Follow TV Tropes


Animals Fear Neutering

Go To

Wilma: Fred, do you have to get Dino so wound up when you come home?
Fred: It's not my fault. Maybe he'd calm down after we have him fixed!
Dino: WHAT!?!

Spaying and neutering are a common procedure performed on pets where all or most of their reproductive organs are removed. This reduces behaviors such as mounting, urine spraying or marking, female heats (often messy in dogs, can be noisy in cats), and forms of male aggression, which are highly undesirable activities in domestic animals. Additionally, eliminating a dog or cat's ability to reproduce helps reduce their numbers in a world where there are more dogs and cats than there are homes for them, as feral cats and dogs are considered an invasive species in some environments.

In fiction, Sapient Pets are not so understanding of the practical reasons for why they are spayed or neutered. Whatever the benefits, they just don't want their reproductive parts cut off. Talking Animals may protest the procedure, and others may attempt to avoid the procedure at all costs. May also render an animal Afraid Of Vets if it knows this is one possible reason for veterinary appointments. Sometimes combined with Share the Male Pain, if male animals (and/or male owners) flinch and cover their privates at the mere mention of the process. If the animal gets its way and avoids being neutered, Animals Lack Attributes is defied. If the animal doesn't get its way, it might get a Crippling Castration and likely become a Lazy Neutered Pet.

Though not always the case, cat examples tend to Played for Drama and dog examples tend to get Played for Laughs.

The failure to avert this fate can be used as a Freudian Excuse for animal examples of Eunuchs Are Evil.


    open/close all folders 

  • There's a commercial in which a little girl sees the name of the service her mom has selected on their minivan's navigation system and asks "Mommy, what is... 'neutering'?" Their very macho-looking Boxer dog immediately jumps out of the van and makes a break for it.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Justified in Inubaka. Melon has to get neutered when he marks his territory and becomes aggressive. Chizuru, not knowing what neutering means, doesn't want to take him to the vet because she's scared that his penis will be removed. After witnessing the above, she gives in and only learns more about neutering when the veterinarian tells her. After taking a quick look at Melon's crotch, she realizes that only his testicles were removed and takes him to the park to avoid being a Lazy Neutered Pet.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Appears as a gag in Robots. When Rodney asks "Who wants to get fixed?" — as in repaired, since all the characters are robots — a dog is seen cowering and covering its groin at the sound of the word "fixed".

     Films — Live-Action 

  • A Crazy Cat Lady finds a Genie in a Bottle, and asks for wealth, fame, and to turn her cat into Prince Charming. The genie complies and disappears, but as she starts to flirt with the prince, he says "Bet you must really regret having me neutered now".
  • An old gag. Two men in a factory. A new apprentice asks "What's a ball race"? To which the old hand innocently replies: "A tom cat with twenty feet's start on the vet".
  • There's a Christmas card with a picture of a dog with the text "All I want for Christmas are my testicles back."
  • Two cat owners discuss their pets:
    Ugh, each spring my cat is killing me with his screeching!
    Well, you know what you have to do.

    It got worse! He's yelling even louder now!
    What about?
    "Where are they?! Where are they?!"
  • There was a man with a cat. And each spring the cat would disappear for a month, returning all starving, torn up and disheveled. His owner got fed up with it and had the cat neutered. And yet next spring the cat still went away and returned a month later, just as messy as always. In exasperation, the man asks him: "What the hell were you doing there this time?". "Counseling" - says the cat proudly.

