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Can Neutering Your Cat Increase Their Life Expectancy? Vet-Reviewed Facts

Written by: Crystal Uys

Last Updated on April 1, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat wearing elizabethan collar after neuter surgery

Can Neutering Your Cat Increase Their Life Expectancy? Vet-Reviewed Facts


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Neutering your cat is one of the most important procedures in your male cat’s life.1 Every cat owner knows how bad male cat urine smells, and unneutered males tend to spray once they enter puberty. Aggressive behavior ensues; your male cat will wander and roam, become territorial, and will become a less-than-desirable cat to have around.

But what about your male cat’s health? Can neutering your cat increase their life expectancy? Yes, it can! Having your male cat neutered will undoubtedly increase his life expectancy. Read on as we dive into this subject to better understand why you should neuter your cat if you haven’t already.

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Can Neutering Your Cat Increase Their Life Expectancy?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), having your male cat neutered will increase his life expectancy by 62%. One reason that percentage is high is that neutered males do not roam like unneutered males. When cats roam, they can be attacked and killed by another animal, hit by a car, or pick up an infection or disease.

a domestic cat wearing a cone-shaped collar to prevent scratching skin disease
Image Credit: eremeevdv, Shutterstock

Can Neutering My Cat Decrease His Chance of Developing Cancer?

Absolutely, yes. Neutering your male cat eliminates his chances of developing testicular cancer because the testicles are removed altogether. Neutering also helps decrease the chance of your cat developing benign prostatic hyperplasia, which causes difficulty urinating and defecating.

Are Cats Happier After Being Neutered?

Your cat may become more affectionate after being neutered. But don’t worry; it won’t change your cat’s personality completely, but rather reduce certain behaviors associated with being intact, such as aggression, the desire to roam, and spraying. There will always be debates on whether it’s humane to neuter a cat, but the pros outweigh the cons, especially regarding their health.

The only con we can see is your cat may gain weight. Intact males roam more, which burns more calories. Their metabolism also slows, so your neutered cat may not be as active after the procedure, but you can always consult your veterinarian about this issue.

Is There an Optimal Age to Neuter My Cat?

You should consider neutering your cat before he reaches 5 months old. It’s safer and faster to perform the surgery at that age rather than when the cat matures. By neutering earlier in the cat’s life, you’ll also help decrease the free-roaming cat population, which is overcrowded and leads to euthanasia in shelters.

a cat after neutering with elizabeth collar
Image Credit: Koiee, Shutterstock

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Tips for Keeping Your Cat Safe

Neutering your cat will keep your cat safe. As we’ve mentioned, an intact male wanders and roams, which could lead to getting hit by a car or getting an infection. Fixing your cat will also diminish aggressive behaviors and eliminate the possibility of developing certain cancers.

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As you can see, neutering your cat has significant positive outcomes. By fixing your male cat, you eliminate his chance of developing testicular cancer and decrease his chance of developing prostatic hyperplasia. Your neutered cat will have no aggression associated with being intact and may even become more affectionate. You’ll also be helping cut down the cat population that leads to overcrowding in animal shelters. In the end, we highly recommend neutering your male cat for a happier and longer life.

Featured Image Credit: elwynn, Shutterstock

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