When Should I Spay Or Neuter My Cat
Most veterinarians agree that cats are ready for neutering procedures at four to six months of age. Some vets and rescue centres spay and neuter cats from 12 weeks of age and sometimes even earlier.
- When to spay a cat: Ideally, try to get your female cat spayed before she goes into heat for the first time. This will ensure that she doesnt get pregnant before you have the chance to spay her.
- When to neuter a cat: If you get your male cat neutered before he reaches ten months of age, hes much less likely to begin spraying and urinating inappropriately. Cat urine is hard to clean up and its a habit thats tough to break, even after neutering.
Mythbusting:Some people think that its healthier for female cats to have one litter of kittens before theyre spayed. This isnt true its a myth.
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.
Benefits Of Spaying Your Female Cat
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.
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.
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
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Do Female Cats Change After Spaying
Yes, spaying and neutering your cats will change their personality. Unfixed cats are driven by hormones. So yes when you have your cat spayed or neutered they calm down, become more relaxed, better pets, and their activity level will go down.
When Does A Kitten Go Into Heat In North America
The typical kitten season in North America can range from February to October. During this period, females may go into heat more than once. Cycles vary from cat to cat. Intact male cats, commonly known as studs or toms, are all about territory.
Spay/Neuter your indoor cat just in case. Spaying and neutering will improve your cats health, reduce the risk of health problems, and should be done as early as possible. Spaying/Neutering early will: #3 Do it For Your Sanity Many cats are surrendered each year for behavioral issues.
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Treating Your Cat After Surgery
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.
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When Should I Spay Or Neuter My Pet
As part of the battle against pet overpopulation, it used to be common practice to spay and neuter young pets as soon as it was safe to do so, and sterilization still is routinely performed on shelter puppies and kittens. When it comes to privately-owned pets in secure homes, here are AAHAs most recent recommendations.
- Cats: Female kittens can enter their first heat cycle as young as four months, but usually not until they are five or six months old. AAHA has endorsed the Fix Felines by Five initiative, which recommends sterilization of cats by five months of age. This recommendation prevents unwanted litters and greatly decreases mammary cancer risks in female cats as well as spraying/marking in male cats, but still allows kittens time to grow. Kittens sterilized at this age quickly bounce back from surgery.
- Dogs: According to the AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines, small-breed dogs should be neutered at six months of age or spayed prior to the first heat . Large-breed dogs should be neutered after growth stops, which usually is between 9 and 15 months of age. The decision on when to spay a large-breed female dog is based on many factorsyour veterinarian can help narrow down the recommended window of 5 to 15 months depending on your dogs disease risk and lifestyle.
What are the benefits of spaying or neutering my pet?
- They show or breed the animals
- Financial constraints
- Fear of anesthesia
- Lack of understanding of the benefits
What Does A Spay Surgery Involve
This major surgical procedure requires general anesthesia. You will need to fast your cat the night prior to surgery. Most cats return home within 48 hours after surgery. Your veterinarian will advise you how long to withhold food and water, and any other details specific to your cat.
“Most cats return home within 48 hours after surgery.”
The operation is performed through a relatively small incision made most commonly in the midline of the abdomen, just below the umbilicus. Both ovaries are removed along with the entire uterus. The surgical incision will be closed with several layers of sutures. In many cases, skin sutures will be placed, and these will be removed after seven to ten days.
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What Is The Ideal Age To Spay/ Neuter/ Adopt Shelter Kittens
If you asked us what ONE change could make the most positive impact next kitten season we would suggest spay/neuter/adoption of healthy kittens at 6 weeks of age instead of waiting until 8 weeks. Are you surprised to hear there is currently no research to suggest that spaying healthy kittens at 6 weeks old poses a greater risk than spaying kittens at 8 weeks old ? Read Dr. Holck’s reply to find out why the benefits of spaying and neutering healthy kittens at 1.5 pounds outweigh the risks.
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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Are There Other Benefits To Spaying My Cat
The most obvious benefit is the prevention of unplanned pregnancies. There is no behavioral, medical, or scientific reason for letting your cat have a litter before she is spayed.
“There is no behavioral, medical, or scientific reason for letting your cat have a litter before she is spayed.”
