Should I Let My Cat Have A Litter Of Kittens First
Honestly? No. There are no proven health benefits to letting your cat have a litter of kittens before getting her neutered. It just means youll have a lot of kittens on your hands you need to find loving homes for! There are already so many cats and kittens in rehoming centres across the UK, so its best to get your cat neutered.
If you have more questions about neutering, its best to talk to your vet for advice. We also have a handy page of common neutering myths so you can get the facts about neutering.
What If I Think My Cat Is Already Pregnant
Most cats dont display physical symptoms until two or three weeks into a pregnancy. If you suspect a pregnancy, get in touch with your vet as soon as possible. Some vets neuter female cats while theyre pregnant, ending the pregnancy and preventing future pregnancies at the same time. To find out more, ask your vet about their policies regarding spaying.
A Little More About How Kittens Grow
Kittens develop rather quickly and may even reach sexual maturity by the time they reach five months of age.
Typically a male cat can sire his first litter at that age. For female cats the situation is quite different.
The onset of the first estrus cycle, weight gain, environment and temperature all play into the timing for female cats.
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Is Neutering Safe For My Pet
Neutering for either sex is a routine operation your vet will have carried out thousands of times before. Its a relatively fast procedure, so your pet wont be under the anesthetic for long. In most cases, youll be able to bring him or her home the same day.
Modern anesthesia is very safe for healthy cats and todays pain killers are highly effective, meaning that your cat shouldnt suffer much more than mild discomfort and will bounce back quickly after the operation. They may need to be kept indoors for a few days afterwards and may need to return to the vets office to have stitches removed, if dissolvable ones arent used.
But you should always feel free to discuss any concerns whatsoever with your vet, who will be more than happy to set your mind at rest. After all, the benefits to your cat, to you and to the feline population in general by far outweigh the disadvantages!
Not Sure If You Can Afford To Spay Or Neuter
There are several agencies where you can access what is being called low-cost spay and neuter programs.
We bring this up to point out that cost should not be the determining factor as to whether or not you will have your kitten spayed or neutered.
Check with your local veterinarian, too. Some will offer discounts or even a payment plan that can ease the pressure on you financially.
You owe it to your kitten to give him a long and healthy life and one way to ensure that is to have him neutered.
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When Should I Neuter My Male Cat
When to neuter a British Shorthair male is a divisive and complex question. We consider the different approaches and explain our advice.
When to neuter a male cat is a question that we are asked by every one of our new kitten owners. There is a lot of conflicting advice out there, and opinions differ depending on who you are talking to. The issue seems to be particularly divisive when it comes to neutering male British Shorthair cats. This article identifies the common approaches, and then explains what age we advise neutering a male cat, and;why.
There are two schools of thought on when;to neuter a male cat:
Neutering A Kitten Ensures Domestic Tranquility
Millions of euthanized cats is sad, but still somewhat abstract. Lets look at more practical reasons to neuter your male kitten at the earliest opportunity. Behaviorally, having a male kitten fixed has long-term consequences. Intact male cats have needs beyond sex, including territory and violent conflict. Neutering a kitten between the ages of eight weeks and five months places limits on the production of male hormones, minimizing his desire to roam and to fight with other cats.
Intact cats of both sexes also regularly engage in the act of spraying. Spraying serves a variety of communication functions between cats. Cat urine, especially that of intact males, contains pheromones and other chemicals that produce foul odors that are useful to cats, but which cause our couches, bookshelves, and table legs to reek. Spraying is linked to, but is not exclusively, an expression of sexual desire. Getting a male kitten neutered will not prevent him from ever spraying anywhere, but it will dramatically reduce the urge and the strength of the scent.
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What About When To Spay And Neuter A Dog
More recently, theres controversy on the exact age to spay and neuter dogs. Recent studies out of UC Davis in Golden Retrievers have suggested that spaying or neutering later in life may have some health benefits. However, this is a limited study that only looks at one breed of dog, and is likely influenced by some other outside factors . My philosophy? When the growth plates are almost closed, which is very dependent on the size of the dog . But there are no studies to support delayed spay neuter in our feline friends.;
Cover photo by David Köhler on Unsplash
What Are The Benefits Of Neutering Or Spaying My Cat
The primary reason to spay or neuter an animal is to prevent overpopulation. Each year, millions of cats and dogs enter animal shelters in the U.S, and nearly half of those animals are euthanized. The majority of the animals that are euthanized are healthy, but shelters struggle to manage and find homes for the sheer number of cats and dogs they receive. By spaying or neutering your cat, you can prevent unwanted animals and contribute to ending this very sad cycle of euthanasia.
