Spay & Neuter Information


Spaying and Neutering


Moreover, says Andrea Looney, DVM, a lecturer in anesthesiology at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, neutering at an early age is likely to spare a cat from several lethal health problems later on in its life. As Dr. Looney points out, spaying a female kitten when she is three to six months old—when her reproductive organs are nearing maturity but before her breast tissue develops—will virtually eliminate her risk for mammary cancer later in life. Also, since spaying entails the removal of a female’s uterus, Dr. Looney notes, the procedure rules out the possibility of pyometra, a potentially fatal collection of pus in that reproductive organ.


Other conditions that are prevented by removal of the female reproductive organs include vaginal hyperplasia, a gross swelling of the vaginal wall that occurs during the normal heat cycle; uterine prolapse, the bulging of the uterus into the vagina; and a variety of infections, cysts, and cancers of the uterus and ovaries. As for males, surgical removal of the testes will prevent the potential development of testicular cancer and is almost sure to prevent the occurrence of an enlarged prostate gland and possibly prostatic cancer as well. In addition, neutering eliminates the production of hormones that cause an uncastrated male to roam, be aggressive to other cats, and spray urine for marking territory outside and inside the owner’s home.  Read More..

ASPCA’S Feral Cat Sterilization Guidelines – Download PDF or Word Doc


Feral Cat Sterilization Protocol


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recognizes that Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the most humane and effective approach to managing the feral cat population problem in the United States. With TNR, all the cats in a colony are trapped, sterilized, vaccinated for rabies, eartipped for identification and returned to their colony. A caretaker provides food on a regular basis and adequate shelter, monitors the animals’ health and remains vigilant that any newcomers are immediately sterilized. This stabilizes the population of the colony and, over time, reduces it. At the same time, nuisance behavior such as spraying, loud noise and fighting are largely eliminated, no more kittens are born and the benefit of natural rodent control is continued.


This protocol is based on the work of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which has sterilized thousands of feral cats via the ASPCA Cares Mobile Clinic Program. This protocol is the result of input from the community-based groups Slope Street Cats ( and Neighborhood Cats (


Whether you are a rescuer, a colony caretaker, a veterinary technician, a veterinarian or any other friend of feral cats, this is a guide to aid you in helping spay and neuter the many feral cats in New York City’s five boroughs.


Unsocialized cats should not be handled when conscious and therefore require special care when recovering from surgical sterilization (or any surgery). However, by the time cats are picked up from the clinic (in the same trap used to drop them off), they have generally regained consciousness. They may or may not be moving around in the trap at this time.

To minimize stress on the cats, make sure the traps are completely covered with a sheet or towel. If recovery will be done at a location other than the clinic (trapper’s or volunteer’s residence, shelter, etc.), and therefore requires transport, check to see that the trap doors are secured before loading the cats into a vehicle.

Recovery after surgery

Anesthesia interferes with an animal’s ability to regulate his or her own body temperature. It’s therefore very important that CCP staff and volunteers help program cats stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The space used for post-surgery recovery should be dry and temperature-controlled (approximately 70°F). Most clinic and shelter environments meet this requirement, as do most homes. Garages and basements can be used, assuming the correct temperature can be maintained (which can be a challenge in hot or cold weather). Ensure that the space is quiet and free of fumes, that there are no open windows or doors (in the event a cat escapes from a trap) and that no other animals have access to the recovering cats.

CAUTION: Cats can die of hypothermia or heat stroke during post-surgery recovery.


Additional Links For More Information To Compare


Cats usually need to be held for 24 to 72 hours after surgery, depending on their recovery speed. Male catscan be returned to the trapping site 24 hours followingneutering, as long as they are fully awake and do not require further medical attention.
Spay/Neuter Post-Surgery Care

Hi everybody. For those of you who don’t remember me, we have a small colony living on our property. Pictures of previous, current, and sometimes residents can be found in the Outside Cats album here:

This coming season, it looks like we will have 4 fertile females, so we are looking to trap and spay them. I got in touch with a woman from the Feral Friends Network at She gave me 3 places in my county that will spay ferals without needing all the shots and vet visits beforehand. Hooray!

But she brought up the question of recuperation time after the surgery. She suggested that if you just let the cat out, it will jump up 6 foot fences like they do and could tear their stitches. Of course, then what will we do! She suggested making a temporary home in a wire cage that’d include a place to sleep, food, water, and litter.

My question is: how the heck do I get in to change the litter so that the kitty doesn’t run for it! Can anyone who has done this give some advice on feral spay recovery time, and how to set them up to be comfy and have what they need? Also, I was thinking of doing 2 sisters at the same time and having them share the cage for company and warmth. We have a good-sized cage we had for our dog, so it’s about 5 feet by 2.5 feet or so. Any advice and tales are gladly welcomed! I need all the help I can get, but for now, I’m just in planning stages.


Feral Cat Post-op Instructions

Post-operative care for feral cats depends on whether you can handle the cat.  If you can handle the cat, please follow the standard care described on our “Post-Operative Care”  instructions.   The cat’s stitches will dissolve, so you do not need to bring them back to the clinic to have stitches removed.

If the cat is truly feral, do not attempt to handle him or her.  You risk serious injury to yourself and/or to the cat if you attempt to handle a feral cat.  Follow the instructions below to care for cats that you cannot handle.

Note:  It is very important that you release feral cats in the same location where you trapped them.  Feral cats generally do not do well if they are relocated.

Can Neutering Unsocialized Cats Change Them?

Once spayed or neutered, keep in mind that it may take up to one month after the surgery for the cat to exhibit appropriate behavior. Also note that catsspayed or neutered after 1-2 years of age may continue aggressive behavior. … Spaying female cats reduces their risk of uterine, ovarian, and breast cancer.

Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Programs

Whether you’ve recently adopted a pet or you’re considering doing so, one of the most important health decisions you’ll make is to spay or neuter your cat or dog. (Learn more by reading our Spay/Neuter Your Pet page.)

The comprehensive and searchable database of low-cost spay/neuter providers below, made possible through our partnership with PetSmart Charities®, can help you find affordable services in your community. We are continually adding to this database, so please check back soon if you don’t find any listings for your area at this time.