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Early spay/neuter  

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm a Swedish breeder and early neutering/spaying isn't common practise here, yet. Until just recentlt Swedish breeders (registred FIFé-breeders) had the possibility to place their kittens in a reserve register, meaning offspring couldn't be registred after those cats unless the breeder chose to put the cats in the original register. The purpose was originally to allow breeders to evaluate their breeding work before allowing the offspring to be used for breeding. But, the register has been closed because some breeders abused the register. They registred ll of their kittens in the reserve register and demanded extra money (from the buyers who wanted to breed) to put them in the original register. So it isn't possible now.

Now, some breeders are thinking about alternatives and early neutering/spaying has been mentioned as an alternative. Of course this alternative would make it impossible for the buyers to breed if they want to. I fear that this would effect the genepools in a negative way. Many of the breeds in Sweden already have small genepools and many of us actuarally want our buyers to keep their males fertile so they can be used for breeding. Father one litter at least before being neutered. This to make ensure the genetic variation.

Since we don't have any experience on early neutering/spaying I'm asking you American breeders. Has early neutering/spaying in any way had a negative effect on the different genepools?

All comments are welcome.
post #2 of 29
I think early spay/neuter can actually help. It gives breeders the choice to alter a cat being sold for a pet, and choose to keep those cats whole that will be beneficial to their breeding program.
post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol
Many of the breeds in Sweden already have small genepools and many of us actuarally want our buyers to keep their males fertile so they can be used for breeding. Father one litter at least before being neutered. This to make ensure the genetic variation.
I can understand your concern about breeding within a small gene pool, but I would hesitate about selling males as pets and not having them neutered before they reach sexual maurity. Buyers could end up with a spraying male and it's not always easy to eliminate this behavuior once it's begun.
post #4 of 29
OK, early spaying/neutering is not a common thing here in NZ but it's developing. Our vet refuses to do females but does males. I'm totally against it, I wouldn't want my babies getting cut into that young. Any age over five months is fine. If we sell kittens as pets and they haven't been desexed, we do have the right to go and remove the cat from thats person property, but after they've sent us the form saying their cat has been desexed then we send them the ownership papers and the lineage. Also if you get a cat desexed at say 10 weeks, and then 10 weeks after that it's looking superb, you're going to be kicking yourself that you had it desexed.
post #5 of 29
From what it sounds like...there is a consensus that males can be done "ealier" than females. Females should be closely monitored by the breeder to ensure that if it is to be bred...that it is breeder quality? If not, the female should be fixed prior to receiving ownership papers? I think that makes sense.
post #6 of 29
In case you haven't seen these, here are a couple of studies about Early Age Spay/Neuter and arguments about if it is safe or not:

http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/repo...ly-neuter.html Study by The Winn Foundation

http://www.ahimsatx.org/easn/easnmm.htm Early Age Neutering: Perfect for Any Practice by W. Marvin Mackie, DVM, and article for vets about the procedure.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne
I can understand your concern about breeding within a small gene pool, but I would hesitate about selling males as pets and not having them neutered before they reach sexual maurity. Buyers could end up with a spraying male and it's not always easy to eliminate this behavuior once it's begun.
I'm not the least worried about selling fertile males. Swedes are quite responsible when it comes to neutering. Practically all Swedes have their males neutered because they're well aware of the risk for spraying. Last summer I sold four males, three were sold as pets and they have all been neutered. The one that isn't neutered is active in breeding. I keep in touch with all of my buyers and I make sure they have their cats neutered if they're not interested in breeding. Last year only 291 Devon Rex were registred in Sweden so I am very concerned about the genepool. And I personally don't feel comfortable with having very small kittens on the surgerys table. And I don't know about any Swedish vet that would neuter/spay a cat in such young age, but like I said I'm sure early spay/neuter will become more common in Sweden.
post #8 of 29
All I can say, is that I had my Bengal, Simba neutered at 4 1/2 months. I think it was a mistake. I should have waited until he was 6 months old. He is very small, and Bengal's are usually at least medium to large in size. He is a year old now, and is only the size of a 6 month old kitten. He's a little larger than he was when I had him neutered, but he is a lot smaller than both of my Siamese cats. Other than his size, he seems healthy and extremely active. In fact I thought the neuter would calm him down a bit, but that has not been the case. He is a holy terror around the house.
post #9 of 29
Please read valanhb's links (the first one is a good one). Early s/n does not stunt growth.

