While the main reason for having your cat spayed or neutered is to prevent them from having kittens, did you know that it can also help protect your cat from a variety of serious conditions? Today, our Benton vets discuss how old your kitten should be in order to get fixed and what the benefits of this surgery are for your cat.
Getting Your Kitten Fixed: Spay & Neuter Surgery
Getting your cat 'fixed' is a generic term for having your pet spayed or neutered. Neutering is the sterilization of male kittens and cats by removing the testes, and spaying is the sterilization of female pets by removing their reproductive organs.
How Old Should Your Kitten Be To Get Fixed?
While there is no clear set age for you to have your kitten fixed, most vets agree on a range of how old your kitten should be to get fixed. 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.
That said, there is no age limit to spaying or neutering your cat as long as they are in good health. Therefore, it is never too late to get your cat fixed, even healthy cats in their teens can safely have this procedure done.
It's important to note that kittens can start reproducing when they are as young as 4 to 6 months old! So it can be a good idea to have your kitty 'fixed' before they reach puberty, or begin their first heat cycle. Spaying and neutering, while your cat is young, can help to prevent accidental pregnancy, lower the risk of certain health conditions, and may help to prevent your cat from establishing some undesirable behaviors.
Your vet will be able to determine what age is best for your cat based on their health and unique needs.
What Are Some Benefits of Having Your Female Cat Spayed?
It's estimated that in as little as seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce approximately 420,000 kittens. This makes it incredibly important to do your part to avoid this outcome by having your female cat spayed.
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 Some 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 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.