Can my cat lick himself after being neutered? Post-Neutering Licking Behavior in Male Cats

After your cat undergoes neutering surgery, you may wonder if they will continue licking. Neutering involves the removal of a male cat’s testicles. It is a common procedure performed for various reasons, such as population control and behavior management.

However, the act of licking is an innate behavior in cats, essential for their well-being. In this article, I will address whether your cat can still engage in this natural behavior. Let’s slide underneath and have a closer look at these points.


Can cats lick themselves after being neutered?

After being neutered, cats can still lick themselves. Neutering doesn’t affect their ability to groom. This behavior is natural for cats. It helps them keep clean and regulate their body temperature. Neutering only removes their reproductive organs but doesn’t alter their grooming habits.

Cats have flexible bodies and long tongues, which make it easy for them to reach most parts of their bodies. They use their tongues to clean their fur, remove loose hair, and even massage their muscles. This self-grooming behavior is essential for their well-being.

However, you might notice some changes in your cat’s behavior after neutering. They might become more affectionate or calm. It is crucial to monitor your cat’s recovery after the surgery and provide them with a comfortable and quiet space to heal. If you have concerns about your cat’s post-neutering behavior or health, consult with your veterinarian.

Are cat licking behaviors related to reproductive organs?

Cat-licking behavior is not directly related to their reproductive organs. Cats are known for their grooming habits, and they use their tongues to clean themselves. Regardless of whether they are intact (unneutered or unspayed) or have been neutered or spayed (had their reproductive organs removed).

Licking is a fundamental behavior for cats. It serves several purposes, such as cleaning their fur, removing loose hair, and cooling down by evaporation. Cats have barbed tongues that are perfect for removing dirt and loose fur from their coats.

While neutering or spaying removes a cat’s reproductive organs, it does not typically affect the groom’s behavior. However, there can be behavioral changes in cats after being spayed or neutered. They may become calmer and less driven by mating instincts, which could indirectly influence their grooming habits.

Why is it important for cats to lick themselves after being neutered?

It is important for cats to continue licking themselves after being neutered for several reasons. Firstly, licking is a fundamental part of a cat’s grooming routine. Cats have barbed tongues designed to clean their fur effectively.

After being neutered, maintaining good hygiene remains crucial. Cats still produce oils and sweat, and grooming helps remove dirt and distribute these oils evenly across their coats. Secondly, licking helps cats regulate their body temperature.

When they groom themselves, the moisture on their fur evaporates, providing a cooling effect. This is especially important in warmer climates or during periods of physical activity. Additionally, licking stimulates blood circulation and massages their muscles, promoting overall comfort and well-being. It can also be a form of self-comfort for cats during times of stress or discomfort, such as after surgery.

Can male cats lick their scrotum after neutering?

Yes, male cats can still lick their scrotum after being neutered. Neutering, also known as castration, involves the removal of a cat’s testicles, which are housed within the scrotum. However, the ability to lick their scrotum is not dependent on the presence of testicles.

Cats are flexible animals with long tongues, allowing them to reach various parts of their bodies, including their scrotum, with ease. Grooming is an essential behavior for cats, and they continue to groom themselves as usual after neutering.

Licking serves several purposes for cats, such as cleaning their fur, removing loose hair, and maintaining hygiene. It’s a natural and instinctual behavior, and neutering doesn’t alter this aspect of their behavior. While the testicles are removed during neutering, the scrotal sac might still be present for a period after surgery due to residual tissue.

Cats may groom this area, but it’s not indicative of any discomfort or problems. If you have concerns about your cat’s post-neutering behavior or notice any signs of pain or inflammation, consult with your veterinarian for a thorough examination and guidance.

Is it harmful for cats to lick themselves after being neutered?

No, it is not harmful for cats to lick themselves after being neutered. In fact, self-grooming is a natural and essential behavior for cats, and it continues to be important for their well-being after neutering. Licking serves various purposes for cats cleaning their fur, removing loose hair, and maintaining good hygiene.

It also helps them cool down through the evaporation of saliva, massages their muscles, and stimulates blood circulation. Additionally, grooming is a way for cats to comfort themselves and reduce stress. Neutering involves the removal of a cat’s testicles and does not interfere with their grooming behavior.

While there might be some temporary discomfort or sensitivity in the surgical area immediately after the procedure, this typically subsides as the cat heals. Cats may groom themselves as a way to soothe any discomfort.

It is essential, however, to monitor your cat’s post-neutering behavior and the surgical site for any signs of infection or complications. If you notice excessive licking, redness, swelling, or discharge at the surgical site, consult with your veterinarian for guidance.

What to do if your cat licks their incision area?

If your cat licks their incision area after surgery, it is essential to take steps to prevent excessive licking and potential complications. While some licking is normal as a part of their grooming behavior, too much can be harmful and may lead to infection or delayed healing. Here’s what to do:

Monitor the incision: Keep a close eye on the incision site for any signs of redness, swelling, discharge, or irritation. If you notice any of these, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Use an Elizabethan collar (e-collar): Consider using an e-collar (the cone-shaped collar) to prevent your cat from reaching the incision area. Make sure it’s properly fitted to prevent your cat from maneuvering around it.

Alternative protective clothing: In some cases, an e-collar may be uncomfortable for your cat. You can explore alternatives like soft, protective bodysuits or shirts designed for post-surgical cats.

Consult your veterinarian: If your cat’s licking persists despite preventive measures or if you have concerns about their incision, consult your veterinarian for guidance. They may recommend additional steps or medication to deter excessive licking.

Keep the environment clean: Ensure your cat’s living space is clean and free from potential irritants. It might attract their attention and encourage licking.


Your cat can indeed continue to lick themselves after being neutered. Neutering primarily affects their reproductive capability but doesn’t interfere with their grooming instincts. Licking serves several vital purposes for felines.

It can keep their fur clean, remove loose hair, regulate body temperature, and provide comfort. Monitoring your cat’s post-neutering behavior is essential. If you notice excessive licking or any signs of redness, swelling, or discharge around the incision area, consult with your veterinarian.

Angela Young
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