This year several adult but unsterilised male cats have arrived at APROP.
We sterilise any cat that arrives sexually intact, but older male cats can give us more of a challenge in finding them homes than females or males that were sterilised before sexual maturity.
Unsterilised male cats tend to put on more muscle and bulk than sterilised males and can develop larger heads. They are naturally more inclined to fight and protect their territory aggressively, and they mark their territory by spraying urine, which can be very pungent. Male cats can also roam long distances, particularly when looking for a mate.
Male cats that are sterilised before reaching sexual maturity are usually more placid and easy going than unsterilised cats. They don’t have the same tendency to roam very far from home and sometimes they can even become a little bit lazy and fat if their owners don’t watch their diet.
So what does that mean for an adult male cat that is sterilised after he is sexually mature and active?
Well, they may retain some of the ingrained habits and characteristics that they developed as a sexually mature male. In some cases, males may continue to spray to mark territory, although for most this urge will wear off after a time. Some may continue to have the same desire to demonstrate dominance and protect their territory, particularly against other adult males. In some cats this trait may appear as a desire to play a little too aggressively sometimes.
Of course, not all male cats once sterilised will display the same personalities and traits. Just like humans, every cat is an individual. Some male cats are peace loving cuddlers and some are fighters – and some may be a bit of both depending on how they feel.
Late sterilised males have great personalities and make fantastic pets, although some may be more suited to a home without small children or other pets. One benefit of owning a late sterilised male cat is that they tend to be big cats, so when they cuddle, there is a lot of them to cuddle.
My own experience of owning a late sterilised male cat was a cat called Costa, and he was a big, big hunk of love. He believed that I was his property and would not hesitate to protect me if he thought I was in any danger. This was occasionally a source of discomfort to my husband at the time if Costa thought he was “attacking” me. Costa also had a deep dislike of dogs and would go out of his way to see off any dog that came close to his territory. As he was so huge, that was a terrifying prospect for most animals who avoided conflict with him if they were sensible, but he loved spending time with next door’s giant white rabbit. He had a great sense of humour and loved to play, although sometimes his play could get a little bit rough when he got over-excited. But he loved me and I adored him.
If you think you can handle a cat with a big personality and a body to match, I would definitely recommend a late sterilised male cat. Take a look at some of the boys we currently have at APROP. They are all very different from each other in personality and behaviour: