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How Old Do Kittens Have to Be to Get Fixed?

A new kitten brings wonder and joy to any household, but there's also some responsibility involved. Getting your kitten fixed is one of the most important choices you can make. But, what is the best age to spay or neuter a kitten? Our Voorhees vets answer common questions.


What are Spay and Neuter Procedures?

When we discuss having your cat "fixed", we're referring to having your pet spayed or neutered. While male cats will have their testicles removed, female pets will be sterilized by having their reproductive organs removed. 

When is the Best Time to Spay or Neuter a Kitten? 

Pet parents often wonder when it is safe to spay or neuter a kitten. You may hear many different views on when you should have this procedure done for your feline friend.

Many vets perform early or pediatric spay or neuter procedures when a cat is between six to eight weeks of age. Standard spay and neuter procedures are generally conducted when a cat is between five and six months of age. 

When is it Too Late to 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 to late to have your cat spayed or neutered; even healthy cats in their teens can have this procedure done safely. Spaying and neutering is also an important step in responsible pet ownership.

Since kittens can begin reproducing when they are as young as four to six months old, you may want to have your kitty 'fixed' before puberty or their first heat cycle to prevent accidental pregnancy or certain health conditions. 

It's always best to consult your veterinarian so they can recommend the best time to have your kitten spayed or neutered, taking into account your pet's breed, health, and individual circumstances. Regardless of the age at which the procedure is performed, spaying or neutering plays an important role in ensuring the long-term health, well-being, and overall happiness of your four-legged friend.  

The Benefits of Getting Your Female Cat Spayed 

It's estimated that in as little as seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce about 420,000 kittens. Having your female cat fixed can significantly contribute to lowering the number of unwanted kittens living in your community. 

In addition to preventing unwanted kittens, having your female cat spayed offers numerous health benefits. For example, if your cat is spayed before her first heat cycle, she is less likely to develop malignant mammary tumors as she gets older. 

Spaying may also help to eliminate several unwanted behaviors in female cats, such as heat-induced howling, increased and overly intense affection, marking territory with urine, intense rubbing on objects, 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.

Surgical Considerations Regarding When to Spay or Neuter a Kitten

The optimal age for spaying or neutering kittens may vary depending on factors such as breed, size, and overall health. Many veterinarians recommend early-age spaying and neutering, which can be performed as young as eight weeks old. Prior to the surgery, your veterinarian will evaluate the kitten's overall health and provide guidance on the appropriate timing. It is important to discuss this decision with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your specific kitten.

Post-Operative Care After Your Kitten Has Been Fixed

Recovery from these procedures is typically a quick and easy process.

After the surgery, your kitten will require some minor post-operative care to help speed the healing process and reduce the risk of infection. Your kitten's post-operative care should include limiting physical activity, monitoring the surgical site for any signs of infection or complications, and providing a calm and comfortable environment for recovery. Your veterinarian will provide detailed care instructions to help ensure a smooth healing process. Be sure to follow your vet's instructions carefully and contact your vet's office right away if you have any concerns about the health of your kitten, or their recovery process.

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.

Do you have questions about when to have your kitten spayed or neutered? Contact our vets at Voorhees Veterinary Center to book an exam for your kitty and discuss when to have the procedure done.

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Voorhees Veterinary Center is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of New Jersey's companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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