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Proper age to get fixed?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Here in Ecuador you can get your cat fixed at 4 or 5 months.. this seems a bit young to me, but I don't really have any experience with getting a cat fixed. Is this the normal age? My cat is an outdoor cat, so I'd prefer to get her snipped as soon as possible.

Thanks!
post #2 of 24
Yes, in the US, they do them as young as 2 months and 2 pounds. But I'm more comfortable with doing them at 3-4 months old (male and female). Charlie was done before I got him from the breeder - at about 3 or 3 1/2 months old.

Kittens as young as 4 months old can breed and get pregnant. Since she goes outside, get her done now.
post #3 of 24
I like a kitten to at least be 3lbs, that seems to be right around the age they handle things better (get over colds better than younger kittens and such).

Just so you know, after her spay you can't immediately put her back outside. She needs to be kept somewhere to heal. Depending on whether they use a glue, staples, or stitches, it may be best to wait a full two weeks before letting her outside unsupervised. If she were to have staples or stitches and be outside alone you may not notice is she starts picking at them and removes any, and you don't want her running, jumping, or climbing (big trees).

And yes - I know some of the people here release ferals that do just fine, but one member recently lost a cat because he let her out too soon after spaying.
post #4 of 24
Where I live, they wouldn't spay/neuter until the age of 6 months.
post #5 of 24
Here it depends most of the area vets will not spay/neuter until 6 months...There is one vet about 40 minutes from here that will do it starting at 8wks/2lbs whichever comes first.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulena View Post
Where I live, they wouldn't spay/neuter until the age of 6 months.
Try other vets. Shelters surely wouldn't wait that long, they don't have space or money to wait for kittens to get that old.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Try other vets. Shelters surely wouldn't wait that long, they don't have space or money to wait for kittens to get that old.
Our shelter makes you pay a spay/neuter deposit and sign an agreement to have them altered when they're old enough, then when you show proof you get your deposit back.

This is how I walked away with a pregnant cat 3 years ago, unknowingly, from our Humane Society.
post #8 of 24
^ You found one very obvious flaw with their practices. Did you contact them and ask why they adopted out a pregnant cat?

The other flaw is people could get purebreeds that way, sell them to mills or breed them, and of course who would care about the deposit then.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
^ You found one very obvious flaw with their practices. Did you contact them and ask why they adopted out a pregnant cat?

The other flaw is people could get purebreeds that way, sell them to mills or breed them, and of course who would care about the deposit then.
As a matter of fact I did contact them (the Humane Society). Willow ended up getting mastitsis after she delivered (4-weeks after we adopted her) and it cost me a bundle in vet bills. It was the emergency vet that urged me to call them after I showed them the adoption papers! When I called the shelter they offered to give me back my spay deposit - yeah thanks. I didnt even bother going up there. I now volunteer at our local no-kill.

But anyway... I didnt say it wasnt a flaw... but just pointing out that's how they do it.

Obviously Willow was an older cat (3 at the times) and could've easily been spayed before adopting her out. I dont know why they didnt. They told me they dont have a vet on staff and that is why no one knew she was pregnant. In hindsight she was 5 weeks pregnant when we adopted her - the people at the Humane Society told me she had just had kittens prior to being brought in and that's why her nipples we swollen. Unbelievable, but true - I have papers to prove it

Our no-kill wont let a cat over 4 months go to a new home without being speutered first. Contracts are too easily broken...
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Yes, in the US, they do them as young as 2 months and 2 pounds. But I'm more comfortable with doing them at 3-4 months old (male and female). Charlie was done before I got him from the breeder - at about 3 or 3 1/2 months old.

Kittens as young as 4 months old can breed and get pregnant. Since she goes outside, get her done now.
She's ALMOST 4 months old, and probably just barely 2 pounds. Still ok to get it done now? I can probably go to the vet tommorow and check it out..
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
I like a kitten to at least be 3lbs, that seems to be right around the age they handle things better (get over colds better than younger kittens and such).

Just so you know, after her spay you can't immediately put her back outside. She needs to be kept somewhere to heal. Depending on whether they use a glue, staples, or stitches, it may be best to wait a full two weeks before letting her outside unsupervised. If she were to have staples or stitches and be outside alone you may not notice is she starts picking at them and removes any, and you don't want her running, jumping, or climbing (big trees).

And yes - I know some of the people here release ferals that do just fine, but one member recently lost a cat because he let her out too soon after spaying.

Ahh poor kitty! She hates being stuck inside! Thanks for letting me know, my spanish isn't the best.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by angryrectangle View Post
She's ALMOST 4 months old, and probably just barely 2 pounds. Still ok to get it done now? I can probably go to the vet tommorow and check it out..
If she's that age & that small, you need to get her vet checked. She shouldn't be that little at 4 months, IMO.

