What is cryptorchidism in cats?

The term cryptorchidism in cats is explained as a failure of one or both testes (testicles) to descend from the abdominal cavity into the scrotum. This condition is much more common in dogs than in cats.
The testicles originally develop in the abdomen near the kidneys. They normally start and finish descending into the scrotum by 2 months of age. In some animals, this might take more time. If one or both testicles fail to descend into the scrotum by the age of 4 months it may be presumed that it is a case of cryptorchidism.

In most cases, the retained testicle stays in the abdominal cavity or in the inguinal canal. In rare cases, the testicle might be found in the subcutaneous tissues (just under the skin) in the groin area. In the case of abdominal cryptorchidism, the testicle retained inside is not palpable from the outside. The exact location of the retained testicle can be determined with ultrasound or radiographs.

Cryptorchidism can be seen in less than 2% in cats but can occur more often in pedigreed or purebred cats. The condition appears to be inheritable, but the exact cause is not fully known.


What are the most common signs of cryptorchidism in cats?

  • spraying (male marking behavior)
  • odors associated with male cats
  • aggression
  • fewer incidences of testicular cancer compared to dogs
  • spermatic cord torsion (with sudden and consistent abdominal pain)


What is the treatment for cryptorchidism in cats?

The best possible way to treat this condition is by neutering or complete removal of the retained testile. It is recommended to be done as soon as possible. If both testicles are retained then both need to be surgically removed. Having one or bith testicles retained will be crucial for how many surgical incisions the cat will have.


In the video below, you can watch the castration of a cryptorchid cat where the testicle is retained in the abdominal cavity.


If you liked this video, watch “Rabbit castration video” on our blog.