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.
It Reduces Bad Behavior
Male unneutered cats are more prone to aggression or other dominance-related behaviors meaning that neutering makes them better pets because it lessens hormonally driven behaviors like aggression and spraying.
Neutering also means your cat wont escape to try and find a female cat, which can lead to pet cats getting lost or injured.
Female cats who are spayed are less likely to yowl or try to escape which can be dangerous, especially if she gets far away from home.
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.
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.
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How Does Castration Affect Behavior
The only behaviors affected by castration are those under the influenceof male hormones . A cats temperament, training, and personality are the result of genetics and upbringing, and are generally unaffected by the presence or absence of male hormones. Castration is unlikely to calm an overactive cat or decrease aggression toward people. Since the male brain is masculinized by the time the kitten is born, castration will reduce some, but not all of the sexually dimorphic male behaviors. If performed prior to sexual maturity castration will help to prevent the development of secondary sexual characteristics such as penile barbs, large jowls, and glands at the dorsal part of the cats tail.
“The only behaviors affected by castration are those under the influence of male hormones.”
Read More About Neutering Your Cat
It is common practice for the ovariohysterectomy technique to be used for cat spaying in UK. However individual practices have their own protocols in place, and both methods of cat spaying – ovariectomy and ovariohysterectomy are an accepted technique for spaying of female cats. Once spayed, your cat will no longer be able to fall pregnant, and will also not have any seasons. If you have further questions about the procedure, please do speak with your local Vets4Pets vet.
In all cases, neutering involves a general anaesthetic. Your cat will come into the practice in the morning, stay for the day to have the operation, and in most cases will be reunited with you the same day. Although all surgical procedures come with some risk, neutering is the most common procedure undertaken at our vet practices, and the techniques are very safe. Neutering cats is also a relatively quick procedure, especially males, which helps keep the risk low.
Although all surgical procedures can be uncomfortable, recovery from neutering is usually very rapid. In the vast majority of cases cats are on their feet within a few hours of the procedure, and are also given pain-relief drugs for the procedure itself, and throughout recovery while necessary. Some cats may be subdued for a day or so following the procedure, and may appear drowsy or a little wobbly that evening, but most cats are back to their normal selves within a few days.
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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:
Will Neutering Change My Kitten
Neutered cats generally need a little less food than non-neutered ones, so adjust quantities accordingly. Neutering wont change a cats personality, but theyre less likely to trouble you with antisocial or risky behaviour. Your neutered kitten will still do all the things they enjoyed before playing, climbing and generally making mischief!
Spaying or castrating your kitten is usually a straightforward procedure, and your kitten will be bouncing around the house once more before you know it!
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What Are The Side Effects Of Neutering Your Cat
There are several benefits to neutering your cat:
Prevents unwanted breeding
Reduces risk of certain cancers such as testicular cancer
Reduces risk of contracting Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
Population and health risks aside, neutering also comes with behavioral side effects that can make your cat a better pet. When carried out at a younger age, neutering decreases male aggressiveness. This, in turn, reduces the risk of your cat fighting with other toms and getting injured. Likewise, neutered cats do not roam as frequently as their intact counterparts, which reduces the risk of injury from cars, wild animals, and toxins.
Finally, intact male cats are known for marking, or spraying areas with urine to mark their territory. This can quickly become a problem as cat urine is notoriously hard to eliminate from living spaces. While neutering later in life may not cure this behavior, neutering when cats are young lowers the likelihood that your cat will mark outside the litter box.
Reduces Risk Of Roaming
When female cats go into heat, both her hormones and instincts are urging her to find a mate. And if she’s your only cat, she’ll try to escape every time you open the door so that she can find one. Remember that males are also driven by hormones and the mating instinct, and will try their best to escape for the same reason. Both males and females are at risk outdoors of being injured as they cross roads and highways to mate. By neutering your cat, you’ll reduce this wanderlust and find they’re happy to stay put in the safe, comfy spot next to you on the couch.
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Why Its Important To Neuter Your Male Kitten
1. Unfixed males spray,
This isnt news to most people though you might not realize how bad it stinks! Once unfixed males reach sexual maturity, they will start to spray. This can start early, even as early as 6 months! Youll want to spay your male kitten before this behavior starts.
2. Unfixed males are ruled by their hormones
Unfixed male cats have a strong drive to breed. Being your cuddly lap cat will not be their primary concern! They will want to roam in search of a mate. If your unfixed male manages to escape your home, hell likely get into fights with other males and could come home injured, or not at all.
Every male is different, but some unfixed males may be prone to aggression if they have no outlet for what nature is telling them to do. At the very , theyll be stressed.
Is Early Spay/neuter Associated With More Surgical Or Anesthetic Complications
In 2000, Land reported on a survey of 85 veterinarians who had collectively performed approximately 200000 early spays/neuters .12 The veterinarians unanimously stated that early spays/neuters were safer, faster, and easier than the same surgeries in dogs and cats 6 months of age or older.
In a prospective study of dogs and cats, Howe compared short-term complication rates among 3 groups of animals: sterilized at younger than 12 weeks, at 12 to 23 weeks, and at 24 weeks or older.13 Researchers measured complications during anesthesia, surgery, and the immediate postoperative period and classified complications as being major or minor . For incidence of major complications, they found no differences among the 3 groups. However, for incidence of minor complications, they found a significant difference rates were highest among animals in the oldest group and lowest among those in the youngest group.13
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Getting Your Boy Cat Snipped
If you have a male cat, he’ll need to have a simple operation called ‘the snip’. This can stop him from spraying in your house to mark his territory, which can be very smelly, and getting nasty injuries from fights. He’s also less likely to wander off and get run over, as cats who’ve been snipped tend to stay closer to home.
