Friday, April 12, 2024

What Is The Best Age To Spay A Kitten

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Dr Michelle Burch Dvm

Dr. Michelle Burch, DVM, is a Veterinarian from Safe Hounds Pet Insurance. Heres what he said, Unfortunately, there are no medications or implants in the United States approved for chemical castration as secondary options instead of surgical neuter. In Europe and other countries, the Suprelorin implant has the approval to prevent fertility and suppress libido. Suprelorin works by stopping pathways in the reproductive endocrine system.

What Happens When A Cat Is Spayed Or Neutered

When a cat is spayed or neutered, its reproductive organs are removed so that it cannot reproduce. In females, the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes are removed; in males, the testes are removed. The surgery is performed with your cat fully asleep and under anesthesia. Cat neuter surgeries are very quick, so they are given a face mask to assist with breathing, while female cats being spayed are normally intubated. The surgery lasts only about 2 minutes for males and can last around 20 minutes for females. Cats tend to recover quickly from the surgery and will typically wake up after 10 to 20 minutes.


Why Should Pet Owners Wait Until The Kitten Is Older

Many new cat owners are keen to get their kitten as soon as possible, and as early as possible. After all, who doesnt love a tiny little ball of fluff? However, adopting a kitten who is too young can have consequences that may last throughout the cats life.

  • Kittens need their mother and littermates to teach them manners. As kittens will play with mum and their siblings, they learn cat socialisation skills. Picking up body language, boundaries and playing skills from the other cats.
  • Kittens need time to build up a strong immune system. Mums milk is full of antibodies that help to protect your kitten from disease. Even after the kitten has started solids, he is still nursing from mum and getting the benefits of these antibodies.
  • Kittens should not leave their home until they have had their vaccinations.
  • Most breeders and cat shelters spay or neuter a kitten before it leaves for its new home. With shelters bursting at the seams with unwanted cats, taking this approach is the responsible way. Purebred breeders do not generally sell un-desexed cats unless you are a registered breeder.

Reasons To Spay/neuter A Cat

Obviously, the main reason to spay/neuter a cat is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. However, having a cat fixed has additional benefits as well. Neutering a male cat will decrease its desire to wander, keeping it closer to home. Roaming cats have a greater risk of getting lost and of contracting diseases, such as feline leukemia. Additionally, neutering a male cat should help reduce its tendency to mark its territory or fight. For females, spaying will eliminate the heat cycle and normalize hormones. A spayed or neutered cat will also have a reduced risk of cancers of the reproductive organs. As a result, the cost of neutering has the potential to save a pet owner a substantial amount of money in the long run.

Why You Should Spay Or Neuter Your Lab

Benefits Of Spaying And Neutering Cats

There are numerous benefits to spaying or neutering your Labrador Retriever. Animal experts say its crucial for males, but dont be fooled by gender. Females can be just as aggressive and even more territorial than male dogs.

Apart from safety, there are other benefits to spaying or neutering too. It can even extend their lifespan!  Lets talk about all the reasons why you need to fix your Labrador.

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.


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.

Dr Jennifer Coates Dvm

Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM, serves on the advisory board for Cat Life Today. Dr. Coates believes neutering is best.

Heres what she said, Kitten neuters are simple surgeries. Kittens only need to be anesthetized for a few minutes and recover quickly.

Veterinarians may perform vasectomies as part of the management of feral cat colonies, but for pet cats neutering is best.

Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM

According to Dr. Coates, Post-operative complications are rare. For owned cats, the benefits of neutering include not only stopping reproduction but also problematic reproductive behaviors like spraying, yowling, aggression, and roaming. Alternatives to neutering, like vasectomies, will prevent unwanted litters but not these problematic behaviors. Veterinarians may perform vasectomies as part of the management of feral cat colonies, but for pet cats neutering is best. For interested owners, testicular implants are available that maintain the look of an intact male cats scrotum.

Whats the Best Age to Adopt a Puppy?

Does Spaying Or Neutering Hurt My Cat

Like humans, cats are given anesthetics during operations. Cats are completely unconscious while theyre spayed or neutered, so they dont feel any pain. A long-acting pain relief injection administered immediately after the procedure eliminates post-surgery discomfort. Your vet will give you anti-inflammatories and painkillers to give to your cat at home, too.

Generally speaking, cats bounce back quite quickly after theyre neutered. Male cats usually only need painkillers for a day after castration. Female cats usually need medication for three days after being spayed.