As for the 6 months thing, no vet here will spay/neuter until they're 6 months. Drives me INSANE!
post #13 of 24
Wow, she is tiny. Is it possible that she weighs more then you think? Sometimes they look small but they're hiding that weight somewhere (I say this while looking at my Tomas, he's sort of small for an adult male cat... but still weighs 12lbs )

That's so strange that so many are still set on the 6 months on to spay/neuter. Here most of the vets are rural and will do it as soon as the kitten is a decent weight and healthy. ...though, if anyone's kitten is around 5lbs already you could probably say "yes, he/she is right around 6 months old".
post #14 of 24
Shelters here do it whenever the cat reaches 1kg (approx 2lbs), shelters spay/neuter at 8 weeks.

Mine were done at 10 weeks by the breeder.

I think the younger the better, it's best to get it done before their first heat which can happen at 4 months and the youngsters bounce back much faster usually walking out of their carriers like nothing has happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
If she's that age & that small, you need to get her vet checked
I agree, not even 2lbs at 4 months is a bit concerning.
post #15 of 24
i wish it were more common in the UK, instead we have to adopt kittens out unneutered, and hope they get them done - a lot do with us though, as we include the cost of spaying in the adoption fee, they just have to use our vet. If I take in a female stray, and the vet isn't sure, I tend to keep them for a month to see if they come into season - not fool proof I know, but we dont like opening them up for no reason. They would be advised that if there were any signs of heat, to take them to our vet and we woudl cover it.
post #16 of 24
I agree if she is that little, to have the vet check her out before spaying. Most kittens around about a pound per month of age or a bit more with the average size cat.

If you got her as a stray, her mom might have been a small kitten herself when giving birth and therefore all the kittens would be undersized. But have her checked out.
post #17 of 24
i live in P.A. and we do dogs at between 4 to6 months of age and it is the same for a cat
post #18 of 24
Our vets rule is 6 months as well, but I didn't want to wait quite that long with Ramsay so our vet said he'd do it early as long as he was more than 4lbs. It's worth asking at least!
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
If she's that age & that small, you need to get her vet checked. She shouldn't be that little at 4 months, IMO.

As for the 6 months thing, no vet here will spay/neuter until they're 6 months. Drives me INSANE!
Oops! Ahh sorry, I'm Canadian.. I got a little confused there. We go by kilos here!! She's not 2 pounds, don't worry. I MEANT to say she's barely 2 KILOS. I still think she's a bit small, but not that small.

Anyways, thanks for the answers. I'd rather wait until she's 6 months ish but since she's going outisde (and there are ALOT of strays here) I think I'll try and get her done pretty soon.
post #20 of 24
The vets that won't do it before 6 months typically don't do it simply because they don't have enough early spay/neuter experience themselves.

It's an out-dated practice, as cats are going in to heat as early as 4 months now.

Some don't think that young cats can handle the anesthesia but apparently they handle it better and bounce back really fast from the surgery.

I had Chloe spayed at the end of January at 4 1/2 months old. I would have done it sooner but with the holidays and her being indoor-only and law school finals, it wasn't the right time. It was the right time for us.

Since she is outdoor-only I would do it as soon as possible, and don't let her outside until then.

Oh and for the earlier discussion about spay/neuter contracts with humane societies....even with deposits, I think that they only have 50-60% compliance rates.
post #21 of 24
Until she is spayed, you really should keep her inside. Kittens as young as 4 months old can get pregnant. Its your responsibility to see that she doesn't get pregnant!
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by angryrectangle View Post
Oops! Ahh sorry, I'm Canadian.. I got a little confused there. We go by kilos here!! She's not 2 pounds, don't worry. I MEANT to say she's barely 2 KILOS. I still think she's a bit small, but not that small.
So 4-5 months old and around 4lbs to 4 1/2lbs. That sounds about right for her age then. She should be able to handle being spayed soon.

Does she need her shots? Flea meds? Any deworming?
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies, kitty is currently being spayed as I type. I'm very nervous about someone cutting her up but it's for the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
If she were to have staples or stitches and be outside alone you may not notice is she starts picking at them and removes any, and you don't want her running, jumping, or climbing (big trees).

And yes - I know some of the people here release ferals that do just fine, but one member recently lost a cat because he let her out too soon after spaying.
Maybe it's better to think of her as more of a feral cat. She'll be fine outside, but if we try to confine her inside she'll probably destroy herself and anything around her.. she gets a little crazy when confined. Usually when she's inside it's to nap and take a bath.. and if she's taking a bath she's probably going to pick at something.

I'm happy to keep an eye on her outside, as she usually just sits in a tree or hides in the grass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings
So 4-5 months old and around 4lbs to 4 1/2lbs. That sounds about right for her age then. She should be able to handle being spayed soon.

Does she need her shots? Flea meds? Any deworming?
When we found this kitty she had alot of medical issues, so she's already been through all the parasites/fleas/worms medication possible. She's a very healthy cat now, and it's her regular vet and they know her well.
post #24 of 24
I am sure she will be fine - not only can she enjoy the outside without worry of pregnancy, it will increase her life, as she wont be at risk of pyometra (nasty infection) or certain types of cancer.
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