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How Long Does It Take to Neuter a Cat? All You Need To Know

Any surgical procedure done to your pet can seem like it lasts forever. After all, most people hate being away from their pet, even for a day!

If you plan on getting your male cat neutered soon, you might be wondering how long the procedure takes from start to finish. The short answer is that it takes between two and 20 minutes to perform the average neutering procedure. These procedures are routine for veterinarians, and many of them could probably do it with their eyes closed—don’t worry; they won’t!

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What Is a Neutering Procedure?

A neutering procedure is the complete removal of both testes from an animal. This removes both your cat’s ability to impregnate another cat and the source of the hormones that tell them to look for a mate.

There are two kinds of neutering procedures: a simple procedure and an abdominal procedure. The only time your cat should need an abdominal neuter is if he suffers from cryptorchidism, meaning one of his testicles did not descend into the scrotum and is still housed inside his abdomen.

cat neutered
Image Credit: Andrii Medvednikov, Shutterstock

Why Should I Neuter My Cat?

The most apparent benefit of neutering your cat is nullifying the chance of any unplanned pregnancies. This can be especially important if you have a multi-cat household or if your neighborhood has a lot of stray cats.

Additionally, neutering your cat will reduce a lot of unwanted and offensive behaviors associated with being intact. For example, spaying is known to reduce spraying, caterwauling, and destructive behaviors related to mating, like trying to escape to get to a fertile female cat.

Neutering your cat also helps the environment! Cats are considered one of the most destructive invasive species on the planet. Introducing them to an environment can devastate populations of endemic flora and fauna.

Animal welfare authorities recommend sterilization for all cats, even feral ones that will be released back into the wild, to prevent overpopulation. One of the leading causes of overpopulation is accidental litters of companion cats who get dumped in the wild. Neutering your cat prevents you from getting tangled up in any unplanned cat pregnancies.

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Image Credit; Vshivkova, Shutterstock

Neutering your cat also prevents them from developing testicular cancer and other diseases affecting the reproductive organs. This reduces overall healthcare costs over time, even if the surgery is a bit costly out the gate.

Finally, neutering your cat will reduce inter-cat aggression if you have a multi-cat household. Other male cats won’t view your neutered cat as a rival when it comes to mating. If all your cats are fixed, they won’t view each other as rivals at all because none of them will have the drive to mate.

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How Should I Care for My Cat After He’s Been Neutered?

Neutering care is generally simple since the procedure is minimally invasive. In addition, it’s considered a routine outpatient procedure, meaning your cat will go home the same day the procedure is done.

Your vet will keep your cat for a few hours after the procedure to ensure that he isn’t having an adverse reaction to anything given to him during the procedure. Then, he’ll be free to go home and relax in your arms.

cat is being checked by a vet
Image Credit: Maria Sbytova, Shutterstock

Your cat will need a cone of shame following his procedure. This cone will prevent him from licking at the sutures and disturbing the healing process with his grooming habits. So even if it’s a little uncomfortable for him, it’s for his good.

The procedure should take 5–7 days to heal properly if done through a simple neuter procedure. However, if your cat had to be neutered with a full abdominal procedure, it would take 10–15 days to heal properly.

Can I Leave My Cat Alone After His Neutering Procedure?

You can leave your cat alone after his procedure, but you shouldn’t leave him alone for too long. You shouldn’t have problems going to work or whatnot, but don’t disappear and go on vacation or anything. Your cat will feel very vulnerable after his surgery and will want you around for comfort.

If your cat needed a full abdominal neutering procedure, you’d want to supervise him more than if it was done with a simple procedure. Full abdominal surgery is more invasive and will require more care. Your vet will guide you and give you aftercare instructions that suit the procedure done for your cat.

Male marble cat lying in cat bed
Image Credit: Iva Vagnerova, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Neutering is serious business for your cat, and there’s a reason why veterinarians everywhere recommend your cat be neutered. It provides both health and behavioral benefits that allow your cat to settle into a more comfortable life as a companion animal.

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Featured Image Credit: Simon Kadula, Shutterstock