By having your cat spayed or neutered, you're preventing more than just the birth of unwanted kittens. You'll also be protecting them from a range of serious health conditions. Here, our Los Angeles veterinary team discusses the benefits of having your kitten spayed or neutered, and the best age to have your four-legged friend fixed.
What are Spay and Neuter Procedures?
Many people refer to having a cat spayed or neutered as getting them 'fixed'. Neutering involves removing the testicles of male pets to sterilize them, while spaying involves removing a female pet's reproductive organs.
What is the Best Age to Spay or Neuter a Kitten?
Our Los Angeles veterinarians often field questions such as, "When is it safe to spay a kitten?" or conversely, "When is it too late to spay or neuter a cat?".
There's a lot of differing advice out there about when you should have your four-legged companion spayed or neutered. An early or pediatric spay or neuter is typically done at about six to eight weeks of age, while standard spay and neuter procedures most often happen at about five to six months of age.
It's important to note that these procedures can be conducted at any point during your cat's lifetime as long as they are healthy. Therefore, it's never too late to have your cat spayed or neutered. The procedure can even be done safely for healthy cats in their teens.
As cats are capable of reproducing as young as 4 to 6 months of age, you might want to get your kitty 'fixed' before they reach puberty or have their first heat to prevent accidental health pregnancy or certain other health conditions.
Many people ask themselves, "When is the best time to spay a kitten?" It's always best to speak with your veterinarian about when to spay or neuter a kitten so you can make an informed decision about the best time to have this procedure done for your cat.
Benefits of Having Your Female Cat Spayed
One female cat and her offspring can potentially produce a few hundred thousand kittens in as little as seven years. Having your female cat fixed can significantly contribute to lowering the number of unwanted kittens living in your community.
Looking past the prevention of unwanted kittens, having your female cat spayed can also yield a handful of health benefits. for example, there's less risk of your cat developing malignant mammary tumors later in life if she's spayed before her first heat cycle.
Spaying may also help keep your cat from developing a uterine infection, and cancers of the reproductive organs.
Having the procedure done may also help to eliminate several unwanted female cat behaviors, including increased and overly intense affection, marking territory with urine, heat-induced howling, the desire to wander and intense rubbing on objects.
Benefits of Getting 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 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.