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Can Cats Eat & Drink Before Getting Spayed or Neutered?

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

cat owner feeding her pet cat

Spaying or neutering your cat is a safe, simple procedure. However, as a pet parent, you probably have quite a few questions. You might even wonder if your cat can eat or drink before having the surgery performed. The answer is yes, but it’s more complicated than that. We’ll explain why below and discuss the benefits of the procedure.

Can Cats Eat & Drink Before Getting Spayed or Neutered?

Cats that are 5 months or older can have a quarter of their normal meal1 on the morning of the surgery. It can have half of its usual meal if it’s an animal 4 months or younger. It’s okay to get your cat water right up to the surgery. Of course, you need to clear these instructions with your vet, just in case something is different regarding your pet.

An Overview of Neutering & Spaying

Neutering or spaying your cat is an operation that prevents pregnancy in females and the ability to get a cat pregnant in males. It’s recommended that a cat be spayed or neutered at 4 months of age, though this may be different for some cats, especially if they have health problems. Until it’s okay to have your cat neutered or spayed, it’s best to keep them inside.

neutering cat
Image Credit: Simon Kadula, Shutterstock

How Much Does Cat Neutering Cost?

The cost of getting a cat neutered will depend on the area you live in, whether your cat is a female or a male, and what the individual vet’s fees are. You can expect to pay between $100 and $400 at a veterinary clinic, but some organizations charge low prices when holding spaying and neutering events.

What Are the Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Cats?

There are quite a few benefits of spaying or neutering your cats.

Benefits for Male Cats
  • Reduces the cat’s need to roam
  • Reduces aggression
  • Reduces fighting
  • Cuts down on the chance of developing (FIV) the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Helps to prevent testicular cancer
  • Reduces the chance of being struck by a car during roaming
  • Weakens the strong smell of the cat’s urine
Benefits for Female Cats
  • Prevents your cat from becoming pregnant
  • Prevents pyometra, which is an infection of the womb
  • Prevents ovarian cancer
  • Prevents cancer of the uterus
  • Stops the cat from going into heat

FAQ

Now that you know your cat can eat right before being spayed or neutered, we’ll answer a few of the most common questions about cats and this type of surgery below.

Will My Cat Get Fat?

It’s a good idea to reduce the food portions you give your cat after the surgery, as some cats tend to gain weight after the surgery is performed. This is because after the surgery, due to hormonal changes, your cat will need around 25% fewer calories than it did before. You can always give your cat food that is specifically made for neutered or spayed cats for the best results.

Do You Need to Neuter an Indoor Cat?

Yes, you should still have your indoor cat neutered. You never know what will happen, and your cat could easily slip out. Not only does it stop female cats from going into season, but it also cuts down on certain diseases in both female and male cats. In reality, it’s just better for your cat’s health and your home environment to have the cat fixed.

Ragdoll sitting on carpet floor
Image Credit: Peredniankina, Shutterstock

Will Neutering Stop a Cat from Spraying?

While it’s not guaranteed, neutering often stops a male cat from spraying or marking his territory. It is possible that the cat will still spray if it’s upset or anxious about something. However, if your cat stopped spraying and then started again, talk to your vet to determine the cause of the problem.

Conclusion

Cats can eat before being spayed and neutered, but there are limitations to how much they can eat and at what age. You can give them water up until the surgery time. However, if you’re worried about how much you can feed your cat, it’s best to ask your vet when you go in to make the appointment.

While you can have cats neutered or spayed at 4 months of age, your vet will let you know when it’s time, and some cats are still too small to undergo the surgery at that age.

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Featured Image Credit: Milles Studio, Shutterstock

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