  • In the first Warrior Cats novel, when Rusty/Fireheart first meets the Clan cats, they warn him to leave the "Twolegs" before they have him taken to "the Cutter." Later, he meets one of his old friends named Smudge who has become fat and lethargic and concludes that he's been taken to the Cutter.
  • The cats in Tailchaser's Song regard neutering as a demeaning violation humans visit upon cats for inexplicable reasons. Hushpad, a previously energetic and affectionate female that the protagonist is in love with, becomes sluggish and aloof after having it done to her. According to the cats' legends, neutering can even make a tomcat all but indistinguishable from a female. Lord Firefoot once met an incredibly attractive fela that turned out to actually be a neutered tom. Cats like making fun of "eunuchs".
  • In Pyramids, much mention is made of how camels, which on Discworld are all mathematical geniuses, know exactly what two bricks add up to (it's the ancient practice of putting the animal's testes between two bricks and slamming them hard together). And they also know how to take revenge for it too.
  • Doglands: Furgul runs away from his owners when they decide to neuter him.
  • In The Door into Summer, Daniel's tom-cat Pete is his loyal animal companion. He dates shady Belle who suggests they should neuter him as he sometimes comes home badly battered from his fights and battles. Daniel is horrified and Belle never brings this up again.
  • In White Night, Dresden mentions how, when Mouse was being treated for his shoulder injury from Proven Guilty, the vet's aides misfiled some paperwork and almost neutered the Foo dog in error. Mouse realized what they were about to do, and Harry wound up paying for the resulting property damage.
  • Spayed and neutered cats in The Book of Night with Moon are treated essentially as they have No Biological Sex by other cats. Played with in that most cat wizards are altered; Rhiow, at least, considers this something of a blessing, as it means she's never been distracted by estrus.
  • Maurice, the familiar of Thunder Dick from Slimy Underbelly, was neutered against his will at Dick's request. The cat is not happy about this, giving him even more reason to resent his master.
  • Averted in A Dog's Purpose. The protagonist is neutered in all of his lives but he doesn't react negatively towards it. He's more annoyed by the pain that occurs after surgery, and the embarrassing cone he has to wear, than the actual neutering. However, in his case, he doesn't understand what sex even is and doesn't understand why he's neutered. He just notices that females no longer smell a certain way to him (or when he is a female, that she no longer has an embarrassing smell).
  • Cat Pack: The cats are horrified that humans spay and neuter them so they can't reproduce. They think of it as a violation and complain about how humans should get themselves "fixed". They later come to the conclusion that maybe there is a cat overpopulation problem and maybe it is okay to neuter cats, but none of them want to personally be spayed or neutered.
  • A Feast for Crows. A Brother on the Quiet Isle had an ear bitten off when he tried to geld Sandor Clegane's warhorse Stranger to make it more docile (warhorses are trained to do this in battle). The knight he shows his mutilation to sympathises...with the horse.
  • Averted in The Unadulterated Cat by Terry Pratchett, which refers to "sleek females for whom liberation from the joys of motherhood appears to have come as something of a relief".
  • The plot of Felidae's direct sequel is kicked off when Francis's owner gets a girlfriend, who insists that Francis be neutered. Francis decides to avoid this by running away.
  • War With No Name: Neutered animals are looked down on and called "chokers".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Greg the Bunny. Greg and Junction Jack dogsit for a girl Jimmy is going out with, and the dog hasn't been neutered and is quite aggressive. Jack suggests neutering him; he knows how because he was raised on a farm and did it to bulls all the time. When Jimmy and his girl get back she can tell right away, partially because they replaced the dog's testes with a pair of artificial eyes that jingle when the dog moves around. She is very upset.
  • In Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Salem (a human warlock turned talking cat) tells Sabrina that she shouldn't kiss the guy she likes because he'll turn into a frog. She responds with: "Fine. I won't kiss Harvey. But if you're lying, I promise that you will be neutered. Slowly."
  • Wilfred: Ryan sees a dog Wilfred as a human in a dog costume who talks to him but otherwise he's a normal dog to everyone else. Wilfred hates going to the vet and being neutered is one of his greatest fears.

  • The music video for The Offspring song "Hit That" has a dog being chased by his owner and a dogcatcher for reasons that don't become clear until the dog is stopped by running into a litter of puppies he's sired, his POV shows the dogcatcher approaching menacingly with some shears in hand and the last shot shows the owner walking the dog while the latter wears a Cone of Shame.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • This was Garfield's initial reason for dreading the vet — his uncle Bernie went there once and came back as his aunt Bernice.
  • In the Bloom County spin-off, Outland, Opus, Bill, and Milquetoast go to the vet clinic after hearing they were offering a special on fixings, clearly not knowing what it meant until the receptionist spells it out for them, causing all three of them to scream and hurry out the door.
    Opus: Boy, are we idiots! Fix that!
    Receptionist: It would.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In the first episode of Mongrels the newly stray Marion impersonates a pet cat who ran away, only to find out that the cat he replaced was scheduled for neutering. To make things worse, his new owner's real cat comes back right after he gets cut and kicks him in the stitches.

    Video Games 
  • In the RuneScape quest The Lord of Vampyrium, there is a werewolf who needs to be punished. One of the options the player can choose is neutering, which his master rejects. When spoken to after, he is resentful of the player.

