When Should You Have Your Cat Fixed
Each pet is unique and your vet will be able to offer advice on when you should have your cat spayed or neutered. However, we typically recommend spaying or neutering kittens at around five to six months old. Adult cats can also be spayed or neutered.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
How To Tell If Your Pet Cat Has Been Spayed Or Neutered
Cat spaying and neutering is a common, veterinarian-recommended procedure. If you get an adult cat, though, it can be difficult to tell if this process has already taken place.
Having your cat fixed is a responsible way to control pet population as well as cat behavior. Spaying and neutering has also been shown to reduce the chance of cancer in the reproductive organs of your feline friend. Thus, its helpful to know if your cat has been spayed or neutered if you are adopting an adult cat. Here are some ways to ascertain their condition:
Why Is It Important To Spay And Neuter Cats
Spaying and neutering cats prevent unwanted pregnancies and homelessness. According to the ASPCA, 6.5 million domesticated pets are surrendered or found homeless every year. Cats suffer tremendously in this equation.
Cats breed heavily, which is why having strays around can quickly lead to unwanted pregnancies. Indoor cats arent exempt, either, particularly if you have multiple cats living in the same home without being fixed. Cats reach sexual maturity around 6 months old, so you might wind up with a litter if you dont act early.
Spaying or neutering your cats is a responsible action taken by loving pet owners. Unless youre a breeder, youre risking putting kittens out into an unforgiving world. Many people want a cute kitten until it starts to grow up and become a burden.
Luckily, in recent years, more information and affordable options have been given to owners everywhere. So, instead of worrying about financial implications associated with this surgery, owners can find options that work best for them.
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What Happens During The Surgery
The surgical process for males and females is a little different. First, both cats will receive sedation to fall into a deep sleepthey wont feel a thing.
In males, there is no need to go internally. They will be given a general anesthetic beforehand. Vets make a small incision in the scrotum and remove each testicle.
In females, vets have to make an incision and work inside of the body to remove ovaries, uterus, and reproductive tract. So, the process is a bit more extensive, and the recovery is a bit longer for female felines.
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Neuter Your Male Cat As Late As Possible
This school of thought is taken by many breeders and says:
Leave neutering for as long as possible and preferably until the cat is at least one year old
Because neutering reduces the testosterone levels of a cat, a male British Shorthair cat will not grow to his full potential if neutered too early
A male British Shorthair cat will not develop the lovely jowls so associated with the breed if he is neutered too early
It is healthier for a cat to do most of his growing before his hormones are interrupted by neutering
The second school of thought what age to neuter a cat says:
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.
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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?
Should I Spay My Cat When Its A Kitten
As long as your cat is 8 week old, and meets the weight requirements discussed above, yes. It used to be the norm to wait a lot longer, but this has now been proven to be incorrect.
Cats can be on heat at a very early age. At around six months old they can have their first litter, and they can produce 3 litters a year. So its an obvious choice to have a cat neutered early.
Not to mention that having a cat on heat can be annoying for everyone in the home. They become very noisy, sleep a lot less, and their behaviour becomes a lot more boisterous.
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Are There Spay And Neuter Risks
Complications for spaying and neutering are rare, but there are risks, Corbett says. The risks reflect any type of anesthesia or surgery, so you always have to say that death is a risk. There are a very, very small percentage of animals who can respond poorly to anesthesia, so thats the number one worry.
Kruck says that similar to how humans can react differently to anesthesia, so can animals. The actual surgery, however, is less worrisome.
The risks from the surgery are few because the procedures are very routine, says Kruck. Possible surgical risks include ligatures slipping, contamination of the surgical field, abnormal bleeding due to a clotting disorder, bruising, and pain.
Though its not necessarily a risk, its important to know that sometimes spayed cats will still go into heat. In some cases, part of an ovary is missed during surgery because it was hidden in the abdomen, so the procedure has to be done twice, Corbett says.
Overall, the risks are real, but they are rare.
If youre still nervous heading into the procedure, keep Humlies words in mind: Every pet owner is probably nervous about a surgery, even though its very, very routine surgery most of the time. At our clinic, our doctor has literally done thousands and thousands of them.
How To Tell Whether A Male Cat Is Fixed
If youve taken a stray male kitten into your home or recently adopted a male cat, the first thing you should do is arrange a veterinary appointment to make sure he gets a proper checkup and has all necessary vaccinations scheduled. Some clinics will not schedule a neutering operation without knowing the cat is vaccinated, or at least current on his rabies vaccine. Before you take the cat in, there are a few cursory investigations you can make to see whether he is already fixed.
All these methods can be unreliable to the unpracticed amateur. A tattoo or clipped ear might be your clearest and most obvious indicators that the male cat prowling about your residence cannot get your intact female cat pregnant. As for the genital exam, many intact male cats might have undescended testicles, so even a direct and close-up genital examination can foster a false sense of security. The third approach, looking for a shaved spot around the site of the neutering surgery, is the least effective, because the cats fur may have long since grown back and resumed its wonted volume.
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How Old Does A Cat Have To Be For A Spay Or Neuter Procedure Can You Spay A Cat In Heat
According to the ASPCA, cats can be spayed or neutered as young as eight weeks old. They recommend scheduling the procedure before your cat is five months old to avoid urine spraying behavior and eliminate the chance of pregnancy.
The ASPCA also states that female cats can be spayed while in heat. Of course, it is always advised to speak with your vet to figure out when it would be best to spay or neuter your cat.
Does Neutering Lead To Any Adverse Effects On Health Or Behavior
“Male urine odor is particularly strong and pungent.”
