Unless you're a purebred cat breeder, there are few good reasons to keep an intact male cat around and lots of great reasons to get him neutered. Once your boy is neutered, you'll miss that urine spraying, territorial fighting and yowling that's a day in the life of a tomcat.
When to Neuter
Traditionally, male cats have been neutered at about six months of age, right around the time they hit puberty. However, many veterinarians and spay/neuter facilities now neuter kittens once the little guy reaches 2 or 3 pounds, at about the age of two months. The kitten grows up to be a normal size cat, but doesn't develop secondary sex characteristics. He's not as muscular, with a slimmer and more refined face.
The night before, don't feed Kitty or give him water, as his stomach must be empty when he's anesthetized. Doublecheck with your vet if your kitten is very young, however, since his need for constant nourishment may outweigh that rule. Once he's put under, the vet makes two incisions in the testicular sac. She then removes the testicles. It's a relatively simple surgery, so Kitty can go home later that day once the anesthesia wears off.
For most cats, recovery is pretty uneventful. Getting the anesthesia grogginess out of his system might be the roughest part. He should take it easy for a few days. Much depends on the individual cat. Some appear out-of-sorts for a few days, while others are pretty much back to normal once they get out of the cat carrier. If your cat won't eat, vomits, becomes depressed or the incision site is bleeding or appears infected, call your vet.
Besides the fact that Kitty can't add to the cat overpopulation problem anymore, there are many personal benefits for you. Kitty has less desire to roam, fight, spray to mark territory and all those other charming tomcat activities. He'll probably be a calmer, happier cat. Two neutered male cats can become best buddies -- if they were still intact, they'd probably try to kill each other.
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.