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neutering or spayting

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have 3 cats and they were all neutered at the age of approximately 6 months old.

My niece is planning on getting a kitten and went to a store where all of the kittens were already all neutered or spayed. They are only 6-8 weeks old.

I heard that it is too young to have them fixed. Am I wrong?
post #2 of 10
I watched a tv special last night that said they can safely do it at about 6 weeks now.
post #3 of 10
The SPCA will do it at any age as long as they are healthy, they do kittens only a couple weeks old as long as they are at least weighing 1 pound.
post #4 of 10
our vet wont do it before 6 months but Ive heard of it being done as early as 6 weeks , I think its a dr perference.
post #5 of 10
Click here to read a summary of the early spay/neuter research written by Laurie (LDG).
post #6 of 10
The minimum age for a spay/neuter depends on the vet's background and experience. Many vets now will perform the surgery for young animals as long as they are at least two pounds (under that size the surgery is just to delicate.) This generally puts a kitten at apx 8 weeks, though some will be a bit younger.

I've generally gone with the 4-5 month cut off for animals we've adopted/fostered/rescued. This is when the canine teeth come in (start ~4 months, all the way in ~5 months.) This is just a personal preference and there is plenty of evidence that at a younger age they actually heal faster, though because of the small size of the animal the surgery skill level must be higher. In general, high volume spay/neuter programs will perform the surgery on a younger animal while practices that do fewer surgeries prefer to wait until the animal is larger and so the surgery is easier.

post #7 of 10
I was told neutering and spaying too soon (before 6 months) can lead to cancer.
post #8 of 10
I was told neutering and spaying too soon (before 6 months) can lead to cancer.
That is absolutely false. In fact, quite the opposite is true. As I understand it: Particularly in cats, allowing just one heat cycle increases the risk of mammary cancer quite a bit, and each one after that increases the risk (up to the third, after which there does not appear to be an increase.) Each litter the cat has increases the risk of this type of cancer several times.

There is absolutely no evidence that early spay/neuter is harmful to the animal. As I mentioned earlier, a lot depends on the vet's preferences and experience, but performing the surgery prior to sexual maturity (which can be as early as 5 months) provides the greatest health benefits.
post #9 of 10
I believe that early neutering/spaying started around 15 years ago, and there have been no indications that there are long term problems with the procedure. The worst that I've heard is that when fully mature, they sometimes keep a "young" look about them, particularly in their face. I've had 4 of mine done at or around 8 weeks old with no problems.
post #10 of 10
Well it sounds as though I was misinformed..good to know I don't have to wait till 6 months on my new kitty. I was worried she would go into heat before time was up. Thanks!
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