"The results of the comparisons of weight showed some differences between the three groups. Males weighed consistently more than females, but this was uniform in all groups. The studies of body composition and body fat indicated that Group 1 (neutered at 7 weeks) and Group 2 (neutered at 7 months) were identical and were generally fatter than Group 3 (neutered at 12 months, after they were sexually mature). Investigators point out that by 12 months, the male cats in Group 3 were already exhibiting the normal adult male characteristics of decreased weight and the development of jowls, which accounts for some of the differences. It has also been noted that in the course of follow-up, the differences between the weight in cats from Group 1 and 2 and Group 3 are becoming less apparent."

"There was no difference observed in the growth rates in all three groups, although the males grew faster in all groups. Increased long bone length was observed in both males and females in Groups 1 and 2. This appeared to be due to the fact that physeal closing (closure of the bone growth plate) was delayed in Groups 1 & 2. This explains why cats neutered and spayed as kittens are frequently larger (longer and taller) than unaltered cats or cats altered later in life. This seems to be particularly true for males."

"While the final results will depend on the analysis of long-term follow-up, the indications are that early neutering is not detrimental to the overall health of the animal."
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
All I can say, is that I had my Bengal, Simba neutered at 4 1/2 months. I think it was a mistake. I should have waited until he was 6 months old. He is very small, and Bengal's are usually at least medium to large in size. He is a year old now, and is only the size of a 6 month old kitten. He's a little larger than he was when I had him neutered, but he is a lot smaller than both of my Siamese cats. Other than his size, he seems healthy and extremely active. In fact I thought the neuter would calm him down a bit, but that has not been the case. He is a holy terror around the house.
I had Zeus done when he was 3 1/2 months old and he is a big boy now! He weighs in at 13 pounds and is 3 feet long. When cats are sexually mature, their bone growth shuts off. That probably explains why most females that aren't spayed are much smaller than their spayed counterparts. I do believe that males don't produce as much testosterone, that may be why your bengal is smaller. My bengal was pretty big and she was spayed at 3 years (not by me, by her previous owners). How heavy is Simba?
post #11 of 29
I can't comment on the breeding aspect of things because I have no idea, but two of my cats were spayed at 8 weeks old. The procedure went well and they are healthy and normal kitties today.
post #12 of 29
I have read a lot about early spay/neuter and have even noticed a new word invented: "speuter". I have consulted my vet about the whole thing. He agrees with me. He would never spay or neuter any cat or dog until the 5th month and preferably the 6th month because the kitten must have time to develop properly, and it doesn't matter whether the kitten is purebred or not.

Not being purebred doesn't give a license for wholesale experimentation as to how early one can spay or neuter. This kind of experimentation is no better than selling cats and dogs to laboratory experimenters and borders on animal cruelty. On a recent forum that is now closed, I was attacked unmercifully because I allowed my "non-purebred" to breed. She had 4 beautiful kittens that I still have on my farm. Because I allowed my "non-purebred" to breed and kept her kittens, I was told that I had needlessly caused the deaths of 4 other kittens in an animal shelter because they were kittens I could have adopted. I have never heard of such foolish arguments. In any event, for those of you breeders who agree with me on the spay/neuter time of no earlier than 5 months, I salute you for having foresight and common sense. Thanks
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caspar
I have read a lot about early spay/neuter and have even noticed a new word invented: "speuter". I have consulted my vet about the whole thing. He agrees with me. He would never spay or neuter any cat or dog until the 5th month and preferably the 6th month because the kitten must have time to develop properly, and it doesn't matter whether the kitten is purebred or not.

Some posters have said that it's okay to spay/neuter early because these are not purebred kittens. Not being purebred doesn't give a license for wholesale experimentation as to how early one can spay or neuter. This kind of experimentation is no better than selling cats and dogs to laboratory experimenters and borders on animal cruelty. On a recent forum that is now closed, I was attacked unmercifully because I allowed my "non-purebred" to breed. She had 4 beautiful kittens that I still have on my farm. Because I allowed my "non-purebred" to breed and kept her kittens, I was told that I had needlessly caused the deaths of 4 other kittens in an animal shelter because they were kittens I could have adopted. I have never heard of such foolish arguments. In any event, for those of you breeders who agree with me on the spay/neuter time of no earlier than 5 months, I salute you for having foresight and common sense. Thanks
I personally wouldn't have a kitten "speutered" before the age of 6 months. I let my cats grow up and develop normally before having them neutered/spayed and I have never had any problems with "unwanted kittens" because I've waited with spaying/neutering. I don't care what the reports about the subject say about it

