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Alternative to surgical removal of testicles ?  

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Greetings to all.

I agree with you all on the necessity to disable the function of reproduction of both males and females.

However, I am worried that the current, widely practiced form of neutering through surgical removal of testicles is not gentle enough and not in the long term interest of my baby.

My concern is not prompted by anything else other than the health and happiness of my baby.

If you can recommend from own experience, or point me to other gentle, viable methods to inhibit the sexual function of males - I would grealty appreciate it. For example less invasive procedures such as the vasectomy, etc.

Thank you much. Again, I appreciate it greatly.
post #2 of 27
You CAN do a vasectomy on a male cat. It would render him unable to produce kittens. Some catteries do that to one male and he's used to bring females out of heat but not get them pregnant.

HOWEVER, if you do that, remember it only makes them sterile - it does NOT reduce any of the "maleness" - he will still think he's a tom, will breed females in heat, and will spray. It doesn't take any hormones out of his system.

Neutering is not a bad thing, doesn't hurt, etc. Its quick and easy and a lot better.
post #3 of 27
Neutering will only keep your kitty happier and more comfotable in the long run!

When both my boys were neutered, it was a quick and simple procedure, the vet pushed the skin inside and glued it - this prevented the need for any stitches and healed very speedily!
post #4 of 27
My 3 boy cats are neutered and my male dog is neutered. They are just fine and dandy, loving and sweet, don't spray or have issues in the house.

They're still very 'manly', too!

It's not cruel, and they all healed just fine. Neutering was a heck of a lot easier than Spaying.
post #5 of 27
well i think unless you could get him to wear a condom........
post #6 of 27
Neutering is very easy and not hard on your kitty at all.

It takes about 10 minutes and they are barely under the anaesthetic for any time at all. A vasectomy would take much longer.

They recover from the neutering in about 2 days . My Diesel barely knew it had happened! He was up and running within a day of having the operation.
post #7 of 27
Neutering is so "gentle" it's considered minor surgery -- the cat usually goes home the same day and experiences little or no discomfort after the first day. And it's actually better for their health in the long run. I don't see any reason to consider alternative methods for male cat reproductive control.
post #8 of 27
There really aren't any other gentler ways of making cats not able to reproduce. You have absolutely nothing to worry about, most vets could do the surgery with their eyes closed (ok maybe I shouldn't have said that) but it is the simpliest, cheapest, easiest, kindest, gentliest way to do it. They usually have no idea that anything happened.
post #9 of 27
The one male I had neutred was a little sleepy for the rest of the afternoon, and he was back to himself the next day. He seemed quite fine with everything.
post #10 of 27
Leaving the testicles in also leaves the increased risk of prostate disease and cancer.
post #11 of 27
However, I am worried that the current, widely practiced form of neutering through surgical removal of testicles is not gentle enough and not in the long term interest of my baby.
Have you even seen a cat be neutered? How is it not gentle enough for you?

All they do is cut a slit in "sack" the testicle is in, pull the testicle out, cut it off, tie a knot, and put it back in. Then they do the other side. It takes like, 5 minutes, and it's over.

My cat was fine. I didn't even bring him home pain meds, and he had no problems. He was up and about the next day like normal.
post #12 of 27
I think a vasectomy would be much more invasive. And if you're looking at it in terms of what's best for your kitty then a normal neutering operation would deffinatly be the way to go. Neutering is much less invasive than spaying is and recovery time is amazingly quick. What do you mean by, "long term interest" of your kitty? Like Dr. Doolittle said, you'll reduce cancer possibilities by removing the testicles.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your kind responses. Yes, I read extensively about neutering and have gone through a step by step presentation with pictures of the enitire operation, on a veterinary school website. That is to mean that I know what to expect - quick operation, not painful, speedy recovery.

Also, I agree that the benefit for the entire cat population is undisputable. As a matter of fact, this is the only solid benefit I could find - cat population control. But he is strictly indoors, will not breed and is not going to mate.

I am taken aback by the hormonal changes trigerred by neutering, which both we and doctors do not see, nor do we monitor, nor measure. What are the effects on his health overall? We don't know. Obviously this must create a strong imbalance in the body because he is an animal, as any other, built to reproduce.

