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Do cats gain weight after sterilisation?

Brown cat with blue eyes advice

Neutered cats do not have the same drive from sex hormones.

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You've had your kitten sterilised and not long after it seems like they're putting on weight. But are the two connected?

By Dr. Liz Barton MA, VetMB, MRCVS

Updated on the 20/11/2020, 17:46

Is it true that cats gain weight after sterilisation? Or is it just a coincidence? One thing is for sure, if your cat is putting on too much weight, it's a good idea to have a second look at their diet. Keep reading to pick up some good advice on these issues.

Do cats eat more after being neutered?

Neutering should not alter a cat’s appetite. If anything, they may eat less as their hormone drive decreases. Cats are often neutered as kittens when their appetite will be varying as they grow. This may give the impression that the neutering has affected how much they are eating, but it is more likely to be due to a growth spurt.

Why do neutered cats gain weight?

Neutered cats do not have the same drive from sex hormones. Sex hormones cause increased calorie use through growth and building muscle mass, and increased roaming, fighting and mating behaviours. Because they are using fewer calories, but are often fed the same as before they were before being neutered, they will have a tendency to lay down the ‘spare’ calories as fat and gain weight.

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Do male cats gain weight after being neutered?

If your male cat is fed the same amount, they will have a tendency to gain weight. This is because they will be producing less muscle mass, and spending less active time roaming, and showing territorial and mating behaviours

Why is my cat always hungry since she's been spayed?

Spaying often occurs when kittens are growing, so the increased appetite may be due to a growth spurt rather than as a consequence of spaying. Once the female sex hormones are removed, there is less drive for a female cat to roam, nest and socialise. They may therefore eat more because they are less distracted by other behaviours.

When should I see a vet?

It is good to speak to a vet early on if your cat is becoming overweight. Once they become obese, it is very hard to shift weight in cats, as encouraging them to exercise can be difficult.

What should I ask a vet about the best diet for my cat?

If your cat is being neutered, it is a good time to talk to a vet about the correct diet for their age and stage of growth. If you have concerns about the change in appetite and weight gain following neutering, then you can put a plan in place to regularly check your cat’s weight and body condition to ensure they stay a healthy weight. Showing the vet the packaging and amount you are feeding your cat will help them see if the diet is correct, or if there is a better diet available. Remember to discuss treats – these can be very calorie dense and need to be accounted for in your cat’s daily food allowance.

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