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How Many Dogs and Cats are Neutered in the UK? (Statistics to Know in 2022)

pug dog and cat sitting together on the floor

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

In the UK, neutering is considered part of responsibly owning a dog and cat. Not only does neutering help to prevent unwanted strays from calling the streets home, but it can prevent the pets from developing unwanted diseases like cancer too.

Because of the general acceptance of neutering dogs and cats in the UK, many pets in the UK are neutered every year. Still, there is debate surrounding the practice, not to mention a hefty price tag that comes with the procedure.

To learn about how many dogs and cats are neutered in the UK, keep reading. This article provides some of the most fascinating statistics about the procedure including:

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The 13 Dogs and Cats Neutered in the UK Statistics

  1. It is estimated that a little over half of UK dogs are neutered.
  2. Three-fourths of vets recommend neutering dogs not used for breeding.
  3. Almost 90% of pet cats in the UK are neutered.
  4. The majority of cats are neutered after the recommended age.
  5. Cats Protection alone is responsible for neutering over 150,000 cats a year.
  6. Neutering operations are expensive.
  7. Over 80% of respondents agreed that dogs and cats should be neutered.
  8. Most UK respondents have the same reasons for wanting to neuter cats and dogs.
  9. The cost of neutering cats and dogs is a major decision maker for many UK respondents.
  10. There are an estimated 50,000 stray dogs in the UK.
  11. There are as many as 9 million stray cats in the UK, but some predictions are much lower.
  12. There are around 150,000 stray cats in UK shelters every year.
  13. There are an estimated 1.5 million feral cats in the UK.
UK_Dog_and_Cat_Neutering_Statistics
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divider-dogStatistics About How Many Dogs and Cats Are Neutered in the UK

1. It is estimated that a little over half of UK dogs are neutered.

(Breakthrough Dog)

According to Breakthrough Dog, about 54% of pet dogs in the UK are neutered. In comparison to other areas around the globe, this is much higher than other averages, showing that neutering dogs is more popular in the UK than elsewhere.

dog rescue sad pixabay
Image Credit: joangonzale, Shutterstock

2. Three-fourths of vets recommend neutering dogs not used for breeding.

(Breakthrough Dog)

Although there is still debate about whether or not dogs should always be neutered, about 72% of vets always recommend neutering if the dog is not used for breeding purposes. Even vets that do not always recommend neutering dogs note that it is best in most situations.


3. Almost 90% of pet cats in the UK are neutered.

(Cats Protection)

Cats are the most popular pet in the UK, and most UK owners view neutering their cat a part of responsible ownership. It is estimated that about 88% of all pet cats in the UK are neutered. 16% of these neutered females have one litter before being neutered, though.

a sad looking cat sitting on the grass
Image Credit: ivabalk, Pixabay

4. The majority of cats are neutered after the recommended age.

(Cats Protection)

Cats Protection recommends that all cats should be neutered around the age of four months. Despite this recommendation, about 60% of neutered cats are neutered around the time they’re five months old or later.


5. Cats Protection alone is responsible for neutering over 150,000 cats a year.

(Cats Protection)

Cats Protection is one of the biggest advocates for neutering pet cats. In fact, they are responsible for neutering over 150,000 cats and kittens every year.

shorthair cat lying on table, looking sad
Image Credit: 9lnw, Shutterstock

6. Neutering operations are expensive.

(Alder Vets)

Neutering dogs and cats is very expensive. It typically costs anywhere from £145 to £330 to neuter a dog, but the exact price depends on the breed and sex. Neutering cats is more affordable, often ranging between £50 and £60.

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Public Opinions About Neutering Dogs And Cats in the UK

7. Over 80% of respondents agreed that dogs and cats should be neutered.

(MDPI Animals)

In a study about public opinion relating to neutering in the UK, about 80% of the respondents agreed that all dogs and cats should be neutered. This high percentage reaffirms that neutering dogs and cats is popular in the UK

Despite around 80% of respondents believing in neutering, only about 50% of dogs are neutered. This shows a disconnection between belief in neutering and getting the pets actually neutered.

sad looking cat lying down
Image Credit: pasja1000, Pixabay

8. Most UK respondents have the same reasons for wanting to neuter cats and dogs.

(MDPI Animals)

Most UK respondents that are in favor of neutering pet dogs and cats have the same reasons for their support. Preventing unwanted puppies and kittens, reproductive diseases, and unwanted genetic traits are the top reasons for neutering dogs and cats.