As to removing the risk of testicular cancer, isn't that equivalent to saying that removing the head reduces the risk of headaches?

I like the idea of him becoming more loving but not at the expense of his health. I'd rather have him cold with me but healthy than suffer in silence or be disabled or harmed in the smallest way.

I must add that he is fortunate enough to have been treated lovingly since his birth and is a self confident, secure cat who has known only good and acts so. I am here to care for him and protect him, not to alter him to fit my furniture or my schedule, or anything else -this is what I mean by his long term interest.

Again, I want to explore the options, I hope this comes clear as my motivation for this post and my quest for solutions. Thank you.
post #14 of 27
I believe you have been given the answer - it just doesn't seem to be one that you wish to accept. Neutering your cat will not make him less of a cat just as a vasectomy does not make a man less of a man (except in their own minds).

Please do the best thing for your cat and have him neutered.
post #15 of 27
I am taken aback by the hormonal changes trigerred by neutering, which both we and doctors do not see, nor do we monitor, nor measure. What are the effects on his health overall? We don't know
Actually- studies have been done.
Winn Feline Foundation study is but one.
See also this one.

There are countless reasons why neutering is benificial to your cat- medical and behavioral.

For me- I see it as a kindness. Why allow those hormones to proliferate while knowing full well that your cat will never be allowed to act on them? You are causing your cat to be literally overwhelmed with urges he can never satisfy. Why leave your cat hormonally programmed with procreation as his prime directive when no procreation will ever be allowed to take place?
There is no reason for that.

He will always be unhappy because you will have to constantly deny him what nature is telling him to do. His stress will get worse and worse over time, and for no good reason. Stress causes disease as well as behavioral issues, and why do that to a beloved pet?
Neutering will avoid those overwhelming conflicts and allow your cat to enjoy his life with you instead of being frustrated every day of his life.

How old is your cat now?

As he ages things will get worse, and most of us are 99% sure that sooner or later his escalating behavioral problems will cause you to relent and have the procedure done.
Problem with that is that older cats never tolerate surgeries as easily as young cats. That is a simple fact.

And any bad behaviors he has learned (aggression, marking, roaming) will be that much more difficult to extinguish once they are patterns, and medical problems (enlarged prostate, etc.) will have had time to develop.
Plus- you will never be able to eradicate the smell of intact tom urine from your home.

There are myriad reasons that sooner is better than later. If nothing else then the doubled life expectancy should do it for you.
post #16 of 27
Even if he is an indoor cat, without neutering, he will want to go outside. Cats are very good at getting outside when they want to. When we got our male cat, he was severely injured due to a dog bite and not neutered. It was extremely difficult to keep him indoors, and he was a sick crippled cat. He showed much less interest in roaming after we got him neutered, even when he had full use of his legs again. He was an indoor/outdoor cat, and most of his outdoor time was spent in our backyard because he didn't feel the need to wander 5 doors down and check out the stray cat that was in heat.

Basically, he'll be much safer if you neuter him.
post #17 of 27
ok, i'm making an assumption that you live in an apartment, based on the 'NYC' in your info...you do realize that he will spray like the dickens if he's left intact? & that tomcat spray is extremely pervasive & difficult to remove, both odor & stain-wise? i had a tomcat spray the outside of my screen door, & i could smell it even when the regular door was shut - especially when it was raining! such an odor/stain would make selling or re-letting your home nearly impossible.
post #18 of 27
Sorry....I don`t mean to sound mean....but is this guy really for real???
post #19 of 27
Unneutered cats have one thing on their minds: girl cats.

In pursuit of this goal, they roam and fight. Unneutered male cats contract FIV (yes, this is the feline equivalent of HIV) at alarming rates. In fact, I would say that an unneutered male cat in an urban setting is basically guaranteed to get FIV eventually from fighting. If that's not a health hazard, I don't know what is.

Plus there's the more mundane stuff like abscesses (again, par for the course for unneutered males, and extremely painful) and getting hit by cars while pursuing females. Obviously most cats who get hit by cars use up all 9 of their lives right then and there.

