You are preventing more than just the birth of unwanted kittens when you get your cat spayed or neutered. You are also protecting them from some serious health conditions. Today, our Springfield veterinarians discuss when the best time is to spay or neuter your kitten as well as the benefits of having your cat spayed or neutered.
What are Spay and Neuter Procedures?
When we discuss having your cat 'fixed' we are using a more generic term for having your pet spayed or neutered. Neutering is the sterilization of male pets by removing the testes, and spaying is the sterilization of female pets by removing their reproductive organs.
When is it safe to spay or neuter a kitten?
There are many different opinions on when the best age is to spay or neuter a kitten. Early or pediatric spay/neuter is typically performed at six to eight weeks of age, whereas standard spay and neuter procedures are typically performed at five to six months of age.
As kittens can start reproducing when they are as young as 4 to 6 months of age you might want to have your kitty 'fixed' before they reach puberty, or have their first heat cycle to prevent accidental pregnancy or certain health conditions.
It's always best to talk to your veterinarian so they can inform you when the best time is to have your kitten spayed/ neutered.
When is it too late to spay or neuter a cat?
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.
The Benefits of Getting Your Female Cat Spayed
One female cat and her offspring can produce approximately 420,000 kittens in as little as seven years. Having your female cat fixed can help significantly reduce the number of unwanted kittens in your community.
Looking past the prevention of unwanted kittens, having your female cat spayed has a handful of health benefits. For example, there's less risk of your cat developing malignant mammary tumors later in life if she is spayed before her first heat cycle.
Spaying can also help keep your cat from developing an infection of the uterus, and developing 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
Some health benefits of having your male cat neutered include a reduced risk of your cat developing prostate or testicular cancer.
Male cats that are neutered often show less inclination to fight with other male cats, helping to reduce the risk of serious injuries caused by fighting.
Neutering your male cat may also reduce his desire to roam in search of females. Less desire to roam contributes to a lower risk of injury from traffic accidents as they travel long distances.
Having your male cat fixed may also help to prevent him from spraying around your home and property to mark his territory, and will prevent your cat from fathering countless kittens.
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.