Getting your kitten fixed before they reach reproductive age can help to curb undesirable behaviors, protect your cat against a number of serious conditions, and prevent the birth of unwanted kittens. Below, our Tucson vets discuss the best age to have your kitten fixed and the benefits of having your cat spayed or neutered.
Should my kitten be spayed or neutered?
When we discuss having your cat 'fixed' we are using a more generic term for having your pet spayed or neutered. Neutering is the surgical sterilization of male pets by removing the testes, and spaying is the surgical sterilization of female pets by removing their reproductive organs.
How old do kittens have to be to get fixed?
There are many different opinions about when you should have your kitty spayed or neutered. Early or pediatric spay/neuter is generally done at approximately six to eight weeks of age, whereas standard spay and neuter procedures are most often conducted at about five to six months of age. Although, these surgeries 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.
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.
What are the benefits of getting a female kitten fixed?
It's estimated that in as little as seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce approximately 420,000 kittens!
Having your female cat fixed can make a big contribution in lowering the number of unwanted kittens living 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.
What are the benefits of getting a male kitten fixed?
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 could also lower your kitty's desire to roam in search of females. Less desire to roam helps to reduce the risk of injury caused by 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.