Swedish studies do say that early spay/neuter affects growth. The sex hormones affect the growth palates closing process which causes the legs to grow for a longer time than supposed to and the cat gets longer legs and a heavier body. Longer legs and a heabier body doesn't seem like a good equation to me. Anyway, during the time that the growth palates are closing the legs are more sensitive and that can result in broken legs, in extreme cases of course.

However, my worries are that early spay/neuter will affect the genepool of my breed. Many breeds in Sweden have very small genepools and I fear that early spay/neuter will cause the genepool from stop growing. We need as many animals as possible in our breeding programs. We even use cats of other breeds to avoid inbreeding so when Swedish breeders start to talk about early spay/neuter I wonder if they have thought about the potential consequences.
post #14 of 29
Sol, thank you for your very uplifting post. You are like a breath of fresh air. I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one "crying in the wilderness".

Your comment about the length of legs interests me. I had a feral kitten take up at my farm. I really never knew his age other than the fact that he was very tiny and we guessed about 6 weeks old. He was on his own and quite capable of taking care of himself, but we always felt it was God's will that he found us, and we saved him from a very uncertain future. We eventually had him neutered, and we can only guess at his age, but his hindlegs never lengthened to that of an adult cat. He still walks like a kitten, has a heavy body, weighs about 15 lbs. He has never been able to jump too high but compensates by chinning himself and muscling up on the furniture. He is otherwise a normal cat, other than the develpment of his hind legs. Perhaps we neutered him too early.
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
Caspar: That you'll never know. Maybe the cats hindlegs are poorly developed due to malnutrition in his early childhood (his mother might have had to little milk) or maybe it's a genetic defect. There's no way knowing. He seems like a healthy and strong cat

And you are absolutely not alone with your opinion about early spay/neuter. Most Swedes are very sceptic to "speuter", and I hope it'll stay that way
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol
Caspar: That you'll never know. Maybe the cats hindlegs are poorly developed due to malnutrition in his early childhood (his mother might have had to little milk) or maybe it's a genetic defect. There's no way knowing. He seems like a healthy and strong cat

And you are absolutely not alone with your opinion about early spay/neuter. Most Swedes are very sceptic to "speuter", and I hope it'll stay that way
Thank you, Sol. I'm glad someone else thinks it wise to speuter at 6 months as well. In addition, I took the liberty of checking your website to see your cats. I have never heard of that breed, but then again, I never knew much about cats until I got married and inherited my wife's Siamese cats. Now I'm a confirmed cat lover. You have some beautiful cats and a way of picking up some extra money as well.
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caspar
Thank you, Sol. I'm glad someone else thinks it wise to speuter at 6 months as well. In addition, I took the liberty of checking your website to see your cats. I have never heard of that breed, but then again, I never knew much about cats until I got married and inherited my wife's Siamese cats. Now I'm a confirmed cat lover. You have some beautiful cats and a way of picking up some extra money as well.
Thank you My cats are my darlings. My little clowns. Living with a Devon Rex is a circus
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol
Thank you My cats are my darlings. My little clowns. Living with a Devon Rex is a circus
Sol, I mentioned to my wife that I talked to a Swedish lady who raises Devon Rex's. She was awed and exclaimed, "What beautiful cats!" Well, I guess I am the only one who never heard of the breed. I am just late getting into cats and their mannerisms.

Talking about my feral kitty. I believe his mother was killed by an animal. I heard mournful mewing across the swamp but was unable to discover its origin. Within a week, I found him sitting on the valve cover of my diesel powered truck. Within 2 weeks, we discoverd his brother, since they favored. We found him a home so all's well that ends well.
post #19 of 29
I am all for early age spay/neuter. I have talked to many vets who are actually very favorible of this process.