Another benefit of neutering or spaying your cat is that doing so can eliminate potential health problems down the road. Spaying female cats before their first heat cycle has been shown to dramatically lower their chances of developing mammary neoplasia, which is a common cancer among cats. Spaying or neutering also eliminates the risk of disease of the testes, uterus, or ovaries. Studies have shown that spayed or neutered cats have a higher life expectancy than intact cats, although there are many different factors that likely contribute to this.
Finally, there are behavioral benefits to fixing your cat. This is especially true for male cats, who are more likely than females to display unwanted sexual behaviors such as roaming, urine spraying, vocalizing, and fighting.
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Recovery From A Spay Or Neuter Surgery
After a spay or neuter, it is important to monitor your pet for a day or two. Check the incision site for swelling, redness or pus. You can use cat’s massage techniques to soothe your pet. Some pain and tenderness may bother your pet, but massage therapy often alleviates those issues so that pain relievers are unnecessary.
Cats aging into their adult years before the spay or neuter will require a longer recovery time. Pamper your pet with treats, warm towels and plenty of TLC until the cat is moving around as normal.
Regardless of age, cat breeds do require a bit of recovery time following a spay or neuter surgery. Don’t expect your cat to be running around the next day. Male cats will recover more quickly because they only have two tiny incisions that do not require stitches. Female cats will spend a day or two sleeping and walking gingerly.
At What Age Should You Neuter Or Spay Your Cat
Over the years, the recommended age for spaying or neutering cats has changed. There are still varying opinions, but most veterinarians agree that the best time to do it is before a cats first heat. The standard age is around 6 months, though more and more vets are advocating for early spay/neuter, which can occur in kittens as young as 8 weeks old.
Keep reading to find out more about early spay/neuter and the benefits of neutering or spaying your cat.
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What Age Should You Spay Or Neuter Your Cat
Spaying or neutering your pet is one of the cornerstones of pet ownership in the United States. ASPCA statistics;place the U.S. pet cat population at anywhere between 74 and 96 million and there may be as many as 70 million strays fending for themselves. Unfortunately, the ASPCA also estimates that 41 percent of cats who enter shelters cannot find a home and end up being euthanized. Breeders, shelters and rescue groups team up with vets and their staff to stem the tide of cat overpopulation but its bound to be a continuing battle for the foreseeable future.
If you find yourself with a new kitten in your household, spaying or neutering is something youll need to be thinking about soon. But at what age is it appropriate to spay or neuter a cat? More importantly, why should you consider having the procedure done at all?
How Are Male Cats Neutered
Male cats are neutered by means of castration, which means that the testes themselves are removed. While this obviously is a fairly big change, the surgery and implications for the cat are much lesser in male neutering than female spaying, and the operation itself usually takes well under ten minutes from start to finish.
Once the cat has come around from their anaesthetic, they are usually not even aware of the change, and will return to normal pretty much the same day, to the point that many male cat owners find themselves faced with the challenge of trying to curtail their cats jumping and energy levels for a few days afterwards, as their cats are so unphased!
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Our Advice On When To Neuter
Here is a quick video summary – have a watch, and read on for more information about how to tell when your male is about to mature….
We have no neutered British Shorthair males, so we cannot make a direct comparison between early neutering and late neutering from our own actual experience. But we have researched the issue. Here is our advice on neutering for male British Shorthair cats, intended to be family pets:
Is Early Spay/neuter Safe
Though some may express concern over spaying or neutering a cat at such an early age, veterinarians overwhelmingly report that early spays and neuters are just as safe if not safer than surgeries that take place around 6 months of age. Having the surgery done early can also prevent unwanted pregnancies, which can happen when cats are as young as 4 months of age. Surgeries for younger cats are easier to perform and shorter because the cats are smaller. Younger cats are also capable of recovering more quickly than older cats.
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When To Have Your Cat Neutered
Most cats , can be neutered from 4 months old. Neutering at this age has many benefits, especially for female cats, however, its always important to discuss the decision with your vet because exact timings should be based on a number of different factors, including:
- Weight: The risk of anaesthetic can be slightly higher in small kittens, so your vet may recommend waiting until your cat is a certain weight before they are neutered. Its also important they are healthy shape because overweight cats have a higher anaesthetic risk and more chance of complications during surgery.
