Neutering is the surgical removal of part or all of an animal's reproductive organs. In Hong Kong, neutering is sometimes called "desexing".
A more specific term for this procedure is "spaying" for female animals and "castration" for male animals.
Spaying a female animal involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries.
Castration of male animals involves the removal of both testicles.
These are routine operations which require a general anaesthetic; patients usually recover quickly after the surgery.
Each year, thousands of unwanted animals are euthanised because there aren’t enough homes for them. To control the animal population by preventing the birth of unwanted litters, SPCA(HK) strongly encourages pet owners to spay or neuter their pets.
In addition, neutering has many additional benefits to animals.
Desexing reduces the risk of prostate, testicular, uterine and mammary gland diseases and cancers in cats & dogs.
Dogs and cats are less likely to mark their territories by spraying when neutered (spraying = urinating indiscriminately on furniture, up walls etc).
The drive to mate is one of an animal’s strongest instincts. For instance, if a female cat in heat finds a way outside, it will attract unneutered males from the neighbourhood. When unneutered dogs are kept indoors, they might turn their attention to “mating” furniture or even people!
Unneutered dogs are generally more aggressive than their neutered counterparts which makes it easier for them to get into fights.
Unneutered female dogs come into heat twice a year for about three weeks each time. A bitch in heat usually attracts scores of visiting dogs to her door!
Sometimes non-desexed bitches can have false pregnancies when their body “thinks” they are pregnant - this can result in odd behavior and be very stressful for the dog.
No, it shouldn’t if exercise and diet is monitored appropriately.
It depends on the type of animal, the size and the gender. Compared with the cost of caring for numerous offspring or treating possible diseases, the cost of desexing is minimal!
Regardless of gender, a cat or a dog can reproduce from 5 to 6 months old, so the sooner the better.
Please contact any of our SPCA clinics or your local veterinary surgeon for more information or to make an appointment to desex your pet.
If so, SPCA may be able to help desex them. Please contact the Cat Colony Care Programme Coordinator on 2232 5513 or email