Should I Get My Cat Desexed?

Photo of Karen Dell

Karen Dell

Senior Editor • Backyard Cat Enclosures

25 September 2016


But that would make for a pretty short article.

Don’t get us wrong, we understand some hesitation from cat owners - any surgery is a potentially scary thing. But by the end of this article you’ll be convinced that desexing cats is best for your cats, and indeed, all of cat-kind.

Behavioural benefits

Many of your cat’s more destructive instincts are at least partly born of the urge to mate. Taking away that urge means that your cat:

  • Is less inclined to roam the neighbourhood and happier indoors. Which is great! The big bad world is no place for a domestic kitty and, ideally, your cat should stay inside or in an outdoor cat enclosure.
  • Is less interested in hunting when it is outside. Double great! Your little furbaby might not look it, but it’s actually a finely tuned killing machine, and more than a match for our fragile native ecosystem. If you love Aussie animals, you should really desex your cat.
  • Is less aggressive and territorial. Neutered male cats are also much less likely to spray, which is a great blessing to your nose. Trust us.

Health benefits

Both male and female cats are naturally susceptible to reproductive organ disease, including cancer. Not so for desexed cats - in much the same way that furless humans don’t get fur balls. Additionally, spayed females don’t have to worry about the physical exertion of pregnancy, and all the complications that involves.

Reduced birth rates

Really, pregnancy prevention is the most convincing argument for desexing cats. Perhaps you’re outraged by the idea that fewer kittens could ever be a good thing, and in an everyday context, we might agree. But look at the bigger picture: over 17,000 unwanted cats were passed up for adoption and eventually euthanised by the RSPCA just last year. That figure doesn’t even account for cats at council pounds, or feral cat cullings. There are far more cats born every day than can possibly be housed - and your cat might be part of the problem.

When should I get my cat desexed?

Traditionally, cats were desexed at 6 months old. However, based on extensive research, the RSPCA recommends desexing cats starting at 8 weeks old. There are no known drawbacks to early desexing, whereas the procedure is simpler, safer and less traumatic at a younger age. A kitten or cat adopted from the RSPCA will already be desexed; you should check with your shelter or breeder to see what they do.

Where can I get my cat desexed?

Your vet should be able to perform a desexing procedure, or will be able to direct you to someone who can. Many rescue organisations, including the RSPCA, offer cheap or even free desexing. And if you’re reading this in July, congratulations: it’s National Desexing Month, get out there and celebrate!

If you’re thinking of adopting one of those poor, unwanted kittens, check out our guide. Or, if your cat still needs it, check out this article on why you should microchip.


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