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How young do they start to spray?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My kittens are (male)12 and(female) around 10 weeks old. My vet wont nueter till the male is 6 mons. I am wondering if because he is living with a female that he would start to spray before he is neutered. I have no idea at what age a male will start to spray. Does living with a female make a difference. Thanks
post #2 of 17
One can usually never predict when or which cat is going to spray. Males usually spray if they feel a threat in any way. Usually other male cats or because they are insecure and feel the need to mark everything. They can start spraying as early as 4 months but I personally havn't seen it that early. I have had my males neutered at 4 months and have had no problems as of yet. If it is a HUGE concern for you, you might want to check around and see if there's vets in the area that you like and will do it at an earlier age.
post #3 of 17
I can't imagine you would have any problems before the male is 6 months. Even adult neutered cats (both sexes) will spray at times but you don't usually notice it because there's no (or little) smell attached. I would heed your vet and not castrate under 6 months. Early castration of many animals was once popular but it's swung back the other way now because it has been incriminated at least in some species as being a cause of bone and joint problems later in life. Unlikely in cats, but I wouldn't castrate too young, all the same.
post #4 of 17
I neuter all my males at four months - I used to wait until six months but two of my males were spraying by then. My vets neuter at four months, spay at six. In Massachusetts where I adopted my dog, they spay and neuter at 8 weeks! While I think that is a little young, a neuter is just a vascectomy - it takes about ten minutes. My four month old males (I do rescue so I have done this a lot) are running around the same evening. While spaying is intrusive surgery, a neuter is really nothing. I think it is your choice and what you are comfortable with. My two boys who spray are now outdoor cats and I hate making them stay outdoors, but I can't have the whole house full of spray during one of their "wars". I have houses for them and I converted the garage into a cat room where they spend the nights and the winters, but I still feel bad. I keep thinking if I had neutered Sammy Claws at four months, he would still live inside with my other cats. My other two outside cats were rescued late in life and nuetered at 6 and 9 years old so their spraying habits were well formed before they came to me. Talk to other vets and then make the best decision for you. Also, depending on where you live, there are a lot of low cost clinics and mobile vans that alter at 4 months.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for the advice. I out of cuiosity called other vets and they all nueter at six months around here. I am in Canada. I dont know if that is some rule they have up here. I will just have to hope he does not start to spray and get him in the day he turns 6 mons.
post #6 of 17
My Mister Sosa cat was rescued when he was 3 mos old, but he was so small we thought he was 6 weeks. Because he was so small, my vet didn't want to neuter him until he was 6 months old. He said he needed that extra time to grow. He was so small and starved when he adopted my family. I started feeding him Science Diet, got rid of the worms, ear mites and fleas and by 6 months he was beautiful. He turned 2 years old this spring and he is a beautiful cat. I think it depends on the cat as much as the vet. Ask him if there is a specific reason he doesn't want to neuter until he's 6 months old.

We have now adopted Mac and Sosa has taken it upon himself to teach Mac good manners. In my opinion, I don't think it will ever happen....

smiles....
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Elinor
My kittens are (male)12 and(female) around 10 weeks old. My vet wont neuter till the male is 6 months. I am wondering if because he is living with a female that he would start to spray before he is neutered. I have no idea at what age a male will start to spray. Does living with a female make a difference. Thanks
The toms are more likely to spray if there is another whole male rather than if there is a female. Spraying is how they attempt to establish "their" territory. Even neutered males have been known to spray if there are other males, especially whole males, in the house.
Your Vet may be reluctant to neuter prior to 6 months as there is quite a bit of controversy as to whether the testosterone presence or absence has any effect on the development of the males. Neutering stops the production of the testosterone and therein lies the conflict. In your case, with only the one male, I doubt you will have a spraying problem but there are certainly no guarantees. I don't know how much help I have been but I wanted to shed some light on the why's of your question.

Pete
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks Suzerq98 and Pete
I will be taking them both back in three weeks for their second shots and will be asking the vet then about why they dont nueter younger. Also it is good to know that they are more prone to spray when there is another male around.I know that does not mean he wont spray but it is hopefully more unlikely.
post #9 of 17
Hi Rene

