Expected changes in cat behavior after spaying or neutering

Cat behavior can change dramatically after spaying or neutering surgery. There are plenty of reasons to spay or neuter your cat; an ability to avoid pregnancy and to control the population of unwanted pets are the most obvious one. At the same time, for house cat owners, maybe the most valuable are the changes in their pet’s behavior.

cat aggressive behavior
Spayed and neutered cats tend to be less aggressive. Photo by seregraff.

Regardless of the cat’s gender, most pets become less active, friendlier, what to play more and tolerate handling better. However, the most noticeable behavior changes happen in male cats. This is because most of their sexual behaviors are initiated by testosterone. What’s that? Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily in testes. Once your cat loses his testes, the testosterone level also drops.

Differences between males and females after spaying or neutering

So, after neutering your male cat, you may see a decrease in sexually related behaviors. For example, urine marking, aggression towards other male cats and wandering around. Since urine marking is the most disliked behavior by male cat owners, most of them neuter their pets exclusively for this reason.

In some cases, a cat may still spray after the surgery. Likely explanation is that the spraying has become a habit or that his hormones need more time to downregulate. While, in the latter case, the solution is to wait a little more, the first one requires additional training. You can learn more about why cats still spray after surgery here.

Female cats also show significant behavior changes after spaying. Above all, they stop coming in heat, which reduces most of the behaviors associated with the heat cycle; for example, excessive vocalization, crawling and rolling on the floor. Many cat owners use hormonal therapy to stop their cat coming in heat. However, if if you intend to medicate your cat on a long run, we advise the spaying instead. There are severe adverse effects of such medications.

Also, neutering appears to diminish behavioral differences between both genders. They make them act less like sexually driven beings, which is mainly what the sexes are. Thus, when a potential cat owner can’t decide whether to get a male or a female cat, it must not be the do or die decision. As long as they intend to spay or neuter their pet.

In any case, it is a good idea to spay or neuter your pet cat. Especially if you are not planning to breed them. The benefits of the procedure way outweigh the risks. Besides, changes in the behavior after spaying or neutering a cat are dramatic.