How to Tell If a Cat Is Spayed or Neutered

Many people may find themselves getting their pets from unplanned locations. Some cats will just pop up and decide that your current residence is now theirs as well. You may even find other cats on your way home from work or at a park where they have been left.

When you find an older cat and decide to bring it in, one of the questions on your mind may be what type of surgeries this animal has had, especially if they are spayed or neutered. This article will give you a great way to figure out if your new cat has undergone surgery to remove their reproductive genitalia.

Why Spaying And Neutering Is Important

When it comes to wild cats or cats found after being dropped off, these conditions are generally caused by overpopulation or somebody having litters that they cannot take care of in their own home. On average, a mother cat can produce a litter of four to six kittens at once and can become pregnant again almost immediately after giving birth. This is bad for both the mother cat and the growing cat population all around the world.

There is even a season referred to as “kitten season” due to the increase in birth rates of cats. Animal shelters find themselves overwhelmed at this point in time and many cats are put down due to the overpopulation. In the wild, this can lead to food shortages and violence in order to gain territory or hunting grounds. Cats also can become an invasive species to an area, wiping out the natural balance that was initially there. Cats have even been known to overhunt areas and decrease populations of small mammals.

While some people may see this practice as cruel or inhumane, it is worth noting that by not going through the altering of animals we are killing thousands of animals each year. Animal Control gets calls each day dealing with unwanted or unwelcome pets in various places. Cats count for some of the largest number of these animals due to their high birth rates. In fact, if left unchecked, a single pair of cats can go on to produce over 100 cats in their lifetime. Multiply this by the number of kittens, the kittens that are produced make for an enormous problem in finding appropriate homes for them.

How To Tell If They Are Spayed Or Neutered

There are a few different ways to tell if your animal has been spayed or neutered. The first being checking for a clipping on their ear as it is a common way to point out to other workers who neuter wild cats that the cat has been altered. If it looks like it may just be a tear, you can always check with a vet. For other references, the clip is normally put on the left ear of a cat and if you find that a piece of their ear is missing on the right side there is a higher chance that they may not be neutered.

Another great way to check if your cat has signs of being neutered or spayed is by looking for a surgical scar near your cat’s genitalia. Cats that have been altered, especially when dealing with females, generally have a scar where they were operating on near their belly. For males, you may find that their genitalia is reduced in size compared to unaltered cats. A veterinarian can verify this with a few checks if you are not completely certain that your cat has been spayed or neutered.

If you have a female cat, you can look for signs if they have gone into heat. Look out for a cat that is yelling or making a mating call as this is a given sign that they are looking for a mate to breed with. You may also find that your cat has become a lot more affectionate towards you, this is to appear more inviting to a potential mate. A pet may also be more inclined to try to venture outside during this time. You may find that male cats get a wanderlust if they're not neutered. This can lead to an increase in missing pet reports.

What To Do If They Are Not Altered

If you find that the cat you have obtained is not currently altered then here's some steps to take to keep them from getting into too much trouble. Make sure that the cat stays inside at all times to keep him from wandering outside and creating new kittens. Also make sure to keep any cats that have not been altered and are of the same gender away from each other. A lot of times people that have litters of kittens won't think that they will breed together. This, however, is not the case as sibling cats can and will breed with each other once they reach a certain age. If there is a dad cat around that is not altered, any female kittens can also be at risk as cats also will mate with their parents.

If the cats are young, determine how old they are and the soonest point that they can be fixed. Your vet should be able to tell you an appropriate time to have the surgery done so that the animals can properly handle it. If you come across an older cat however, you may be able to do the surgery right away. If you cannot afford surgery and have taken an animal in, there are several different animal organizations that do cheap spaying and neutering around the world. Keep an ear out in your community to get in touch with some of these organizations.

If you've come across a much older cat that has never been altered. You may want to consider the risks of putting them under and talk with your vet about it. A senior cat doesn't handle surgeries or anesthesia as well as a younger cat. If you choose not to let your cat undergo surgery, the best course of action is to make the cat a house-only pet and only bring other altered animals around them. This will save your kitty the trauma of surgery at an older age and make sure not to add to the growing pet population. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking from “Cat Cat Cat” to Amazon (, or,,, or

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