Unless you are planning to breed from your cat, we strongly advise you to have him or her castrated or spayed. This can help to protect your pet against potentially life-threatening conditions such as cancer in later life, and in the case of males can help avoid aggressive and territorial behaviour. Most male cats involved in road traffic accidents are uncastrated. Every year, thousands of stray animals are destroyed because homes cannot be found for them – neutering your animal is the responsible way to avoid this.

If you are considering having your pet neutered, you are welcome to telephone us to find out the cost and to arrange an appointment. The operation is performed at our Penwortham branch, and most animals go home the same day.

If you are considering having your cat neutered but are concerned about the cost, please telephone the surgery for advice – we may be able to put you in contact with a charity for assistance.

We strongly advise neutering of all cats unless you are particularly interested in breeding. We would not advise breeding non-pedigree cats as rescue centres are overrun with non-pedigree cats and kittens for which good homes cannot be found.

Male cats are castrated: this means the testes are removed under general anaesthetic. This is a very short operation and no stitches are required. Your cat will go home the same day and we expect his recovery time to be very short and he will be able to resume his normal activities the next day.

Entire (uncastrated) males are almost certain to start urine marking from about six months. The urine of an entire male smells very strongly and is used to mark out his territory, both indoors and out, by lifting his tail and spraying onto various objects such as your furniture. Clearly this can be very unpleasant to live with. Entire males are also much more likely to roam and have a far higher risk of being involved in a road traffic accident. They are also more likely to fight with other males, increasing the risk of exposure to FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), and sustain bites and other injuries.

Female cats are spayed: this procedure, technically called an ovariohysterectomy, involves the removal of both the uterus and the ovaries. It is performed under general anaesthetic.

The main benefit of spaying is that it prevents pregnancy. An entire female cat could produce a litter of 4-6 kittens twice yearly, and would continue to do so all her life. Pregnancy always carries a risk to her, but this risk increases with age.

Some people still believe that it is kinder to allow a cat to have ‘just one litter’ before spaying her. This is of no benefit to the cat whatsoever, and no pregnancy is without risk. Some cats have problems giving birth, and an emergency caesarean operation has to be performed; this is expensive, and risks the mother and the kittens.

Cats can also get mammary tumours, but their incidence is reduced by 86 percent if the female cat is spayed before she is one year of age.