There are many benefits to neutering a male cat, including decreasing his desire to mark territory. When an intact male cat sprays urine, it tends to have a very strong odor. Neutering your male cat not only will make his urine less stinky, but it has other benefits for him.
Why Does My Cat Spray?
When a cat sprays, he's leaving small amounts of urine on vertical surfaces, such as walls or trees. Typically, he keeps his back to the area and his tail may quiver while he releases urine. Occasionally, a cat will mark territory on flat surfaces. Cats mark territory to signal their ownership of a spot or that they are sexually available. Although male and female cats will mark with urine, it's most common in un-neutered male cats. Intact males, or Tom cats, have an unmistakable odor that is very strong and pungent.
Neutering the cat will remove the odor and, often, reduce the motivation for spraying. Approximately 10 percent of male cats will continue to spray urine after they're neutered, but the urine should not have the same malodorous smell.
What is Neutering?
When a male cat is neutered, his testicles are removed. It's a simple procedure, performed on him while he's under general anesthesia. Usually external stitches aren't necessary. Recovery tends to be fairly quick and painless.
Benefits to Neutering
Besides decreasing the inclination to spray and removing the strong odor in his urine, you and your cat will realize many benefits to neutering. He will be less inclined to wander, which will help minimize the risk of getting injured from outside hazards, such as cars, disease or other animals. He'll also be less likely to fight with other cats. Health benefits associated with neutering also include no risk of testicular cancer and less chance of prostate issues.
Clearing Up Misconceptions
Just because he's neutered doesn't mean he's lazy. True, he doesn't wander as much, but that's because he's not seeking out a mate. If you're concerned he may gain a little paunch after his surgery, you can cut back on his food intake a bit and spend some time playing with him. Neutering won't impact his physical development -- he'll still be the same overall height and weight he would have been -- and he won't feel bad because he's been neutered. Cats don't have sexual identities and don't think about the children they never had.
Of course, neutering your cat means fewer unwanted cats in animal shelters, which euthanize millions of cats and kittens every year. In short, neutering your cat is a win-win-win proposition: a win for him and his good health, a win for you and a win for animal shelters.