There are many misconceptions about the effects of neutering on health and behavior. Neutered males are no more likely to become fat or lazy provided they receive a proper diet and adequate exercise. With less roaming, fightingand mating activity, calorie intake may have to be reduced and alternative forms of play and activity provided. Behaviors that have developed independentof hormonal influences such as hunting are not affected. Regardless of ageat which it is performed, neutering does not have any effect on physical development . Although neutering before puberty appears to have similar effects to neutering post-puberty, every attempt should be made to neuter before puberty before the cat develops problems, experiences, and habits associated with sexual maturity.
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Reasons To Spay Or Neuter Your Cat
Spaying or neutering is one of the greatest gifts you can provide your pet and your family. These routine medical procedures not only help control pet overpopulation, but they may also prevent medical and behavioral problems from developing, allowing your cat to lead a longer, healthier and happier life.
Dark Patches Of Fur In Siamese And Related Breeds
The skin temperature is important in determining the hair colour of some cats . This means that when a patch of hair is shaved the new hair may grow back a darker colour. However, this is only temporary and, as further hair growth occurs, the dark hairs are replaced by normal lighter coloured hairs.
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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.
How Much Does It Cost To Neuter A Cat And What If I Cant Afford It
It can typically cost around $100 if you call your local veterinarian practice. Prices do vary though, so its worth calling around a few places.
If you know you cannot afford it there are some other options. There are charities and aid if youre in this position. The ASPCA keeps a database of centres that can help if youre in this situation.
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Are There Any Risks Or Complications
Healthy young animals have the lowest risks and are less likely to have any serious complications. However, it can be much harder to keep young active animals quiet after surgery, so they are more likely to have simple post-surgical complications.
Older animals, or those in heat, especially those with additional health issues, have a higher risk and are more likely to have complications. If you have any concerns about your pets health or if she is on medications for a medical condition, please let the veterinary staff know ahead of time so your animal can be treated appropriately.
Some of the most common post-operative complications include inflammation or infection of the incision, opening up of the incision, swelling under the skin at the incision site caused by fluid, and bleeding. These complications can be caused or made worse by the pet licking or chewing the skin at the incision or by not keeping the pet quiet as directed after surgery.
When Should You Get Your Cat Fixed
Spaying and neutering kittens at four months, before they reach sexual maturity, offers the best protection against a number of health risks. However, adult cats can be also be spayed or neutered. If you’re unsure about when to get your cat fixed, just ask your vet, they can help you decide when to get your cat spayed or neutered.
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What Is The Right Age For Neutering
Traditionally, male cats were neutered between the ages of six to eight months old, and it was not considered appropriate for them to be neutered before this time, due to concerns that they were potentially too small, or not fully developed.
However, the six month of age figure for neutering did not come about for any particular reason, as unlike dogs, male cats do not need to reach this age in order to begin the necessary hormone production to enable growth and development.
As soon as your cats testes have both descended and are palpable, usually around the size of two peas, male cats can be neutered, and today, the vast majority of veterinary clinics will perform neutering on male cats from the age of four months old, or to put it another way, within a couple of weeks of the cat having had the second of their two-stage initial vaccinations.
This has proven to be a good thing in particular for kittens in rehoming shelters, as it means that the shelter can guarantee that the kitten is neutered without having to rely upon the new owners doing this later on, and that the kittens can go to their new homes already neutered whilst still at the small, cute stage of development!
Male cats can of course be castrated as adults, assuming that they are in good health and that there are no problems, and if you own or adopt an unneutered adult male cat, there is no time that is generally considered too late to have them castrated.
Dispelling Myths About Neutering Male Cats
There are many myths about castration that prevent owners from getting their pets fixed. One of the most prevalent of these myths is that neutered cats tend to become fat and lazy. This is simply not true.
What is indeed true is that your tomcat is more likely to stay home than explore the outside world. And once your cat decides that he just wants to stay home instead of going out, his activity level decreases.
With a decrease in activity level, you should adjust your pets diet accordingly. Those who report that their cats become fatter after getting fixed fed the same amount of food to their pets. In cats as with humans, the more food you eat than you burn makes you susceptible to weight gain.
It also helps if you set aside time to play with your cat regularly to help him burn off calories and prevent unwanted weight gain after getting fixed.
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Does Neutering Or Spaying A Cat Help Prevent Illnesses
There are known to be less instances of mammary tumors in cats that have been neutered. It also removes the risk of uterus infections and diseases.
Male cats are no longer at risk of testicular disease. So there are some obvious upsides. Its really a no brainer that taking responsibility and neutering or spaying your cat is the right thing to do.
What Is The Average Cost To Spay A Cat
The cost to neuter a cat, both male and female cats, can range anywhere from $115 to $300. Some veterinarians charge more because they perform a blood test prior to the treatment to ensure that your kitten or cat doesnt have any liver or kidney problems and using an aesthetic wont be harmful to them.
A cat spay cost/neuter operation at a private veterinarian might cost anything from $200 to $400. You also have the option of taking your cat to a less expensive clinic. Typically, these are run by non-profit organizations, and all surgeries are carried out by licensed vets. Youll most likely be able to take your cat home the same day theyre treated.
The cost to get a cat spayed depends a lot on the country and the veterinarian. Usually, in Spain, spaying a cat costs between 30 and 60 euros. Municipalities sometimes run ongoing and outreach campaigns in which veterinary clinics may offer discounts.
If you are curious, the price of castration is from 75 to 150 euros.
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