Is It Really That Important to Get My Cat Neutered?

Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:

Our cat, Guy, is nearly a year old now. We found him when he was a kitten, 2-3 weeks old, in the lagoon area in southeast Nigeria. I had to feed him with a dropper and massage his belly; he was to young to do number one on his own.

Anyway, he’s a big boy now, leaving with us in Lagos, Nigeria. He stays only indoors but has plenty of place to roam around. We are not planning to have him go outside unless he really wants to, because it’s not very safe. He is actually a bit intimidated by the outside world, maybe because he grew up indoors.

Guy has now reached an age where he wants to find a girlfriend. He is not spraying the house or making strange noises, etc., but he is trying to hump the dirty clothes! He carries them around and humps them. It started with socks but he has now moved on the the sofa pillows! It’s disgusting! But we love him and we can manage all that.

My question is, is it bad for a male cat that is not castrated not to have regular sex?

We don’t want to castrate him — he won’t produce unwanted kittens or get into fights or anything like that, and apart from the pillow humping, he is not marking or spraying.

We will breed him one day, but till then Guy is not emptying the sacks. The vet convinced me he is in discomfort and I booked an appointment for this weekend to do the operation, but I really need a second opinion if it is that needed.

Thanks guys, I’m awaiting your reply with anticipation!

~ Eliza

Thomas basking in a sun puddle.

Thomas says he’s happy that he’s neutered. He’s not running around chasing the ladies, and he can love his harem just because they’re awesome rather than because he needs to mate.

Siouxsie: Eliza, thank you for asking this question. We always recommend that cats get neutered or spayed, and there are a bunch of reasons why.

Thomas: First of all, there are already so many unwanted kittens abandoned to fend for themselves, that it would be really unfair to contribute to the problem by not having your cat fixed.

Bella: Not only that, but spaying and neutering drastically reduce the chance that a cat will come to a violent end while seeking a mate.

Siouxsie: Best of all, it will reduce or eliminate unwanted behaviors like urine spraying or, in Guy’s case, humping laundry and pillows.

Thomas: Neutered male cats are less aggressive than intact tomcats, too. I mean, yes, I’m a mancat, and I can defend my territory and all, but I’m just not as crazy-aggressive as some of my un-neutered friends.

Bella: He’s a lover, not a fighter! *purrrrrrrrrrrrr*

Siouxsie: Oh, for heaven’s sake.

Thomas: Be nice, Siouxsie.

Siouxsie: *grumble*

Thomas: Anyway, because we neutered boys fight less, we’re at much less risk of contracting diseases like feline immunodeficiency virus, which is spread through deep bite wounds like the kind we get (and give) when we’re fighting with other male cats.

Bella: Neutering can prevent testicular cancer, too. Trust us, it’s really sad to watch a cat die from cancer.

Siouxsie: If you have Guy neutered, he’ll probably become much more of a “family cat” — he’ll be more cuddly and relaxed.

Thomas: It’s an economic thing, too. It costs a lot more to care for a mom and a litter of kittens than it does to have your dude neutered. Sure, your cat won’t be the one getting pregnant, but somebody’s cat will be. Who knows if they’ll be able to afford to do the right thing and get mom-cat and her kittens fixed?

Bella: And if mom-cat is an alley cat, her kittens will continue to contribute to cat overpopulation.

Siouxsie: In other words, neutering is a win-win-win — for humans, for your cat and for felinekind as a whole.

Thomas: We’re not going to lie, though: there is some risk. Neutering is surgery and it’s done under general anesthesia. All surgeries pose risks, whether from complications like bleeding or a bad reaction to the anesthesia.

Bella: But the risk of a bad reaction is so tiny that the benefits of neutering far outweigh the risks. Please get your Guy neutered. Thanks!

  • Anita

    By all means get Guy neutered. If he would have been neutered long ago he would not be doing what he is doing. As far as having unwanted kittens, you don’t know when the urge will be so bad he will get out of the house and find an unspayed female. And there you have it. He certainly doesn’t need to be bred. There are enough homeless kittens in the world. I just picked up three beauties that someone dumped on the side of the road. Luckily, they werent’ yet hurt by the wildlife in PA. PLEASE get this young man neutered..

  • Eleonora

    I think you shoud neuter him, I’m afraid it is kind of frustrating for him not to be able to mate don’t you think? It’s something he eagerly want but cannot get it.

