How important to you is the sex of your cat?

by Michael

Charlie - neutered cat - he's a sweet boy but not very masculine

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Charlie - neutered cat - he's a sweet boy but not very masculine

The majority of us probably agree that neutering cats is a necessity. It is done almost automatically by responsible cat caretakers. We don't think about the consequences beyond the obvious, that the cat can't reproduce. Most of us recognise that it helps stop cats spraying (territorial marking) and reduces aggression in male cats. This short article adds a bit of detail to the subject of neutering domestic cats and asks a question about secondary sex characteristics.

Neutering is called "gonadectomy" in medical language. It means the procedure to remove an ovary or testis.

1. Early neutering has been a bit controversial it seems. In a study as long ago as 1996 (1) it was found that cats displayed no differences in respect of physical and behavioural development if they were neutered at 7 weeks or 7 months of age. As a result early neutering is recommended.

2. Intact cats (not neutered) weigh "significantly less" than cats that had been neutered at 7 months of age (note the comparison with cats neutered at 7 months not 7 weeks). They had less "falciform fat" and "earlier distal radial physeal closure" that cats neutered at either 7 weeks or 7 months of age. The word "physeal" means "pertaining to growth or to that part of a bone that is responsible for lengthening".

3. Intact cats demonstrated: more "interspecies aggression". They were less affectionate and showed more development of secondary sexual characteristics. Secondary sexual characteristics are "features that distinguish the two sexes of a species". So I guess it refers to features that make a male cat look male and a female cat look female.

This is an area that interests me because I think cat caretakers relate to the maleness or femaleness of their domestic cat companion. It is an area of concern for me. If we neuter a boy cat (essential it seems) we take away some of what makes him male. There seems to be a greater impact on male cats than female cats but that is me guessing.

How important to you is the sex of your cat? And if you like a male cat how important is it that he behaves and looks like a male cat?. I like my girl cats to be girly and my male cats to be real boys. I love sweet female cats and also like the tough look of an intact male cat. But I accept the need to neuter. And don't think I don't love Charlie because he has been neutered. I love him to bits. I love all cats actually.

I used to feed male stray cat. He was thin and very active. He was jowly in appearance (big cheeks). He didn't come around for ages. When I saw him after a year he had put on lots of weight and I think he had been cared for by someone else who had had him fixed.


Note: (1) Effects of prepubertal gonadectomy on physical and behavioral development in cats (link)

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How important to you is the sex of your cat?

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Jan 13, 2012
Sex of your cat
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

I have two cats, matahari a 4 year old queen cat and her kitten matata, almost 3 years of age and non-neutered.I have written a few topics on these two cats in "P.O.C", besides maintaining a regular diary of them on "" for the benifit and sharing of "Cat Knowledge" amongst fanciers, breeders and the inquisitve reader of cats.
IMy idea was to breed matata with his dam matahari to produce a indigenious traditional persian cat bred in India.I have been unsucessful as Matata has proved a total flop as a "Stud Cat", besides matahari repulses his advances, avoiding an "Incestuous" mating as we humans would conclude.My intention was to mate them once and then get matata neutered but destiny played its own role and seems both my cats co-exist happily without the dangers of prolific breeding, common amongst cats.Tom cat matata is a real handsome cat, well built and active and he never "Sprays" around the house unlike most non-sterilised cats.I get a strange feeling that matata might also be a "Gay cat" as he shows very less sexual inclination for mating, happy to be pampered by us , his human care-takers and fed to the limit.Has cat research proved any evidence of cats being "GAY"?Cat owners would definitely be surprised that with a female and non-neutered male cat in the same house there is no mating and breeding between the cats.This confuses me although in hindsight its an advantage since i don't have to neuter or spay my cats for fear of rampant breeding.

Jan 13, 2012
My thought
by: Elisa

I don't like to neuter a male at too young an age. Furby was 5 months and from what I've read it's the reason his head never grew. Or should I say his neck? Maine Coons tend to do better being neutered after developing that thick neck. Please don't mention Furby's little head to him. He's quite sensitive about it.

As far as the sex of a cat, I used to prefer boys. I thought them more lapcatty and loving. My girls tend to be more loving these days than the boys are. I never judge whether a cat can come to the rescue by the sex. Its based on need and how I feel the cat will interact with the others at the rescue. I can look at a cat and tell it's disposition before meeting it.

Maybe I should say boy cats are more affectionate as the boys tend to beg more for food treats. I tend to wake up each day with an equal amount of each sex in the bed with me.

Jan 13, 2012
My thoughts
by: Ruth

It's not important at all to me, we've had both sexes of cats over the years, it just depends really who comes along needing a home with us.
Our Walter was neutered at 5 months because he was sexually mature for his age but he's still very manly whereas Jozef matured later and was neutered at 7 months and he could be mistaken for a lady cat (don't tell him that though lol)
Our vets still recommend kittens to be neutered around 6 months.
I don't like the idea of kittens being anaesthetised very young for neutering, there must surely be more risk.
I hope USA vets don't start declawing kittens in their money grabbing neuter/declaw packages as young as that, to me it's taking their kittenhood away.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

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