I am someone who has had all of my pet kittens come early altered at 11 weeks to me. I have 2 beautiful 5 and 6 year old males, who have never presented with any problems, and they are not fat, but well developed, and the perfect size for thier specific breed. These vets who are not practicing early altering have not researched and got up with the times, as there have been many studies by very accredited vets who have shown time after time that early altering better benefits the kitten than it does a young adult, for many reasons.
I have also with my vet practiced early altering on my own kittens in the past 4 years, and not once have we had any issues involving the spay and neuters of kittens at 10-12 weeks of age. The kittens are now adults, who have grown to be healthy, well adjusted cats, with no indication of negative side effects from being early altered.
I am a HUGE advocate of early altering and most breeders within my specific breed, also practice pediatric spays and neuters. The benefits to the male or female feline are too great. This practice has been done for many years, and the studies are out there. More and more vets are becoming aware of the need for early altering, and all of us need to be out there educating our vets with the information out there, that vets have put it out there for.
Here is an excellent link wrote by Dr. Susan Little, who is the President of the Winn Feline Foundation, it has information to print out and show to our vets.http://www.catvet.homestead.com/EarlyAlter.html
There has been 2 major myths that I have ran into regarding early altering, one that it may stunt growth. All of the kittens that have been altered over the past 4 years, that are at least a year old, are well past 10 lbs.
Another myth is that it stunts the growth of the males urethra, again, this is not true, and none of the offspring, has had any urinary issues, whether it was a male or female.
If spaying is done before a females first heat cycle, it reduces mammary cancer by 80%. It also protects against uterine cancer or infection in females, and testicular cancer in males.
My own mentor has been practicing early altering in her cattery for over 10 years now, and is still doing so to this day.
This is my own wording about early altering from my experience. The kittens come home like nothing has happened, they are playing just like they normally would, and healing is done with Mom and littermates. Male kittens have stitches that dissolve, so once the procedure is done, there is nothing to be removed. Female kittens have a small 1 1/2 inch by 2 inch rectangle shaved and 2 sutures placed in, that need to be removed in 7-10 days, the females require only 2 sutures, as the incision done by my vet is that tiny. The adopting families bring home a kitten that has had the surgery already done, and if they get busy due to any reason, they are not going to have the worry of a female kitten going into heat before the 6 month mark, and they don't have the male kitten spraying or trying to escape the indoors to find a female to impregnante. This also makes sure that there are no accidental pregnancies, and more kittens brought into this world that were not planned. I don't see any negative side to pediatric altering.
I started work on a website to begin helping breeders and rescues find more vets that early alter, since the time I have began, we have had some illnesses, emergencies arise, and the loss of our beautiful Old English Sheepdog, Jack, who we still continue to grieve. It is still my plan and goal to get a website up that concentrates only on educational information regarding pediatric spay and neutering, as well as a nation wide list of vets who support early altering. It will not link to any breeders, it will only serve as a reference for early altering. I have received information from some already regarding their vets information that do early alter, if others have the names and cities of a vet who practices early altering, please feel free to email or PM me thier information.
I have been busier in life lately, so I do not have a date in which I will have this site finished and up, but I plan on posting the link when it is finished, and I do hope that helps many to realize the great benefits of early altering, and that it isn't something to fear.
Someone already linked to the Winn Feline Foundation website link regarding early altering, there is 2 wonderful articles written that makes for excellent reading.
Please note that my post is in respect to all, and no disrespect to those who have chosen not to participate in early altering for their kitten(s). It is only my intent to share my experience, and in hope get the word out to more, so others that do wish to practice early altering have the available options.