Desexing dogs and cats: what you need to know 

what you need to know about desexing

When you welcome a kitten or puppy into your home, you take on significant responsibilities, including important health decisions like desexing. 

We understand that you may have some questions on this topic. Continue reading to find answers to frequently asked queries, and discuss the procedure with your veterinarian to ensure the most suitable care for your pet. 

What is desexing? 

Desexing is a safe and common procedure that involves the surgical removal of part of the animals’ reproductive system. 

When can my pet be desexed? 

Generally, desexing cats can be performed safely from eight weeks and provided they weigh at least 1kg. Cats can get pregnant by the time they’re four months old, so desexing them before then is important. 

While the traditional age for dogs is six months, some veterinarians may recommend desexing earlier. It’s best to let your vet determine the right age based on factors like your pet’s weight, health, and vaccination status. 


What’s involved in the procedure? 

Female desexing, or spaying, involves removing the ovaries and uterus through a small incision under general anaesthetic. In males, the procedure is called neutering or castration and involves removing the testicles through a small scrotal incision. 

Both procedures require healing time, but it’s minimal for most healthy animals. Your vet will provide guidance on post-operative care, such as keeping them indoors and ensuring they have access to water and food. 

Why should I desex my cat? 

Both female and male cats can benefit from desexing. Unwanted pregnancies are the main benefit, but desexing may also result in happier, healthier cats that are less likely to wander, get into fights, or engage in antisocial behaviour. 


What’s involved in dog desexing? 

In females, desexing involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus through a small incision under anaesthetic. Male dogs undergo neutering or castration, a procedure in which the testicles are removed through an incision in front of the scrotum. 

After-care for dog desexing is straightforward. It’s typically advised that you restrict activity for the first few days. Most dogs are back to normal activities within 10 days. 

Why should I desex my dog? 

Desexing your dog offers various benefits. It can reduce the likelihood of prostate disease in males, eliminate testicular cancer risks, and potentially reduce aggressive behaviours. Female dogs also benefit from avoiding unwanted pregnancies, uterine infections, and having a reduced risk of developing cancers of the uterus, ovaries and mammary glands. 

Although it may be nerve-wracking to consider subjecting your pet to an operation, rest assured that you’re making a responsible choice that will benefit their health and well-being.