What Happens After The Surgery
Some people worry that their cats personality will change. This isnt true but you might see a fall in certain behaviour roaming, mounting, fighting or spraying urine.
People also worry that their pet will get fat. Neutered animals might have slightly lower food requirements so you just need to feed them a little less.
Page last updated 22/03/2021
Accredited Organizations Support Pediatric Spay And Neuter
Professional animal welfare and veterinary organizations agree: Pediatric spay and neuter is best!
Some of the organizations that support pediatric spay and neuter include:
- Alley Cat Allies
- American Association of Feline Practitioners
- American Humane
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- Humane Society of the United States
Can An Intact Male Overpopulate The World
By getting your male kitten neutered, are you saving the world from being overrun by cats? No. Theres been a popular, well-intentioned meme going around for a few years now, stating that a single intact male cat on the prowl and left to his own devices can sire more than 400,000 cats over the course of five years. Catsters own resident veterinarian rightly points out that a given ecosystem simply could not support any such absurd cat population. Politifact examined the data on this tale of cat fertility and clearly explains why it is not only false, but also improbable.
Many domesticated pet cats spend the majority of their lives safely inside their owners homes. What if you let them out? Can an intact male get into all manner of sexual escapades if hes feeling frisky on a given Caturday? Yes, of course. Intact female cats in heat experience induced ovulation, meaning that the sex act itself causes her ovaries to release eggs. The entire process of sexual congress between cats, including insemination, takes only a couple of minutes at most and can happen several times in succession. It might require such a series of intimate encounters for a female to become pregnant.
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Is There An Optimal Age For Cat Spay Or Neuter
Philip A. Bushby
DVM, MS, DACVS
Dr. Bushby, a 1972 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, is a board-certified surgeon who has served on the MSU faculty for 42 years. He established the MSU CVM shelter program and is a frequent speaker on efficient spay/neuter techniques. He was a member of the organizing committee for the shelter medicine specialty board, received the ASPCA Henry Berg Award in 2008, the AVMA Animal Welfare Award in 2012, and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians Meritorious Service Award in 2015.
Over the past several decades, the recommended age for spay or neuter of cats has changed. At one time, the recommended age for spay was after the female cat had a litter, then it changed to after the first heat cycle, and eventually the veterinary profession settled on 6 months of age or older. Given that cats reach sexual maturity at about 5 months of age, more and more people are advocating lowering the spay/neuter age to 4 to 5 months and support early spay/neuter in animal shelters. All of these varied recommendations lead one to question: is there an optimal age at which cats should be spayed/neutered?
- Eliminates reproductive emergencies such as pyometra and dystocia
- Prevents unintended pregnancies
- Potentially decreases behavioral problems linked with cat relinquishment
Addresses Feline Welfare Issues
This is one of the results of unmitigated population growth in cats. If there are too many kittens getting born, there may be not enough people to adopt them and care for them. These cats will live in back alleys, thriving on whatever scraps of food they could find. It exposes them to many diseases and a lot of dangers.
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Whats Involved In The Cat Neutering Process
Both operations are carried out under general anaesthetic. Every surgical procedure has some risk but modern techniques are very safe.
Because it involves surgery, there will be some discomfort but cats are given drugs to control this and most of them are up and about just a few hours after theyve had their operation.
Does Early Neutering Increase The Potential For Urinary Tract Obstruction
The most frequent argument in support of delaying male cat neutering is that performing this procedure before the cat is sexually mature predisposes the cat to urethral obstructions. The myth that neutering a cat before it reaches sexual maturity results in a smaller penis and predisposes the cat to urinary tract obstruction has been proven to be false. In a 1996 study, Root et al. demonstrated no difference in urethral diameter between cats neutered at 7 weeks, neutered at 7 months, or left intact.15 None of the short-term or long-term studies have shown increased incidence of urinary obstruction among neutered male cats.
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Common Cat Spaying/neutering Misconceptions
Some believe that sterilizing your cat can cause weight gain, but the reality is that your cat wont become overweight or less active after their spay or neuter surgery. Your cat will only gain weight if theyre overfed or dont exercise often. As long as you continue to provide opportunities for your cat to exercise and monitor their food intake, your pet will remain fit. Many animals stay active for years to come after their spay or neuter surgery, so you can rest assured that your furry companion wont lose their zest for life.
Another spay/neuter myth is that its a guaranteed fix for all behavioral problems, but this isnt true either. While your cats behavior will likely improve, theres no guarantee that their behavior will change drastically or that any negative habitual behaviors will go away. The effects of spaying or neutering your cat rely on your cats individual personality, but the procedure wont make any negative impact on their behavior.
