While there might be some differing opinions about the proper age to spay or neuter your cat, there’s no disputing that it’s one of the most responsible things a pet owner can do, not only for the life of a pet, but also to reduce pet overpopulation. When it comes to neutering, it’s not a question about how old the dog is, but how healthy it is. It's never too late to neuter your cat. As long as you choose the right time to neuter your dog, the benefits outweigh the risk. Spay & Neuter Myths and Truths. When is the best time to neuter a cat? The only problem you might have with a 2 year old dog is if you've had the dog for 2 years and not trained as you basically trained it to not listen to you. Myth: My dog or cat is too old to be spayed or neutered. Those are the benefits if you decide to neuter your dog. It doesn't appear cats are the same. Most shelter vets agree that animals can be neutered between the ages of 6 to 8 weeks, or when the kitten reaches 2 pounds. You can see that the impact is wide. We are a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. Please leave me a comment below, I'd love to know when you think the best age to neuter a cat is. The age of sexual maturity though can be as young as 4 months of age. A cat can be neutered at any age; most recommend 6 months and up, but it’s been done earlier. So the question as to whether it is too late to neuter your cat remains. No, it is not too late to neuter him. Some time ago, it was usually advised to neuter male cats once they reached 9 months of age. This leads to increased fighting over resources, be that land, food or mates. Male cats, when neutered, are less likely to mark their territory or exhibit aggression towards other cats. It’s never too late to have an older dog spayed or neutered. Spaying both of males and females were an act of population control for cats and dogs. While the traditional age for spaying is six to nine months, dogs as … Most people think twice about neutering an older dog. The same is true of cats. The senior dogs run more risks for complications which is why some people say there is an age limit on it. However, experts are of the agreement that, as long as the individual is healthy and has shown no signs of illness, older dogs can still be safely neutered and still enjoy the benefits of the operation. When Is It Too Late to Neuter a Dog? This has led to high population numbers, too many for the resources available to us. All too often, these pregnant females are kittens themselves. However, you should also make sure you neuter your Maine Coon before it begins to go through puberty. Regardless of a female dog’s age, what matters most is that your pet gains the benefits of spaying. I want to have him neutered but am worried that he is too old and that the anethesia will be dangerous. If you get your kitten spayed or neutered when it is too young, it can negatively affect the cat. Is it better to castrate or spay a cat? I think it is more humane to surgically eliminate the desire to mate than to block mating but leave the urge intact.”, Of course no medical or surgical procedure is without risk, she adds. Entire cats are very territorial and will mark everywhere. Is there a point where a cat is too old to be spayed or neutered? Some female cats begin their cycles as early as 4 months of age, so keep young females indoors until the surgery is attended to. “The concerns over early spay/neuter are mostly due to the prevailing opinion that new owners may not do the procedure, and the pet is free to breed. Dogs and cats over 7 years of age are required to have pre-surgical blood work performed in order to check liver and kidney function prior to … Because neutering reduces the testosterone levels of a cat, a male British Shorthair cat will not grow to his full potential if neutered too early. What Age Should You Spay or Neuter Your Cat? The neuter surgery is routine, quick and uncomplicated. Even senior dogs will benefit from neutering as long as the vet gives it a clean bill of health. Most veterinarians recommend that the surgery be performed when your cat is about 5-6 months old, but it's never too late to neuter your cat if he or she is healthy. Have him done the sooner the better. “They live in our world, our homes and interact with our family and other pets. Only a professional licensed vet can determine the right time for neutering by running necessary tests. This can be very noisy and disrupting and if you don't know what to expect it often causes a lot of emergency calls to the vet with people worried their pet is in a lot of pain. Even if you get an adult cat from an animal shelter, s/he can still be neutered … But nowadays the tendency is to do it after only 4 or 5 months. The first season usually occurs around six months but can be earlier. I know how hard it can be as we often end up re-homing stray kittens at the vet clinic and it can sometimes take a really long time to find them homes even when they are incredibly cute and well behaved. According to Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary advisor with petMD, spaying a female cat before her first heat cycle “virtually eliminates” the risk of mammary (breast) cancer. Personally I like to see a tom’s urogenital tract mature first, but that could be an old concern when cat food was formulated differently. Keep reading to