    Web Animation 
  • An episode of Cat Face did this. Cat Face, fed up with his friend Box Cat "fraternizing all over the place", arranges for him to be neutered. At the end, it's revealed that Box Cat tricked Cat Face into getting Gordon Ramsay neutered instead.
  • A short video supposedly created by Disorderly Conduct Podcast which is dubbed Boo's Clues where a male version of a familiar blue puppy has to be neutered. Much to the pup's horror. It can be found here.
  • The titular cat in Simon's Cat is positively mortified when the kitten tells him what has happened to him from visiting the vet in The Snip.
  • In Dorkly's "If Videogames Were 11% More Realistic", a trainer explains that he tries to get his Houndoom neutered, but the Houndoom flame-blasted the vet to avoid it.
  • hololive has a variant where the animal character is (partly) human, and is reacting to the sight of a human whose privates are in danger: During her Red Dead Redemption II playthrough, Gawr Gura witnesses an interrogated character being threatened with gelding explanation . Her response goes from confused to rightly horrified when the dialogue and actions in the game make it disturbingly clear what this means.
    Gura: What does "geld" mean? [the characters start talking about testicles before one of them pulls out a red-hot pair of gelding shears] OHHHH MY! YAAABAI! YABAI! OHHHH MY! Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait wait... [devolves into nervous stammering]

