I need to have my tom cat neutered, but my friend tells me that he is certain to put on weight and could become obese. Is this true?

The advantages of neutering far outweigh the risk of your cat gaining weight. Neutered cats have a significantly longer life expectancy and are less likely to become involved in fights. This then reduces the risk of injuries and acquiring potentially life-threatening infections. Provided that you are aware of the possible problem, then you should be able to prevent your cat from becoming obese.

obese catWhat happens is that the reduction in the output of sex hormones serves to increase the cat’s appetite, so that he will eat more. You may therefore need to change your cat’s diet, away from a high fat diet, and also avoid mixing meals of wet and dry food. It is also important to encourage your cat to take as much exercise as possible. Although it may seem obvious, do try to restrict your cat to the recommended daily intake suggested on the food pack. Weigh your cat every week, and make a note of his weight.

If you are worried that he is gaining weight in spite of your efforts, then contact your veterinary practice for advice. Many now run special weight reduction clinics for pets - both dogs and cats - to address problems of this type. It will be much easier if you seek help early, rather than having to slim your cat down once he has become seriously obese.