Your male kitten is nearly 6 months old, and you're thinking about getting him neutered. You're concerned about behavior issues such as urine spraying and aggression. But did you know that there are several testicular problems that can also negatively affect his health?
Cryptorchidism is a condition where one of the cat's testicles doesn't descend into the scrotum. It can be in the groin or in the abdomen. Retained testicles can twist and the tissue can die, or they can become cancerous. This is considered a genetic condition.
Orchitis is a condition where the testicles become inflamed. It can be caused by injury or infection. Signs might include swelling, pain, fever and loss of appetite. Treatment involves surgery and antibiotics. (If the cat is a breeding cat, antibiotics alone may be used, but may not be effective.)
Testicular atrophy is a condition where the testicles shrink and soften. This is more common in older cats. The cause isn't clear, but it may be related to decreased hormone production.
Testicular cancers can occur in intact males later in life, especially with testicles that have been retained inside the body.
The only prevention for testicular problems is to have your male cat castrated, ideally between five and six months of age.