Castrating a cat at home/rubberband style : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have a cat approximately 9 months old. He has been peeing on everything in the house. I can't put him outside because there are dogs that will kill him and neighbors that will shoot him. I don't have $60 to have a vet castrate him. I have been told by one woman who runs a kennel that I could put a rubberband around him testicles and they will fall off. Is this unheard of?

-- Vanessa Hayes (, November 28, 2001


I have done this before, but prefer to do it when the cat is a kitten. Once they reach the spraying stage it's a lot more traumatic and the cat exerts a lot of energy trying to get the band off. A 'half done' job is a mess, if he does get the band off. At any rate, do not use just any old rubber band. It should be clean, and it should be a thin small one. Then keep wrapping it. Just two or three times around will not do the job. Cutting is much more humane if you can find someone who knows what they are doing. With either method, you will want to restrain the cat and do it outside of your house. Restraining the animal is that hardest part, so get someone, preferably a woman, to help. My personal opinion is that if you care about the cat, it would be better to save your money and have a vet do the job.

-- Rebekah (, November 28, 2001.

I don't know where you live, but many places have low-cost spay and neuter clinics, and I know that seniors can get a discount for their pets as well. If you live near a veterinary college, that might also be an inexpensive alternative.

-- GT (, November 28, 2001.

It's not just any rubber band - it's special ones made for the job - very heavy duty, very small, put on with a special tool which stretches the band so it can be put over the scrotum and testicles. Brand name (here anyway) is Elastrator. Most farmers would have them. I'd use two bands - the cat might manage to get one off. Make sure you get everything there is to get - while you're working on one the other testicle is likely to be retracted into the body, and you'd need to work it out and pass it through the band. Thick clothing and leather gloves. Possibly face protection. It can be done, and it works, but saving $60 doesn't take that long, and you might find a better deal if you do a bit of phoning around. Talk to a cat or animal protection society too - often they have special deals, or arrange them regularly.

-- Don Armstrong (from Australia) (, November 28, 2001.

If you MUST do it yourself, the preferred constrant is to stuff Tom into a tall rubber boot, head first. Then it's not a matter of using pruning shears (I'm writing this with my legs crossed!), but a surgical incision (sp?) and removing only what is necessary. I plead that you do not do this without the assistance of someone who has done it before. Good luck, and if you need help saving for a professional job, count me in for 5 bucks!

-- Brad (, November 28, 2001.

Best way to restrain the cat is to put it, face first, into a boot. Hold on tight. Work quickly. When done......get out of his way!

Oh yea....good luck!

-- Rickstir (, November 28, 2001.

Good luck - you may save $60 in vet bills but you may incur much more in doctor bills for yourself (and anyone who tries to help you) after attempting such an endeavor.

I would like to be a fly on the wall when you come at the cat with the rubberband, though.

-- John M (, November 28, 2001.

Not to mention the $$$$ if you in ANY WAY mess up the procees (not unlikely if you have never done it before.) Also, keep in mind that if you don't do it right, and have to take it into the vet to get it fixed (or if any of us animal rights types find out you tried to do it with no training and botched it, a reasonably forseeable occurance) you could be liable for cruelty to animals charges, which come with steep fines in many areas, in addition to court costs and the vet bills to fix ol' Tom.

While I personally understand the need for farmers to "band off" their livestock rather than pay a vet to come out and attend to hundreds of cattle, etc., animal cruelty laws were designed to prevent just such "experimenting" by untrained people trying to save a few bucks, in addition to the run-of-the-mill meanness. I'm not trying to be mean - really. I just don't think that it is worth it when the down side is much pain and suffering, and big bucks to repair any damage. If it's just that bad, I'm sure you can find some friends to chip in a few bucks, go to a low-cost spay/neuter, or work out some sort of payment plan with your vet, especially if you explain that the alternative would be to probably end up working out a payment plan post-trauma, anyway.

-- Soni (, November 28, 2001.


-- Calvin (, November 28, 2001.

No no no no no. Better to take the cat to a shelter & let it be killed than this home-neuter thing. The penis on a cat is very close to the testicles, and there's a good chance you'll band THAT when you go for the testicles. As you can imagine, the cat will die an agonizing death from a burst bladder if that happens. Also, now that the cat has begun spraying, simply getting him fixed might not cure the problem. It's a habit now. Honestly, and I don't mean this unkindly, if you can't afford to get your cat neutered by the vet, then you can't afford a cat. Take him to the nearest animal shelter. It's the most humane of the options you seem to be considering.

-- Shannon at Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary (, November 28, 2001.

I'm wondering why this cat is peeing all over the house. Could it have a urinary infection?

-- Ardie/WI (, November 28, 2001.

Vanessa, is the cat peeing or spraying?? There is a difference!! Also where do you live that costs $60 to neuter a cat? The most I've ever seen was about $30-$35. Contact your local animal shelter; they can put you in touch with someone that will help pay for it. In our area in TN we had PUP (prevent unwanted pets) that would help pay for it. We also had "Free Spay and Neuter Day" where some of the local vets would do a certain number of animals for free. This procedure is considered major surgery so before you do it at home ask yourself if you would allow your neighbor to do major surgery on you or your child.

-- Lou Ann in KY (, November 28, 2001.