Five Weeks Old Kitten
Showing their independence, Darling, Denby, Corduroy, Tweed, and Wembley are beginning to demonstrate their individual personalities: Darling is a talker Denby is always up for adventure and a good wrestle Corduroy is brave and confident Tweed is sweet and loves belly rubs and Wembley is a cuddle bug and full of silly mischief.
Corduroy, brave and confident!
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Reasons For Neutering Or Spaying A Kitten
You can have your kitten neutered or spayed as early as 6 weeks of age and the kitten weighs at least 2.2 lbs. For newbie pet parents, however, the idea of feline sterilization may be a very new and odd concept. Some may not feel the need for sterilization at all. Here are some of the reasons why you should have your kitten neutered.
Benefits Of Spaying Your Female Cat
Your tiny little kitten may actually be mature enough to have kittens of her own before she is even six months old. By spaying your female cat before she is mature enough to have kittens, you help to reduce the population of unwanted cats in your neighborhood.
Not only that, female cats can have as many as four litters a year. When we consider that the average litter can range in size from two kittens to as many as ten kittens, that is a staggering number of unwanted cats.
Spaying your kitten before she has her first heat can help to reduce her risk of pyometra as well as mammary tumors. It’s also important to note that female cats carrying infectious diseases can pass serious conditions on to their kittens who go on to spread the disease even further. Pregnancy and the birth process can be risky for young cats, and costly to their owners.
It is estimated that cats in the USA kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds each year. Keeping the numbers of homeless cats to a minimum can help to save the lives of countless birds and other wildlife.
Deter Nuisance Behaviors
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Feline Age Vs Human Age
Cat owners often wonder how their cat compares to humans when it comes to age. Is being 7 years considered old for a cat? How about 14? How old is my cat in human years?
The average lifespan of humans in developed countries is around 80 years old. For cats, it’s around 15. However, cats mature faster than humans do, so at the age of six months, a kitten is not as helpless as a toddler would be at the age of three. Here’s an infographic that can give you an idea about your own cat:
So, is 7 considered old for a cat? If by “old” you mean elderly, then not just yet. Most cats can still be considered as being in the prime of their life at that age. However, many veterinarians consider cats to be elderly or “seniors” at 8-10 years. Any older, and your cat can officially be considered an “old-timer”.
Just like with people, individual cats age at different rates regardless of their biological age. Talk to your veterinarian and work out an adequate care routine that works for your kitty.
Comments? Leave them in the comment section below. Questions? Please use the cat forums for those!
What Are The Typical Costs To Spay Or Neuter Your Cat
The cost of spay and neuter services for cats depend on various factors, but the biggest is where you go for the procedure. Though private vets typically cost anywhere from $200 to $400, and may draw blood from your cat prior to the procedure. If this exceeds your budget, you can look for a low-cost spay/neuter clinic. Typically run by nonprofits, all surgeries at veterinary clinics are performed by licensed vets, and cost less than $100. Either way, your pets surgeon will be sure to discuss the risks and benefits of the spaying and neutering so you can squelch any worries before the procedure.
Tip: One factor that could affect the price of a female cats spay is whether or not shes currently in heat or pregnant, as this becomes a more complicated, high-cost procedure.
The cost of spaying or neutering your cat is far less than the cost of having to care for a litter, or the cost of potential health problems that can occur without the procedure. In fact, many nonprofits offer free spay and neuter services to those who qualify. The ASPCA has a list of low-cost programs across the country, including their own free services for residents who qualify.
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Controversy Over When To Spay Or Neuter
Some veterinarians consider early spaying or neutering of kittens unsafe. Those opposed to performing the procedure before kittens reach puberty argue that doing so could cause stunted growth, obesity, behavioral changes, urinary incontinence or bone fragility. According to Dr. Margaret V. Root Kustritz, most of these fears are unfounded and no correlation has been found between the age a cat is altered and the final body weight and amount of body fat or the incidence of bone fractures. Dr. Lila Miller of the ASPCA reports that researchers at Texas A& M University found no increase in cats physical or behavioral problems” at least three years postoperatively.
Do Cats Put On Weight After Being Neutered
This is often said not because the procedure itself is conducive to putting on weight. But more so because the cat stays indoors for a while afterwards, and becomes more of a home cat after.
Its up to you as their owner to provide plenty to do around the home to keep their exercise interesting. Maintain the portions of food carefully too, dont over feed a cat. They are usually more than happy to eat way too much.
