Neutering at age 6 tomcat - risks?

solomonar

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Dear cat lovers, after 6 years of keeping my tomcat integer, I decided to neuter him.

The reasons why I did not o this to him by now:
- I see no medical reason to do it (suppositions is not science)
- to avoid risk of obesity and diabetes
- there was no risk of mating, since he is indoor only

+++

During past months however I experienced:
- frequent and intense meowing midnight
- exacerbate urine marking
- episodes of aggression (no consequences)
- modification in kidney eco image, pointing towards imminent renal impact (possibly insufficiency) - although I do not understand why keeping gonads on results in kidney damage

Although I do not really understand what is the cause of this sudden modification in behavior, the vet and my friends - all of them - advised me to neuter him as soon as possible,

+++

To be honest, I feel extremely sorry about this decision, although I do understand it is necessary.

I could not find the risks on medium and long term, so I would be very happy to know from your personal experience, or from reliable sources, what are the aspects I should pay attention to after neuter a tomcat.

Any other thoughts - welcome!


Thank you very much!
 

Alldara

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From what research I can find, there are only higher risks of minor complications for giving this surgery to an older cat and slower recovery time.
Is There an Optimal Age for Cat Spay or Neuter?


Personally, I always ensure the vet is using a heart monitor for surgery. It increases the cost but its worth the peace of mind. At our current clinic which is cat-only they always have heart monitoring.

So you'll need to watch for pulling of stitches or light infection from licking the site.

Having a large crate to keep him in may be best. Or just staying home with him and keeping an eye. You know which your cat will tolerate best.

The pain medication afterwards often makes them very cuddly. I do love that. It's a plus to me because they stay close which is better for a close eye on them.

It's a very simple surgery for male cats. I've never had one have any complications.

He will also be of less risk after surgery of testicular cancer and issues such as penis plugs.
 

Alldara

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I don't see any research regarding intact or neutered cats being at higher risk for kidney disease or urinary infections which can contribute to kidney disease.

However, I note that your cat is having increased agression (you mentioned above). Kidney disease requires a lot of care on part of the human and veterinary staff. Neutering your cat will lower the agression and make him more handleable. This will be vital to treating his kidney disease, if he has it or if he's at risk of developing it.

Sometimes, in medicine, it's not necessarily about this disease or issue directly, but about the ability to treat the disease.
 

di and bob

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i have had MANY cats neutered and spayed, and also take care of ferals which are not. The neutered boys lead a much calmer, less dangerous life. They do not roam for miles looking to mate and risking cars and dogs (I have buried so many....) The neutered boys are much less aggressive, do not spray, and do not yowl into the night. The unneutered boys always look for a way out if they are confined and sprayed/yowled all the time. There are many cancer risks with an unneutered male too. All in all, the neutered boys were much happier.
 

KittyFriday

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My boy is an ex-barn cat so he wasn't neutered until he was about eight years old. He was always a softie, so I don't really think there was much issue with him wandering, marking, or being aggressive pre-neuter, but when I decided I wanted him as an indoor cat there really was no question. They did pre-op blood work but that was about it as far as special care; the procedure was all in all very quick and he healed quickly as well.
 

fionasmom

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I only ever work with ferals and all of my indoor pets are ex-ferals. I have neutered all sort of adult male cats with no problem and, in the case of a feral, they were only going to have one night over at the vet's and then be released the next day. Of course, I am not suggesting that you would not continue to care for your cat indoors after the surgery, but I would strongly consider the surgery.
 

silent meowlook

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Hi. So, the elevated kidney values concern me with anesthesia. If it was my cat, I would see an internal medicine board certified specialist before any anesthesia is done.

Depending on what the premedication are used I cannot say how much they will affect the kidneys. But, they will. IV fluids can be given ( not usually done with cat neutered) to help the kidneys clear those medications.

Cats once premeditated are induced with another anesthesia agent and then maintained on gas anesthesia. Usually Sevoflurane or Isoflurane. Gas anesthesia is the most hypotensive anesthetic there is. Hypotension, low blood pressure, equals poor blood flow to the kidneys. That in turn damages the kidneys. IV fluids will help this, but the blood pressure as well as other vitals need to be carefully monitored. This is not usually done with cat neuters.

Most anesthetic deaths are during recovery. This is when the cat did ok during a procedure and then is put in a cage to recover. If not adequately monitored, they can die in the cage.

I am not trying to scare you. I am 100% on board for spaying and neutering every animal, and people. But, in this instance, you need to determine what is happening to his kidneys and why.

He needs to be medically stable and under the care of a board certified specialist in internal medicine before considering neutering him.

If the aggression just started at 6 years of age, I doubt it is testosterone related. Most likely he doesn’t feel well. The same goes for the marking. Although many intact male cats will mark.

His not being neutered did not cause the kidney issues. Completely unrelated.

Make sure he eats and if feeding dry, switch to canned, provided he will eat it. Never let a cat go a day without eating.

I hope this helps.
 
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solomonar

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Thank you all for helping!
===

Indeed, his behavior changed a couple of months ago, when she started to eat only night time and only canned food.

He used to be quite silent during night time, only one yowl or two. Now he vocalizes much more. Everybody tells me that he perhaps feels female cats in the condominium surroundings.

He is treated for gastritis for years, but eco a couple of months ago didn't reveal modification in the stomach image.

We had a blood work a 3 weeks ago, but proved inconclusive - cant say for sure that a renal problem is present or not. The vet said that he was fitted for neutering. Seen from this perspective, could be true. But his behavior was far from his normal and he started to loose weight.

I plan to neuter him, but I do not want this surgery to cover the real health problems.
 

Alldara

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solomonar solomonar He could be restless from not being able to access a mate. It could cause a bit of depression that means he's more vocal and not eating as much. But I'm also not convinced that the neuter will solve all that.

However, it's a great first thing to rule out. It'll take a few weeks for all the testosterone to leave his system. So he may still act the same for a few weeks.
 

fionasmom

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I completely agree that health issues should be investigated, especially any that make you uneasy about the surgery.

The oldest animal I ever neutered was a 12 year old abandoned labrador. He also had serious anal growths which were removed at the same time.
 
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