Pair of cats. Behavior before and after neutering. Problems and dangers with male cats.
We normally read in all books regarding our pets, cats and dogs mainly, that the responsible owners must have them neutered if they are not to keep them for pet shows or for reproduction. This perception is basically correct, particularly if you keep the animal in an apartment. Keeping an intact pet in an apartment, is certain trouble, with upper case T sometimes!
When I got a fixed home in Athens in late 1980s, I had my first female cat. She was one of the most wonderful creatures I ever met, gave birth to many kitten, which were all adopted, had her neutered and died at the ripe age of 17. There followed another female Siamese cat -we still have her- who was the exact opposite! We named her Zizel but it would have been better to name her Bengal!!! And when Zizel was 4 came to our life Phoebus.
My wife and I found Phoebus one evening as we were returning from our every day walk in the neighbourhood. We discovered a well fed Siamese kitten under a car. It knew people and was not afraid since it let us to take in our arms and very easily came home. I will avoid to relate what happened with Zizel with the intruder to her domain. It is a miracle that the kitten had not been torn to pieces. Anyway, we took it to the vet. He informed us that the cute male kitten was mongrel Siamese but it had kept the colours of the coat and eyes and the only sign of its unknown origin were the tiger stripes of his coat.
My wife loved Phoebus from first sight. He was well adapted to our house and little by little Zizel also accepted him. However after a while Phoebus started mewing at night -at the so called dead of the night- when everybody was asleep in the building! As a result at about 3am every day I had to take him to our store room in the basement and bring him back in the morning. Then he grew up and the situation became more critical: he wanted to go out. We found a solution -you wont believe it:
However Phoebus was becoming more and more aggressive when out of the house on leash. So little by little we let him free in the garden. And one day he disappeared. My wife and I turned upside sown the neighbourhood but he was nowhere to be seen. I printed the first photo (above) and put it on electricity poles all around asking for information but to no avail. After three days, when all hope was lost, I found him an evening under my car! He was exhausted, cold and hungry. We took him home, cleaned him and gave him some antibiotics because he was sneezing. After one week he was his old self, mewing at exactly 3am and obliging me to go five floors down to unlock the buildings door and let him out.
Most of the times he was back after some hours. But the worst was yet to come. It came the first January of his adulthood, a month the Greek cats mate traditionally. He remained out at nights and his battle cry -a Maria Callas style cry- was heard throughout the neighborhood in the middle of the night. If he was not back by morning I used to search him in the neighborhood carrying with me a cage to put him in, if I was able to find him. Tomcats can be very careless when in heat. I lived the following in brief (and I relate a few):
- One day Phoebus came back with a deep scratch above his left eye
- Another day we found him soaked in lime: he had visited a nearby building construction site and took a dive in the lime. It took us three days to clean him.
- In an instance I found him in close embrace with a red tomcat in our garden. The two animals were scratching furiously each other under the indifferent glance of black and white female cat. I used the infallible method of watering tube to separate them.
- Chasing a cat he crossed the road and missed a running car by inches!
- He bit my wife in the arm when she tried to bring him in.
- He mated with Zizel and became father of five lovely kittens. He also took a good lesson when he went near the kitten. Zizel, one third his size, gave him the beating of his life!
- He escaped my wife WITH the leash, he went to the garden of the next house and I had to turn burglar, open the neighbors garden door and bring him -with the leash attached!
- Probably was chased by neighbours since from the time of his wanderings he has been extremely afraid of broomsticks!
- Last, but not least, he often marked his territory if you can understand me! He preferred the glass pane of the living room and as a special favor to me, he marked (and ruined) my most expensive briefcase!
These and much more made me to change my attitude and with my wife decided to neuter both cats. Both had off springs. Probably many stray cats in the neighborhood are Phoebus off springs.
Since then: Zizel did not change in the least! Phoebus, the terror of the neighborhood became extremely docile, he never goes out, he is afraid even of the kittens. -and only enjoys the sunshine in our terrace. He is more tender and playful and only sometimes mews early in the morning at the good old days.
So I learned my lesson and my advice is: neuter your pet if you wish to have it as companion. This will save both you and the animal a lot of trouble and probably your pets life.