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Adopting a fixed kitten

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a kitten, and would rather adopt than purchase one from a breeder or pet store. As I'm looking through the adoptables on shelter pages, a lot of them say they have already spayed or neutered the kitten as young as only a few weeks/months old. I know they do this so there won't be any doubt that the animal will be fixed, but how does this effect the cat? I know in ferrets the early spay/neuter is suspected to be the cause for onset of adrenal problems but I don't know if there is a similar downfall for cats. I've always waited until about 6 months old before getting it done.
post #2 of 13
It's better to get them done younger, before they are sexually mature. It's common to have them done at 8-10 weeks, and they recover so much faster than older cats. They wake up like nothing has happened.

My 3 were all done at 10 weeks, before I got them
post #3 of 13
Where I live it's done around 6 months or at a certain weight (about 4 lbs I think).
post #4 of 13
My Cleo was about 3.5 months.
My vet waits until they are 5 or 6 months old.
I got Cleo from a breeder.
She is a sphynx.
post #5 of 13
There's been a lot of recent (within the last 5 or so years) research on Early Spay/Neuter. What they've found is that as long as the kitten is over 2 pounds (usually around 8 weeks) so they can handle the anesthesia, there are no adverse effects from the early altering. They still grow and physically mature at the same rate, there's no evidence of obesity or other ill effects. Same benefits of later altering, and I have yet to hear of any adverse effects. The only issue I've heard is that it is a more difficult surgery for the vets simply because the parts are smaller, but a competent surgeon can do it without difficulty.
post #6 of 13
It's good to know the research suggests it's not harmful. I think the shelters do it largely as a survival tactic. It must be extremely disheartening to adopt out a kitten only to see it return in 6 months with a litter of kittens in tow.

Sexual maturity can vary a lot from cat to cat. When I got Tiny as a 6-week-old kitten, the vet told me to come back at 6 months to have her spayed, but she went into heat at 10 weeks. Then again at 14 weeks. As soon as she went into heat the 2nd time he told me to bring her in and spayed her. With my other female, Promise, I waited until she was 6 months old and she never went into heat.
post #7 of 13
The rescue I'm going through will not adopt a kitten/cat out until it is altered. It is to cut down on reproducing.
post #8 of 13
I'm fostering three kittens who just saw the vet for the first time yesterday. The vet is estimating that they're around 12 weeks/3 months because they weigh 3 lbs. He said they shouldn't be spayed until they're at least 4 months old. The rescue I'm working with adopts animals out before they're spayed/neutered if they are too young at the time, but we make an appointment for them at the vet we work with and pay for it as long as the new parent takes the kitten in.
I've heard of many vets that prefer to do it around 6 months. Some cats can become sexually mature before this time.
I once had a vet tell me my 3 year old cat couldn't be spayed due to age! (she was too old). Now we know that this is completely untrue. She was in perfect health. Because my family believed this guy (I was a child at the time), she got mammary and ovarian cancer and died at the age of 10! She was in perfect health besides the cancer and I'm sure she would be with us today if she had been spayed. (Mind you, we never let her outside and she never had kittens). Sorry, slightly OT.
post #9 of 13
No - the only thing it would affect is cosmetic. The males tend to not get the big male head and jowly on pedigrees.

Some still insist on not getting it done till over 6 months old, but with males and females breeding as young as 4 months old, you really should have them done as early as you can. Shelters will do them at 2 lbs and 8 weeks old. I'm more comfortable doing them at 3-4 months old rather then younger then 3 months.
post #10 of 13
Forgot to mention, too, that many states are adopting legislation that requires animals be spayed/neutered before being adopted from shelters. Colorado is one of them. Depending on how the law is written, there may or may not be exceptions for age.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well I was determined I wanted a shelter kitty, so I went to visit those at the humane society today. They would not adopt out any animals that were not spayed/neutered. I fell in love with a little black kitty that they had already neutered for someone else to adopt, but they changed their minds last minute because they thought the kitten was a girl. Their loss was my gain though
post #12 of 13
My previous 2 cats one male, one female I had done at 6mths. But with Blossom I had her done at 5 mths because I didn't want to take the chance of her coming on heat even though I had read that they can grow more rangy if their done b4 maturity.
With my now 11.5 m/o Border Collie, I let her have one heat & will have her spayed in the next mth or 2 for the same reason as the cats, they grow to their full potential. By doing it earlier you disrupt the natural growth rate.
post #13 of 13
Congratulations on your new addition! I hope you share photos of her soon in the Fur Pictures area
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