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Our male British Shorthair is a bit over 4 months and reaching the age we should consider neutering him if we want to avoid spraying and other side-effects of him sexually maturing.

Still, as a young cat he is very mild tempered, and always stays indoors in a spacious apartment on a high floor.

Is there any chance to avoid the annoying parts of sexual maturity without neutering him? Can perhaps the fact that he will not be coming in contact with other cats prevent him from marking his territory by spraying? And what about developing aggressiveness when he is in heat?

And are there any (perhaps pharmaceutical) alternatives to surgical neutering?

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I don't think there are any "good" alternatives.

Between chemically neutering and surgically doing so I'd think surgery would probably be less painful, more humane, and less likely to have negative health implications (it actually seems to increase life span, so it has one positive one).

You could opt for the vasectomy... but you said you don't want spraying or other tomcat behavior. The only way to avoid that is castration of some kind.

Tomcat behavior is not uniform... without altering it is possible you could tollerate his behavior. However, I'd think spraying would be quite likely, also agressive behavior, needing to be outside when some female is in heat... so possibly but quite unlikely. Also you'd need to give him a vasectomy to prevent him from adding to the stray population....

You could put off doing the fixing unless/until he drives you nuts. Keep in mind he will also become fixated on leaving the house once he matures and sences a female in the area.

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There are new methods of chemically neutering cats and dogs: (reference). I know removal of some of your cat's parts is unpleasant to think about and it is painful for them .

Going in and altering a creature's physiology for the sake of convenience was something I had to morally come to terms with. I had a couple of females that were not spayed that had really bad reproductive system issues because they never got pregnant. This would have been prevented by spaying them. One vet told me female cats live longer when spayed. Some people believe there are health benefits for males as well.

Chemically neutering is not necessarily any more humane. There may be side effect and unseen reactions.

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We have the same issue. Our tomkittens went into puberty around 5 months of age (is that early for males?) and the vet recommended we neuter them; we chose to go for the chemical option, which he said would need to be repeated around twice a year.

I'm not sure if it worked or not, because the kitten who received it eventually (but not immediately) gave up yowling and trying to go outside though he still seems to have an unabated sexual interest in the other kitten. The other kitten did not receive the injection (he was ill at the time) but he gave up yowling and such anyway so there was no obvious "need" for it later on. Neither of them has ever sprayed. I don't know if this is the majority experience but I have in the past come across other sexually mature unneutered toms with similarly stolid temperaments.

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"Going in and altering a creature's physiology for the sake of convenience was something I had to morally come to terms with."

I'll assume that 'convenience' in this regard specifically applies to altering a cat that will be an indoor-only pet. Especially considering a tomcat that will be outside, neutering is the only responsible choice, reducing not only procreation, but also horribly brutal fighting and miles of single-minded wandering in search of accommodating young ladies. ; ] It should be obvious that 'fixed' females guarantee a more tightly controlled population. The element of convenience for humans aside, it's also more humane for a 'kept kitty' to be sexually altered, as the urges and behavior that attend being a naturally intact cat will not disappear simply because the animal is an apartment or house dweller that hopefully never 'escapes'. Altering a pet that an owner doesn't intend to breed is an act of kindness. A mild digression: in my opinion, breeding is an ethical failure that eclipses any quandary about having a pet spayed or castrated.

The exponential growth of feral cat populations is mind-boggling. It's almost inconceivable how truly rapid and prolific unchecked feline reproduction is. Within a year, having up to three litters, one female cat can equate to 24 -- maybe less, maybe more. Let's assume that roughly half of her offspring are also female and then extrapolate the numbers similarly. Imagine one mother cat who has three girls, each of whom then births three girls of her own. That's thirteen female cats, possibly all born within a year, all of which will be sexually mature within a few months of birth. This is a hypothetical scenario where the mommas have no male kittens, though there are certainly plenty of boys born. The calendar keeps rolling and the inverted pyramid keeps widening. : / Many people are aware, while many more don't care.

With some help I'm currently taxed in trying to manage a small fleet of furry ones from my warehouse work site, totaling about 17. This is merely one location -- a small dot on the map. I wasn't the most responsible or proactive pet owner some years back, but I stridently insist that people have companion animals of whatever degree neutered. Letting unaltered Pom-Pom or Thunderballs roam freely -- or allowing her or him out for just one evening -- can dramatically increase the 'unwanted' cat population and exacerbate significant and substantial problems for the caring people who rather selflessly try to provide for the poor urchins.

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