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Should I neuter my cat? Advantages, disadvantages

Castration of a cat is a widespread and convenient operation, usually performed when the animal is pubescent. However, it should be noted that it is by no means mandatory. When is it necessary? What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a practice? Is it reimbursed by the mutual insurance company? Discover the answers to your questions in this file.

What is the castration of a cat ?

Spaying and neutering are two procedures whose objective is to avoid reproduction. We generally speak of spaying for a male cat and neutering for a female cat because these are the operations that are performed in the vast majority of cases. However, it is possible to perform each of them, regardless of the sex.
  • Spaying consists of removing the cat's sex glands, i.e. the testicles in males and the ovaries in females, in order to eliminate all hormone production.
  • Sterilization consists in cutting the internal element that allows fertilization, namely the vas deferens in the male and the fallopian tubes in the female. The production of hormones is not prevented.
The operation is ideally performed when the animal reaches puberty, i.e. at the age of 6 to 7 months. Of course, it is possible to perform the operation later. It is performed under general anesthesia, on an animal that is fasting and most often in good health.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of castration?

Is it systematically necessary to have your cat castrated? Indeed, if this operation is often recommended by veterinarians and by insurance companies, it is not mandatory and it is important to know that it has advantages, but also disadvantages.

The advantages of castration

  • A better health: having your cat neutered is an undeniable advantage for his health. Indeed, the operation reduces the risk of many contagious diseases such as cat AIDS or leukemia, as well as certain forms of cancer, especially tumors that affect the genital and reproductive systems and the udders of cats and bitches.
  • A cat that is less prone to behavioral problems: a neutered cat is less disturbed by its hormones and will therefore be less likely to fight other animals or its rivals. In addition, the animal will be less tempted to run away and will therefore be less exposed to the dangers of such adventures. On average, it is estimated that the life expectancy of an unneutered cat is twice as short as that of a neutered cat.
  • A calmer animal: A neutered cat is calmer and less likely to mark its territory by scratching and biting furniture and fabrics. Also, males no longer mark their territory with their urine.
  • A better controlled reproduction: a neutered animal can no longer reproduce, which avoids having to manage the possible litters of a cat or the incessant exits of a cat in search of gallant company. A litter can give birth to six kittens, sometimes more. So you have to take care of all these little people! Furthermore, neutering reduces the number of births and therefore avoids clogging the shelters with abandoned kittens. Indeed, nearly 600,000 kittens are born each year in France and unfortunately not all of them can be adopted.

The disadvantages of neutering

  • The cost: the castration of a cat is a relatively expensive operation since it is necessary to count an average of 80 euros for a male and 150 euros for a female. Moreover, most of the time, the operation is performed on a young animal that has been previously identified and/or vaccinated, which imposes high expenses in the near future. Each practitioner is free to apply the rates of his choice, which is why it is possible and legitimate to compare the clinics between them. If you live near a veterinary school, you can try to have your pet operated on at a lower cost. It is also possible to opt for a health insurance that covers this type of operation, but you should know that these formulas are the most expensive.
  • Weight gain: Spaying tends to increase a cat's appetite, although this is not a hard and fast rule. In general, neutered cats do gain weight, so their diet should be monitored. Allowing them to exercise at the same time is often essential to their well-being.
  • An adapted diet: in addition to being overweight, neutered cats present an increased risk of urinary fragility. It is therefore essential to opt for a suitable diet.

Is it covered by the cat insurance?

There is a wide range of mutual insurance plans for cats, from the most basic to the most high-end. Not all of them offer coverage for neutering, but it is possible to do so.

Castration is a preventive act that is not mandatory. As such, it is not usually included in basic plans. Most insurance companies only offer this coverage in their premium packages, which are much more expensive, averaging between 200 and 600 euros per year.

However, there are exceptions, especially when castration must be performed to preserve the animal's health. This is for example the case in the presence of a tumor. In this case, it is no longer an act of convenience, but a surgical necessity. The coverage is therefore possible, at the rate defined when the contract is signed.

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