Adding a cat to the household is always an adventure, and if he's older -- or a stray with an unknown history -- there are questions about his background. For one, has he been neutered -- or do you need to schedule surgery to avoid any tom-cat unpleasantness?
Check the cat's ear. If it appears to be clipped or cut at an angle, this is a common identifier for stray cats who have been neutered. A tattooed "M" on the inside of the ear indicates the cat has been microchipped, which should allow you to find vet records, as well.
Look for the cat's testicles. In the neutering process, a small incision is made and these are removed. Hold your cat on his back like a baby and look or feel for his testicles, which will be hard and rather large. If they are removed, the skin -- or scrotom -- will feel empty.
Watch your cat for signs of male aggression, spraying or stalking females. A male cat's hormones kick in at around 6 months of age. His urine smell will be strong, and he may try to mount any female cats in the household. If he is not exhibiting any of these signs, he is probably neutered.
Take your cat to the veterinarian for an exam to be absolutely certain your cat is neutered if you are unsure. Even trained veterinarians can have difficulty with some cats, so it is not always easy for a pet owner.
- If you do not see the cat's testicles, this is not a clear indication he is neutered; in some cats, the testicles are still up inside the body.
Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."