When To Neuter A Cat And When To Spay A Cat
Shes your personal welcome home party, your purring pillow companion and your little lap warmer on a cold winters night. As a responsible pet owner, you want to keep her healthy and safe and thats where spaying comes in. In this post, well reveal when to neuter a cat, when to spay a cat, why neutering and spaying are so important and how to help your kitty stay healthy after a neutering or spaying procedure.
Determining If A Cat Is Already Neutered Or Spayed
Individuals who are thinking of adopting a cat should make sure that the feline is already neutered or spayed. If the kitty comes from the shelter, some can tell you if the cat is already neutered or not yet. If they cannot, then you should be able to determine for yourself the neutered status of the cat.
It is easy to tell if a male cat is already neutered. Check the area above its penis and below its anus. You should not see anything bulging in this area. This is a sign that the male cat has already been neutered. However, if you see a bulge, there is a chance that the cat is not yet neutered. You can always ask your veterinarian to confirm your findings.
Determining if a female cat is already spayed or not is a lot more challenging. There are, however, some neutering programs that snip the female cats ear upon spaying. Some may also put a blue-green marking at the site of the surgical incision. If you do not see these markers, then you will have to observe the cat for characteristic behaviors of an intact female. Look for loud yowling and other behavioral cues. The best approach will be to ask a veterinarian to check the status of the female cats reproductive organs.
Kittens can get neutered or spayed as early as 6 weeks of age, provided they already weigh at least 2.2 lbs. Advances in veterinary surgery now make it possible to safely remove a young cats reproductive organs at an earlier age.
Neuter A Male Kitten Your Turn
Do agree with Michael Freeby that we shouldnt even neuter a male kitten? If yes, why?
On the other hand, if you agree with our experts, then at what age should you neuter a male kitten?
Leave a comment and join our conversation.
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At What Age Should You Spay Or Neuter Your Cat
The American Veterinary Medical Association recently published their guidelines on the age to spay or neuter cats. The official title of the document is Veterinary Task Force on Feline Sterilization Recommendations for Age of Spay and Neuter Surgery.
This is a highly controversial and debatedtopic . There are many opinions out there.
Most people have an opinion on the subject,often based on dogma or personal beliefs more than science.
The AVMA put together a group of variousveterinarians .
They also included non-veterinarians: SteveDale , a lady from the Philanthropy forAnimal Advocates and the Chair of the Cat Fanciers Association.
So I think its fair to say that there weremany cat lovers and cat advocates on the team. So what are theirconclusions? I quote :
Current recommendations for the age tosterilize cats are arbitrary and inconsistent.
Adoption of evidence-based guidelines isexpected to limit confusion among cat owners, reduce the risk ofunwanted litters, and maximize health and welfare benefits.
The following key findings and proposalsemerged from a review of the currently available scientificliterature and group discussion:
1. Recommendations for the optimal age tosterilize cats may differ from the age to sterilize dogs.
2. Current scientific evidence documentsbenefits of spaying kittens before the first estrous cycle, includingthe following:
. Decreased risk for mammary carcinoma .
. Elimination of reproductive emergencies suchas pyometra and dystocia .
Best Age To Neuter A Kitten
On the average, kittens reach sexual maturity around 6 to 9 months of age. This means they are now fully-capable of reproduction. Since one of the inherent aims of neutering is to induce infertility or sterility in the cat, neutering should be done before the kitten achieves full sexual maturity. Thus, the best age for a kitten to get neutered or spayed is before it reaches the age of 6 months.
Unfortunately, no two kittens will have the same exact growth rate. Some kittens can reach their reproductive maturity by around 4 months of age, while others may become sexually mature only upon reaching 12 months of age.
Given the variability of feline growth rates, veterinarians now recommend pediatric neutering. This allows veterinarians to perform the surgical procedure in kittens that are as young as 6 weeks. There are people who object to such recommendations, of course. They say that it exposes the young kitten to needless harm. Early neutering can also lead to several developmental problems.
In 2017, the American Association of Feline Practitioners endorsed neutering kittens at 5 months of age. This was the recommendation of the Veterinary Task Force on Feline Sterilization and released through the North American Veterinary Community Conference, also in 2017.
There is another criterion for the surgery, however. The kitten should weigh not less than 2.2 lbs at the time of the surgery. If these two criteria are met, then the kitten is safe for early neutering.
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When Should You Get A Cat Neutered
It is not as if there is a hidden ticking time bomb buried within your kitten that will go off if you dont get him neutered at the precise time that is recommended.
Your vet will be able to provide some guidance but essentially, when he reaches eight weeks of age, he has developed enough to have the procedure and not end up with any complications.
Caring For Your Cat After The Spaying Process
After being spayed, your cat will likely experience several mood swings and behavior changes.
To help them deal with these life changes, you need to set out a few precautions to ensure they remain comfortable during the process.
There are several things you can do to ensure the safe recovery of your cat after spaying.
Here are some steps you can use to ensure your cat remains comfortable after being spayed:
- Create a quiet area in your home for your cat to recover
- inspect the incision area daily to check for any potential infections
- Try to stop your pet from licking their incision
- Reduce the physical activity of your cat for at least two weeks after surgery
- Dont bathe your cat for at least 10 days after spaying
These are all things that will enable you to ensure your cat recovers fully and comfortably. They will also help safeguard your cat from developing infections near the incision area.
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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.
Q: What Challenges Can Occur During My Pets Neuter Surgery
A: The most common issue with pet neuter surgeries is the possibility of cryptorchidism. Pets who are cryptorchids have an undescended testicle or two that can be fully retained up in the abdomen, or may have descended at least to the inguinal area. Undescended testicles are typically smaller than those that descend, and can be challenging to find in the abdomen, turning a simple, routine neuter into a longer abdominal surgery similar to a spay.Q: What can I expect when my pet comes home after neuter surgery?
