As a responsible pet owner, you know that it is the smart thing to neuter your male ragdoll cat, and you may begin to wonder, “When is the best age to neuter a ragdoll cat?”
When is the best age to neuter a ragdoll cat? The best age to neuter a male cat is at the age of 6 months because this is when they become sexually active. You can neuter them earlier if they already show signs of puberty. If you neuter after 12 months the benefits of the operation may not be as full.
That’s the brief answer to this question. But to know more and really see why neutering your male ragdoll is important, please keep reading.
You also should know that the same age is recommended for female Ragdoll cats.
However, for female cats, this is not called neutering. It is called spaying and requires a slightly different surgery. Still, even if you have a female cat, you should continue to read as they show similar behavior when not spayed.
What is Castration/Neutering?
The professional term for the castration of a male cat is called orchidectomy. Under general anesthesia, incisions are made on the scrotal sac. By doing this, each of the testicles can be removed totally or excised. External stitches are not required for most operations.
For most cats, both of the testicles will drop before they are born from their abdominal cavity, go through the inguinal canal and end in the scrotal sac.
In some cats, one or even both of the testicles fail to drop into the scrotal sac and could stay inside the abdomen or can be held along the canal that leads to the scrotal sac, called the inguinal canal path.
Cats like this are called cryptorchid and will require a more involved surgery to get them “fixed”. It is critical that these do get removed because without removal, they will keep on producing hormones and your ragdoll will continue to act like an intact male.
You may wonder, “can my ragdoll just get a vasectomy?” The truth is that this operation is not done to cats because it will sterilize the cat, but the male hormones and the undesirable behaviors that come with it are still in effect.
Therefore, male hormone removal and sterilization are required for the benefit of all involved.
Why Should I Neuter?
Firstly, this is arguably the most common operation that a veterinarian will perform. It is very safe and is healthier for your male ragdoll in living a better and happier life.
The act of neutering your male ragdoll will ensure he cannot reproduce and also arrests the production of hormones that promote behavior of a sexual nature.
In the US and UK, there is a huge overpopulation problem when it comes to cats and dogs. Cats and kittens are sadly euthanized each and every day. Neutering is a way that you can fight this problem instead of adding to it.
Aside from this, the other advantages you can enjoy are:
- Lessened spraying
- Resistance to roaming and running away from home
- Less odor from your cat
- Reduction in fighting and injuries as a result of getting into fights
- Lessened aggression toward other felines
- No stress on you if your male cat gets another female cat pregnant
Medical and Behavioral Advantages
Keeping a neutered tomcat is a lot better than keeping an intact tomcat. For starters, the urine of a tomcat with sex organs still in place is very strong in smell and can lead to conflict among the owner of the cat and his or her family members.
It is also more difficult to remove from fabrics and furniture it gets on.
Castration affects behavior in a positive way. The behaviors that are affected are ones powered by male hormones. Castration can calm a tomcat that is hyperactive or aggressive to other humans.
Male cats have an urge to spray and mark their territory. By neutering your male cat, you can reduce spraying and marking by 85%.
After all, the number one reason cats are surrendered or abused is because they are eliminating in places other than their litter box. It is easy to see why having your cat neutered is a better idea.
Aggression is another behavior that neutering can be reduced. Even though cats both neutered and intact can get into fights, the chances of this happening are lessened in your male ragdoll when he is fixed.
Fights lead to lacerations and punctures, which can lead to scars, abscesses, infections and other undesirable outcomes.
Other Advantages of Neutering
Population control is a topic we mentioned briefly but cannot stress enough. Cats do not deserve to be killed simply for being alive. We as responsible pet owners can prevent this sad reality by making sure our pets are castrated. A male intact cat can create many litters.
Neutering is necessary so that litters are not created and eventually destroyed. It should be noted that some males will still display interest in females even after the operation is completed.
Roaming is another issue that cat owners have to contend with when dealing with their male intact cat. Males will do whatever it takes to leave so they can go and find a female while they are in heat.
Castration will reduce roaming in males by about 90%. Neutering will help you reduce this, and your ragdoll will be more likely to stay in his home with no trouble at all.
Quick Note on Urine
The urine of your male cat will also be more manageable. The odor of cat urine is already harsh, but an intact tomcat’s odor is unbearable. Cat owners of all breeds report their neutered males becoming less stinky, more clean, and having a normal urine odor.
For the sake of your home and nose, neutering is worth it.
Are There Any Bad Side Effects?
No, your male ragdoll will not become lazy or overweight as a result of neutering. You have to feed them proper amounts for their age and help them play and stay active, but the act of neutering alone will not render them overweight or lazy.
Calories consumed during the day will have to be cut down as a result of the lessened fighting and roaming, but this is a normal part of keeping a cat.
Your ragdoll will still enjoy hunting around for toys and doing other instinctual cat behavior and will not stunt his growth when you perform the operation. Height and weight will be normal as will the urethra.
It is best that you neuter before the male enters puberty, so that the effects of neutering will have the maximum benefits and he will not develop bad habits that are typical of a sexually mature male cat.
What Is the Procedure Like?
So that your male cat can get the benefits of anesthesia, you will be asked to stop feeding him the night before the operation.
You must be sure to arrive on time for your appointment, so be sure to have your cat carrier ready to go with a comfortable blanket or towel inside for your cat to relax upon.
Your ragdoll cat will go under general anesthesia and get a small incision in his scrotum. The testicles will be removed, and he will not feel it at all.
Using sutures that absorb right into the skin, or surgical grade glue, the skin will be stitched up and your pet can go right home with you that same day.
In some cases, stitches may not be required. Your pet may also get a special tattoo that indicates they have been neutered. Your vet will tell you if there are any complications you should be aware of.
The recovery process will also be one that is pretty fast for your cat. He will be back to his old self in no time. Your cat will be drowsy after the operation, so keep a watch on him and make sure he is comfortable and warm.
More Post-Op Care
The next day, your cat will likely be back to being himself once more. Allow him to rest and keep him away from other cats so that he can recover. Don’t allow him to play too harshly-it’s best to let the internal wounds heal up.
However, if your ragdoll seems a bit off, and you know he is not being his true self, you should call your vet right away. Be sure you monitor him to make sure he does not lick or scratch open the surgical sutures.
You may have to purchase a plastic cone collar or get a special bandage placed over the site so that he does not accidentally open the wound.
Will My Cat Change After Being Neutered?
Your male ragdoll will lose his sexual behaviors in most cases. However, some males may still maintain an interest in females. These changes take place right away or in a few weeks after the operation.
When Should A Male Kitten Be Neutered?
Male kittens should be neutered at about 4-6 months old. Some vets may do it earlier at ages 8-16 weeks. It is best to do this as soon as you can to reap the benefits of neutering. Speak with your vet to see when you can get your cat in for the procedure.
How Long After Neutering Will My Cat Calm Down?
Your cat will be himself again about two days after surgery. Keep him inside for at least 7 days for the best results and be sure he does not lick the incision site. You will notice he will be calm after surgery as the testicles, the force driving reproductive tendencies for males, have been removed.
To neuter your male ragdoll is a responsible, safe and healthy decision-and we commend you for taking this important first step in ensuring your ragdoll has a happy and healthy life.