Getting your cat fixed is not only a way to prevent unwanted kittens, but also to protect them from some serious health conditions. In this post, our Rochester vets share how old your kitten should be to be spayed or neutered, as well as the benefits of getting them fixed.
What are Spay and Neuter Procedures?
Getting your cat "fixed" means to have your female cat spayed or male cat neutered. In short, male cats have their testicles removed, whereas female cats have a bit more of an invasive procedure of having their internal reproductive organs removed. As a cat owner, you should know not only the age to get your kitten fixed, but also how it benefits their health.
When is the Best Time to Spay or Neuter a Kitten?
There are a few different options of when to get your cat spayed. Most spay and neuter procedures for cats are scheduled at five to six months of age, but they can be done as early as 6 weeks. Although, these procedures can be performed at any time during your cat's life as long as they are healthy. Therefore, it is never too late to have your cat spayed or neutered, even healthy cats in their teens can safely have this procedure done.
Because kittens can begin reproducing as young as 4 to 6 months of age, you may want to have your kitty 'fixed' before puberty or their first heat cycle to avoid accidental pregnancy or certain health conditions.
It's always best practice to consult your veterinarian on when to get your kitty fixed.
The Benefits of Getting Your Female Cat Spayed
The main benefit to getting your female cat spayed, of course, is avoiding having unwanted kittens born in your home and community. It's estimated that in as little as seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce approximately 420,000 kittens. Unless you are and experienced breeder purposely (and safely) trying to breed your cat, there is no reason for you not to get your female kitty spayed.
Aside from preventing unwanted kittens, a female cat spayed before her first heat cycle is less likely to develop malignant mammary tumors later in life. Spaying can also help keep your cat from developing uterine infection and cancers of the reproductive organs.
Spaying might also help eliminate several unwanted female cat behaviors such as heat-induced howling, increased and overly intense affection, intense rubbing on objects, marking territory with urine, and the desire to wander.
The Benefits of Having Your Male Cat Neutered
One health benefit to having your male cat neutered is limiting risk of testicular cancer. It also means lessens the male cat's desire to roam in search of female cats, which means less time trying to escape to the dangerous outside world!
Additionally, male cats that are neutered are often less inclined to be aggressive with other cats, which reduces their risk of being hurt in a fight.
And in a benefit to the owner, neutered cats are less likely to urinate around the home in order to "mark their territory," which makes for less cleanup for you!
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.