Arguing Against Surgical Removal Of Ovaries Or Testes

Intro: This is an article converted from a comment written by a visitor. It argues against the conventions of the surgical removal of ovaries or testes in cats (spaying and neutering aka gonadectomized cats) and suggests alternatives if there genuinely is a cat overpopulation problem. He says there are health and behavioral issues linked to gonadectomies – the surgical removal of an ovary or testis. His comment made an additional reason why some people don’t spay or neuter their cats.

Arguing Against Surgical Removal Of Ovaries or Testes
Photo courtesy of Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project)
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

By ‘Nebbie’ a visitor to PoC

Another reason for being hesitant toward having pets gonadectomized is all the health, developmental, and behavioral risks that gonadectomies, the ultimate endocrine disruptor entails.

Adrenal Compensation

When an animal (human, feline, canine, whatever kind of animal for that matter) is desexed, their adrenals are forced to compensate for the loss of the testes and ovaries, therefore, the adrenals are forced to work overtime to keep the endocrine system balanced. The animals may still seem fine at first, especially if the desexing occurred later, but as the animals get older, the ability of the adrenals to compensate decreases and decreases.

Spays and castrations are the ultimate endocrine disruptor in our feline friends just like it is to our human and canine friends.

Shelters and rescues keep spaying and neutering every dog, cat, and rabbit that enters their shelters and rescues and never give the adopters a choice to opt out. They never stop to think about the harm they are doing when they take out the healthy testicles and ovaries of animals, when they do medically unnecessary gonadectomies indiscriminately and routinely, all the lowered qualities of life and all the health and behavioral issues caused by the gonadectomies, and especially when they do them so darn early (basically on animal equivalents of toddlers) in the animal’s life.

Health & Behavioral Issues

Many animals actually get surrendered to shelters (incontinence in female dogs caused by spays) or die (urinary blockages in male cats caused by castrations) due to health and behavioral issues caused by gonadectomies. The higher chance of shelter surrenders that desexing can cause also leads to a higher chance of the animals’ being put down due to having behavior problems so bad that they are deemed unadoptable.

Shelters and rescues just think that desexing is a trivial as simple shave and haircut that saves lives, is necessary to control the (perceived) overpopulation*, can do absolutely no harm, and is worth doing against against an animal’s wishes and will. That is like thinking the Nazi Holocaust is a trivial footnote in history that as Ebeneezer Scrooge says, “decreases the surplus population,” is necessary and for the greater good of humanity, and is morally justified even against an individual’s own wishes and will and worth forfeiting one’s rights and freedom to.


If your issue is overpopulation and there honestly is overpopulation, not just a claim of it existing, then vasectomies, tubal ligations, and (for dogs prone to pyometra) ovary sparing spays, which spare the endocrine system and only sterilize, totally suffice. Note, the former two are reversible; although tubal ligations are harder to reverse, vasectomies can be reversed easily. Ovary sparing spays, a.k.a. Uterus Only Hysterectomies, are permanent however.

14 thoughts on “Arguing Against Surgical Removal Of Ovaries Or Testes”

  1. Does this person also recommend controlling the inevitable outcome of kittens with playing dunkies with them ? So here is the reality everything is a trade off in life. Every aspect of our lives has a consequence and we often have to weigh the benefits against the negatives. In the case of S/N the benefits outweigh any possible negatives. Most cat health issues are caused by being allowed to roam and contract disease, or risk injury , poor diets and owners that fail to maintain litter box conditions and exercise for their cats. So perhaps this person should spend a few months in a high kill shelter in charge of euthanizing cats that have been dumped for many reasons many of them due to being intact and see where his opinion lays after killing several thousand cats over the course of his internship. There is a kitten explosion every year. Go to any public shelter and walk though the kitten room where the clock is ticking for all of them and then weigh any health concerns against the benefits of S/N. Their little paws reaching though the cage hoping for a human touch. Crying for a human to hold them. For many of them the human that holds them will be walking them to the death rooms. My heart aches for each of those little souls. Many of which never had to be born. This person reminds me of my SIL and the rest of my husbands family and their treatment of animals. Once an unaltered animal reaches sexual maturity they aren’t so cute and are heaved out. She doesn’t even have the decency to dump them at the shelter. Science is the whole answer and no solution is ever perfect.

    Quoted-Shelters and rescues just think that desexing is a trivial as simple shave and haircut that saves lives, is necessary to control the (perceived) overpopulation*, can do absolutely no harm, and is worth doing against against an animal’s wishes and will. That is like thinking the Nazi Holocaust is a trivial footnote in history that as Ebeneezer Scrooge says, “decreases the surplus population,”

    You have to be kidding. The Holocaust left millions of dead bodies rotting. NOT spaying and neutering fills garbage bags by the millions. What backward thinking this person has employed.

