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Best age to Spay?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, I was just looking for some input for the best age to have my female kitten spayed. A friend told me they'll do it as young as eight weeks now (!), but I always waited until at least 5-6 months with my other cats. What is the best time, in your opinnion?
post #2 of 26
eight weeks.......um thats very, very young.......and I wonder if it is true really
Normally it has been 6 mths, but it is coming down, each vet offers different ages, a major factor is the cats weight, as this can effect how a cat handles the drugs.
Check with your own vet - but as soon as you see signs of 'mating' behaviour then its time to get kitty off to the vets if it is before 6mths.
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I was a doofus and didn't think to ask when I had her in there last week. I'll call them and ask, I was just looking for some input, as I didn't realise the age was going down like that!
post #4 of 26
the last time i had one spayed, that vet wouldn't do it before 4 months. but that was over 2 years ago, so things might be different, now.
post #5 of 26
I was surprised about the age going down too...But my husband traps the cats that live in his warehouse and takes them to be spayed/neutered and they take them SO young now it's crazy. I have to take my kitten to be spayed too I was thinking 5 months myself, because I waited so long with my Bella because I didn't have the heart to do it, and she went into heat poor baby
post #6 of 26
Gosh, it's been a long time since I've had a kitty that young. Most of my girls came to me already spayed so I can't say exactly what age it was done. The breeders that I got my Maine Coon from spayed her at around 5 months. I'm thinking around 4-5 months is about right (??) but as mooficat said, it also depends on their weight/general health. When my boy Dylan was neutered, my vet wanted to wait until he was at least 5 lbs (which put him at--or close to--5 months old anyway).

I'm not positive about this, either, but it seems I've heard it is better to spay before the first heat cycle (which I believe may happen around 6 mths of age?).

This is an educated guess on my part, but double check with your vet to see what their preferences are for spay/neuter surgeries.

Congrats on the kitten!
post #7 of 26
Lemme see if I can make sense!

A female can go into heat as young as 4 months. Many vets wait until 6 months, when really, there is no logical reasoning behind that.

2 months 2 lbs. is what I've been told. There are some arguments about the lack of hormones, etc. I honestly think you're better off spaying @ 2 months because there is no way of an "accidental" pregnancy!
post #8 of 26
Our local shelters also spay/neuter befroe kittens are adopted out. Also, some breeders also spay/neuter before the kitten goes to its new home - and this would be 12 weeks?
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by alice_curiouser View Post
Hi guys, I was just looking for some input for the best age to have my female kitten spayed. A friend told me they'll do it as young as eight weeks now (!), but I always waited until at least 5-6 months with my other cats. What is the best time, in your opinnion?
I have an even better suggestion. After the kitten vaccinations are done. You have taken your kitten for them already haven't you?

Providing that you have, I'd say at around 3-4 lbs.
post #10 of 26
I am with Whitecatlover.

The 'newer' schools of thought -- spay as early as 2 months/2 lbs of body weight.

There are many benefits to early spay, including never risking that first estrus cycle. Younger kittens/puppies have less subcutaneous layers and less vascular issues. Younger kits/pups heal faster with less complications.

The goal of course is to decrease the already staggering litter populations, and I believe this has had a great inpact. Some breeds have early estrus from a genetic standpoint ( I believe Siamese? among others) and some just can have random early estrus.

All of my cats have had an early spay/neuter (between 2-4 months). I also worked with a mobile spay and neuter organization -- we managed to spay and neuter up to 30 animals, pets/ferals alike, per day. In my 2 yrs there I saw no complications (unless an existing condition existed, though basic vitals are taken), other than minor infections that are no more common in any procedure at any age.

Obviously with females this is more of a concern because the procedure is more invasive, but overall this has been a positive trend. Controversy still exists among practitioners but studies have shown little to no adverse , documented effects from early spay/neuter.

http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer...arlyspayneuter

http://www.geocities.com/pndtpa/spay/earlyspay.htm

http://cats.about.com/cs/spayneuter/a/earlyneuter_2.htm

There are many vets who still prefer the 6month rule...and there is nothing wrong with that. You and your vet can discuss. If your female is an outdoor cat or has access to a male...I would def go for early spay. Otherwise it's your safety zone and your vet's.
post #11 of 26
please do not wait until a kitty is 6 months old to spay- by then they can already get preggers and have kittens! at the shelter i work at we spay at 2lbs. We always have great success with our pediatric spays and all of the kitties seem to recover well at that age as well. A kitten can be spayed as young as 8-12 weeks of age so long as they weigh at least two pounds. Any lighter and their reproductive tissues are very thin- like rice paper, so it's more difficult. That being said though- i have seen kittens as small as 1-1.5 lbs spayed in a rare emergency and they recovered just fine! When we put a kitten under anestesia that young, we give them an injection after their surgery to help them wake up quicker. Kitties (no matter what the age) tend to take a while to wake up from anestesia- so when they're that small, we just help things along by giving them a small injection to wake them up quicker. Never had any problems from it! Also- when you have your kitty spayed- be sure that they tattoo the spay site so that if she ever gets loose...a shelter or vets office can shave her tummy to check for a spay scare and KNOW she's been done. Sometimes spay scares are very hard to see- especially if the vets done a tiny incision (such as in a pediactric spay) and it is not tattooed. All the tattooing involves - is after the kitten has been stitched up, they will take a tiny needle with tattoo dye in it and put the dye into the incision site. (kitty won't feel it as it will be under anestesia.) At my shelter we use teal green, at the other local shelter blue and so on -so that if an animal turns up in our shelter, we know what shelter they were altared at and can often locate the owner/files Many vets offices now offer this as well as do low cost spay/neuter clinics. If you want to have your kitty microchipped- go ahead and have them do all vaccinations and microchipping while the kitty is under anestesia to not stress the kitty out since it will be asleep. Be sure to keep the kitty in a nice warm quiet place for about a week after you bring it home until it has its stitches out to reduce the chances of it moving around too much and tearing the stitches out. Also - when we spay younger kittens -we opt to use regular stitches, not disolveable ones - because on occassion we like to keep them in a few days longer depending on how the kitty is healing- with disolveable ones you really can't say. So regular stitches should be just fine- they will need to come out in 7-10 days. (takes about two seconds to take them out, i do it all day long at work, and it doesn't hurt them at all So definitely go ahead and get your kitty spayed- it is more than old enough!
post #12 of 26
I just had a litter of 5 foster kittens done at 8 weeks. But, in foster care there is a small window of time that kittens are still cute and adoptable, so the best bet is to get they fixed and adopted. I don't think its neccesary to do it quite that young if the cat already has a home, but I would wait no longer than 4 months, 3 would probably be ideal.
post #13 of 26
I had my girls spayed at 4 months. Mooch actually went into heat the weekend before her spay date! Before then we've waited till 6 months. My Pumpkin wasn't neutered till he was almost a year because it took him so long to get over a URI.
post #14 of 26
My opinion is the sooner the better.