9. The cost of neutering cats and dogs is a major decision maker for many UK respondents.

(MDPI Animals)

Not as many dogs and cats are neutered as there are people who believe that neutering is a good thing. This disconnect is largely because of how expensive it is to get pets neutered. Even though many people may be in favor of neutering dogs and cats, they might not be able to afford it when it comes to their own pet.

This explains why so many more cats are neutered than dogs; neutering dogs is way more expensive than neutering cats.

Schapendoes Dutch Sheepdog resting near the plants
Image Credit: Kobus-van-Leer, Pixabay

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Stray Animal Statistics in the UK

10. There are an estimated 50,000 stray dogs in the UK.

(Dogs Trust)

The number of stray dogs in the UK has been steadily decreasing over the years, but there is still a little over 49,000 stray dogs handled by local authorities in the UK every year.


11. There are as many as 9 million stray cats in the UK, but some predictions are much lower.

(Scientific Reports)

It is difficult to say exactly how many stray cats there are in the UK. Some studies estimate that there are as many as 9,000,000 stray cats, whereas other reports estimate the existence of around 300,000. To put that in perspective, there are about 10 million cats owned as pets.

stray cats
Image Credit: Piqsels

12. There are around 150,000 stray cats in UK shelters every year.

(Scientific Reports)

Even though it is unclear exactly how many stray cats there are in the UK, experts do know that around 150,000 of these stray cats make it to UK shelters every year.


13. There are an estimated 1.5 million feral cats in the UK.

(Scientific Reports)

In addition to stray cats, there are quite a few feral cats in the UK. It is predicted that there are about 1.5 million feral cats in addition to the stray cats in the area. Keep in mind that feral cats are not socialized to people and prefer being outdoors whereas stray cats are socialized and prefer the indoors.

Stray cat in an alley
Image Credit: ACS-Aleister, Pixabay

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Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs and Cats Neutered in the UK

Should dogs and cats be neutered?

(British Veterinary Association)

Neutering a pet is not a trivial procedure and is one that should be consider carefully before making the decision.

On the one hand, neutering dogs and cats prevents stray pets from making it to the street and helps prevent certain diseases. On the other hand, it is a serious procedure that costs quite a bit of money and is considered unethical by some.

Most vets recommend getting your pet dog and cat neutered if they are not used for breeding purposes. Talk to your vet to determine if neutering your pet is the right decision for you.


What are the benefits of neutering a cat?

(PDSA)

Neutering a cat can lead to numerous benefits. Neutering a female cat can help prevent certain types of cancer, predisposed illnesses, behavioral changes, and unwanted pregnancies. In male cats, neutering can reduce aggression, the likelihood to roam, and spraying.

Orange and white cat staring at a mouse
Image Credit: AdinaVoicu, Pixabay

What are the benefits of neutering a dog?

(PDSA)

Neutering your dog has a lot of the same benefits as neutering your cat. In female dogs, it helps to reduce certain types of cancer, hormonal changes, and unwanted pregnancy. In males, it also helps to prevent against certain types of cancers, reduces roaming, and reduces aggressive behavior.


What are the arguments against neutering pets?

(Washington Post)

Even though the vast majority of vets recommend neutering, there are some arguments against it. Some challengers of the practice claim that it affects the physical and mental wellbeing of pets. Other people claim that humans do not have the right to make such a decision on the behalf of animals.

We recommend talking to your vet to determine whether or not neutering is right for you and your pet.

Orange cat's ear being checked by vet
Image Credit: YULIYA Shustik, Shutterstock

Will my pet gain weight after being neutered?

(PDSA)

It is a myth that pets will gain weight after being neutered. The only way for your pet to gain weight is to overfeed it.

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Conclusion

As you can see, neutering dogs and cats is popular in the UK, but it isn’t accepted by all just yet. Despite the debate about the topic, the number of stray dogs and cats is decreasing by the year, which is an uplifting fact.

If you are considering neutering your dog or cat, we recommend talking to your vet. Your vet can answer any questions you may have about the operation and help you decide whether or not it is right for your dog or cat. Unless you’re planning on breeding your dog or cat, neutering may be an option to keep your pet and its potential offspring as safe as can be.


Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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