I love this study:

http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/repo...ly-neuter.html

Katie
post #20 of 29
This is nothing but a study on experimentation on a helpless subject and the bad part about these studies is that the kittens are actually bred for this study. It is interesting that anyone would want to conduct these experiments in the first place. I wonder who pays for this research and why because this research doesn't come free?
post #21 of 29
Actually, while I don't agree with early spay/neuter, I can say that the study is done by the Winn Feline Foundation. One of the most respected foundations that deals with all aspects of feline health and other issues. I doubt they would "experiment", rather, I think they conducted a very good survey on an issue that many feline owners wonder about.

Again, I don't agree in early spay or neuter, BUT, that's my personal preference... My wife and I don't see eye to eye on this one.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imagyne
Actually, while I don't agree with early spay/neuter, I can say that the study is done by the Winn Feline Foundation. One of the most respected foundations that deals with all aspects of feline health and other issues. I doubt they would "experiment", rather, I think they conducted a very good survey on an issue that many feline owners wonder about.

Again, I don't agree in early spay or neuter, BUT, that's my personal preference... My wife and I don't see eye to eye on this one.
Thanks Ken, I respect your opinion. I usually make copies of this article for owners of cats who are not planning to become breeders and are concerned about the early age procedure.

Katie
post #23 of 29
Is a cat who is spayed after having a litter of kittens more at risk to develop cancer than a cat who never has kittens? I know this is kind of off-topic, but I've been wondering if it will benefit Alli much besides the fact that she won't be constantly caring for kittens.
post #24 of 29
Spaying and neutering helps cats and dogs live longer, healthier lives.
Spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, especially when your pet is spayed before her first heat.
Spaying can prevent various reproductive tract disorders

Not sure if there is a difference with before or after a litter...but I think it is beneficial if you are not planning to be a breeder to have your cat spayed. Especially with the possibility that she could get pregnant again AND:

Spaying a dog or cat eliminates her heat cycle. Estrus lasts an average of six to 12 days, often twice a year in dogs and an average of six to seven days, three or more times a year, in cats. Cats in heat can cry incessantly, and dogs and cats in heat may appear nervous and may attract unwanted males.

Katie
post #25 of 29
So breeding to have cats put down in shelters or die on the streets is wonderful while breeding for useful experimentation is evil? Talk about double standards...

About the leg length: No difference between early spay/neuter and spay/neuter at the usual time. There is a difference between both those times and spay/neuter at full maturity. Longer legs don't seem to have any bad health effects. If you think 7 weeks is too young based on longer bones, you must think 7 months is too young as well. And for the illiterate, let me reiterate: early spay/neuter causes LONGER bones, NOT shorter.

About early spay/neuter: Been done for decades. No ill effects. Healthier for the cat. Face the facts. Get over it.

And the risks of breast cancer goes up after heat, not necessarily pregnancy/birth. It goes up eight times after a cat has been through her first heat.
post #26 of 29
Weatherlight,
Are you connected in any way with the Winn-Fein Foundation since you reference the website at every opportunity? Are you connected with the veterinary sciences in any capacity?

Referencing the shelter aspect, am I to understand that you have labeled me responsible for needless deaths of kittens in the animal shelter because I chose to breed my female and keep the kittens? If so, that assumption is irresponsible and ludicrous. I realized a long time ago that I could not save all the cats or the dogs, only a few. I won't go into the details of why I don't use nearby animal shelters because I explained that in another "spay/neuter" thread in the Cat Lounge that was started last week. I guesss it is still there. You need to read that because you have judged me unfairly.
post #27 of 29
I think anyone who values saving a few hours of looking around or driving to another rescue over saving four lives I am fairly capable of judging fairly.

As for not saving them all, you could have made a universe of difference in four. You yourself are only one; I don't think anyone would get away with murdering you by saying you were "only one person." If only you were held to the same standard that protects you...
post #28 of 29
Weatherlight, since you choose not to supply a personal profile nor supply your background in the veterinary sciences, other than constantly quote the same Winn-Fein website, I can only conclude that you are a layman in the field who believes in early spay/neuter. That's your privilege. I do not agree with you, but we can only agree to disagree.

I detect an attempt by you to start an argument. This is a very good thread started by Sol, a nice lady from Sweden, and I don't want to see it shut down because you want to push your views, all while throwing insults my way. Your pattern of refusing to identify your background and your attempts to stir up trouble fit the pattern of a troll, and I refuse to feed the troll.
post #29 of 29
I just got back this weekend to find some disturbing posts here. While, at the moment, I do not have time to answer adequetly therefore I am closing this thread until I can. Sorry for any inconvenience.
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