An unneutered male cat can be… a handful, to say the least. Otherwise known as tomcats, there is a multitude of reasons to have them neutered. To answer the question; yes—a male cat will be more affectionate and less aggressive after they have recovered from the operation.
This is because the procedure—known as an orchidectomy, involves removing certain organs which are the primary producers of a powerful hormone that drives many undesirable behaviors including spraying. You know which organs we’re talking about.
Yeah– no thanks. While neutering removes the hormones and subsequently their related behaviors, this is not to be confused with general behavior issues that require additional attention. We break down dome hormone-driven behaviors below.
Hormone Driven Behaviors of Male Cats
Until a male cat has the procedure done, he is ridden with testosterone which can make him exhibit all kinds of aggressive and unwanted behaviors. Let’s have a closer look at what we’re talking about.
The whole point of testosterone is to drive the animal to reproduce. In nature, this involves expressing the strongest features of your species. For cats, that means that they need to have huge territories and defend them or take them from other cats.
When the cat’s testicles are removed and the hormone is no longer produced, you should see a huge reduction in aggression, fighting, and other behaviors as mentioned below. Age does matter somewhat, as older cats can continue to exhibit these behaviors to an extent out of habit.
It’s fairly safe to say that it is common knowledge that cats mark their territory by peeing or spraying—as many mammals do, and if you didn’t know, now you do. What is a little more significant in regards to our somewhat 1-sided conversation about tomcats, is the smell.
The hormones produced by unneutered cats are far more pungent than in cats who have undergone the procedure. So, if you’ve got a tomcat who’s been spraying, you’re looking forward to not only a more agreeable cat but a more normal-smelling litter box.
This is probably an obvious one, but if you neuter your cat you don’t have to worry about coming home and finding a litter of kittens. You wouldn’t have anyway, because tomcats are deadbeat dads, at best.
It still bears mentioning though, because there have been cases of fatherly tomcats. Besides, there are better ways to meet your neighbors than collaborating on how to deal with a litter of kittens!
Grooming and Cleanliness
Many people report that male cats tend to their grooming more consistently after being neutered. Another factor that contributes to their overall hygiene comes from the fact that they are less aggressive and prone to fighting—they have fewer scratches.
Cat scratches are notorious for getting infected and affect your cat’s ability to clean himself properly. This is another undesirable issue that is mitigated through neutering.
Are Cats More Playful After Neutering?
Yes. As the cat becomes less aggressive due to all the hormones, he will become less aggressive usually which usually results in a more affectionate demeanor. There are no guarantees, however.
Cats are known for having their own personalities, and especially in older cats or males who have spent a long time outdoors and unneutered, it’s still possible that they can be stand-offish.
The 3 Myths About Neutering Your Cat
1. Your Cat Will Become Overweight
This isn’t necessarily true, although to be fair, they can gain some weight after the procedure, however, this shouldn’t be a lasting effect. When anybody undergoes a significant hormonal shift, weight changes are a common occurrence, and generally don’t end up being permanent.
As the pet parent, part of your responsibilities include playing with them to promote exercise—or at least providing them with toys or the means to do so on their own, if they will self-engage. A healthy diet is also important.
2. The Procedure Will Traumatize Your Cat
The cat is put under anesthesia, feels nothing, and has no recollection of the event. The operation itself, while it does involve making small incisions, isn’t very invasive at all, as far as surgical procedures go. Your cat will certainly need time to heal, and probably have some discomfort for a couple of days, but this will pass. Cats are not attached to their appendages in the same way that people are—so this myth is just silly!
3. Neutering Your Cat Will Fix Bad Behavior
While neutering your cat is going to tone down the aggression, spraying, and other hormonally driven behaviors, it doesn’t change who they are. If you have a cat who is extremely aggressive or dominant, he may still be that way to some extent.
If your cat is still exhibiting bad behavior, it’s important to investigate. A common cause of aggression in cats who otherwise wouldn’t be is that they are in pain. Cats are predators and as such very stoic—they don’t show pain, they get aggressive. Be sure to follow up if problems don’t change, though your cat’s behavior won’t change overnight, even if it’s only hormone related.
How Long Does It Take For Cats to Calm After Being Neutered?
With the last section in mind, you can’t expect to take your cat home from the vet and have his hormone levels 100% fixed. It takes time for them to work their way out of your little guy’s system, so make sure you give him a chance to correct. It takes approximately 4–6 weeks before you should really be seeing the behavioral changes you are looking for.
How to Care for Your Recently Neutered Cat
When you get your cat home from the vet, he will undoubtedly be given a cone. The best thing to do is to put him in a reasonably small kennel and let him rest. He’s going to be in some discomfort for about 24–36 hours, and that is totally normal.
The vet may or may not decide to give you medication and instructions on how to administer it, but most of the time that’s not necessary. Most operations take anywhere between 7–14 days to heal. The best way to minimize this is to limit your cat’s movements, leave the cone on, and ensure that they don’t do anything to disturb the sutures while they heal.
While every cat is certainly different, as a generalization, you should see a big improvement in your male cat’s demeanor a few weeks after neutering. A tomcat can sure be a handful, but when you consider aggression, population control, and many factors that contribute to your cat’s wellbeing, it makes sense to have the procedure done. Often, you are rewarded with a gentler, more affectionate version of your cat.
Featured Image: Pixabay
- Hormone Driven Behaviors of Male Cats
- Are Cats More Playful After Neutering?
- The 3 Myths About Neutering Your Cat
- How Long Does It Take For Cats to Calm After Being Neutered?
- How to Care for Your Recently Neutered Cat