How Long Does it Take for Male Kittens to Settle Down After Neutering?

by Jane Meggitt, Demand Media Google
    Ah, that neutering stuff was nothing at all!

    Ah, that neutering stuff was nothing at all!

    For most male kittens, recovering from neuter surgery is practically a non-event. While they should be kept quiet for a few days after surgery, they are kittens after all. They should be back to playing and tearing around the house shortly, but you'll miss any potential tomcat behavior.

    Behavior

    It's always a good idea to neuter your male kitten, unless he's a purebred and you intend to show and breed him. The simple fact is there are just too many cats in the world and not enough homes for them. Neutered male cats don't display those lovely tomcat behaviors such as urine spraying to mark territory or fighting with other males over females. If they're outside cats, they stay closer to home, with much less reason to roam.

    Pediatric Neutering

    In the past, most veterinarians and spay/neuter facilities didn't neuter male kittens until they reached adolescence, about the age of 6 months. For all intents and purposes, they were already cats. Today, many vets neuter kittens once the animal reaches the age of 2 months and weighs at least 2 pounds. Kittens neutered before adolescence don't develop the secondary sex characteristics of male cats in physical appearance. They're less muscular, with thinner faces. They also don't develop spines on the penis, just in case you want that image in your mind.

    Surgery

    For most neuters, the vet advises you not to feed Kitty the night before the surgery. This might not be true for a young kitten, as the need for nourishment in a baby's body might outweigh the no-feeding precaution. Your vet or the spay/neuter facility will give you their recommendations. After Kitty receives anesthesia, the vet makes a small incision to the scrotum and removes the testes. Just a few sutures seals the deal.

    Post-Operative Care

    Some kittens sail through neutering as if nothing happened to them. Often, the grogginess from the anesthesia is the worst part. Other kittens take longer to recuperate and might be reclusive or out-of-sorts for several days. Switch from cat litter to shredded newspaper in the litter box for the week following surgery so litter dust can't get into his incision. Keep Kitty as quiet as possible for a few days, which might not be easy. If the incision bleeds or appears infected, or if Kitty doesn't eat after a day or so, take him to the vet.

    About the Author

    Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.

    Photo Credits

    • Martin Poole/Photodisc/Getty Images