Advise On Neutering.

Why have your pet neutered?

Neutering (spaying, castration, doctoring) is carried out for a variety of reasons in cats, dogs and smaller pets such as rabbits or guinea pigs. In all species neutering is permanent and obviously stops animals breeding. All neutering involves anaesthesia but it is straightforward routine surgery on a healthy animal so the risks are negligible. It is worth remembering that there is both a stray dog and cat problem in this country and that charities like us are overrun with unwanted pets. Other rescue centres put these unwanted animals to sleep, as there are not enough homes for them all. PUP has a strict non-destruction policy: we try and deal with the situation by continually educating pet owners about the benefits of neutering.

Please neuter your pet and be part of the solution – NOT the problem.

If a female cat mates every time she comes into season and all her kittens survive and breed themselves, there could be up to 21,000 extra cats in just seven years!!

Males Cats (Toms):

If not castrated, male cats are likely to be smelly and are more likely to fight, roam and spray urine in the house. Fighting can lead to abscesses and the spread of serious diseases such as FIV (Feline Aids). Toms are usually neutered at 5-6 months of age.

Female Cats (Queens):

Female cats can breed prolifically, up to 3 litters a year of possibly 6 kittens. Being in season can be a stressful experience for the Queen as she suffers the advances of every Tomcat in the neighbourhood. Having her neutered stops this. It is common myth that the Queen should be allowed to have at least one litter of kittens before being neutered. This is NOT true. Queens are usually neutered at 5-6 months of age.

Male Dogs:

Castration is a good idea not only because it stops them mating and adding to the unwanted dog problem, but it also helps with a selection of behavioural problems such as excessive barking, aggressiveness, hypersexual behaviour, roaming, inappropriate urination, etc. There are also health benefits to castration including a decreased risk of prostate problems in later life and no risk of testicular cancer. Male dogs can be castrated at any age over 6 months.

Female Dogs (Bitches):

Spaying involves a total hysterectomy. It stops them coming into season every 6 months when there is the mess of bleeding as well as dogs hanging around and difficulties when they are taken out for a walk. Neutering stops the risk of serious diseases in later life such as cervical cancer and an infected womb or pyometra, it also stops false pregnancies. If done before 4 years of age it also decreases the risk of mammary cancer.

It is a common myth that neutered bitches put on weight. It is true that neutered bitches are more prone to put on weight than unneutered ones but ONLY if they get too much to eat or too little exercise. In a healthy animal food eaten and exercise are the two important things controlling weight and control of them will prevent weight increase. The other often talked about side effect of spaying is incontinence later in life. There is at present NO evidence that neutered bitches are more prone to this than unneutered ones. Bitches can be spayed at any time when they are not in season. Spaying before they ever have a season is commonly done; this makes the surgery easier and safer as the womb is smaller. The animals recover quicker and the cost is cheaper!


Neutering your rabbit has many benefits for you and your rabbit. Some rabbits can be very territorial and aggressive, neutering usually eliminates these traits. Rabbits like the company of other rabbits so many people get them in pairs when they are young but don’t get them neutered. Same sex pairs often fight when they mature and mixed sexes will always breed. Unneutered males (bucks) are at risk from testicular cancer and unneutered females (does) are at great risk from ovarian cancers, which can effect up to 50% of female rabbits over 5 years old. Male rabbits can be neutered from 4-6 months old. Females can be neutered from 5-6 months old. Over 24,000 rabbits are abandoned yearly at rescues across the country.