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Male Cat Behavior After Neutering: How Much Will They Change? (Vet Answer)

silver male tabby cat lying on brown wooden table
Last Updated on November 28, 2023 by Catster Editorial Team

A reader recently asked us about how cats’ personalities change after they are neutered, and we responded. Read below to find out more.

I have a two-year-old male cat that I had neutered two weeks ago. Since that time he has been eating and drinking fine. But, before he was neutered he was very very active and meowing all the time to get outside. (He is an indoor only cat.) Since he came home from the vet he has not been the same cat. He doesn’t cry to go outside, he sits in the window and is content.

Before the procedure you could touch his belly and he would attack you now he doesn’t seem to mind. He is not as active as he was. Is this normal this soon after being neutered or could he be depressed? I have been checking the area for infection and there doesn’t to be a problem.
Thanks for any advice you can give.

Florence, AL

Intact adult male cats have large amounts of testosterone flowing in their blood. The hormone has many effects on the body. It promotes increased muscle mass. It promotes activity. It is linked to aggression. And it creates a strong urge to mate.

Many intact male cats make challenging pets. They may be obsessed with getting outdoors to engage in trysts. They may be very territorial, and they may fight with other cats and develop abscesses or catch FIV/feine AIDS. They may spray urine to mark their territory. When this happens indoors, it is quite intolerable for the people living with the cat.

When male cats are neutered, testosterone levels in their bloodstream steadily decrease. In many instances this causes their behavior to change. One of the most consistent changes is a decreased desire to go outside to look for fights and mates. Many, but not all cats become less active and less aggressive after they are neutered. Spraying of urine usually, but not always, diminishes.

Based on your description, I think your cat’s behavior is changing normally in response to decreased testosterone in his system. However, if you are worried about his condition, I’d recommend that you have your vet take a look at him.

The vet should be able to rule out complications such as infection that might be impacting your cat’s behavior (these sorts of complications are rare). And your vet will be able to help you devise a plan to ensure that you continue to enjoy your bond with your cat.

Hat tip to Mr. Gato — great photo!

Featured Photo by Kiran Anklekar, Unsplash

About the Author

Dr. Eric Barchas
Dr. Eric Barchas

Dr. Eric Barchas is a professional traveler who spends his spare time working as a full-time veterinarian; contributing to Dogster and Catster; walking, cooking, camping, and exploring the outdoors; skiing (when conditions permit); and reading Booker-shortlisted novels. In between trips Dr. Barchas lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Denise, and his canine pal, Buster. His main veterinary interests are emergency and critical care, wellness, pain management and promotion of the human-animal bond. Dr. Barchas has to Dogster and Catster since May 2005. 

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