Cat Log: The Neutering

Black Maine Coon cat neutered with cone

This is a post chronicling the continuing story of Oswald, or “Ozzy,” my Maine Coon/Norwegian Forest Cat. To catch up on everything that’s happened so far, click here.

Aside from a scorching hot sun, the onset of August 2019 brought a wave of slight anxiety my way.

Ozzy was about to turn six months old, which, as a male cat, meant that he was due to have his testicles removed. Of course, castration is standard practice for mammalian domestic pets, but from my perspective, that doesn’t make the concept any more palatable. As a fellow nut-haver myself, the thought of castration makes my stomach turn and my legs kick like a swimmer’s.

But, for felis catuses,  neutering seems to be the way to go. Research — and my partner’s input — revealed that a neutered Ozzy wouldn’t begin marking his territory around the house, which is apparently an eventuality for male cats. Online proponents of ball-snipping in cats also suggested that it could help curb aggression — an unfortunate quirk that Ozzy had been displaying pretty prominently between June and July during play.

I did read some uncorroborated claims from Maine Coon owners that neutering at six months of age could stunt growth in male cats and therefore, neutering at a minimum of eight months was a safer bet. However, other anecdotes suggested otherwise. So, somewhat reluctantly, I scheduled a neutering appointment for Ozzy in mid-August.

Thankfully, the operation went very smoothly! When I went to pick up Ozzy from the vet office, one of the vet techs said he had gone right back to playing post-op. This was surprising to me since I figured all of the sedatives and analgesic would’ve knocked Ozzy on his furry ass.

But, true to form, Ozzy was practically bouncing off of the walls after we arrived back home. He was less enthusiastic about wearing the mandatory post-op head cone designed to deter wound-licking, but even that didn’t seem to dampen his spirits. That said, I was instructed to give him a twice-daily dose of tramadol for several days — a feel-good opioid that might’ve spurred his boisterous behaviour.

Black Maine Coon cat neutered with inflatable e-collar

Ozzy wearing an alternative inflatable e-collar that wasn’t quite as viable as the plastic one, but certainly more humorous.

Since then, a month has passed, and Ozzy seems to have made a full recovery. His energy levels are still remarkably high and, considering he no longer has any natural testosterone production, I’d say that’s pretty remarkable. He’s also been a lot more patient and less aggressive during play/handling.

As far as long-term surgery ramifications, well… it’s too early to tell (fingers crossed!). But for now, I think it’s safe to say we’ve got one happy gonad-free cat on our hands.

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