5 of my cats were done at 12 weeks and my newest boy was done by the breeder at 10 weeks.

They recover so much faster when they are younger too.

In regards to StarryEyed and tattoos, over here they tattoo inside the ear a 0 with a line through to indicate desexing. There is also an 'M' tattoo for microchip.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
My opinion is the sooner the better.

5 of my cats were done at 12 weeks and my newest boy was done by the breeder at 10 weeks.

They recover so much faster when they are younger too.

In regards to StarryEyed and tattoos, over here they tattoo inside the ear a 0 with a line through to indicate desexing. There is also an 'M' tattoo for microchip.
I agree. I dropped my 5 fosters off on a Thursday, they were all altered Friday morning and I picked them up Friday afternoon. You would have never known by their actions that theyhad just had surgery. They were running around and wrestling 5 minutes after I let them out of the carrier. I definitely think surgery is best done young. Although I might have waited a few more weeks if that was possible, they just seemed so tiny, but in the end they did fine.
post #16 of 26
I used to go with spay/neuter around 6 months for both. Because at the time, early spay/neuter did have some problems. But now since males and females can breed at 4 months old, its better to have it done as early as possible before they wind up pregnant at 5-6 months old.

Charlie was done at 3 months old. Ling was done about 5 1/2 - 6 months only cause she came into heat at 5 months old and we had to wait a few more weeks.
post #17 of 26
2lbs and 2 months ... though many vets wont till 4-6 months since they either arent comfortable doing the procedure or they are old school vet s not keeping up with new ideas
post #18 of 26
I've had Blossom since 3 weeks old & vet said 20 weeks, she was done at 5 months. In Oz breeders do kittens at 10 weeks before they go to new homes at 12 weeks. Shelters do them earlier.
post #19 of 26
wow, its fascinating reading all these post and finding out the latest practices & procedures for spaying.
I totally agree about the population issue. I suppose the more cats they do at a younger age and as time goes by they will have more and more research / statistics to prove that it is not harmful etc
post #20 of 26
Lots of vets still won't do it before 5/6 months. My vet here said it was more important to wait till a month after the second vaccinations. Poor little Biscotte went into heat as a result. She was finally done last week at around 7 months.
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for all the input! Fergie is indoors-only, and the only male cat here is already neutered, so I'm not worried about her getting pregnant... but all the same, I'd rather do it before her first heat cycle. I'll call my vet and see what he recommends, and maybe shoot for the middle ground of 3-4 months if it's okay with him. She isn't much over two pounds, if that - only 1.7 at her last visit.
post #22 of 26
Our vet actually does it by weight - as soon as a cat weighs 2kg, then they can be neutered. SOmething to do with the body being better able to cope with the shock. Usually that's about 5 months....
post #23 of 26
The best time to spay a female is before her first heat and as cats can come into heat from around 4 months that means no later than 4 months unless you have a vet won't do it until later. If your vet will spay them younger than that then I'd go for that. So between 2 and 4 months imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alice_curiouser View Post
Fergie is indoors-only, and the only male cat here is already neutered, so I'm not worried about her getting pregnant...
The number of times I've heard that...! And the cat has ended up pregnant! Be extra vigilent until she's spayed as a cat in heat will try very hard to get out.
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
The number of times I've heard that...! And the cat has ended up pregnant! Be extra vigilent until she's spayed as a cat in heat will try very hard to get out.
In 20+ years having my own cats, I've never let one get pregnant yet... and I have no plans to start with this one, thanks.
post #25 of 26
We usually recommend waiting until all the vaccines are given, and then do the Rabies vacc at the time of the spay, so around 18-20 weeks. However, if the owner isn't comfortable with waiting that long, we will do it a little sooner.

We also do many pediatric spays/neuters for a local rescue group, and as soon as the kittens are 1.5 pounds they want the surgery done, that way they can adopt them out sooner. For pediatric surgeries, the anesthetist (me) and the person monitoring all the vitals (me) has to be aware of necessary precautions that are required. Plus, it is extremely important to have these little guys/girls intubated, which many practices don't bother with. I don't leave the option, I intubate all kittens, even the 2 minute neuters.
post #26 of 26
My vet does the early spay/neuter (2 lbs). In cats, mammary cancer is the third most common cancer. Waiting until 6 months increases the risk.
Early spay is the single most significant protective factor. Spaying before age 6 months results in a 91% reduction in risk for mammary cancer.

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=2445
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