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All you need to know on having your pet neutered


We believe that neutering your dogs (spaying for females and castration for males), should be considered in the following circumtances:

  • For population control and to prevent the perpetuation of genetic defects

For Males:

  • To reduce sexually motivated behaviours in male dogs, such as straying response to bitches in season.
  • For medical reasons, e.g. to prevent or remove testicular tumours, or reduce perianal adenoma or prostatic hyperplasia.

For Females:

  • To prevent potential problems associated with oestrus cycle (oestrus, season, or heat), false pregnancy and the risk of developing mammary tumours.
  • To prevent or remove pyometra and other uterine diseases.
(British Small Animal Veterinary Association)

Dogs can be neutered from 6 months' old. Some people prefer to wait until female bitches have had their first season before neutering, in which case the operation can be arranged for 3 months after this (the pros and cons of this can be discussed with one of our vets).

Before neutering, we advise consulting one of our vets to discuss the role of sexual hormones in the development of certain behaviours.


At Abbeydale Vets, we support the practice of neutering cats (castration of male cats and spaying of females) for preventing unwanted kittens and reducing the problems with finding homes and the increasing stray population.

Did you know?

  • 150,000 stray and abondoned cats enter shelter care in the UK every year.
  • There are an estimated 1-2 million stray cats (Cats Protection).

Other benefits of neutering include:

For Males:

  • Reduction of roaming, and thus reduction in numbers of cats injured or killed in road traffic accidents.
  • Reduction in fighting, and thus reduction in infected wounds, abscesses and spread of infection.
  • Neutering of cats is also likely to reduce the risk of urine spraying.

For Females:

  • Elimination of the risks of pregnancy, and its complications as well as ovarian and uterine diseases.
  • Significant reduction in the risk of mammary tumours.
(British Small Animal Veterinary Association)

Cats are traditionally neutered at 6 months' old, but can be neutered as young as 4 months' old in some situations.


We believe that all non-breeding rabbits should not be neutered (spay and castrate) after they have reached sexual maturity (approximately 6 months' old). Rabbits can be neutered in some cases as young as 3 months' old, as they can start breeding from as young as 4 months'!

Benefits include:

  • The prevention of pregnancy and unwanted litters.
  • The reduction of undesirable sexual mounting behaviour and hormonally related aggression.
  • The prevention of pseudo-pregnancy.
  • For medical reasons such as the prevention and treatment of uterine cancer (in up to 60% of rabbits over 3 years' old!)

(British Small Animal Veterinary Association)