What’s more, having your cat snipped will protect him from a nasty disease called FIV, which is the cat version of HIV. It’s spread through cat bites, often between males fighting over a female. It can’t be caught by people.
What Is The Difference Between Spaying And Neutering
When we discuss getting a companion animal ‘fixed’, we are using a blanket term that refers to both the spaying of femal animals and the neutering of male animals.
Spaying Female Cats
When we spay a cat, the uterus and ovaries, or occasionally just the ovaries, of the female cat are surgically removed.
After the spaying procedure has been done, she will not be able to have kittens.
Neutering Male Cats
When your male cat is neutered, he will be unable to father kittens.
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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.
Getting Your Female Cat Spayed
To stop your female cat from having kittens, she’ll need to have a simple operation known as ‘spaying’ before she turns four months old. This is also known as ‘fixing’, ‘neutering’ or ‘being done’.
When your cat is about four months old, she’ll start to attract the attention of tomcats, who’ll want to mate with her. This is why it’s important to have her spayed before she reaches four months, so she doesn’t get pregnant while she’s still a kitten herself.
You may have heard that it’s good for female cats to have a litter of kittens before they are spayed, but this isn’t true. Once she’s been spayed, your kitten will be able to do all the things cats enjoy doing, like going outdoors, climbing trees and playing.
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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.
The Truth About Spaying Or Neutering Your Cat
An estimated 5 million to 8 million animals are euthanized in shelters across this country every year. Many organizations are working to decrease that number by opening low-cost spay/ clinics that will prevent more litters of that need homes. One such organization is LifeLine Animal Project, an Atlanta-based nonprofit shelter and clinic where more than 25,000 spaying and neutering procedures have been performed since 2005. Here, executive director Rebecca Guinn answers the most commonly asked questions about spaying and neutering cats.
Q: Why should I have my cat spayed or neutered?
A: Shelter euthanasia is the number one killer of companion animals. Spaying and neutering is the only way to reduce or eliminate that. Itâs also better for your petâs health. And having a cat thatâs spayed or neutered will make your life easier.
Q: Shouldnât I let my cat have a litter before I spay them?
A: No. It greatly reduces the risk of certain cancers if you have them spayed before the first heat and certainly before they have a litter.
Most places are overrun with kittens. There are millions of cats and kittens that need homes and millions more that are abandoned. There simply arenât enough homes for all the cats that get born every kitten season.
Q: Should I let my cat have a heat before I spay them?
Q: Is it OK to spay my cat when they are just a kitten?
Q: Donât cats get fat once you spay or neuter them?
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Early Spay/neuter In Private Practice
Most practices have defined kitten wellness protocols and schedule appointments for vaccinations and parasite control for kittens from about 6 weeks to 4 months of age. Early spay/neuter involves simply adding one more appointment 2 to 3 weeks after the last vaccination. In that manner, cats are fully immunized before being admitted to the hospital for surgery and sterilized before becoming sexually active.
Many Owners Ask Us Should I Neuter My Cat
Though a number of owners believe that neutering a cat is unkind and causes unnecessary distress, there are actually a number of different reasons that neutering your cat is advisable. Not only are there practical reasons, such as unwanted kittens, there are also a number of health reasons. If you are on the fence when it comes to the decision of neutering your cat, this should help to understand why neutering your cat is a good idea.
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It Can Help Other Animals
Its no secret that cat overpopulation is a huge problem. By getting your cat spayed or neutered, youre helping to fix this issue and get more shelter cats into loving homes.
Being a responsible cat owner means that you take the time to make the best choice for you, your cat and the community. If you have any questions about getting your cat spayed or neutered, be sure to contact your veterinarian.
To learn more about these procedures, you can check out these articles:
What Is A Cat Neuter?
It Does Not Produce Health Problems In The Kitten
One of the reasons why some veterinarians do not recommend neutering a cat earlier than 6 months of age is the risk of health problems. However, the VTFFSs review of scientific literature showed that early neutering does not cause any health issue in the growing cat. It does not affect the kittens physical and musculoskeletal development. Early neutering also does not lead to problems in the cats behavior.
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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
When Should You Spay Or Neuter Your Cat
Kittens as young as eight weeks old can be spayed or neutered safely. Cats altered before six months of age will have a lower risk of developing behavioral or health problems, as compared to those that undergo these procedures later in life. Spaying and neutering early in life may even prevent problem behaviors before they develop. If an unaltered cat is displaying problem behaviors, it’s never too late to spay or neuter, regardless of age.
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Neutering A Cat: Everything You Need To Know
Written bySmall Door’s medical experts
Veterinarians recommend neutering most male cats. Unless you plan to breed your cat responsibly and are prepared to keep him indoors, neutering will reduce the risk of unwanted behaviors, health problems, and feral cat populations. Feline neutering is a common procedure and complications are rare. Still, any procedure that involves surgery can cause anxiety for pet owners. We will go over the risks and benefits of neutering your cat, as well as how the procedure is performed, so that you have all the information you need prior to his surgery.
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