Frequently Asked Questions » Neutering Cats and Dogs


Neutering is the term used to describe the removal of the reproductive organs.

Castration is the removal of the testicles in male animals

Spaying is the removal of the ovaries and uterus in female animals.

Neutering in Dogs

Bitches can come into season every 3-18 months, but usually come into season twice a year and have their first one around 6-8 months of age. The season will last approximately 2-3 weeks. The best time to get your bitch neutered is 3 months after their first season. We don't advise spaying the bitch whilst she is in season as this minimises the risk of haemorrhaging (bleeding) or staying in a false pregnancy.

A false pregnancy occurs after a season, and they may show signs of pregnancy, nursing and lactation, but without producing any puppies. If this occurs then we will wait until the bitch is over this before spaying her.

The benefits of spaying include:

Disadvantages include:

Spaying a bitch is a routine procedure at our practice and many are performed every year. Every anaesthetic carries a small risk, but our protocols ensure that these risks are kept to a minimum at all times. Please follow the link General Anaesthetic and Surgery to find out more

Male dogs can be castrated when they reach maturity which is usually between 8-10 months of age. Castration can be performed earlier but this should be discussed with your vet first.

There are a lot of advantages to castrating a dog including:

Neutering in cats

Female cats, known as Queens, can be spayed from 4 months old. Cats will reach sexual maturity from the age of 5-8 months and will start coming into season or 'calling'. It is advised to neuter them early to prevent unwanted litters as cats will mate from an early age. Spaying them will also stop unwanted behaviour patterns associated with sexual maturity.

Male cats can also be castrated from 4 months old and it is just as important as spaying female cats. An 'entire' male has a very distinct odour and are much more likely to show inappropriate behaviour such as:

Is it kinder to let my animal have a litter first?

Most people do not have the time or desire to breed from their cats and more often than not breeding leads to unwanted litters and there is no benefit to letting them have a litter first.

Neutered dogs and bitches also don't gain any benefit to having a litter first and there are more risks associated with giving birth than to spay them.

What happens on the day?

We usually ask that your dog or cat is brought in to the practice between 8.30 and 9.30am on the day of the op. We will ask that they are fasted from 7-8.30pm the night before so that they do not risk being sick during the anaesthetic.

The operation is carried out under general anaesthetic and the surgery is done in a sterile environment. We will ask that you phone us mid afternoon to see how they are getting on and we will arrange a time for them to go home that day.

Animals usually recover very well and will often eat that night. We arrange to check them through a post-op appointment after 3-7 days when we will also check how the wound is healing.

For more information on our anaesthetic procedures please follow the link General Anaesthetic and Surgery