When Should I Spay or Neuter My Cat

Ideally, cats should be spayed or neutered before they reach puberty. Most of the time, having the surgery performed when cats are five to six months old will meet this goal. Try not to wait much longer than this to schedule the surgery unless your pet has an underlying condition that warrants the delay. Cats can reproduce when they are very young, and spaying and neutering before a cat’s reproductive hormones start flowing is the best way to prevent some types of behavior problems (e.g. spraying) and health issues.

While many veterinarians in private practice are most comfortable performing surgery after a kitten has grown and matured a bit, under some circumstances, spaying and neutering as early as eight weeks of age is appropriate. Veterinarians who work closely with animal shelters learn safe anesthetic protocols and surgical techniques for use on the very young. This allows the shelter to adopt out young kittens without worry that they will “miss” their spay/neuter appointment and contribute to the pet overpopulation crisis.

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Your own veterinarian is in the best position to recommend exactly when your cat should be spayed or neutered.

Article By: Jennifer Coates DVM

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