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Contribution by veterinarian Sanja Polz
I am frequently asked this question by cat owners. But before I can answer that question, another one must be clarified: Do you sterilise or neuter cats? Theoretically, both are possible, but cats, like dogs, are almost always neutered. Neutering involves the removal of the testicles or ovaries. Sterilisation would only make the animal infertile, cut the spermatic cords or fallopian tubes, i.e. it would not be able to have any offspring, but would still produce all the hormones. All typical behavioural traits, for example the heat and marking, would remain - and these are often the main reason why dog and cat owners opt for neutering.
Neutering stops the production of sex hormones. The really good news is: Your cat will be about 20 percent cheaper! This reason leads me to the first point that owners of neutered cats have to consider: They need less feed. Why? The metabolism slows down. If you continue to feed your cat the same as before neutering, weight gain will occur after a few months. In the worst case, the cat becomes overweight and this has a negative effect on its overall health. Diabetes, for example, can develop as a result.
Do you have to give a sterilised cat low-fat food? No, not necessarily. The cat owner can also simply give less of the usual food. Of course, it is possible that the cat is not enthusiastic about this idea, so there is low-fat or calorie-reduced food, because this way the amount of food can remain the same.
To avoid deficiency symptoms, the most important thing is to feed high-quality proteins after neutering, i.e. meat! Cats love meat and it's good for them too! Cat food should have a meat content of around 70%. Whether neutered or not, grains, artificial colours and attractants, added sugar, preservatives and lactose should be avoided. Fibre, minerals, vitamins and trace elements are analysed and added to high-quality feed to guarantee optimal supply. Another thing that should not be ignored is water. It is very important that your cat always has enough fresh water available. Some prefer it very fresh and also like to drink directly from the tap.
In summary, it really pays to put effort into good feeding, not only in puppy or kittenhood, but also after neutering. Diseases can be avoided and life can be extended with a good quality of life.
Since 2010 CityVet veterinary practice Gersthof, Vienna.
2009 Veterinary Clinic Währing, Vienna
2008-09 Animal Medical Center, New York, USA
2007-08 Währing Veterinary Clinic, Vienna
2007 Worldwide Veterinary Service
2022 Training in Veterinary Craniosacral Therapy, IVCA, UK.
2016 - 2017 Training as an animal physiotherapist (CCRP), Veterinary Medical Faculty Vienna
2015 Training as Animal Osteopath, Myofascial Relaxation Techniques, Back-Bone Academy, Germany
2011-12 Training as IVCA Accredited Animal Chiropractor, IAVC Germany
2009 Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery Course, ADTC, Baltimore, USA
2008-2009 Small Animal Rotating Internship, Animal Medical Center, New York, USA
2001-2007 Royal Veterinary College, London, UK