Unaltered male cats roam in search of a female cat in heat.
This search can take them far and wide and across roads regardless of the volume of traffic and the associated dangers.
A Tom can detect and follow the scent of a female for over seven miles and the chances of him becoming injured on his trek, not only from traffic but also from other males, are high.
Another consequence of this male cat behavior is that Tom can easily become lost.
In the excitement of the expedition he takes no notice whatever of the route he took and can find himself bewildered as to where he is when the night of passion is over.
Meeting other male cats often means an affray.
Bite wounds to intact male cats can develop into abscesses that require veterinary care, sometimes these wounds can become infected with viral diseases that prove fatal to the animal.
Fighting is a behavioral trait in all cats, but the presence of
testosterone in the un-neutered male is a cause in the development of
Neutering can have a marked effect upon the male cat's desire to roam.
Neutered (altered) male cats do not have the need to seek out females in heat, they do not have a psychological sex drive and so are more content to stay within a much smaller territory.
A male cat's aggressive behavior is also likely to be substantially reduced following neutering. Unaltered tom cats are extremely vicious and ferocious in defending their territory.
They will not only attack other un-neutered males that have encroached upon their empire, but other pets and wildlife too, sometimes including large dogs.
This unsociable behavior is highly undesirable, resulting in all sorts of nasty injuries, and can so easily be curbed by sterilizing.
The younger the cat is when altered, the more probable it is that these behaviors will not develop. There is a possibility that sexual male cat behavior will have already become habitual with older animals.
Unaltered male cats are very likely to spray (urine mark) both indoors and out, the smell of male cat urine is particularly unpleasant and very difficult to get rid of.
Neutering will modify a Tom cat’s behavior, but will not much change his basic personality.
Neutering will reduce or end spraying by around 85% of male cats, but a small percentage will continue this behavior even after neutering.
Any cat, male or female, neutered or not can spray, for various reasons, but intact male cats have a powerful hormone driven urge to mark their territory.
Male cats that are un-neutered often pay little attention to grooming, showing an unkempt appearance and often a matted coat.
Neutered male cats will keep themselves clean and be far better turned out.
An altered male is much more likely to act harmoniously with any other cats you have in your home.
Neutering will modify much male cat behavior, as set out above, but will not much change a cat's basic personality. A playful cat will remain so, an independent cat will still be just that after altering.
Neutering will not in itself cause a male cat to gain weight, but the cat will roam less and may be generally more sedate so his diet may need to be adjusted.
The surgical procedure, the removal of the cat's testicles, is a relatively simple one. Talk to your vet.
There are many good reasons for getting a Tom altered apart from modifying male cat behavior.
It cuts out the risk of testicular cancer and reduces the chances of other health problems. But the best reason of all is that each year millions of kittens have to be destroyed because they are unwanted.
It is not only the spaying of female cats that will end this tragic situation but also the neutering of Tom cats.