Hi guys :)
First off: I do not live in North America, but in Europe, more specifically in northern Italy. Also, I'm a new cat owner, and I'm informing myself mostly on english websites. That is starting to be a problem, since I often cannot compare foods and habits and I get confused over simple stuff as the difference between combing and brushing :D
Two days ago I brought Fletcher to the vet for his second shot and a visit. He is a very healthy, big guy, just turned 3 months old and is an indoor only cat. While there, I asked the vet when we would start talking about neutering him, and I was taken aback a little by his response, having read your advices over and over: he said that the clinic would neuter him at about 8 months old. After I expressed my perplexity, he said we could start talking about it at around 5 or 6 months old. Now, isn't it a little late anyway? I'd rather not go to another clinic for the following (non financial, really) reasons:
- this clinic is literally behind our condo, and we don't have a car. taking him to another vet, possibly recommended by friends, would mean a trip through several public transportation vehicles, and the weather is HOT here.
- I love the vets there. they are wonderful people, work long hours and they have the best attitude towards animals. They love Fletcher and Fletcher loves them, which is weird because he's not really that confortable around strangers. And most of all...
- ... It is the clinic of a voluntary animalistic association: they save stray animals, both domestic and wild, they provide for them and cure them (even those severely hurt: here in Italy there is no such thing as a "kill" shelter) and find them home (if they are domestic animals) or release back into the wild in a properly selected environment. The clinic is not cheaper than the average vet clinic, but I feel like I'm giving my money not only to good people who take good care of my pet but to a good cause as well.
- finally, everyone of my cat-owning friends spayed or neutered their pets around that age, between 6 and 8 months. So I'm afraid that taking Fletcher to another clinic would be useless since this could just be how they do things around here :(
However, living in a small flat I'm really scared of the consequences of the kitten starting to spray around. :(
So, my questions are:
- when does a kitten start spraying? is there a way to delay that moment or to see it coming?
- if a kitten sprays in the house, is there a method to conceal or get rid of the smell? I'm very clean regarding him, I scoop the litter several times a day, check his bottom after he goes an whip it with a wet towell if it's not perfect, clean his ears etc. I really don't want the house to smell bad but mostly...
- ... I want him to be healthy and happy. The vet says that the delayed neutering will help him develop better, but I read around that a sexually mature not neutered kitten can be a very stressed house pet.
- would you call another clinic just to check, or given the informations above you would stay with the current clinic?
- should I push the vet to perform the surgery before 6 months of age or that would offend him?
I'm really confused and the geographic gap is not helping :( I probably just need some reassurance, since I got this kitten I'm just terrified of doing something wrong.
bonus pics :)
Edited by chiarabab - 6/30/13 at 4:04am