Did I read your message wrong? Do they just vasectomise kittens rather than remove the testicles as in a normal castration? I've never heard of such a thing with cats, I can't see the point actually, because they certainly will continue to act like tom cats which is what you don't want. But assuming they are normally castrated, it's the lack of testosterone (rather than the fact that they cannot get a female in kitten if they are only vasectomised) that may cause the developmental problems if this is done too young, though AFAIK it's not proven in cats.
post #10 of 17
RE: won't neuter till 6 months - did you ask your vet why? My vet is the same way - I used to breed and altering was never an issue but had a kitten with a hernia and even with the hernia she wanted to wait till 6 months - we didn't as the hernia had to be repaired and he was done at 5 1/2 months - I never did ask her why - I have never seen a cat spray at 6 months of age - but I did have one breed at 6 months - oops - !!! His 6 month birthday and he had himslef a party - ask your vet and let us know why - Linda
post #11 of 17
Hi ComradeKitties
Was your post addressed to me? It's a bit hard with this forum to work out who is talking to who. But anyway, I am a vet, retired now, but from a horse industry background so I never have been on top of small animal medicine. However, in horses at least early castration has been pinpointed as a possible cause of joint and bone problems later on. It probably applies to all animals, though not so important in cats who do not ever experience the stresses on their skeletal system that horses do. I personally think 5 and a half months is the age to aim for with cats, it's when I try to get my own castrated. As you know only too well, some are capable of reproducing at 6 months and presumably, spraying. Only problem is, with most moggies, you don't often know their exact age so have to take a guess.
post #12 of 17
Hi - no it was a general post to the person who says their vet won't alter till 6 months - mine says the same - I am a retired breeder of Siberian Cats and have found that not all cats even do spray but when you get a " hoser" you know it!!! I can say that the few males I did have spray were doing this after they sired and with whole females in the house in heat - not 6 month old kittens - although as I had said I still had one boy not confined the day he turned 6 months the little poop - get three girls - wasn't he proud!!! But this cat never sprayed - he is a happy bed sleeping alter - please tell us more about the bone problems you mentioned and how this would effect early neutered cats. I am very interested. Linda
post #13 of 17
Hi ComradeKitties
I was still on line when your message came through so thought I'd reply straight away. Re early castration in horses, it was fashionable for awhile to geld as young as 4 months, but then some veterinary authorities began to suspect a link between this early castration and musculoskeletal problems later in life. Some racehorses are in serious work and galloping by 20 months of age and they're nowhere near mature (no wonder so many 2 year olds break down), so it's only common sense to avoid anything that's likely to add to this problem, like early castration. I don't know if any actual controlled study was done on this, I think it was just a matter of observation and putting two-and-two together.
Re spraying cats, I've never had purebreds but have had the odd cat not castrated before 9 months or a year old or so, usually because they've turned up on my doorstep at that age. Thinking back, I'd say all of these late-castrated cats were sprayers, some worse than others. They were worse if someone strange had been in the house (and of course if a strange cat had been around outside), and often targetted things like my husband's shoes - it sure was a good way to get him to be tidier! I don't remember any of the cats castrated at a younger age being sprayers, at least not obviously.
post #14 of 17
Mary 13 and all - I too am still online - gee your thoughts on the horses brings me back to the old vet thinking of " let the male cats develop before you neuter to make them grow big - it always amazes me how things even with people revert back to the old way of thinking - like eat eggs don't eat eggs mentality - thank you for your valuable imput on this. Linda
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by ComradeKitties
RE: won't neuter till 6 months - did you ask your vet why? My vet is the same way - I used to breed and altering was never an issue but had a kitten with a hernia and even with the hernia she wanted to wait till 6 months - we didn't as the hernia had to be repaired and he was done at 5 1/2 months - I never did ask her why - I have never seen a cat spray at 6 months of age - but I did have one breed at 6 months - oops - !!! His 6 month birthday and he had himself a party - ask your vet and let us know why - Linda
We altered two of our straighthair LaPerms, male and female, at 4 months with no problems. As I said in an earlier post, I believe the age the Vet requires for altering is based a lot on their own beliefs rather than fact, which is not necessarily a bad thing. There is also the debate about early altering of males and their development.
We have a four month old male we will need to keep a close eye on as he is "assuming the position" already, although fortunately it is with an altered girl and she really swats him good for the attempt! VBG

Pete
post #16 of 17
I had my male burmese neutered at 6 months (because I was always given to understand that 6 months was the ideal age).
He still sprays inside the house (but there is no smell, thank goodness). My other cat is a spayed female burmese, who sprays outside, which isn't quite so anti-social from a human's point of view.
I have tried a very expensive product called 'Feliway', which is supposed to discourage the cat from spraying. It hasn't worked.
I don't know quite why he is still spraying, as there are no other cats to threaten him. He quickly established that he is head cat in our house.
He is now 5 years old, so I don't rate my chances of behaviour modification highly!
post #17 of 17
We had Ace nuetered at 12 weeks and he was this tiny little thing. He was the runt of the litter, I had to keep rubbing him to keep him awake enough to eat, was touch and go for about 3 hours. Now he is the largest cat we have(3 females, 2 males). All muscle and long hair he weighs in at 20 pounds at last weigh in. I don't think nuetering early affected his growth at all! We get comments all the time from other cat people who can't believe he isn't a Main Coon. Don't really know what he is as his mom was dropped off on a busy street and our mailman delivered her to us special delivery.
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