At What Age Should I Spay Or Neuter My Cats

Submitted by: Philip A. Bushby, DVM, MS, DACVS

In June of 2017, the AVMA formally endorsed the consensus document put forth by the Veterinary Task Force on Feline Sterilization for Age of Spay and Neuter Surgery, which recommends cats not intended for breeding be gonadectomized by five months of age. This joined endorsements from other veterinary medical and cat breeding associations including the American Association of Feline Practitioners, Association of Shelter Veterinarians, American Animal Hospital Association, Winn Foundation, Catalyst Council, Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association. Feline Fix by Five is a campaign promoted by the Marians Dream Foundation to share this recommendation that has garnered such broad support. FFF was born out of awareness that cats can be reproductively active by 4 to 5 months of age, yet most veterinarians recommend spay/neuter of cats at 6 months of age or older. The result of this mismatch between age at which cats can become pregnant and the recommended age of sterilization is demonstrated any time one walks into a local animal shelter.

For more information on Feline Fix by Five go to:

For more information on the AVMAs position on spay neuter go to:

To view a video describing the importance of spay neuter of cats by 5 months of age go to:

  • Esther Mechler, Personal Communication, October 25, 2017.

  • Benefits Of Neutering Your Male Cat

    Population Control 

    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!

    Health Issues

    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. 

    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.

    How Does Spaying Work

    What Is the Right Age to Neuter Your Cat?

    Spaying must be conducted by a vet or other qualified professional, and entails your cat undergoing an operation. It then prevents your female cat also called a queen from producing eggs which could be fertilised by a male cat, as well as stopping their body emitting sex hormones which attract males.

    What Age Can Cats Be Neutered

    Cats become sexually mature from the age of around five months. In order to prevent unwanted pregnancies, its recommended that cats are neutered at around four months old, after they have completed their primary vaccinations. Some vets still recommend spaying at five or six months and its quite safe to neuter older cats.


    Mar Vista Animal Medical Center



    Neutering a male cat is an excellent step to help your young man grow into a loving, well adapted household citizen. The main reason to neuter a male cat is to reduce the incidence of objectionable behaviors that are normal in the feline world but unacceptable in the human world. A neutered male cat has had his testicles removed, not only ending his ability to reproduce but also removing his source of testosterone and his interest in hormone-driven behaviors.


    More than 90% will reduce this behavior with neutering.Approximately 60% reduce this behavior right away.


    More than 90% will reduce this behavior with neutering.Approximately 60% reduce this behavior right away.


    More than 90% will reduce this behavior with neutering.Approximately 80% reduce this behavior right away.

    Other benefits of neutering include a drastic reduction in cat urine odor, reduced incidence of feline asthma and of gingivitis . The reduction in fighting and roaming helps an outdoor male cat reduce his risk of FIV infection, bite wounds and associated abscesses, automobile-related trauma, dog/coyote-related injury, and other outdoor lifestyle situations that result from traveling away from home.

    Male cat neutered prior to puberty

    Male cat neutered after reaching puberty



    Some concerns that have been explored have included:






    Why Do Shelters Adopt Out Younger Kittens

    The age your kitten will be adopted out will vary between shelters and breeders. The RSPCA states that kittens can be adopted from 8 weeks. Shelters will generally adopt out kittens from the age of 8-10 weeks, once they have had their vaccinations and are old and large enough to have been desexed. Space and resources are always a factor for shelters, and the benefit of staying a good hope, with one on one care and out of the confines of a small enclosure outweigh the benefit of an extra two weeks with the mother and littermates.

    Breeders keep kittens until they are 12 weeks of age and some will keep them until 16 weeks, especially the oriental type breeds such as Siamese. Most cat breeders prefer to wait until their kitten is between 1 1.5kg before desexing, so smaller breeds such as the Devon Rex, Burmese, Singapura may need to be a little older than larger breeds. Also, space and resources are not as stretched with the breeder compared to the shelter, and therefore the benefit of an extra two weeks with the mother and littermates outweighs the benefit of going to a new home.

    The Right Age For Spaying Your Cat

    For a very long time, the medical community advised that cats be neutered no earlier than 6 months of age because at this age the cat is hormonally mature. Then, a report presented at the 2017 North American Veterinary Community Conference stated that cats could be sterilized as early as 5 months of age.

    One of the biggest challenges of operating on very young cats was the success of the anesthesia protocol. However, with recent medical developments, this could be overcome. At the moment, most of the data indicate that we have effective anesthetic protocols for younger patients. As we start to piece what we do have, theres a huge suggestion that we can move this time for spays and neuters forward and do better for the cat population and cat owners., said Lauren Demos, BVMS, HonsBSc, resident ABVP , the President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners .

    A major role in determining the appropriate minimum age for spaying is also played by the data available for research. Scientific literature, as well as studies rarely cover patients so young, which makes it difficult for doctors to access a broad spectrum of data. One of the reasons that we picked 5 months as an initiative, rather than potentially 2.5 or 3.5 months, is that we want to take this slowly, said Dr. Demos.In terms of the earliest age to safely neuter a cat, the available data has shown that kittens as young as 6 weeks and that weigh at least 1 kg can be spayed.

