As we get older, it’s completely natural for us to gain weight. And our cats can be the same way, but this seems especially true for felines which have been spayed or neutered. The benefits of spaying and neutering our feline friends are endless, from controlling the cat population to reducing the risk of behavioral issues. But it seems most cats gain weight after being fixed, and the same can be said for dogs, too. So, clearly their must be a reason for it!
Keep reading to learn why cats gain weight after they’ve been spayed or neutered…
When should my cat get spayed/neutered?
I’ve preached time and time again to people the importance of spaying and neutering your cat before they reach sexual maturity. A female cat can go into her first heat at just six months of age, which means they are fully capable of becoming pregnant before they even reach their first birthday.
As a responsible and loving cat owner, it’s imperative to spay/neuter your cat once the time comes.
So, when is that time exactly? It depends on the situation, really. For cats which come from shelters, they can sometimes be desexed as early as eight weeks of age. This occurs in order to clear up space quickly for unwanted litters of cats so that cats which have been fixed can quickly be made ready to go in order to find their forever home.
Cats which have been brought in outside of a shelter are typically desexed by a veterinarian around 3-4 months of age. Regardless of the situation in which a cat enters your life, it’s of great importance to have your cat spayed/neutered before they reach sexual maturity. It’s been said that doing so can even reduce the risk of cancer in cats later in life.
Additionally, this greatly reduces the risk of behavioral issues in your feline friend. Cats which are neutered/spayed after they’ve matured are prone to territorial issues, such as spraying inside the home. They are also more likely to be confrontational with other cats.
Primordial pouch is not the same as post-neuter fat pad
For any woman who has ever had a cesarean section, often their first complaint aside from the pain is the puffiness around the incision. Cats which have been spayed or neutered are prone to the development of abdominal fat padding around the area of their incision. And this is not because the veterinarian didn’t do a good job while operating on them. This is because their metabolism will slow down as a result of their hormone changes post surgery.
Once your cat has been spayed or neutered, it will not come as a surprise if you see them less active than they once were. And this is simply because there isn’t an abundance of hormones coursing through their veins. Your cat can become less active, but if they are eating the amount of food they once were, then they can gain weight as a direct result.
Many pet experts suggest keeping a close watch on your cat’s daily food intake post-desexing as not to allow them to gain too much weight. Feline obesity is certainly on the rise, and with it invites a long list of health risks. All cats have a primordial pouch regardless of their weight, age, or whether or not they’ve been desexed. This serves as emergency food storage, allows them to expertly jump and contort, and protects their vital organs, too. If only are saggy bellies served the same purpose!
Be sure to exercise your cat who has been spayed or neutered
Like humans, cats gain weight if they eat more than than they exert daily. Cats enjoy both mental and physical stimulation, so don’t let those extended cat naps fool you! While it’s true that kittens need more calories, it’s important to show your cat you care by not allowing them to free feed whenever they want. And, as we know, cats will be quick to remind you when they’re hungry.
Our cats look to us to take care of their needs. Show them you care by caring about their physique. If you’re curious as to how much you should be feeding your cat, you can read more on that here on cattitudedaily.com