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Reduces Risk Of Certain Diseases
Spaying a female cat can help reduce the risk of pyometra and tumors of the mammary glands. Neutering male cats can help prevent the spread of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukemia Virus. Male cat sterilization lessens their predisposition to go into a fight with other cats. This helps them stay protected against these viruses.
Four Weeks Old Kitten
Its been one whole month! Its amazing how quickly these helpless kittens have grown up over a four-week period. Darling, Denby, Corduroy, Tweed, and Wembley are thriving babies, starting to explore the world around them and play frequently with friends and toys.
At four weeks old, Corduroy is ready to explore!
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Why Neuter A Male Kitten
Having debunked the myth of the intact satyromaniac cat and his endless series of fecund nymphomaniac partners, the question remaining is not when to have a male kitten neutered, but why. Regardless of how many kittens a male cat foists upon the world, theres no question that cat overpopulation is already a problem. Its a problem because it encourages the spread of communicable diseases, whether they are bacterial, viral, or because of secondary infections that result from untreated fighting wounds. Its also a problem because of the sheer number of cats that are euthanized every year in the United States alone.
There are more homeless and feral cats wandering around out there than we can possibly enumerate. Yet we do have something of a grasp on the number of strays that are put to sleep in shelters. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that around 6 million kittens and cats enter these facilities on a yearly basis, and around half 3 million cats are euthanized. One intact male living in your home will not substantially affect those staggering numbers. Just the same, are you, as a cat owner, okay with adding even a handful of cats to the total?
How Do Cats Age
Moving beyond kittens.
Genetics and heredity play an important part in a cats life. If as a kitten, there was plentiful food and water, indoor living, and veterinary care, a cat will be larger and healthier than a feral kitten whose mother was malnourished and unable to provide proper nutrition for the kittens.
If a cat is past the cutesy kitten stage but is obviously not fully mature, chances are hes a year or two old. In human terms, a year-old cat is comparable to a fifteen-year-old teenager which explains the bursts of energy followed by long naps. At age twenty, the cat is geriatric and comparable to a ninety-six-year-old humaneven longer naps and rare energy bursts.
As with any other species, cats slow down as they age. Jumping is natural for cats so if the cat youve adopted isnt comfortable jumping onto the bed, chances are hes older than first thought. Pet steps or a footstool will give him mobility without added stress. With less exercise, comes weight gain as well. A heavier cat can be older tooor being overweight has slowed a normally active cat.
Just like with humans, the saying goes, Before beginning a diet and exercise program, be sure to be examined by your veterinarian to make sure youre healthy enough to make the changes needed to lose weight, improve health and gain mobility.
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Have A Mom Cat And Kittens Time To Get Them Fixed
If you had a Mom cat have kittens in your yard this year, its time to get Mom and kittens fixed!
Kittens can be fixed as early as 2 months/2 lbs.
Females can go int heat as early as four months.
If you take kittens away and dont spay Mom- she may go into heat faster.
Moms can get pregnant while nursing kittens.
Moms will keep nursing after being spayed.
The take away message get all cats and kittens that you are feeding or that a friend or neighbor is feeding, spay/neutered ASAP!
Submit this form for help getting outdoor cats fixed.
What If I Dont Spay Or Neuter My Cat
Some people choose not to neuter their cats. If you decide to keep your cat intact, bear the following points in mind:
- Unneutered cats roam away from home more often, so theyre at increased risk of being hurt in a traffic accident if you let your cat outdoors.
- Male unneutered cats are more aggressive than their neutered counterparts.
- Female cats go into season once every three months. While in season, theyre noisier, more anxious and far more demanding.
- Unspayed female cats have up to three litters per year, with as many as six kittens in each litter and that can get expensive.
- Many unspayed female cats develop mammary cancers by the time theyre six or seven years old. If you decide to leave your female cat intact, check her regularly for lumps and speak to your vet if youre concerned.
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When Should You Have Your Kitten Fixed
There are many different opinions about when you should have your kitty spayed or neutered. Early or pediatric spay/neuter is generally done at approximately six to eight weeks of age, whereas standard spay and neuter procedures are most often conducted at about five to six months of age. Although, these procedures can be performed at any time during your cat’s life as long as they are healthy. Therefore, it is never too late to have your cat spayed or neutered, even healthy cats in their teens can safely have this procedure done.
As kittens can start reproducing when they are as young as 4 to 6 months of age you might want to have your kitty ‘fixed’ before they reach puberty, or have their first heat cycle to prevent accidental pregnancy or certain health conditions.
It’s always best to talk to your veterinarian to find out how old they feel your kitten should be to get fixed.