Contributors: Andrew Gardiner

 Species: Feline   |   Classification: Techniques

Introduction Requirements Preparation Procedure Aftercare Outcomes Further Reading


  • Surgical removal of scrotal testicles.

Print off the Owner Factsheet on neutering All about neutering to give to your client.


  • Prophylactic neutering of male cats to inhibit fertility and reduce male sexual behavior patterns.
  • Testicular trauma, neoplasia Testis: neoplasia or abscess.
  • An initial step in the surgical procedure of perineal urethrostomy Urethrostomy in intact male cats.


  • Almost all male domestic cats kept as pets benefit from castration to reduce urinary marking behavior Indoor marking and conditions associated with roaming and fighting (bite abscess/cellulitis Abscess, RTA, FeLV infection Feline leukemia virus disease, etc).


  • If performed before skeletal maturity is attained, some reports have indicated that growth plate dysfunction may occasionally be seen.

Time Required


  • 5 min.


  • 5 min.

Decision Taking

Criteria for choosing test


Materials Required

Minimum equipment

  • Mosquito forceps Surgical instruments: hemostats - Halstead mosquito .

Minimum consumables

  • No. 15 surgical blade.


Site Preparation

  • Hair from the scrotum is plucked (clipping is difficult and may result in scrotal dermatitis).
  • Routine surgical skin preparation of the scrotal skin.



Core Procedure

Step 1 - Forceps knot technique

  • Mobilize the testicle by placing the thumb and forefinger of the non-dominant hand behind the testicle.
  • Make a skin incision over the mobilized testicle Castration 01 .
  • Deliver the testicle and a generous length of cord through the incision Castration 02 .
  • Incise the parietal tunic Castration 03 and expose the testicle Castration 04 and spermatic cord Castration 05  Castration 06 .
  • Clamp and bluntly divide the ductus deferens; then release.
  • Place the hemostat Castration 07 on top of the spermatic vessels and form an overhand knot around the jaws of the hemostat, grasping the vascular cord near the testicle with the hemostat Castration 08 .
  • Transect the spermatic vessels distal to the hemostat and remove the testicle.
  • Pull the end of the cord through the knot and snug the knot firmly.
  • Replace the cord within the tunic and release.
  • Ensure no tissue tags project through the scrotal incision Castration 09 .
  • Repeat for the other testicle.

Step 2 - Other techniques

  • The parietal tunic can be opened, the ductus deferens transected from the testicle and then several square knots formed using the ductus deferens and the spermatic vessels (still attached to the testicle at this stage).
  • Ligatures can be tied around the exposed components of the cord.


Step 1 -




Antimicrobial therapy

  • Antibiotics are not required for routine feline castration.

Potential complications

  • Hemorrhage: from inappropriate or poorly executed technique.
  • Infection: rare if sterile technique used in acceptable operating conditions.



  • Excellent.

Reasons for Treatment Failure

  • Failure to check the sex of the cat or to verify that both testicles are indeed scrotal may result in professional embarrassment or the necessity to reschedule the operation (young cats) or search for retained testicles Testicle: cryptorchid (older cats).

Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Demetriou J L & Welsh E M (2000) Colonic obstruction in an adult cat following open castration. Vet Rec 147 (6), 165-166 PubMed.
  • Mandelker L (1978) A sterile surgical procedure for feline castration (a photographic essay). Vet Med Small Anim Clin 73 (7), 904-905 PubMed.