Retained Testicle in Cats

Retained Testicle in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
Retained Testicle in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Retained Testicle?

Usually, while the kitten is still developing in its mother’s womb, the testicles begin to migrate from the abdomen to the scrotum through the inguinal canal. Typically this process is complete between ten days and two months of age, but always by six months of age. Although it is very rare in cats, in some instances this migration process either never begins or it is not completed. When this occurs, one or both testicles remains in the abdomen, becomes lodged in the inguinal canal, or becomes stuck just under the skin in the groin. Any cat that is found to have this condition should receive treatment immediately as the retained testicle or testicles can cause pain and put the cat at a higher risk for developing tumors. Make sure to have all kittens examined by your veterinarian as well as any adult cat that you suspect of having one or both testicles retained.

Retained testicle, which is also called cryptorchidism, meaning “hidden testicle,” is a rare condition in male cats that results in one or both testicles being retained perpetually in the abdomen rather than lowering into the scrotum, which usually occurs by two months of age and always before six months of age. Unilateral cryptorchidism, which is the retaining of one testicle, is much more common than bilateral cryptorchidism, the retaining of both. A cat with only one retained testicle still produces sperm, while a cat with both testicles retained is sterile. Cats with either one or both testicles retained still produce testosterone.

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Retained Testicle Average Cost

From 398 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,400

Symptoms of Retained Testicle in Cats

In a kitten, there is generally only one symptom of retained testicle.

  • By six months of age, the kitten has one or no testicles in its scrotum rather than the normal two.

When an unneutered adult cat appears to have no testicles in its scrotum, as though it has been neutered, yet still displays the following behaviors, the cat should be examined by a vet to determine if the cat has one or two retained testicles:

  • Spraying
  • Musky odors
  • Aggression
  • Sexual behaviors
  • Erection 

A cat of any age with one or both testicles retained must be treated immediately as a cat with this condition can experience the following two symptoms:

  • Torsion of the spermatic cord, which causes pain
  • An increased risk of developing tumors on the abdominal testicle
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Causes of Retained Testicle in Cats

Retained testicle is congenital in nature. Some breeds of cats, because of their breeding, are more commonly diagnosed with retained testicle than other breeds. 

  • Retained testicle occurs more in purebred cats because it is an inherited condition
  • Persians and Himalayans are the breeds that are most susceptible to retained testicle.
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Diagnosis of Retained Testicle in Cats

Most cases of retained testicle in cats are discovered when kittens are six months in age or younger. Some pet-owners may become concerned, but usually, it is a veterinarian that diagnoses the condition during a visit to the vet for vaccinations.

Your veterinarian may:

  • Examine the cat’s abdomen and groin with by hand (palpate) in an effort to physically feel the retained testicle.
  • Run blood tests for testosterone levels. This is effective because a cat with no testicles will no longer produce testosterone, while even a retained testicle will continue to produce testosterone. Therefore a cat that appears to have no testicles, yet has testosterone in its blood, must have one or two retained testicles.
  • Examine the cat’s penis for penile spines. These markings are evidence of testosterone production. A neutered cat does not exhibit penile spines.
  • Perform an ultrasound of the abdomen in an attempt to locate the abdominal testicle.
  • Perform an X-ray of the abdomen in an attempt to locate the retained testicle.
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Treatment of Retained Testicle in Cats

Laparoscopy 

The preferred treatment for retained testicle in cats is the removal of both testicles, whether in the abdomen or the scrotum, while your cat is under general anesthesia. If there is a testicle in the scrotum, it will be removed in the common procedure for neutering a cat, which is an incision in the scrotum. The abdominal testicle or testicles are generally removed by laparoscopy, which is a minimally invasive surgery that requires as few as two small abdominal incisions. Using laparoscopic tools, the abdominal testicle is removed through one of these incisions. 

Invasive Surgery

On very rare occasions, more invasive abdominal surgery may be needed if the testicle cannot be located through laparoscopy. 

Placement of Abdominal Testicle

It is technically possible to surgically place the retained testicle into the scrotum. This is not recommended, however, because veterinarians usually deem it best that cats with this genetic abnormality not be allowed to breed.

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Worried about the cost of Retained Testicle treatment?

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Recovery of Retained Testicle in Cats

Prognosis is excellent for cats that have been treated for one or two retained testicles. Your cat will likely be sore for as much as a week after surgery. Recovery time will be significantly less after a laparoscopic surgery than after a more invasive surgery. Your vet may prescribe pain medications during this period as well as antibiotics to prevent infection. After kittens heal you will likely observe no difference in their behaviors from before the surgery. Once both testicles have been removed from an adult cat, aggression, spraying, and sexual behaviors should disappear. Although your veterinarian will request a follow up appointment in order to assess your cat’s progress in healing, over the long-term your cat will likely have no further need of veterinary care for this particular condition.

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Retained Testicle Average Cost

From 398 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,400

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Retained Testicle Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Kit

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Domestic shorthair

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2 Months

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3 found helpful

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3 found helpful

Has Symptoms

One Descended Testicle

Hello, I just rescued two kittens last Sunday; they are not more than 8-10 weeks old. They appear to be litter mates, but it is impossible to tell for sure. Both male; one has what appears and feels to be only one descended testicle. He also sits oddly; like a dog that has torn its ACL?? He sits with his left foot/leg kind of kicked out? I feel this one kitten is cryptic; he is also very quiet and doesn't play like his very feisty litter-mate. They are both going to the vet in three days for first shots, worming, prep for neutering. My question is this: can the UDT cause this little man pain and/or general discomfort? I've heard of this condition happening in the inguinal region, and I felt maybe this was causing him pain. Just a worried rescue momma, hoping you might be able to help.

Sept. 16, 2018

Kit's Owner

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Simba

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Persian

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1 Year

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3 found helpful

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3 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Sexual Behaviors
Crying

Hey, my male cat is 1year and one month old. I recently took him to get neutered but the vet called us and said that he has a condition in which one of his testicles is inside and like so we called the surgery off. He doesn't spray he that I know off and is very well behaved. But I wanted to ask that if we get him neutered like one of his testicles will that help with his constant meowing (for mating) and like him wanting to go out? He meows and wails a lot! Also the vet told us that he would need to do a major invasive surgery if we wanted to removed the testicle that's inside.

July 15, 2018

Simba's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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3 Recommendations

Simba will need to have that abdominal testicle removed for a couple of reasons. He won't stop showing male behaviors like crying, he will probably start urine marking in the house, and those testicles can become cancerous if they aren't removed. The surgery to remove the testicle is about the same as a spay in a female cat as far as invasiveness. It is more intense than a normal neuter, but it is not a terribly invasive procedure for him.

July 15, 2018

I have a male cat, brought him to be neutered after he reached maturity, is it possible that the vet only removed one testicle without telling me he only found one testicle that dropped? Or is this cause for rescheduling and planning for the next surgery. I'm worried because I have female kittens in the house, and although I have not noticed any strange mating behaviour, it is a concern. He does still spray in his litter box sometimes, I don't always smell it but once in while i can smell the strong pee smell. I feel like if only one testicle was found, the vet would have told me before he went through with the neutering?.. please help me ease my mind. I have felt his sack, it doesn't feel like there are any lumps inside.

Sept. 19, 2018

Candice F.

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Retained Testicle Average Cost

From 398 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,400

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