First all, DON'T Band him. Lots of problems as you can see above posts.Look in the archives for more horror stories ( sorry Ken to stir up old cat tales! ) And not to mention also that he could try to tear the band off and actually hemmorhage to death. I think I would look for the cause of his peeing all over. If it is a UTI, ( urinary tract infection), adding the possible infection of a home job will probably kill him. He is an older cat.Sometimes cats also pee around a lot to mark their territory. Is there any strange cats around outside that he might be getting upset over. This has been discussed in a cat magazine I just read.Even though he doesn't go out, seeing one around through the window could cause this.But can you ask a vet about paying a little at a time? And if its a UTI, a vet should see him anyway.

-- Kate henderson (, November 28, 2001.

Sorry, I misread your post as 9 years not 9 months, but all the advice still stands.Good luck.

-- Kate henderson (, November 28, 2001.

Ardie, no. Male cats mark their territory by spraying their smelly urine (their REALLY VERY SMELLY urine). And this is a teenage tomcat - and you know how teenage males can be. Would have been better to desex it earlier.

On my other post, I tried to give accurate information, so that if someone really has to do this I'd helped them. I also tried to graphically describe some of the simple considerations involved, so they'd think about it. However, in this case I'm more with Soni and Shannon and even Brad. If you don't know what you're doing, better to get someone who does (even if you have to pay $60 for it); or have the animal put down.

-- Don Armstrong (, November 28, 2001.

I have never heard of banding a cat. Being a farmer I prefer to castrate (with a knife) instead of band any animal. I have castrated a lot of cats thru the years, I roll them in a tarp with the back end sticking out, get someone to hold the back legs with heavy gloves, I use a hook surgery knife this process takes 15 sec. This is cheaper than a vet and much less trauma on the cat. buzz

-- buzz (, November 28, 2001.

Ask Ken all about banding a male cat, he-hee!!!

Our county offers a low-cost male cat neuter program for 10 dollars, call around and surely your county must offer a similar program, our county is one of the poorest in the state and we have it available.

Also call a vet farther out in the boonies, I have learned the farther from the city you are, the cheaper the vet rates get. I used to drive my critters an hour and a half to get to the cheap country vet for any apaying and neutering work, he was over half the cost!!!

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (, November 28, 2001.

BE CAREFUL! A neighbor in PA neutered his dog- at home. He had worked on a farm most of his life and knew what he was doing beyond a doubt. Someone appaerntly got wind of this.. the man was fined for animal cruelty, his dog was taken, and he was given quite a bit of jail time. Your local SPCA or the like should have a clinic that wil do it for under 20 bucks. Oh, and, by the way, I hope this aint another stupid troll post because If I responded a dumbash question with an honest answer, you wasted my time and your own. (Darn ya creeps, you give NC a bad name... if thats where your actually from).

-- Kevin in NC (, November 28, 2001.

Testicles are very close to the penis ????? Sorry had to laugh cant imagine someone banding both .If you really cannot afford it look for a local farmer at least they have done it before and may be willing to help.

-- Patty {NY State} (, November 29, 2001.

This is extremely cruel, to say the least. I treated a cat a few years ago that had been badly mutilated by this exact procedure, and the scarring and pain was unbelievable. DO NOT do this to your cat. Get a licensed vet to do it, and if you can't afford that or find low- cost services, take the cat to the pound so it can perhaps be placed in a home with someone who is prepared for the RESPONSIBILITY.

-- catvet (, November 29, 2001.

I think this thread is from a troll and should be deleted

-- nospam (, November 29, 2001.

No stupid, it is not a troll. I think you may be since I tried to email you back and it came up "fatal errors" Jerk. Want to know more look at my new post.

-- Vanessa (, November 29, 2001.

Someone was too chicken to post their answer.Someone emailed me directly to my home without posting their answer. This is what they wrote: From: How bout i wrap a rubberband around your TITS so you can see how that feels . Sounds like you have no business with a pet of any kind! ================== Very rude email wouldn't you say? That's not the only one like that, but it is so far the worst. If you want to take the time to find out more about the situatution, check out my new post, cat banding responses.

-- Vanessa (, November 29, 2001.

I'm ignoring all these weird e-mails. I am an animal lover from way back and thing the rubber band method is cruel and I have many friends (even including my farm-raised husband) who feels the same way. Try to get a vet to do it with the low cost way.....most humane societies give coupons and sometimes vets offer wishes...

-- Suzy in Bama (, November 29, 2001.

Wow, I'm amazed at how many "mature" responses you've gotten to this almost unbelievable idea of banding the poor animals testicles. For God's sake, I'll send you the money for the castration at your local vet clinic. Why respond to the rude and stupid answers at all Vanessa?

-- MicheleRaePadgett (, November 29, 2001.

Whoo 60 bucks for anesthetic & two stiches! and females are 110$ right? the cheapest male cat nueter was 45. here in the capitol of mississippi! most ran around 80.$ and they required a 50-60$ shot package to go with it! No vet in the phone book does females under 95$s. This was a bit of a shock after living in cailf. where 25. $ american included an overnight stay & there were 15$ saturday specials once a month.

Really tho, ms. hayes there are rude people everywhere, just smile & ignore them just like you do in traffic.

And every nasty spraying/peeing adult cats I have quit the territory marking habit after being nuetered. Still play & mouse & fight occasionally over the prime nap spots tho. Good luck!

-- bj pepper in C. MS. (, November 30, 2001.

THanks guys, Ive tried to answer questions on my other post(responses to cat banding) The vets want at least $100 upfront, and require shots. I am still looking around, I don't want to take money from anyone if I can help it. I am wary of giving out my address after all the weird emails and such I have gotten from some folks. If I absolutely can't find anything within the next week or so, I will email you back about an offering for the job. Water is still up here over the highways so I can't go anywhere for a while anyway.

-- Vanessa (, November 30, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