  • porkahontas

    Please neuter your cat. I have 5 cats, all rescued from the streets of NY/NJ because someone thought it was ok to let their cat go do his/her thing. My two boys were neutered at 5 months old, they are healthy and happy. My 3 girls were fixed at 6 months, also very healthy and happy. Everyone has a great indoor life, none are overweight (i feed them a fixed amount twice a day). Everyone, even the three 11-year-olds still play with toys. Here are the ASPCAs top 10 reasons for neutering:

    The spraying can happen at anytime, most likely will happen when your boy smells another male.

  • Karen Oliver-Paull

    We have had many cats over the years and we had all but one of our male cats neutered. The first one, Kishka, wasn’t neutered simply because we lived so far from anyone else he was not in contact with other cats. However, he did roam a lot looking for other cats. This got him killed because he roamed into my parents’ yard and tried to get a bird from under my Mom’s feeder so my Dad shot him. I never knew what happened to him until my Dad thought he was dying and confessed to me. All our cats are fixed as there are just too many cats around here now and I don’t want them fighting or making babies that will wind up as road kill since this area is now full of cats and people who cannot read speed limit signs.

  • Paula

    I have an 8 month old male cat that I hand raised. I found him when he was about 3 days old and bottle fed him. My male cat also humps fuzzy things in the house. This started at about 5 months old. I could not find a vet willing to neuter him until he was 6 months old. He was exactly 6 months old when I had him neutered. I like many assumed having him fixed would stop him from humping my blankets and stuffed animals. It did not stop this behavior to have him neutered. I then began searching the internet for an explanation of why he did this. It is common among hand raised cats to self soothe in this manner. He has stopped doing it as often but it still happens. So the answer to one of your questions is no neutering may not stop him from humping the pillows.

  • riverfrontcats

    I think you have to get him neutered. This would help to prevent the rising number of homeless kittens around the world. We need to raise awareness about this situation.

  • Sierra

    Other than the number of healthy cats that are put down constantly simply because of overpopulation and an inability to find them homes, neutering also helps to prevent both testicular and prostate diseases. It’s better not to have to go through the suffering and heartbreak over a very sick pet, not to mention the pain and discomfort that it could cause your poor boy. Either disease would mean neutering anyway, so it just seems kinder to forgo that kind of risk.

  • Janis

    Get the boy fixed. Its just a matter of time before the urge to mate will become so strong that he will find a way to get out, or drive you nuts until you let him out, and then he’ll not only increase the un-wanted cat population, but he’ll probably get himself killed since he doesn’t know a thing about how to live outdoors…how to avoid cars, how to fight (or not fight), how to avoid unkind humans…etc etc. Its also just a matter of time before he does start spraying and marking his territory and once he starts doing that, sometimes even getting him neutered doesn’t stop the behavior. Then you are stuck with a stinky house, (and the smell is near impossible to remove) and an unhappy cat and owner. Do yourself a favor and get the boy fixed as soon as possible. He’ll be a much happier cat. And in the long run, you will be a much happier caretaker.

  • Nadine

    It’s not only the issue of unwanted kittens (as you may not know if he finds a stray cat and impregnates her), but also health wise as it decreases the risks of prostrate cancer in male cats. Please know that it’s very important to have animals sterilized and that while people may want a litter of kittens, it’s not always a good thing. also, you are helping prevent a female cat somewhere from being constantly pregnant as a females can become pregnant almost immediately after giving birth. eventually the female’s body gives in. some males still spray and still want to mate and do everything a non-sterilized male would do. think along the lines of health and what’s good for your boy.

  • Chris

    It’s almost impossible to live with male or female cats in the house if they are not sterilized (neutered or spayed). Both sexes will often spray in the house, be anxious and keep trying to get outside. They tend to spend less time grooming and their physical condition may become poor.

    When they either escape outside or their fed up owner decides to let them out, young males may get chased away because territories outside are already divided up. “Your” yard isn’t really yours, after hours. The cats will end up displaced, probably in a territory that may not have much food or adequate shelter. If they survive for a couple of years, they then have to fight for and acquire a territory, then spend a lot of time patrolling it and fighting to defend it. They will often then end up with a disease that may weaken their immune system, and then get chased away by a stronger male. It’s really a rough life when all the cats aren’t sterilized, like in a managed feral colony through Trap, Neuter, Return).

    A female cat can get attacked by cats or other animals. If she becomes pregnant, males will sometimes continue to harass her, then kill her kittens so they can mate with her instead.

    Putting a house cat outside instead of getting them spayed or neutered, or otherwise solving behavior problems, is unacceptable and usually extremely stressful for the cat. Their home is their territory where they know where their food and hiding places are. Outside they are displaced from their territory. (Lost cat behavior –

    They may hide for several days, going without food or water. This can result in them getting sick with hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease. This is more likely to happen to overweight cats.
    (Hepatic lipidosis –