The Benefits of Neutering Dogs and Cats

For years veterinarians have observed that as a general rule pet owners have a difficult time making the decision to castrate their male dog or cat while the decision to spay their female pet seems to be made with relative ease. The feeling of many, within the veterinary community, is that this phenomena is a result of a male oriented society. Because the neutering of a male animal contributes far more to pet population control than neutering its female counterpart it is important for us to overcome such male chauvinistic prejudices.

Castration is actually a far less serious operation than is an ovario-hysterectomy (spay). Where as ovariohysterectomy involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus and is major abdominal surgery, castration involves the removal of only the testicles and does not require abdominal surgery. A contributing factor to societies aversion to neutering the male of the species is that with the male the results of the surgery is apparent whereas with the female the changes are intra-abdominal and the anatomical rearrangement is not visible.

Beyond the obvious contribution castration makes toward population control there are a number of behavioral benefits that come as a result of this surgery. As a result of their decreased sex drive neutered males have less of an occasion to escape from the house or yard and run down the street where their chances of getting lost, stolen, shot, hit by a car or badly bitten are greatly increased. Neutering will reduce or eliminate the obnoxious tendency of male dogs to mount the knees of their owners or their owners friends and family. Neutering will make a male dog less aggressive toward his/her owner or toward other animals thus reducing the chance of it biting his/her owner or being bit by other animals. Neutered male cats are much less likely to get into fights with neighborhood Tom cats. Consequently neutered males develop significantly fewer “cat bite abscesses” than their unneutered counterparts. Neutering a male cat will greatly reduce their tendency to mark their territory by urinating on vertical objects in and around the house — this type of behavior is known as “spraying” and results in difficult to eliminate odors and often a house that smells like a urinal.

There are a number of health benefits which come with neutering the male animal. Castration will reduce or eliminate the prepucial drainage can produce stains on the rug and furniture. Neutered males will be less prone to developing prostatitis, perineal hernias and anal tumors. In fact when these problems are diagnosed neutering is almost always part of the recommended treatment protocol.

Unless you are seriously planning on breeding your male and are confident their will be homes for the offspring please consider neutering your male pet so that both you, your cat, and the community can reap the benefits.

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