    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.


    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!

    The Best Age To Spay Or Neuter Your Pet

    If you ask your veterinarian at what age it is best to spay or neuter your dog or cat, most will probably have an answer of between the ages of 6-9 months , with an emphasis on spaying female pets before their first heat cycle. If you adopted your furry friend from an animal shelter, most likely this task has already been taken care of. But what if you didnt? Should all pets be spayed and neutered at the same age? Recent studies have brought to light that choosing the appropriate age for your pet to be spayed or neutered may not be so simple.

    Numerous studies have been performed over the years showing risk in intact versus neutered pets for developing certain diseases. For instance, there have been many studies that support the fact that female dogs and cats that remain sexually intact are at a much greater risk for developing malignant mammary gland tumors . Female dogs and cats that remain intact are also at a higher risk for pyometra . Additionally, testicular cancer can only occur in intact male dogs, and is usually curable with neutering . Other problems that can arise with leaving male pets intact include hyperplasia of the prostate gland and prostatitis. Intact male cats that are allowed outside are more likely to roam, get into fights with other cats, and spread disease.

    The following links are for abstracts for some recent studies highlighting risk for spay/neuter and orthopedic abnormalities:

    At What Age Should You Spay Or Neuter Your Cat

    What is the Best Age to Neuter a Male Kitten in 2021?

    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 .

    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.


    Benefits Of Spaying Your Female Cat

    Population Control

    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.

    Animal Health

    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. 

    Save Wildlife

    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

    Myth 1: Growth Delay In Kittens After Early

    Gonadectomy, both at 8 weeks and 7 months, slows down the growth of bone plates until the age of 14-months. As a result, the growth of longer bones takes a bit more time. Today, there is no scientific evidence to prove that this poses any problem.

    Numerous studies support this position. In 1987, Leo L. Lieberman, DVM, wrote in his report published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association , that kittens after early-age gonadectomy suffered no medical or behavioral side effects at older ages.

    What Complications Can There Be With Spaying

    The biggest complications associated with spaying come from the potential weight your cat can gain, which in turn can lead to serious health conditions. Diabetes and joint disease are both linked to obesity in cats, while sedentary or indoor cats can end up with digestive issues  due to a lack of movement and lots of time spent grooming themselves.

    Deciding to get your cat spayed is a decision which can positively affect her health and home life, but it does have long-lasting effects. If youd like further advice, speak to your vet wholl be able to advise you on the best course of action.

    When Can You Get A Kitten Neutered

    An orchidectomy is the proper name for the procedure by which a male cats testicles are surgically removed from his scrotum. If your veterinarian determines your male kitten to be hale and otherwise healthy, sterilization can take place any time after he is eight weeks old and reaches a weight of two pounds. Is it vital that you schedule the operation for the day he turns eight weeks, or the moment he hits two pounds on the scale? No. Should you get him fixed once he reaches an appropriate age and weight? Yes.

    Recovery time is brief for a neutered kitten. A male kitten that has been fixed may have to wear a cone of shame for a few days after the operation, but the incision will have healed completely within two weeks. It is a routine procedure and a safe one. If you intend to raise a male cat indoors and never let him outside the walls of your home, though, is a neutering operation really beneficial? Yes, and for reasons that exceed suppressing his sexual proclivities.

    Should My Cat Have A Litter Before I Neuter Her

    No, there is no evidence to show that having a litter of kittens benefits cats. Pregnancy/giving birth can come with complications and looking after a litter of kittens is hard work, expensive, and time-consuming – certainly not something to enter into without a great deal of thought and planning. If you want to breed from your cat, its best speak to your vet for advice to find out how you can do it responsibly and safely.

    Male Neutering Vs Female Spaying

    Neutering a male cat is very different from neutering a female cat because the two procedures involved are very different. Orchiectomy, the surgical procedure of removing a cats testicles, requires minimal anesthesia. The skin on the scrotum is incised and then the testicles are quickly removed.

    After the procedure, the scrotum closes up very quickly. In fact, it has a very rapid recovery. The male cat requires very little recovery time after the surgery and the chances of developing complications are very low.

    Spaying a female cat, on the other hand, means taking out its ovaries. In some cases, the cats uterus is also taken out. When it comes to early neutering, the doctor performs an ovariectomy. But whether the cat undergoes an ovariectomy or an ovariohysterectomy, the procedure is far more invasive than the orchiectomy.

    The surgery takes longer, which means more time under anesthesia, and deeper anesthesia for the female cat. It also means more pain management medication and a higher risk of developing complications.

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