A: After your pet has been neutered, expect them to be a bit groggy. However, some pets act completely normal, as if nothing has happened. Dont be misled, though, and keep your pet calm and quiet until theyve fully recovered from anesthesia and surgery.
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Early Neutering Of Cats: The Risk Factors And Benefits
Nicola Smith Friday, April 1, 2011
Leading feline welfare bodies in the UK are encouraging veterinary suregons to neuter cats earlier to reduce the number of unplanned litters born that lead to many unwanted cats. Veterinary surgeons have been concerned that early neutering may lead to higher mortality rates from surgery, as well as higher incidences of urinary problems, obesity and growth plate fractures. It has been demonstrated that earlier neutering does not cause any long-term health implications, and that the procedure can be performed safely in young kittens as long as the patient is properly prepared, monitored and recovered.
What Is The Procedure
The procedure is called orchidectomy. What it describes is when the male cats testicles are surgically removed from the scrotum.
Essentially what you are doing when you neuter your male cat is you are sterilizing him. He will not be able to sire a litter of little kittens.
When a female is spayed, she is unable to get pregnant and have any litters.
The recovery time for a male kitten is not very long. The incision should heal completely within a couple of weeks.
He may have to wear a cone to prevent him from chewing or pulling at the stitches at the incision site.
The procedure is routine and safe. Plus, when you spay or neuter your kittens, you are reducing the over population of unwanted cats.
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Question: What Happens During A Typical Neuter Surgery
Answer: During a standard neuter surgery, the testicles are removed, to prevent the pet from being able to reproduce. In cats, separate incisions are made directly over each testicle in the scrotum, and the incisions are left open. Surgical glue or sutures are generally not required. In dogs, one central incision is made in front of the scrotum, and both testicles are removed. This incision is closed with sutures and tissue glue. Occasionally, large or highly active dogs will also benefit from a scrotal ablation, which is removal of the scrotum in addition to the testicles. This surgical procedure prevents a potential scrotal hematoma if the dog is too active after surgery.
Benefits Of Spaying Or Neutering Your Cat
According to Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary advisor with petMD, spaying a female cat before her first heat cycle virtually eliminates the risk of mammary cancer. She says that this condition is especially serious in cats since feline mammary cancers tend to be very aggressive in comparison to other species.
Spayed female cats also cannot develop ovarian and uterine cancers or a potentially fatal uterine infection called a pyometra, Coates adds. Other health-related issues related to spaying include negating the possibility of the complications that can occur with pregnancy and birthing.
For male cats, Coates says that the benefits of neutering are primarily behavioral, although the procedure does eliminate the possibility that a cat will develop testicular cancer as he ages.
Anyone who as ever tried living with an intact male cat will tell you that the vocalizations, escape attempts, roaming, fighting and urine spraying associated with normal tom cat behavior can get old really quick, she says.
Feline AIDS and leukemia can both be spread between cats through bites, often spurred on by sexual competition, says Coates. So, reducing the urge to mate also reduces the likelihood that your cat will contract one of these oftentimes fatal infections.
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The Benefits Of Early Neutering
The available data on neutering very young cats did relay that there are no serious health problems associated with the procedure and that it does not affect the cats skeletal, physical, and behavioral development. Aside from that, it also pointed out some important benefits:
Performing surgery at an early age takes less time and allows the surgeon to get better visualization of the organs because the cats have very little body fat at that age.When performed at an early age, neutering surgery also takes less, which means that the cat is anesthetized for a shorter period of time. This also reduces the recovery period.
According to Julie Levy, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM, professor of shelter medicine at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, kittens bleed less than older cats. She also states that the tissue trauma is not as great because they are more responsive to pain medication. This reduces the recovery time as well.
Neutering greatly reduces the risk of developing mammary tumors later in life.
Please note that this is also true for male cats. Spaying a cat can save its life because a high proportion of mammary tumors are cancerous. When performed early, this risk is actually reduced even further, which should be a central reason to support early neutering.
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What Is The Right Age To Spay A Cat According To Santa Cruz Pet Clinic
Before we get into the right age to spay a cat. Its essential to know the entire reason behind doing so. Spaying your cat aids in reducing the number of homeless pets on the streets. So, in essence, spaying is a form of birth control. Spayed cats also exhibit different behaviors after the treatment.
In terms of overall benefits, spaying has been proven to extend the lifespan of cats. You also wont have to worry about your cat going into heat. The cost of caring for a kitten or a litter is way higher than the cost of spaying. Which is another main benefit of the procedure.
For most kittens, you should spay them at eight weeks old. Doing so provides a safeguard against any potential problems that could arise during the process. But, keep in mind cats can be spayed at older ages too.
When spaying older cats, you should always get them inspected before doing so. This will protect your cat from developing any potential medical problems as a result of the procedure.
Once the spaying process is complete, you need to care for your feline correctly.
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Why Does My Neutered Cat Still Look Like They Have Testicles
When a cat is castrated, the testicles are removed but the scrotum isnt. This means sometimes they look like they still have testicles after their operation. Over time the scrotum will shrink and become less noticeable. If you notice swelling or redness in your cats scrotum after their surgery, contact your vet for advice.
What Age Can A Cat Be Neutered
What Age Can A Cat Be Neutered? Generally, it is best done before puberty although the operation can be done at a later age. At Greencross Vets, we believe each patient is unique and the decision of when to desex your cat will be made in partnership with your veterinary team.
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Can a male cat be neutered at any age? Ideally, you should have your kitten neutered at around puberty in male cats, this is between six to 12 months old. Neutering can be done successfully from as young as three months.
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