Once a cat reaches puberty, usually at around seven months of age, she will have a heat or estrous cycle every two to three weeks for most of the year, unless she becomes pregnant. She will be ‘in heat’ or receptive to mating for approximately one week in each cycle. During heat, she may display unsociable behavior such as loud and persistent crying and frequent rubbing and rolling on the floor. She may also urinate outside her litterbox as a marking behavior. This behavior coupled with her scent, will attract male cats from miles around. Removal of the ovaries will stop her estrus cycles.
Does Spaying Cause My Cat To Get Fat
Spaying does decrease the metabolism of your cat and may lead to a more sedentary lifestyle. This will cause your cat to put on weight however, if you monitor their body condition and make appropriate adjustments to their nutrition and lifestyle including regular exercise time you can prevent this weight gain.
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Does It Matter What Age You Neuter Your Kitten
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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.
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Spaying A Cat In Heat
If your cat is in heat, her instincts and hormones are telling her to mate. Therefore, she will go to great lengths to escape the home and find males to mate with. This is why a cat in heat should be kept securely indoors to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
Unfortunately, it can be frustrating to live with a cat exhibiting the signs of estrus. Cats in heat tend to vocalize excessively. They may obsessively try to escape their homes. Some will even mark areas of the home with urine.
If you don’t think you can deal with this behavior for about a week, then you may ask your vet about having her spayed as soon as possible. Though spaying a cat in heat is not ideal, it can be done. However, there are some disadvantages to this.
When a cat is in heat, the blood vessels that supply the reproductive organs and surrounding tissues become engorged with blood. The tissues may be more prone to tearing. This adds up to a surgery that is more complicated and lengthy than a routine spay. It will also be more expensive because of the extra time and supplies needed. Though the increased risk to the cat is minor, some vets prefer to avoid doing surgery on a cat in heat.
If you have scheduled your cat’s spay surgery in advance and find that she has started her first heat right before the surgery, be sure to contact your vet for advice. It may be more practical for you, your cat, and the vet to postpone the surgery.
What Are The Benefits Of Getting My Cat Spayed
Spaying isnt just done to prevent kittens its a necessary procedure that can literally add years to your cats life. Some of the biggest health benefits include:
– Spaying virtually eliminates the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer- Spaying decreases the risk of breast cancer in cats especially if shes spayed before 6 months of age.- Spaying also has behavior benefits. Unspayed females are less likely to yowl or try to escape which can be dangerous, especially if she gets far away from home!
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Your Pet’s Health And Longevity
The average lifespan of spayed and neutered cats and dogs is demonstrably longer than the lifespan of those not. A University of Georgia study, based on the medical records of more than 70,000 animal patients, found that the life expectancy of neutered male dogs was 13.8% longer and that of spayed female dogs was 26.3% longer. The average age of death of intact dogs was 7.9 years versus a significantly older 9.4 years for altered dogs.
Another study, conducted by Banfield Pet Hospitals on a database of 2.2 million dogs and 460,000 cats reflected similar findings, concluding that neutered male dogs lived 18% longer and spayed female dogs lived 23% longer. Spayed female cats in the study lived 39% longer and neutered male cats lived 62% longer.
The reduced lifespan of unaltered pets can, in part, be attributed to an increased urge to roam , to trauma from vehicle strikes and to other accidental mishaps.
A contributor to the increased longevity of altered pets is their reduced risk of certain types of cancers. Intact female cats and dogs have a greater chance of developing pyometra and uterine, mammary gland and other cancers of the reproductive system. Neutering male pets eliminates their risk of testicular cancer and results in lower rates of prostate cancer.
These are the best general recommendations that can be drawn from a thorough analysis of research currently available:
How To Care For Your Cat After Neutering Or Spaying
This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 20 testimonials and 95% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 571,032 times.
Spay and neuter surgeries are routine operations, but theyre still surgeries. If you’re worried about how to care for your cat after its been spayed or neutered , youve come to the right place. There are several things you can do to help your cat recover from its operation and get back to its healthy, happy feline self.
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Why Should I Spay My New Kitten
Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a traveling, board-certified surgeon in Allentown, PA. His website is www.DrPhilZeltzman.com. He is the co-author of Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound .
Kelly Serfas, a Certified Veterinary Technician in Bethlehem, PA, contributed to this article.
- When is the best time to spay my kitten?
- What precautions are taken during anesthesia?
- What is the post-op care at home?
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian — they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.