find out! However, experts are of the agreement that, as long as the individual is healthy and has shown no signs of illness, older dogs can still be safely neutered and still enjoy the benefits of the operation. Neuter your male cat … Now you might think that if your cat had kittens you would easily be able to find homes for them. Other health-related issues related to spaying include negating the possibility of the complications that can occur with pregnancy and birthing. Reduced risk of FIV + FeLV. In general, yes, although there are no guarantees as to how much your male cat’s personality will change. Or when is it too late to neuter … More Articles Can Neutering Cats Cut Down on Urine Odor? Well again, no. Don’t worry; we have all the answers for you. My rescue was almost 2 … In fact, there is no upper age limit for neutering cats. There may be other health considerations to consider before deciding on the best course of action in your particular cat and with any surgical procedure surgeon experience is a major consideration. I have rescued two adult male cats in the past that I estimated could have been as young as 3 years old and maybe as old as 5. Whether the cat is male or female there are health benefits to your pet, as well as fewer unwanted litters. What's not so clear is when to neuter. More importantly, why should you consider having the procedure done at all? Is there a time period that the surgery can be completed in order for it to be safe and effective? In Randolph County, N.C., a study of more than 100 feral cats over 11 colonies showed that among the cats that were neutered and returned, one … A cat can be neutered at any age over 6 mths. But what are the potential cat neutering side effects of being spayed or castrated? As long as your pet is healthy, there is no age limit for spaying your dog. When should you neuter a cat, getting your cat spayed or castrated? The additional offspring contributes to the overpopulation of cats in the wild, as well as the burden of euthanizing unwanted and ill cats at shelters.”. You cannot neuter a cat before it reaches at least four months of age, because it will be too small to undergo anesthesia. The traditional age for a cat spay or castration is 5-6 months. But your dog is definitely not too old to fix. How young is too young? Spayed female cats also cannot develop ovarian and uterine cancers or a potentially fatal uterine infection called a pyometra, Coates adds. Elimination of pyometra risk. If you can reduce fighting you can reduce the risk of catching these diseases. PLEASE SOMEONE ANSWER ME AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. The veterinary community now widely accepts “early neuter” to mean “pediatric neuter.” This implies having the surgery at 6 to 8 weeks of age, with the animal weighing at least 2 pounds 1. In a new campaign designed to promote neutering, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary advocates kittens be neutered … Veterinarians actually recommend waiting until your Labrador is at least 2 … “Of course, getting spayed means no more mate-seeking behaviors or energy expended into rearing kittens,” Brömme explains. So that's 40% of all the kittens in shelters coming from the unintentional breeding of pet cats whose owners could not find them new homes. I had both of them neutered and both did just fine. We all know that too much food and too little exercise encourages weight gain in humans. When Is It too Late to Neuter A Dog? Never. So, if you have an older dog because you did not get the dog when it is a puppy, you can still neuter the dog. It is important to neuter a female cat before she can have kittens herself. The risk of neutering your Maine Coon too late is that you may find yourself with a difficult pet, having he or she developed behaviors that are annoying to the owner, but also useless and pointless for a neutered cat. Next let's consider urinary tract disease and again there doesn't appear to be any association, certainly in male cats castrated early or later. Can you please tell me if it is safe at … read more Spaying or neutering your cat is something any good owner should do as a matter of course. ASPCA statistics place the U.S. pet cat population at anywhere between 74 and 96 million – and there may be as many as 70 million strays fending for themselves. Pediatric spaying and neutering is widely accepted. How Old Is Too Old? Sometimes they don't stop, especially if they've been spraying for a long time (which your cat hasn't) but they do usually spray less and often stop altogether. Unfortunately, the ASPCA also estimates that 41 percent of cats who enter shelters (most of who come in as strays) cannot find a home and end up being euthanized. No matter what the age, with caution and preparation, even cats in their late teens can successfully be altered. Whatever the age of your cat when they’re spayed or neutered, there are definite health benefits for cats of either sex to have the procedure. Well, early age neutering is endorsed by many international organizations, including the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, and Australia’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. A male British Shorthair cat will not develop the lovely jowls so associated with the breed if he is neutered too early. It can be anytime after they reach six months