Spaying and neutering is a very common procedure and a responsible thing to do as a cat parent. However, you may not know when or why to do this. We’ve outlined everything you need to know about spaying and neutering your cat!
There are several reasons why pet parents may choose not spay or neuter their cat, including:
- Lack of understanding as to what spaying or neutering your cat means
- Inability to afford the procedure
- Concerns about anesthesia/surgery
Spaying or neutering is the act of surgically removing your cat’s reproductive organs. This is a safe, quick, and typically low-risk surgery done at your regular vet clinic with a fast recovery time, especially for males. There are many resources available for owners who may need financial assistance, such as low-cost clinics, so be sure to research what help is available in your local community.
When to Spay or Neuter Your Cat
Kittens can be spayed or neutered when they reach 2 months and 2 pounds, but it’s standard to spay or neuter when a kitten is closer to 5-6 months old. Female cats can have a litter of kittens as young at just 6 months, so it’s important to schedule your kitten to be spayed sooner rather than later, preferably before their first heat cycle. Always consult with your veterinarian to determine what age is appropriate to spay or neuter your cat based on their individual needs.
If you have an adult or senior cat that is still intact, it’s never too late to decide to spay or neuter. Just ensure that your cat has no underlying health issues or medical conditions that may cause complications when undergoing anesthesia for the procedure.
Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Cat
- Significantly reduced risk of mammary cancer in females
- Prevents future health complications like pyometra – a potentially fatal uterine infection in female cats
- Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer in males
- Prevents heat cycles (menstruation) in females
- Prevents unwanted behaviors in male cats such as howling, aggression, escape attempts, and urine marking/spraying inside the home
- Reduced chance of your cat contracting a disease like FIV or FeLV from cat bites associated with fighting
- Helps to control animal overpopulation by eliminating accidental pregnancies/litters
Unless your cat has health issues that would make the procedure more complicated, it’s always a good choice to spay or neuter your cat. The benefits outweigh any risks and can lead to a longer, healthier life for your feline friend to spend with you!