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It is known that testosterone is a major component in muscle growth. So if an adult tomcat is neutered after fully maturing, will it lose some of the muscles it had previously gained? In general, does it become a little weaker?

My concern is that if this cat gets weaker, it can become a victim of other feral (intact) toms. There are (or used to be) other intact tomcats around that were driven away by this one, so if they start to come back, there will be fights.

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    Are there special circumstances that make you worried about the cats muscles? Many feral tomcats are neutered and released into their old feral life and they don't suffer or have a harder time than usual surviving and protecting their territory.
    – Elmy
    Jul 1 at 4:16
  • Yes, my concern is that if this cat gets weaker, it can become a victim of other feral (intact) toms. There are (or used to be) other intact tomcats around that were driven away by this one, so if they start to come back, there will be fights. Though your comment seems to answer my concern.
    – Yogesch
    Jul 1 at 4:18
  • One can say that neutered cats show less aggression. He can prevent injuries by going from hawk to dove.
    – C.Koca
    Jul 1 at 12:09
  • @C.Koca As a 4 year old tom which has been fighting and defending (successfully) for over a couple years now, would that not turn out to be a habit/trait that is now hard to lose?
    – Yogesch
    Jul 2 at 15:59
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    That habit is driven by hormones more than anything. Animals like to show domination but they don't like fights, that is why if one of them yields the other won't chase after. If he yields quickly, he won't get hurt. I guess he will resort to a smaller territory
    – C.Koca
    Jul 2 at 17:53
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As far as I know, no specific study has been done on feline muscle tone after neutering. However, several studies have shown that:

  • Neutering does not affect a cat's interest in exercise or play
  • Neutering leads to weight gain (neutered cats seem to eat more)

In this study on feral cats living outdoors, neutering led to some weight gain and overall healthier cats in terms of coat and body proportions. Feral cats that were neutered do not seem to be at a disadvantage in terms of physical ability.

For indoor cats, weight gain has been noted as a common effect of neutering, but no other significant physical changes are commonly cited.

Edit with your added context: Feral cats who were neutered did not seem to have any increased difficulties interacting with other cats or humans. It did make them less aggressive, so maybe less likely to "defend" their territory, but cats are naturally social, there is no reason why a feral cat would need to chase away other cats. Cats who fight less remain healthier and live longer.

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I can tell you that if this tom cat has been keeping others away he will continue to do so if it is so important to him. I have two outdoor cats, both neutered, one female one male, and they both have independent jobs of keeping animals off the property. The female chases dogs, any dog, off the property. If they don't go and challenge her that's a mistake, she lights into them, and I've never seen one that looks back. The male keeps all other cats away unless they are prepubescent or the neutered female, who is his aunt. As far as testosterone and muscles: testosterone plays a role in the development of muscle mass, and reduced levels of the hormone can result in a significant loss of muscle mass. However, as low testosterone causes a decrease in mass, the function and strength of the muscles do not diminish. That's according to the below study in humans. With 50 years experience in veterinary science and working with cats, I've never seen an issue with muscle strength in cats after neutering. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5031462/

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