old. Reduced roaming and so getting lost or injured on the road. There can be additional risks to be aware of for senior pets depending upon their health, so speak with your veterinarian about your pet’s health risks vs the benefits of spaying or neutering. It should also be noted that large breeds are typically more at risk of orthopedic diseases. Even in that case it's not too late. It is traditionally recommended that pet, male cats be neutered at approximately 6 months of age, as they reach sexual maturity and the risk of anesthesia is minimized due to adequate maturity. I would try doing some research and then bringing that in for the vet to examine, and argue your case. Lets look at orthopedic or skeletal issues next. Elimination of calling when a female is looking for a mate. In one study those neutered earlier had increased hiding behavior but this wasn't found in a separate study and in both there was no difference in spraying, fearful behavior or aggression. the costs associated with spaying or neutering your cat here. When Is It Too Late to Neuter a Dog? Behaviorally, cats are less likely to mark inappropriately in the house, less likely to roam outside, and less likely to engage in fighting with other cats. It also aids in reducing the number of unwanted and/or homeless animals, especially if you have an outdoor cat. A: Yes, as long as they are at least eight weeks of age and weighs at least two pounds. By neutering them too early, you can be jeopardizing their health further. The same is true of cats. There is no increase in risk at this age, they may actually experience fewer complications, and your cat will be guaranteed not to contribute to the global population of unwanted kittens. Myth: My pregnant animal can not be safely spayed. The big benefits to your cat (and us as their owners) are many: Reduction in fighting. The further they go the higher the risk of having an accident becomes. Did you know that over half of cats admitted to animal shelters are kittens. Earlier neutering procedures not only reduce the risk that a female cat becomes pregnant before the surgery, but there is no evidence that such procedures have a negative impact on your cat's later development. But at what age is it appropriate to spay or neuter a cat? That's when a bit of a kerfuffle develops. This can be done using both urine and their sperm. So we tried to make her comfortable outside, providing a cat house, leaving the shed open, encouraging feeding on the porch, etc. 4–6 is the easiest age to teach them not to do things. Too late for spaying. for a start they very seldom develop cruciate ligament rupture and if they do it is generally because of a traumatic event. It will have a strong smell and is full of pheromones. The same is true of cats. “Anyone who as ever tried living with an intact male cat will tell you that the vocalizations, escape attempts, roaming, fighting and urine spraying associated with normal tom cat behavior can get old really quick,” she says. There can be additional risks to be aware of for senior pets depending upon their health, so speak with your veterinarian about … However, it … My cat cloudy is 4 years old and has not been neutered. A female cat in heat is a disaster in your house. Its proven that you will live up to 3 years longer if you have a pet (dog, cat) to love. It’s never too late to have an older dog spayed or neutered. What differences exist between operating on males or females? And does the age at which this takes place make any difference? “Every study has shown spaying/neutering to be beneficial in regards to behavior and preventing disease. There is a risk with every anesthetic and surgical procedure but in reality this risk is very low at around 0.1% and the age at which a cat is neutered doesn't seem to affect this risk. Most vets will not attempt to neuter a kitten less than 2 pounds. In most every instance, the veterinarian will require blood work before doing surgery on a mature cat. Cats are very territorial, even more so when sexually intact. These are viral diseases that have no treatment and result in the early death of cats. Spaying or neutering your pet is one of the cornerstones of pet ownership in the United States. It does seem that the growth plates stay open for longer in cats that are neutered but there is no evidence that this causes any health problems. It helps with the pet overpopulation problem and promotes good kitty health. Pyometra is a life threatening infection of the uterus. Reasons for neutering female cats. Urine Spraying Habits Truth: In most cases, spaying and neutering is safe and healthy for pets of all ages. It is almost never too late to spay/neuter an animal. What do you know about neutering cats? Some female cats begin their cycles as early as 4 months of age, so keep young females indoors until the surgery is attended to. Perhaps the only one being the risk of the surgery itself. As to the spraying, he will probably stop. It is healthier for a cat to do most of his growing before his hormones are interrupted by neutering. If you find yourself with a new kitten in your household, spaying or neutering is something you’ll need to be thinking about soon. Constantly looking over your shoulder for competitors or feeling you need to be continually marking your territory is a stressful business. It is not only about a