RSPCA Central, West & North East London

24-hour cruelty and advice line: 0300 1234 999

Advice: Neutering your pet

What is neutering?

Neutering involves castrating a male or performing a hysterectomy on a female to stop the animal breeding. The operations are safe and routine and relatively painless so most animals are back to normal straight away.

It is a myth that female dogs or cats should be allowed a litter of puppies or kittens; animals do not miss mating or breeding and, for all the reasons below, it is actually a lot kinder to neuter your pet.

Ask your vet for advice as to when to neuter your pet. Cats can be neutered as early as four months old to reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy or fathering a pregnancy.

Find a veterinary practice near you that practices early neutering.

For more information on neutering, please click here.

Why neuter?

  • Each year there are thousands of unwanted dogs, cats and small animals abandoned in London. By allowing your pet to breed you are adding to the misery, as well as the fact you will have to spend a lot of money and time looking after Mum and babies
  • Your pet will be healthier; vets studies show neutering lessens the chance of  your cat or dog contracting illnesses, such as uterine cancer in females
  • It reduces the risk of your cat catching feline AIDS (FIV). The disease is a major problem in London and your cat could catch it from sex, bites or fighting over territory, which is more common in unneutered animals. Although it cannot be passed to humans, there is no vaccination, drugs regime or cure for your cat
  • Male cats are less likely to wander and fight. They no longer ‘spray’ smelly urine to mark territory. By not roaming, this also reduces the risks of road traffic accidents
  • It can make your pet calmer and more content so it focuses it’s attention on you, not sex
  • In particular, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and other bull breeds are less at risk of being stolen for breeding and dog fighting

What if you cannot afford to neuter your pet?

If you are on benefits, disabled, a pensioner or on low income and you have a cat, you may be eligible for the C4 Free Neutering Scheme for Cats which covers Greater London. Go to or ring 03000 121212

Or contact your nearest charity clinic about low-cost neutering or ring us on 020 7 272 2264 for details of free/low-cost neutering for dogs and rabbits in your area.