Neutering a cat involves surgically removing a cat’s reproductive organs to prevent them from reproducing. It is done by a veterinarian by the time most cats are around 4 months of age or sexually mature.
Owners may choose to get their cats neutered for various reasons, but usually to avoid unwanted pregnancies, decrease the risk of certain cancers, and to reduce hormonal behaviors. However, it can leave you wondering whether they can still mate or even have the urge to.
Although neutering can reduce a male cat’s urge to mate, they can still technically mate with female cats without resulting in pregnancy.
What Is Neutering in Cats?
Neutering refers to the castration of male cats when their testes are surgically removed. The term “neutering” is generally used for male cats, whereas “spaying” is used for female cats. If you do not want to be specific about the terms, it is simply called sterilization. In scientific terms, neutering is an orchidectomy.
Feline neutering is considered a routine procedure done by veterinarians around the world. Many disruptive behaviors in male cats are fueled by high testosterone levels. This includes increased roaming behavior, urine spraying, and persistent yowling. Unneutered male cats can get unspayed female cats pregnant, so sterilization is a common method used to prevent it. The neutering process doesn’t take very long, and cats can go back to their old routine after a few days of recovery.
Can Cats Still Mate After Being Neutered?
Yes, male cats can technically mate with female cats after they have been neutered. Neutering only removes a male cat’s testes and not their penis which is needed for penetration. Their testicles contain sperm and their primary source of testosterone which is responsible for sexual behavior and reproductive organ development. Without testes and sperm, neutered cats can no longer get female cats pregnant. However, he may still try to mate with her.
Do Neutered Cats Want to Mate?
Many neutered cats will still have the urge to mate after their procedure, as the testosterone hasn’t completely left their bodies yet. It can take several weeks before you notice a difference in your neutered cats’ sexual behaviors. Once they are no longer driven by testosterone, their urge to mate usually decreases.
Your neutered male cat may spend less time urine spraying or desperately attempting to escape in search of a female cat. Many cat owners see this as a win, as a hormonal male cat can be destructive in the home, neighborhood, and to other cats.
Do Spayed Female Cats Still Have the Urge to Mate?
Since female cats lack testes, their reproductive organs like ovaries and uterus are removed instead. This eliminates the risk of unwanted litter since a spayed cat can no longer become pregnant. This is true even if she mates with an unneutered male cat. Spaying does not prevent a female cat from being able to physically mate with a male but typically reduces the urge to.
The urge for unspayed female cats to mate isn’t as disruptive as it is in males aside from when they are in heat (estrus cycle). Female cats go into estrus once or twice a month and willingly seek out male cats to mate with. Once a female cat is spayed, she no longer goes into heat and doesn’t have a strong desire to mate anymore. In rare cases, leftover ovarian tissue can cause something known as Ovarian Remnant Syndrome, where a spayed cat continues to act as if she is in heat.
Both neutered and spayed cats can still technically mate, but the hormonal urges to do so will be reduced. This is because their reproductive organs have been removed. A neutered cat will not be able to get a female cat pregnant and usually experiences fewer urges to mate in the first place.
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