dog anymore because a neuter dog stops the production of unwanted puppies. Learn more about the costs associated with spaying or neutering your cat here. Hi, my male cat is one year old, he's unneutered (i was too afraid to neuter him) and now he won't stop meowing ALL night, none of my family gets enough sleep, and he seems very unhappy and he gets too tired of all this meowing and howling, he even eats less. Starting with anesthetic death, in several studies there is no difference in death rate with those undergoing this procedure from as early as 7 weeks to the those cats being anesthetized as adults. Much will depend on whether there is an un-spayed female cat at home. Are there any cat neutering side-effects with early neutering or is early age desexing the best thing you could do for your cat? Once they start, such changes could be irreversible, and neutering your cat, later on, won’t stop them. He has formed it as a habit to spray around the house and proclaim his masculinity. If your adult cat is on the older side (for most veterinarians, over the age of 5), a thyroid gland check may be recommended or required as well. Queens can have up to three litters in a year. This is fine if it actually gets done then and your cat stays indoors until that point. The main reason is that you neutered him too late. Owners should always talk to their own veterinarian about what is best for their particular pet, but the benefits of spay/neuter almost always outweigh the risks.”, It is our responsibility to take care of our pets to the best of our ability, Denish says. Spaying your kitty now will reduce her chances of cancer, pyometra (infection … Neutering depends on so many factors like breed, lifestyle, environment, size, health, etc. So its never to old. There is no limitation of when is it too late to neuter a dog. The also rarely suffer from dysplasia, or abnormal development of their joints. He hasn't been neutered and we have an appointment this week for him to have the snip. The pets are a good size, the owners have already trained and accepted them, and the anesthesia and surgery are usually safe,” says Dr. Denish. If you’re here, then you’re probably confused about when to neuter your Labrador. So the question as to whether it is too late to neuter your cat remains. When Is It Too Late to Neuter a Dog? Obviously, we have to put a stop to that. Cancer It is not too late to spay a cat who is 5 years old, in fact it is highly recommended. There is debate among veterinarians about the time to spay/neuter your cat, says Dr. Adam Denish of Rhawnhurst Animal Hospital in Elkins Park, PA. Animal rescue organizations agree that neuter is cuter. A male British Shorthair cat will not develop the lovely jowls so associated with the breed if he is neutered too early. We had hoped she'd pick a … We have recently adopted a rescue cat who is about a year old. Truth: Many dogs and cats are spayed while pregnant to prevent the birth of puppies or kittens. If neutering is done too early or too late, the risks get higher and the benefits lower. So, reducing the urge to mate (as well as the urge to fight about it) also reduces the likelihood that your cat will contract one of these oftentimes fatal infections. They are often spread by fighting and the local risk varies by region. However, if you spay or neuter your kitten too late, you can miss out on some of … your cat will be a lot more relaxed if you eliminate these behaviors. We prefer 3 to 4 months old for dogs and cats: the procedure is minimally invasive at this age and patients make a quick recovery. Too often, we view spaying and neutering through our own eyes, and how it might affect us, and assume that our pets would look at it the same way. It was apparent from the discussion that, while early neutering may be appropriate for animals in rescue shelters, in certain cases there are good reasons for it to be delayed. If you decide to adopt a kitten, you will need to decide when to spay or neuter it. The decision on when to neuter your dog depends on their sex and breed. There's really no downside to neutering early. The only thing that has not been mentioned is the fact that the cat when sterilized will never fully mature - most likely he will remain a kitten for the reat of his life in terms of his behaviour. Well, I think it should definitely be done by 6 months of age and if your vet prefers to carry out the operation when your cat is 3 or 4 months old then that is absolutely fine. With a Maine Coon, neutering is best done when the cat is anywhere between four and six months old. I hope this clears up the best age to neuter your cat or eases any concerns you might have had. Why then not neuter your cat earlier? For the female cat, most veterinarians will place an IV catheter into the front paw the morning of surgery. Finally, does early age desexing affect a cats behavior. “For instance, neutered male cats are at higher risk for developing urinary blockages, and cats who have been spayed or neutered do have a tendency to gain weight if their diets aren’t adjusted accordingly. It is best for dogs and cats to be spayed/neutered before puberty which can be as early as 5 months old. The other big benefit is a reduction in the number of kittens looking for new homes. It is fairly common for a cat to have its first estrus (heat) between four and six months