear. 
  3. Pet parents often go forward with this step thinking that it will help transform their pet's personality, but this is not the case. The personality of your pets completely depends upon their born and brought-up scenario.

Is your cat/dog ready to be spayed or neutered?

A healthy age for spaying a female dog is after eight weeks & that is after their first heat as per American Kennel Club. As for cats, the age comes round to five months after they have completed their primary vaccination.

However, even if your cat/dog crosses the mentioned span, it is advised to seek advice from the Vet because they are familiar with your pet’s health history.  


The recovery takes some time, stay calm and follow the guidance of a Vet post-surgery. Below are a few necessary recovery steps:

  • Keep your pet away from other animals for a week or two
  • Build a healthy private space for your pet
  • Keep your pet’s fur clean 
  • Avoid leaving them all by themselves 
  • If you see any blood in their urine or stool, look for your Vet at once

It is essential to stay updated with the Vet about your pet’s daily special care because you will notice a few changes such as growing pain, lethargic situation and troubled walking. Your pet may have to wear medical collars to keep them away from licking their wounds because it will delay the healing process. Don’t worry if you see your pet calmer than before, this will wear off, but they won’t have an urge to run off from the streets again.

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