cat testicles: orange cat sleeping on the floor

Cat testicles descend at around 2 months of age.

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Cat testicles: Top 3 things every cat owner needs to know

By Justine Seraphin Country Manager

Published on the

It's an awkward topic, but cat testicles are an important part of your cat's anatomy. Knowing more about them can help you keep your cat happy and healthy!

As a cat owner there are a few fundamental things you need to know about your cat's testicles. 

When do kittens' testicles descend into the scrotum?

Kittens' testicles develop in the abdomen and typically descend into the scrotum around the age of 6 to 12 weeks old. However, it's essential to note that the exact timing can vary from kitten to kitten. If you have concerns about your kitten's development, it's always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian for guidance.

What happens if my cat's testicles never descend into the scrotum?

If your kitten's testicles fail to descend into the scrotum after 4 months of age, they may be affected by a condition known as cryptorchidism. Typically, only one testicle is retained, and this is known as unilateral cryptorchidism. However, there are cases in which both testicles can be retained. When this happens, the undescended testicle or testicles may remain in the abdomen or in the inguinal canal.

There are several potential issues associated with cryptorchidism:


Cryptorchid cats are typically infertile because the retained testicles continue to produce testosterone but do not produce sperm.

Increased risk of testicular cancer

Undescended testicles have a higher risk of developing tumours, including testicular cancer.

Behavioural problems

Cryptorchidism may lead to behavioural issues such as aggression or male marking behaviour (known as spraying).

Increased risk of torsion

Undescended testicles are more prone to twisting on their blood supply, leading to a condition called testicular torsion, which can cause sudden and severe pain, and is a medical emergency.

If your cat is diagnosed with cryptorchidism, your veterinarian may recommend surgical intervention to remove the undescended testicle(s). This procedure not only resolves the issue of retained testicles but also helps prevent potential health problems associated with cryptorchidism. It's essential to consult with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment options.

Should I neuter my male cat?

The age-old debate: to neuter or not to neuter? Here's what to consider:

Advantages of neutering a male cat

  • Controls local cat population: This helps reduce the number of homeless cats and alleviates the burden on animal shelters and rescue organizations.
  • Prevents roaming: Neutering reduces the urge to roam in search for mates, which can help prevent cats from getting lost, injured, or involved in fights with other animals.
  • Reduces aggressive behaviour: This reduces fighting with other cats and displaying dominance-related aggression toward humans or other animals.
  • Reduces spraying behaviour and weakens the smell of urine: Neutering can reduce the urge to mark territory, i.e. spraying behaviours.
  • Prevents certain types of cancers, diseases, and hernias: Neutering reduces the risk of testicular cancer and prostate disease from developing. 
  • Increases lifespan: Neutered male cats may have a longer lifespan on average compared to intact males, possibly due to the reduced risk of certain health issues and injuries associated with roaming and mating behaviour.

Disadvantages of neutering a male cat

  • Weight gain: Often attributed to changes in metabolism and hormone levels following neutering. Proper diet and exercise can help prevent obesity in neutered cats.
  • Changes in coat texture: This change is typically minor and may not be noticeable in all cats.
  • Surgical risks: As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with anesthesia and surgery itself. These are low, especially if your cat is young and in good health.
  • Increases risk of urinary tract issues: This risk can be minimized through proper hydration, a balanced diet, and regular veterinary care.

Overall, the disadvantages of neutering male cats are generally outweighed by the benefits, and it is highly recommended to neuter your male cat if you do not plan on using them for reproductive purposes. However, it's essential to discuss the potential risks and benefits with a veterinarian to make an informed decision based on your cat's individual needs.

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