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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Being a responsible pet owner did I change my cat by spaying her?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26879points) March 16th, 2011

Did I change my cat while trying to be a responsible pet owner? When my cat’s cousin (belonging my next door neighbor) got pregnant again (early, before official “kitten season”) I did not want my cat to be adding to the kitten population so I had her spayed, but now she seems like a whole new cat, which in a way is not bad but strange. Before, she would do just abut anything to get out the front door. She would stalk along the wall, especially at night in the shadows, and time the opening of the door like a linebacker would the snap count to bum rush the QB. And once out there she would not let me get near her at all. Even to open the door to let her in she would hardly do it unless I stepped from the door. Once she hid in the neighbor’s garage for 4 days, darting back in there every time she’d seen me coming. Now she half cares to go out and when she does she hardly stays long. She follows me everywhere. Behaves more affectionate, and even comes up to me outdoors like she never did before. Does spaying change the whole nature of a cat and why would that be?

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6 Answers

optimisticpessimist's avatar

I cannot tell you if it changes the whole nature of the cat, but it does seem to make them more docile. I had a male kitten we intended to neuter; however, he got out of the house one night. After that he behaved the way your cat did originally, he would dart for the door whenever it looked like someone was leaving. We could not keep him in the house even though where we lived the cats were not supposed to just roam. He would disappear for days. He got to the point that I was the only one he would let touch him. Basically, he became feral. He got in multiple fights as evidenced by the wounds. The vets would not treat him because he was so aggressive. We never could get him neutered. We have had all of our subsequent cats spayed or neutered and never had a similar problem with aggression.

I guess the point is twofold. Although it may change their temperament, it can make them more domesticated. Also, it keeps them from pro-creating when there are already too many cats without homes.

syz's avatar

Spaying her allowed her true nature to show – before, she was ruled by the hormonal imperative to breed. Now that she doesn’t have that influence, her personality is showing (and she may just be maturing).

marinelife's avatar

Think of her as no longer being a prisoner of her hormones. You have freed her to be herself.

@syz Jinx!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Possibly, but it’s a change for the better. When we got our little Yoda as a kitten, she kept darting to the door also, and I had to fight tooth and claw to keep her from getting out. When I talked to my vet about it, he told me that having her spayed would stop her from doing that.

I’m assuming it’s because of what the two above posts mentioned- her hormones and instinct pulled her toward the outside where she could mate. Having her spayed apparently got rid of that urgent desire, and she is now a total lap cat and snuggles under my sheets and clothes that are on the bed, and barely pays attention to the door anymore.

Zaku's avatar

Yes. Removes chemical inputs from sex organs which changes hormones, brain chemistry/signals and drives. Wanting to go out so bad cats do when they want to get out to meet other unfixed cats (like human teens). Your female hiding in the garage may have been having a hidden safe nest for future kittens.

OptimisticPessimit’s male cat being aggressive and assertive and getting in fights is how a male competes for best females. Ever heard the expressions “he has balls” versus “he’s got no balls”?

spykenij's avatar

They all wanna get outside, especially when not fixed and especially when in heat. All I know is it is supposed to be healthier for the animal and less female organs, less chance of female organ cancers. I’ve had a lot of cats throughout my life. Females can either become really gentle and lovable afterwards or really pissy and bitchy. Sounds like you got a normal gal and ours is half, rabid acting racoon-cat :P

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