of age, and to give birth as early as at six or seven months. Looking for a mate can take your cat a long way from home. Never too late to neuter cat Dr. William K. Fauks; Apr 16, 2007; Q: Our 2-year-old male cat has an appointment with the vet next week to be neutered. Male cats should be neutered at six months which is usually the time when they become sexually active, however, they can be neutered at any age thereafter. When should you neuter a cat? Standard spay and neuter at five to six months. The second school of thought what age to neuter a cat says: 2. or to young. Not many studies have looked at this in cats and so we tend to consider it in the same way we do with dogs. There are three general options: Early or pediatric spay/neuter is done at six to eight weeks of age. Spraying is a common problem with non neutered males and it can even still happen with too late neutered males. Urine being sprayed in the house is unpleasant and scratching every surface in sight can cause a lot of damage. The age of sexual maturity though can be as young as 4 months of age. Neutering can be performed at an earlier age, and this is becoming more common as anesthesia procedures and techniques improve. Ideally to reduce the euthanasia of healthy but unwanted kittens though we would be going a step further and castrating or spaying all cats before about 16 weeks of age, that is before they become sexually mature. The honest answer is no. This is one of the main reasons why it is recommended that you wait for 12 to 18 months before you neuter a large breed dog. Standard spay and neuter at five to six months. Medically, they are less likely to get certain cancers and infections,” adds Denish. Queens with infectious diseases may pass these on to their kittens. Is It Too Late to Spay My Dog? The case for the early neutering of cats and dogs was discussed during a ‘debates and controversies’ session at the WSAVA/FECAVA/BSAVA congress. That’s saving you about $400 right there. They cry loudly and roll around on the ground looking very distressed. However, experts are of the agreement that, as long as the individual is healthy and has shown no signs of illness, older dogs can still be safely neutered and still enjoy the benefits of the operation. Frustration in the cat: since we don't want the cat to become pregnant, we will have Most people think twice about neutering an older dog. Older cats and those that are fat are a higher risk with castrated males living longer and tending to be more overweight (learn about obesity dangers here), but age at castration doesn't appear to play a role. Some female cats begin their cycles as early as 4 months of age, so keep young females indoors until the surgery is attended to. It is not too late to spay a cat who is 5 years old, in fact it is highly recommended. → Much depends on the age the cat is neutered and on the individual cat’s circumstances. Reduced spraying and marking behavior. Breeders, shelters and rescue groups team up with vets and their staff to stem the tide of cat overpopulation – but it’s bound to be a continuing battle for the foreseeable future. But it’s never too late. Usually, there is no limitation of when is it too late to neuter a dog. That is a huge proportion. That means that if spaying/neutering is beneficial, it should be done at any safe time.”. It will eventually stop. It is never too late to neuter dogs. Also, the earlier you neuter, the less likely the cat is to develop reproductive cancers later in life. In fact, those cats neutered earlier actually seem to develop fewer minor surgical complications. Unfortunately it is not always this simple. Something else that has been put forward is the fact that neutered animals may be more likely to suffer from broken bones. Pediatric Neuter in Cats. As Coates puts it, “physiologically and behaviorally speaking, cats are made to reproduce as frequently as possible. If you’ve landed on this page, you have some questions about neutering your cat. The first heat cycle in a female cat can be at or before 4 months and does not occur at an exact age in any animal. When Is It Too Late to Spay or Neuter My Dog or Cat? Should you neuter your lab right away or at a certain age? Spaying and neutering your cat is a very important part of pet ownership as it can have direct health benefits. Fletcher is actually old enough to be safely neutered right now, as a matter of fact. Finally, waiting until after the first heat, somewhere between eight to twelve months of age, he says. There are three general options: Early or pediatric spay/neuter is done at six to eight weeks of age. She says that this condition is especially serious in cats since “feline mammary cancers tend to be very aggressive in comparison to other species.”. The result is a higher number of unwanted cats and increased strain on shelter systems. 3. Cats can be neutered at only a few months old, although you can put the operation off until about 5 or 6 months of age without problems. No matter how old the dog is, neuter him or she is going to give a more positive outcome. The bottom line is that it appears there are many benefits to being spayed or castrated but very few downsides of being neutered. Doing some research and then bringing that in for the early neutering or is early age the... 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