Snipping your kitty's boy bits helps prevent future unwanted kittens, and has the additional bonus of mellowing him out -- usually. Some cats can still carry around a cranky attitude even after neutering, requiring some determination to find the cause and solution.
Clearing Up Misconceptions
Contrary to popular belief, neutering your cat does not have the magical effect of turning him from Mr. T to Mr. Rogers. Removing his testes will lower his urge to find a lady-friend, which will lower his sexual aggression and urge to spray. His personality pretty much stays intact, so if he's a stubborn, cranky and territorial little cuss before the operation, neutering him will not change that.
"Get Off My Lawn!"
Cats are territorial critters and tend to claim just about anything they can see or touch as theirs. This territorial nature can turn aggressive if they spy anyone, human or feline, invading their personal property. Neutering doesn't necessarily stop this behavior, and even your snipped male could become aggressive if he feels the claim on his space is threatened. This aggression could also be redirected, for example he may turn on a nearby housemate if he spies a strange cat outside in “his” yard.
"Are You Looking At Me?"
Every cat has his own personality and some cats may simply be, well, jerks. These little bullies like to assert their dominance over others to remind everyone who the real boss is. Neutering him will not alter this urge, unfortunately. Play fighting is normal, where all cats involved only have occasional hissy fits but otherwise get along fine. But if one cat tends to pick on the others, or act aggressively toward anyone he comes across, you've got a bully on your hands.
See Your Vet
Cats can get cranky from time to time and act out. But if your little Mister's aggression appears suddenly and with no obvious cause, he may be cranky because he's not feeling well. Watch for other signs of illness, such as lethargy or a change in his eating or litter box habits, and visit your vet for a full checkup. In most cases, once the underlying medical condition is treated your kitty should return to the sweet, non-aggressive puss he used to be.
Curbing His Aggression
Mellowing out Mr. Meow requires some trial and error, as not every trick works with every situation. Remove the trigger if possible, for example make sure your cat cannot see outside if a new stray cat has caused him to go into full-on territorial mode. Separate your little bully from the other cats and reintroduce them slowly and with supervision over time. Use a pheromone spray such as Feliway to encourage a feeling of calm and relaxation. If nothing seems to calm your cranky cat, ask your vet about medications to help reduce his aggressive tendencies.
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Cat Behavior and Training – Cat Neutering and Behavior
- The Humane Society of the United States: Aggression Between Cats
- Animal Humane Society: Aggression in Household Cats
- PAWS Companions: Aggression Between Family Cats and Feline Social Behavior
- ASPCA: Aggression Between Cats in Your Household
Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.