Kitten neutering guide

At Royal Canin we know that finding trustworthy advice and reliable information on the subject of kitten neutering can be difficult and time-consuming. That’s why we’ve combined the most important facts and recommendations regarding kitten neutering in one place.

Let’s take a look at what’s involved when it comes to neutering your kitten, including the benefits of having your feline neutered, when to neuter your cat and the procedure itself. Remember, the more information you have, the better-informed you’ll be to make your decisions.

Benefits of neutering

The most obvious benefit is that neutering will reduce the numbers of unwanted litters, as cats are surprisingly adept at breeding. Finding good homes for unexpected kittens is not an easy job. Having said this, there are many other benefits to neutering your cat, from both a health and behaviour perspective.

Female felines may develop infections or tumours of the uterus, particularly in later life, as well as mammary tumours. Having a female spayed can reduce the risk of these diseases to occur.

For male cats, if testicles are retained in the abdomen they are more likely to develop tumours, which is why castration is always advised in these cases.

For both genders, it’s a case of the sooner you seek advice from your vet, the better. This will give you more time to process the facts about neutering and to make the best decision for your cat.

Sharing your home with an unneutered cat may not always be easy. Female cats will come into season regularly and can call and attract males in the nearby environment. Entire males may stray and display territorial behaviour, such as spraying urine within the home.

When to neuter your cat

The neutering process generally takes place when a kitten is aged between 5 and 6 months.

Your veterinary surgery will be able to give you advice best tailored to your kitten’s unique needs. Cats can also be neutered at a later age if they missed the procedure as a kitten.

The neutering procedure

If you make the decision to have your kitten neutered, it’s beneficial to be aware of how the process takes place. First, you should arrange an appointment with your vet for the neutering procedure to occur. Once the day arrives, take your kitten to the veterinary practice for the procedure to begin, having followed any instructions you were given about preventing your cat accessing food and water just prior to its operation.

The operation is performed by your vet while your kitten is under general anaesthetic, usually monitored by a veterinary nurse. As previously mentioned, neutering is known as spaying in female cats and castration in male cats.

Female kittens are spayed through an incision into the abdomen – either on the side or the tummy. Then, both ovaries (and sometimes the uterus) are removed, and the incision is closed with stitches. In male cats, castration usually involves both testicles being removed through small incisions in the scrotum, which are left to heal on their own.

Neutering is a relatively short procedure and both kittens and cats usually recover from the effects of the anaesthetic within a few hours. In most cases, felines can go home at the end of the day. You will need to take your kitten back to the vet after a few days for a re-examination to ensure that the incisions are healing normally. If your kitten has had stitches which haven’t dissolved naturally you might need to return at a later date to have them removed.

It is likely that your vet or vet nurse will also discuss the dietary changes you should make after your cat has been neutered. Your cat’s energy requirements will normally reduce by around 30% after neutering so it is best to make a dietary change otherwise your cat may gain weight.  Your vet is likely to recommend feeding a diet formulated specifically for neutered cats.

Ask your vet

Remember, it’s important to always speak to your vet for tailored advice on your cat’s condition, health and dietary requirements before and after the neutering procedure.When should kittens start eating adult food?

Whether you have a brand new kitten, or if your kitten is getting a little older, you want to make sure you’re feeding it the right food. In this article, we’ll look at a kitten’s different life stages from a nutritional perspective and what you can do to give them the right type of food.

When to start feeding kittens

Kittens will begin to be weaned from 4 weeks old, this means they can start moving on from their mother’s milk or a milk replacer on to solid food. By the time they are 7 weeks old they will be consuming solid food almost exclusively.

Can kittens eat adult cat food?

We would strongly advise against this.

The digestive system of a kitten is still immature, meaning that it isn’t ready to process the same kind of food that an adult cat will have. Due to their immature digestive systems, they can be very susceptible to stomach upsets.

That’s why we make an ultra-digestible food, specially formulated for kittens. This also includes a tailor-made kibble, which has a shape and size to help kittens to chew and swallow their food. It is also vital that growing kittens receive the right nutrients in the right levels at the right time and a kitten formula is perfectly designed for this.

This food also supports kittens’ natural defences – between 4 to 12 week old kittens are particularly vulnerable to diseases and infections, so this is especially important.

When should I move my kitten on to adult cat food?

Our adult cat food is designed to be eaten from when your cat is 1 year old, up until the age of 7.