    • I hope u don’t mind me publishing this article. It does stimulate debate. He has a website which you can go to by clicking on his name.

      • Not at all Michael. This is the type of thinking that needs to be dragged out of the dark and addressed aggressively by sane animal lovers who are tired of the carnage caused by over breeding domestic pets. This twisted thinking is the kind of thing my troglodyte in laws would latch onto to justify not having their pets fixed. I can’t count in my mind how many litters of puppies and kittens have been born and died over there in my 25 years here. They change pets more often than some people change their underwear. Unlike they most of us here value the long term well being of our pets not just physically but mentally. There are medical consequences that far outweigh any caused by S/N. Early death, complications with birth, having so many litters they are in peril of dying from the next one. Being in heat and the fighting and roaming that exposes them to all the dangers in the world. My poor abused 4 female cats just rolled by me all of them playing together like a litter of little kittens. Their biggest concern in life is where are my treats and will mommy get out the wand and play with us.
        I don’t need you to donate money to a charity for posts. If you do I’m sure you know one close to you that needs help. They all do.

        • Good. I am donating to charity this month. 5c per comment. And Gail has selected a shelter. The one she works in. I used to do this for a long time years ago.

          I think it is always good to discuss tricky topics. It helps focus the mind and shed a light on what humans are doing in the human to cat relationship.

          • One fact glossed over in his diatribe was the fact that all those puppies and kittens are in shelters because they are the unwanted byproduct of an unaltered pet. Even considering his science that tubal and vasectomies are better and more humane you are still going to be dealing with a pet that has all of it’s instincts to roam, fight and breed. S/N is the most humane way to keep domestic cats and dogs as pets. BTW my Little Mercy whose picture I posted in the article about Persians was spayed at 2 months at the city shelter and mothered Frog and Toad from 4 weeks on. Loved, cleaned, played with and disciplined them just like a mother cat. Spaying her did nothing to make her less female. They do not become its.

            • I agree and almost everyone else agrees which is why spaying and neutering is the standard. He may have a dislike of the invasiveness of spaying. I dislike neutering male cats. I suppose that is a male thing. In one respect (at an emotional level) I’d rather my cat was intact only he’d probably be spraying urine over the walls 😉

              • That’s fine if it’s your choice and you’re willing to live for at least 15 years with an intact animal in your home. I would hope that you would spring for the vasectomy so that there would be no unintended consequences.
                And yes he’s most likely be spraying more than your walls.
                The truth is the majority of the human population will call their cat a family member and then let it out to roam with all the known dangers in the world add to that the hoards that would never S/N if fluffy didn’t come that way. The same shelter workers who advocate S/N of any animal leaving the shelter are also the ones that see how many are killed to make room for more unwanted little souls.
                As to breeding itself that takes more than having the money to buy a purebred. Any cat, dog or horse bred at this point should have genetic testing to make sure it’s not passing on undesirable traits and be certified to get a litter permit. That would include a special cat that someone wants to keep the line alive to the fanciest of purebreds. Of course that would put an end to many show dog and cats breeding careers as flat faced animals and those breeds with hip dysplasia are weeded out.
                The benefits of S/N are incontestable in keeping pets in home by eliminating breeding behaviors that can be beyond annoying and helping to control the pet population.

                • I understand the benefits and support them. The interesting point is that in the world that humans have created the domestic cat is better off being spayed or neutered. If there were no humans S/N would be a massive hindrance to survival. We only S/N because we created the world in which it is necessary. We could have created a different world.

                  • I see we got some thumbs down. S/N compensates for the survival rate of even feral cats living on the fringe of human dwellings. In the wild animals face fierce competition sometimes from litter mates just to nurse. Any infirmity is a death sentence.
                    So to control populations. Control disease we spay and neuter and vaccinate and keep our pets under our control to avoid unnecessary dangers or exposure to disease. We provide parasite and flea control and most of us feed our cat the best they will eat.

                    • The thumbs down probably comes from a cat troll. They hate TNR because it leaves cats in urban environments to continue to prey on birds. Most cat haters are bird lovers. S/N is essential today and the only way to proceed. It is the accepted norm. Playing devils advocate we (humans) are ‘improving on nature’ if we say it is good for them. It is only good for cats in a human created world.

    • Thanks for all your comments. Each one is worth 5c for animal charity. The response has been good. More expensive for me than I had envisaged 😉 I am happy though.

  2. I notice that “Nebbie” doesn’t provide any science on this theory. What stands out in all of this unfounded criticism of spaying/neutering is that there’s doubt about cat “overpopulation”!

    It makes me wonder if this person is a “flat earther”.

    • I think he is rational! There are people who argue that there is simply a cat distribution problem rather than an overpopulation problem. You just have to even them out across America….A theory.


Leave a Reply to M E King Cancel reply

follow it link and logo