Difference Between Spay and Neuter

Neutering and Spaying both refer to the animal’s sterilization of males and females both. Well both the terms mean the same but there is a significant difference between them.

To understand better, one should know that both of them are non-synonyms.

Spay vs Neuter

The main difference between Spay and Neuter is that spay is a process in which the reproductive organs of female animals are removed and in neutering, males reproductive organs are removed. Both of them are considered to be beneficial processes since it makes pets easier to live, happier, healthier.

Spay vs Neuter

They are also less prone to diseases and roam less. Also, there are fewer chances of annoying neighbors and falling prey to animals.

The complexity of the spay procedure is much more than neutering. But they both mean the same.

There are several benefits and reasons why these processes take place.


Comparison Table Between Spay and Neuter (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of comparisonSpayNeuter
GenderIt is mostly done for female animalsIt is done for male animales.
CostIt is complex process hence it is quite expensiveIt is an easy process hence it is less expensive.
Change in BehaviourFemale pets become more aggressiveMale pets show improvement and they become less aggressive.
RecoveryIt takes around half a month to get recoveredIt takes almost a day to get recovered.
ComplexityIt is very complex surgery and invasiveIt is quite fast and it takes only a few minutes.


What is Spaying?

A scientific name of spaying is ovariohysterectomy that is the surgical process done to remove animals’ reproductive organs from females. It could be either uterus or ovaries. In very rare cases only the ovary or uterus is removed.

Female animals are given anesthesia before the complex surgery process. In this surgery, a vet makes an incision in the abdomen of the animal and removes the reproductive organs carefully.

Once the organs are removed it closes the incision and sutures various layers that include the abdomen’s wall, hypodermis, and skin outer layer. Since it is an invasive process, pain medication is given.

Generally, all the animals are under observation once the surgery is done so that they can recover easily as it takes around a few days for recovery.

Spaying is categorized as

Ovariectomy: in this ovaries are removed from female animals. But the uterus remains. It makes animals unable to do reproduction and also the heat cycle is eliminated.

Vasectomy: in this testes are removed and dogs and cats are unable to do reproduction. But since testes remain, it produces the hormones.

Hence it does not change the behaviour.

Hysterectomy; In this uterus and parts like fallopian tubes are removed in female animals. That makes them unable to do reproduction.

But in this case, the ovaries are still there so that they can produce hormones. This does not bring any changes in behavior.


What is Neutering?

Neutering is considered to be done for male animals, and its scientific name is orchiectomy. It entails the removal of reproductive organs in male like testicles.

It is also known as desexing. It involves the male animal’s sterilization.

This process is considered to be very straightforward and faster than process spaying. It involves making an incision in the scrotum to remove the testicles and testicles are tied off.

Neutered animals bounce back after the anesthesia stops working.

Also once should try to do any effort and they should be kept stress free. Once this process is done, male animals won’t be able to produce testosterone any more and they will show less aggression, increased work capacity and more submissive behavior.

It is done to control the birth rate, increase the work capacity and suppress aggression.


Main Differences Between Spay and Neuter

  1. Spaying is a more complicated process than neutering. In neutering, testicles are removed which are the external organs. Hence the process is quite simple.
  2. Whereas in spaying one needs to do an incision in the abdomen to remove the reproductive organs. Hence this is the reason why males recover earlier than females.
  3. It takes only a few minutes to do neutering whereas spaying takes an hour. During the process of spaying, it needs a lot of care, effort, and attention from the veterinarian since spaying is a more complex process and it takes huge time for recovery.
  4. Neutary is done so it prevents them from getting any disease. Also, it decreases the tendency of becoming aggressive if the process takes place before they enter their first cycle heat. Spaying is done so it prevents the diseases. But after this process females get more aggressive.
  5. Neutary should take place when the animal is between the age of 4 and 7 months whereas spaying should take place at the age of 5-6 months.
  6. Spaying is riskier since in this female animals go under surgery, and the incision is made whereas neutering is less Riker since reproductive organs are external organs in males.
  7. Recovery time varies in both neutering and spaying, neutered animals take very less time to recover, whereas spayed animals take huge time to recover.
Difference Between Spay and Neuter



Spaying and neutering have the same meaning. Spaying and neutering mean to remove the reproductive organs, but the significant difference is spaying is done for females and neutering is done for males.

Spaying prevents female animals like dogs and cats from getting any serious health problems. And neutering the male animals also reduces the risk of getting any health issues.

Spaying makes female animals unable to reproduce, and hence it eliminates all the heat cycle as well as breeding. Also, neutering does the same thing in male animals.

It makes them unable to reproduce and prevents or eliminates the behaviours of male breeding.

Key Differences Between Spay and Neuter (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between Spay and Neuter



  1. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20113093080
  2. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/3/1/85
  3. https://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs/10.2460/javma.233.1.74
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