  • The Order of the Stick: A woman uses an inept medium to forgive her dead dog for peeing on the rug. In the afterlife, the dog shouts: "SHE forgives ME? Hey, I'm not the one who did the neutering, woman!"
  • In Wondermark, a Dachshund learns that his owners are taking him to be neutered, and he vows that "There will be carnage!" before he lets them get away with it. We then see him after the operation, and he's feeling "pretty mellow" about the whole ordeal.
    Alt Text: You know how I used to be all gaga over that Poodle down the block? well, funny thing—now when I look at her all I can think is HIGH MAINTENANCE
  • In Faux Pas Kira, the cat, ran off and lived at the zoo for a few weeks after she heard her owners talking about getting her fixed. But, she later confesses that she was spayed pre-adoption and just doesn't want her numerous "friends" to think she's too domesticated.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:
    • Inverted in a strip where Charles Darwin keeps telling a cat to "eat, fuck, fight!" until he gets neutered and stops listening.
      Darwin: But... if you don't have me, you don't have a purpose in life... so...
      Fat, lazy Cat: Sooooo haaaapppy.
    • Played straight in this one where a cat complains about his owner getting her nails done while he was being castrated.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    • "Dog Day Afternoon" had Timmy switch places with Doydle, Vicky's dog. The episode becomes a race against time for Timmy to find a way to communicate he wants to switch back before Vicky has him fixed (with the vet's increasingly large and scary drill-like fixing mechanisms). Doydle (without Timmy in his body) does end up getting fixed. Like Vicky's other neutered pets (which include a bird and a fish, animals which are rarely neutered in real life), Doydle becomes lethargic.
    • "The Big Superhero Wish" has Cosmo and Wanda accompany Timmy as Clefto and Ace the Chin Hounds and end up imprisoned in a ball of anti-magic energy by Mr. Crocker's supervillain counterpart Dr. Crocktopus, who threatens to "fix" them for good. Cosmo responds by pleading that he doesn't want to get "fixed".
    • In "The Past and the Furious," Sparky and Timmy are repairing damage to the timeline. After they repair the first part, Timmy says that it's "fixed." Sparky replies with "Don't EVER say 'fixed' to a dog" while covering his groin.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Santa's Little Helper once knocks up a Greyhound producing a litter of 24 puppies. Many seasons later, SLH gets a neighbour's bitch pregnant and most of the family are confused because they speak about the previous plot and say he was neutered afterward. Turns out Homer took him for one last fling before the operation (visiting a dog brothel for example), but then didn't go through with it.
    • In a Treehouse of Horror episode, when Scratchy falls in love with Snowball II, Marge decides that Scratchy will have to be neutered, to which he reacts appropriately.
  • Family Guy:
    • An early episode shows Brian seemingly breeding with Carter's purebred dog and Carter insists that Brian never sees her or the puppies. Brian sues for visitation rights but only gets them on the condition that he let himself be neutered. Brian is willing to accept it, but right before he goes under the knife, it turns out he isn't the father as the litter is born and the puppies all have the face of Ted Turner.
    • Another early episode has Brian watching an episode of The Price Is Right, with Bob Barker giving his signature support for controlling pet populations.
      Bob Barker: And as always, please, spay and neuter your pets!
      Brian: Oh just die already...
  • Robot Chicken:
    • One skit has Bob Barker go on a serial neutering spree, neutering animals whether they want to or not. This leads to the dogs forming a united front against Bob Barker.
    • Another one has Garfield on a parody of The Biggest Loser wanting to lose weight so he can lick his balls. When he does, he finds that Jon "Monday'ed" them.
    • Another skit has Superman take Krypto to get neutered. Let's just say that trying to perform the procedure on a defiant dog with Superman's powers isn't exactly easy, and then Krypto decided to give as good as he gets...
    • Mentioned in a sketch where George Jetson is mysteriously killed. One section of the sketch shows Mr. Spacely, the new Jetson patriarch, sending Elroy to his room. Astro speaks (sort of) in Elroy's defense, only to back down when Spacely threatens to neuter him.
  • In the Rick and Morty episode "Lawnmower Dog", the neutered family dog Snuffles is accidentally given super-intelligence. After building himself an android body and demanding to know where his balls are, Snuffles enslaves humanity for the many crimes against dogkind.
  • In Brickleberry episode, "Saved by the Balls", Woody neuters Malloy the bear due to his sudden bursts of extreme hormonal change causing him to hump everything. Steve uses the testicles to grow large amounts of marijuana quickly. Malloy is displeased and wants his testicles back. He ends up getting Woody's transplanted to him while Woody is in surgery after Steve accidentally shoots him.
    Malloy: *incredibly deep-voiced* Payback's a bitch!
  • Stickin' Around: In "If It Ain't Fixed, Break It", Frank the dog runs away from Stacy's parents because they are taking him to the vet to get "fixed". Bradley calms the former down by calmly telling him why he needs to be neutered, while Stacy distracts his thoughts by saying that the vet will be like a spa, but he faints or panics whenever he sees a pair of scissors or a pipe wrench. Throughout the episode, the kids learn the importance of having a pet spayed or neutered while chasing after Frank. Frank finally goes to the vet when Stacy's parents find him sleeping with Bradley in the dumpster. However, the aftermath isn't shown but it is implied he gets lazy after the surgery.
  • The 2 Stupid Dogs episode "Let's Make a Right Price" ends with Bill Beaker, a blatant parody of Bob Barker, spouting the "spay and neuter your pets" thing. Little Dog overhears this and reacts by fainting.
  • This shows up at least twice in Looney Tunes, of all places:
    • The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries used this kind of joke in the episode "Fifty Karat Furball" when Tweety offers to help Sylvester get the I of Istanbul out of his stomach and tries to assure him by saying he'll be fixed in no time. Sylvester panics at the mention of "fixed", which causes Tweety to acknowledge that he used a very poor choice of words.
    • Looney Tunes Cartoons: The ending of the short "Fully Vetted", in which Sylvester tries to catch Tweety in a veterinarian office, has him unwittingly enter a vet's operating room. It's obvious what happened in there when he comes out hours later, totally traumatized and wearing a diaper, before walking into the street and laying down to get hit by a truck.
      Tweety: Oh, there you are, puddy tat. Did they fix ya up real good?
      Sylvester: (high-pitched) Yeah. They fixed me, alright.
  • Averted in Family Guy's precursor Larry & Steve, where the bipedal dog Steve has no apparent issue with being neutered.
  • Ready Jet Go!: In "Castaway Carrot", Celery says "let's fix this puppy" (referring to the saucer) and Sunspot screams in terror. Jet reassures him that Sunspot isn't going to be 'fixed' and the 'puppy' in question is the saucer. Due to Bizarre Alien Biology and Barbie Doll Anatomy, it's unknown if Bortronian pets even need neutering, but the context suggests that they do and Sunspot is afraid of it.
  • Beetlejuice turns himself into a dog ("Mom's Best Friend") and can't change back because of a restrictive collar. Taking a pair of scissors, Lydia says "I know how to fix it...we'll cut it off!" Beetlejuice shrieks in horror.


Video Example(s):


Looney Tunes Cartoons

The end of "Fully Vetted" sees Sylvester get himself neutered offscreen. So traumatized by the encounter is he that he promptly commits suicide by allowing himself to get run over by a truck.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / AnimalsFearNeutering

Media sources: