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Heat coming sooner and sooner?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well today we finally got spirit sprayed (and chipped of course). She is around 5 months old. Now when I got her from the shelter, both the shelter and the vet I was seeing at the time told me that I should wait till she was 6 months old, but some places would do it at 5 and a half. Heh well, she was already going into heat last week. The vet we are taking to her to now (costly, but very worth it, I have never been to a place that treats them better or does as detailed a job) told me that they try to get the cats sprayed before they hit 5 months old, as early as 3 months old.

Anyways, the point of this long story (sorry about that) is that I was talking with the vet and she told me that heat has been setting in sooner and sooner with all the cats she's seen. Does anyone have any idea why this is? If your cat even went into heat, what age was she?
post #2 of 12
It's spayed---no "r" .

My most recent kitten did go into heat at 4 months. 3 days before her scheduled spay . My vet made me wait 10 days because he doesn't like to do it when they're actively in heat. Fortunately she wasn't too obnoxious and it wasn't a problem keeping her inside.

BUT.....my first kitten also went into heat at 4 months. And that was 19 years ago. Unfortunately, she's half Siamese and drove us all batty. And we couldn't have her spayed because we lived overseas and the military vet had a waiting list a mile long. She was 7 months when spayed and never stopped howling the entire time. . So I can't say that it's a recent development. Maybe people are just more aware now.
post #3 of 12
Many cats go into heat at 4 months of age - which is why the standard of 6 months is, IMO, very outdated!
post #4 of 12
Kandie went into heat 3.5 to 4 months age in 1988 ...

At that time the vet said about 10% of cats went into heat about 4 months and about 20% by 5 months

Likely just like humans the hormones in the food chain are causing earlier development
post #5 of 12
If they are, the likeliest reason is the same reason that it's happening in American girls: Nutrition is much better today than it was even fairly recently. Or, should I say, the caloric intake versus output for most Americans has been on a steady rise since about 1950.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
wow, thanks for answering guys, I feel very....behind the times. I guess I still have alot to learn
post #7 of 12
I've noticed this too - don't know if its hormones in the food they are using (beef, chicken), etc. but when I was breeding cats in the 80's/90's, my females never came into heat before 8 months old. I used to let the males and females get spayed/neutered at around 8-9 months old with no problems - no pregnancies, etc.

Then you started hearing about 6 month olds, now its as early as 4 months old. Kittens under 8 months old are really at risk for complications if pregnant. Their bodies still are growing.

I'm comfortable with doing them at 3-4 months old. I cannot imagine doing them at 8 WEEKS old, but shelters have to do that now because you have pregnant 4-5 month old kittens.

Its a growing problem, and those vets that refuse to spay/neuter before 6 months are behind in the times and really should start learning how to do them earlier.

I usually say that is your vet refuses to do them early, then go find a vet that WILL do them. Why put your kittens at risk. Kinda sad in a way, cause its so much fun to allow young kittens to play with brother/sister and now have to separate them at only 3 months old so they won't breed.
post #8 of 12
My preferred age to spay is 14 weeks. No later than 16 weeks, preferably not before 12 weeks (they're just so tiny at 8 weeks!). I'll wait longer for neuters, provided there's not an intact female in the house. So I usually go for 5-6 months for neuters, though I've gone as long as 7-8 months without seeing tomcat behaviors. They could still be fertile without showing tom behaviors, though. So if there was an intact female in the house for whatever reason, I'd neuter at 14 weeks, too.

The reaons 6 months was considered the proper age is because the old anesthetics weren't safe for pets under 6 months of age. The newer anesthetics are much safer, so there's no reason to wait.
post #9 of 12
only 2 of my girls ever went into heat - both of them at around 5 months old.
post #10 of 12
I had Chloe spayed when she was approximately 5 months old (in January 2008) and she hadn't gone into heat yet.
post #11 of 12
I must be lucky. Nora was spayed when she was 7 months old, and had yet to go into heat. Trust me, I did count my lucky stars. lol
post #12 of 12
Just keep one thing in mind - cats do not really have to be "in heat" to mate and get pregnant. If a male breeds her, she can release the eggs. Just that when she's in heat she's more receptive, but an aggressive tom can breed anytime whether she wants to or not!
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