The only way you could think a cat is better off unsterilized is if you have never seen what really happens to unneutered cats. It's not pretty.
post #20 of 27
i agree,the best thing for your cat is to have him neutered,this is one of the responsibilities we have when caring for animals,

it sounds like you want your cat to be himself,that you do not want to change him ,but having him as an indoor cat without being neutered will be mental torture for your cat,his hormones will be telling him he wants out,he will 'ying' at the door till it breaks your heart to hear him,you will feel guilty for keeping him in,and be tempted to let him out.there is always the chance that he will escape,and he will do whatever he can to get out,even jumping out of windows no matter how high off the ground,cats have a poor sense of height.if he survives the fall, the consequence will be of adding to a feral cat population that will probably already contain sickly cats.

dont let your heart rule your head,that is what makes us human,we cannot afford to be sentimental when it comes down to it
post #21 of 27
This might sound stupid, but sometimes if you leave your cat intact, they don't think they have time for you anymore. I have had MANY cats that I couldn't afford to neuter, and about half of those ran away and never came back, even with our close relationship. This is bad for you, your cat, and the surplus population of strays.

Also, since most cats don't get enough water and food they need anyway (totally not the humans' fault), he will tend to think of what he needs (to him this is reproduction). He will spend less time resting, eating, and drinking, and more time trying to get outside to the ladies.

I agree a bunch with the others that altering prevents disease, and is scientifically proven to expand the life expectancy of your cat. I'd say it is a very wise coice to have your cat altered.
post #22 of 27
I can tell you right now that neutering your cat WILL NOT be harmful to his health!! (Unless you have a vet that is completely incompetant)

You and your cat will be much better off if you have it done as soon as possbile - The older the cat gets the more risk the anaesthetic will have.

The cat won't mind and will get over it so quickly it unbelievable.
post #23 of 27
Cats and dogs are not hormone dependant like we are, and are much healthier without them.
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thank you to all for considering my question and for all suggestions. I hope to have approached this subject early.

To answer some of the questions ..

He is 7 moths old, tomorrow. He has not displayed any sexual behavior yet, no spraying, etc. His behavior is that of a baby cat. He does nothing yet to make me believe he is "possessed" by hormones. No marking, no aggressiveness, no roaming. No desire to run outside. So there is no immediate danger, nor inconvenience to him or me. This is why I thought now was a good time to explore this subject.

Not only he is stricly indoors in an apartment but he has no possibilty of escaping due to buidling hallways, guarded doors, etc. He watches the city behind guarded windows. He is tagged with the subcutaneous ID.

I appreciate the links to the studies of early neutering. I read this that early netering is just as beneficial as later neutering. But I am looking to alternatives to the procedure itself.

I am afraid that the great popularity of neutering (as it is done) is because it is a fast, effective, virtually risk free, inexpensive method to control cat overpopulation. I can see why it is much praised and promoted by vets and animal lovers. I do not dispute this. But I want to be sure if this is as well the best solution for a cat which is in a controlled environment and for which the sexuality is not yet an issue.

Hedgysforever was right, I do not want to alter his catness (not maleness) to have him changed to fit our world. Or at least not through an irreversible procedure that removes his testicles and interrupts his hormonal development.

What if in a few years we will look back to neutering as we now do to middle ages' witch hunting?
post #25 of 27
Give him time, he will start fitting into a mold you will not like, he will begin spraying and you will regret that you did not act sooner. I wish you the best- every tom that I come in contact with does not keep his gonads more than 24 hours after arriving here. I learned the hard way scrubbing cat urine off my walls- 2 feet and up off the ground and on the ceiling.
post #26 of 27
We've already altered their "cat-ness" by domesticating them. By comparison, neutering is nothing.

Failing to neuter your cat is, frankly, like giving Playboy magazines to a teenage boy and telling him he can't look at anything but the articles. It would mean spending the rest of his life having his most significant natural instinct thwarted, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Or alternatively, he can go out and pursue his instinct and end up most likely beaten up, covered with abscesses, FIV positive, and quite possibly dead. Either way, why on earth would anyone subject another creature to that kind of life when there is such a simple alternative?

It's not like neutering is some newfangled thing. It's been done for decades and is well documented to have no negative effect on the cat whatsoever.

Cats are luckier than humans in that way. They don't derive a sense of "wholeness" or "masculinity" from their gonads. They get it from sources that really matter.
post #27 of 27
The initial query of this thread has been addressed and answered by many. Since there is really nothing further to add I'm closing this thread.
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