- Other health conditions: if your cat is suffering from another health condition it may change their ideal neutering time.
Best Age To Neuter A Cat: Everything You Need To Know
Neutering or spaying your kitten can help solve a lot of behavioral issues in cats. These can include territoriality and aggression. Feline sterilization can also help curb the incidence of disease while controlling the population of cats. Though there are a growing number of cat parents who recognize the need for neutering their pets, one question remains. At what age should they have their kittens or cats neutered or spayed?
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Spaying And Neutering: The Bottom Line
Spaying and neutering can help keep your cat healthier and safer and you dont end up with more kittens than you can count. To be on the safe side, get your cat spayed or neutered before theyre six months old. If youre wondering when to spay a cat or when to neuter a cat, speak to your local veterinarian.;
Reduce Unwanted Kitten Euthanasia
The other big benefit is a reduction in the number of kittens looking for new homes. ;If there is one thing that cats are good at it is getting pregnant and producing kittens. ;Did you know that over half of cats admitted to animal shelters are kittens.
Now you might think that if your cat had kittens you would easily be able to find homes for them. ;Unfortunately it is not always this simple. ;I know how hard it can be as we often end up re-homing stray kittens at the vet clinic and it can sometimes take a really long time to find them homes even when they are incredibly cute and well behaved.
This shows in the figures with over 40% of kittens coming from owned cats. ;So that’s 40% of all the kittens in shelters coming from the unintentional breeding of pet cats whose owners could not find them new homes.
As much as I would like to say that all these cats then found forever homes the reality is that around 30% of shelter cats are euthanized. ;That is a huge proportion.
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Benefits Of Neutering Your Male Cat
While male cats don’t actually have kittens themselves, one unneutered male cat in your neighborhood can make many female cats pregnant. That’s why neutering male cats is as important as spaying females when it comes to population control!
Neutering your male cat may help slow the spread of serious cat diseases such as Feline immunodeficiency virus and Feline leukemia virus that are often spread between cats during fights. Neutering can help to reduce cat aggression and may mean fewer injuries from fighting. Neutered males also tend to stay closer to home which helps to reduce their risk of being injured by vehicles.;
Deter Undesirable Behaviors
Unneutered male cats typically spray inside the home more than neutered males and may be aggressive towards their owners. Having your male kitten neutered while young can help to prevent these behaviors from starting. Also,;male cats who are not neutered, frequently roam over large areas in search of unspayed females to mate with. These males will spray to mark their territory and often fight with other male cats which can be bothersome, noisy, and smelly.;
What Does Neutering And Spaying Mean
During a neutering procedure, your cats sexual reproductive organs are removed. Neutering prevents unplanned pregnancies from happening, and it also stops a lot of undesirable tomcat and intact queen behaviour spraying, calling and anxiousness, for example. After theyre neutered, cats are often more affectionate, less restless and less prone to roam.;
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Should You Get Your Cat Fixed
About 3.2 million cats arrive at US animal shelters annually, according to the ASPCA .
Spaying or neutering your cat is the absolute best way to help reduce the number of unwanted cats in the Baltimore area.;
That said, the benefits of spaying and neutering your pet don’t stop at controlling the population. Having your kitten fixed can help to curb many undesirable cat behaviors and help to reduce the risk of your cat developing numerous serious health issues.;
Neuter Your Male Cat As Early As Possible
This school of thought is common among vets, and some breeders, and says:
Neuter as early as possible, at around 2-4 months old, or even earlier because:
Neutering early has been shown to have better recovery times for the cat
Neutering early is the only way to be sure to avoid the undesirable behaviours of a tom cat, unwanted pregnancies and the risks that a roaming tom cat is exposed to
Neutering early, before the kittens leave for their new home, is the only way to be certain that kittens are not going to an unfortunate life with a ‘back yard breeder’ and to remove the risk of unwanted pregnancies
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Why Should You Neuter A Male Kitten
Well, weve already touched on it briefly. An intact male cat can sire numerous kittens in his lifetime.
There already is a cat overpopulation problem and but neutering your kitten when he reaches the appropriate age, you are doing your part to halt the additional numbers of kittens being born just from your cat.
One more thing about the overpopulation of cats. There are several communicable diseases that can be spread from untreated fighting wounds of feral cats protecting territory or whatever.
An intact male cat will contribute to the volume of strays that end up in shelters and often result in being put to sleep simply because there are too many of them around.
When you neuter or spay your kitten, you are doing a responsible thing as a cat owner.