We all know the value of spaying or neutering cats. However, some cat parents worry that their cat's personality or behavior might change after the surgical procedure. Today on the blog, we address the root of these hesitations.
Does Neutering Affect a Cat's Personality?
In the wild, healthy cats hunt for food and procreate. These habits are actually undesirable for indoor cats. Currently, no research tells us that neutering has adverse effects on cats.
In fact, along with protection against unplanned litter and reduction of hormone-related diseases, it also reduces frequent urination in the wrong places. The only behaviors that will change post-spay are sexual behaviors. A cat's personality and behavior are the outcome of genetics and training and are generally untouched by the presence or lack of hormones.
What to Expect Immediately after Spaying
If your cat has just left the operating room, you can expect to see a dizzy and disoriented cat because of the effects of anesthesia. Some cats may have pain-induced aggression or act out because they feel vulnerable, so give your cat a quiet and cozy place to recover.
At this stage, you should ensure easy access to a clean litter box, water, and food, the amount of which will depend on the advice of your vet. Generally, it's half the amount you used to feed your cat. Your cat will feel discomfort around the cut area, so you must be gentle with them during the first few days.
Your cat might act differently while in recovery. Nonetheless, experts tell us that a cat will not change its personality. Most of the changes you will see in your cat will be stress and pain related.
Some cat parents say that their cat has become quiet and withdrawn, while some say that their cat has become more clingy and affectionate. Nonetheless, cats return quickly to their usual selves once they feel safe and secure again.
Watch Out for The Following after Spaying
While this may be obvious, you must keep an eye on the incision post-operation. If you notice swelling, inflammation, and fluid permeation, call your vet because these may be signs of infection.
Excessive licking on the site of the cut significantly raises the possibility of infection. This is why the dreadful "cone of shame" is crucial in post-operation aftercare. If your cat's appetite has not returned to normal after more than two days post-operation, it is time to contact your vet.
Cats usually return to their old selves 24-48 hours after the procedure. Hormonal changes will not happen to them overnight, so your cat will not recover from having a different personality.
Long-Term Effects of Spaying
Some cat owners worry about personality and bodily changes that might happen to their pets after spaying. Will your cat be less affectionate? Or will they become fat? Experts say not to fret.
Less Roaming Behaviors
When a cat is in heat, it constantly searches for a cat to mate with. We all know the scene: your cat meows relentlessly on the door and wants to spend more time outdoors than usual.
Cats often stroll away from home to look for potential mates around your immediate area and beyond. The farther a cat wanders to search for mates, the more susceptible they are to dangers. The troubles come from territorial aggression between cats when interacting with other colonies, crossing the road, or strolling so far they get lost.
Neutered cats will not have these unwanted behaviors. It means your cat will stay closer to home, reducing its exposure to accidents.
Spaying does not make a cat timid or withdrawn, nor will it make a cat happier and more friendly. Likewise, it won't turn a hostile feline into a loving cat that likes huddling on your lap.
Still, spaying reduces irritability triggered by hormonal changes happening when your cat is in heat; typical "short-tempered" and aggressive behaviors in heat include uneasiness or neediness.
Therefore, a spayed cat may seem calmer. They will not have a new personality; instead, they will be on their "best behavior" more often. Simply put, you get the nicer side of your cat more constantly. It's a win-win situation if you ask me!
Less Unwanted Spraying
Spraying is more common in male cats, but even female cats exhibit this nasty habit.
A neutered cat will spray far less because felines usually spray when in hear. The urine that they spray has pheromones that let them find mates. Neutered cats no longer want to mate, so they will stop exhibiting these hormone-driven behaviors.
This means a nicer, cleaner, and sweeter-smelling home. All their mess will be only in the litter box, making your life much less complicated.
On the whole, your pet's personality will not change. You might notice your cat becomes timid after spay, but that's because the hormones in its body are no longer fluctuating.
After removing your cat's reproductive organs, it will no longer have these hormonal cycles and will stop doing activities it used to do when in heat. Nevertheless, these changes will happen gradually over 6-8 weeks when the hormones stabilize.
Statistically, there is no evidence that felines get lazy or less active after neutering or spaying. It has more to do with their pet owners.
When it comes to weight gain, most know too much food and inadequate exercise make humans gain weight. It's the same for our felines. Your cat may seem lazy because undesirable behaviors such as roaming, fighting, and sexual activities will no longer happen. Still, it's up to the owner to ensure that the cat gets enough exercise and stays in shape. If your cat is sedentary and has a lot of access to food, it will likely put on weight.
Keeping a healthy body weight is crucial to your cat's health, so keep your cat's diet healthy and balanced. Keep them moving through playtime, give them places to climb, and provide enrichment activities. Annual vet visits will also help keep your cat healthy.