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How old to neuter?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
How old does our cat need to be before we can have him neutered? Our vet said 6 months, but some things that I've read suggest that it's possible - maybe even desireable - to do it sooner. (We'd prefer sooner than later: We are taking Wiggles to the country for the month of August, and I don't want to risk him wandering, or spraying in a rented house!)
post #2 of 9
Since until fairly recently I never had a girl cat except for fosters, and since I've had problems with FUS, I have always waited as late as possible to neuter - sometimes even a year.

But I had Big Mac neutered when he was only 4 months old. I was very concerned because he had two sisters and a mom, and at that age he was already at 8 pounds and his, um, well, entire body was growing fast.

So far no urinary problems whatsoever, but he's not quite three, either, so I know that still may crop up. But I do have him on good quality food, which will hopefully decrease his chances.

It can safely be done at a very early age, but whether it is necessary needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
post #3 of 9
I had Leo done at 4 months. He recovered much more quickly than Fred, who was done at 3 years. It seemed like it was no big deal to Leo. He was as good as new almost immediately.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
As always - when I get an answer to my first question I end up with more questions!

We never had a male cat before, so this is a whole new world: What's FUS? What are these urinary problems that can "crop up" at any time & what do they have to do with neutering? With diet? (So what are we in for?)
post #5 of 9
Feline Urological Syndrome. This is when the urethra narrows and/or crystals form in the urine and become blocked in the urethra. It is a potentially fatal condition. It is much more common in neutered males and many vets believe it's because neutering causes the urethra to narrow, and the earlier the neutering the worse this can be since the urethra is still growing greatly in the early months. Many vets also believe certain components of a commercial diet can cause or aggravate it, such as too much ash or plant proteins that can cause the urine to be too basic.

Of course, millions of kitties are neutered early and never develop FUS. Also, female kitties and intact males will aslo get it.

This is why it's a good idea to discuss the pros and cons with your vet.
post #6 of 9
I do my boys around 6 or 7 weeks. You'll have to beg the Humane Society to do it, vets won't. I like doing it before they can remember, and also long before they start thinking of spraying and other things.

It's a personal decision, but I think 6 months is too late because often they have developed undesirable sexual and territorial desires by then.
Oh, I wait longer for girls, just because the surgery is so invasive.
post #7 of 9
Originally posted by alicat613
I do my boys around 6 or 7 weeks. You'll have to beg the Humane Society to do it, vets won't.

Oh my god, 6-7 WEEKS??? No wonder vets won't do it! That's way too soon!!!

It's a personal decision, but I think 6 months is too late
We had Casper done when he was a bit after 6 months. Vet didn't want to do it before he was the right size. Kitty was done when she was almost 8 months, she had to be right size too. I'm glad our vet was thinking our cats and not the money...
post #8 of 9
From what the vet told us, generally it is after 6 months that kitties get the urge to start spraying/marking their territory. We had Trent done right at 6 months and have never had a problem with spraying, aggressiveness, or other tom-type behaviours.
post #9 of 9
valanhb, like I said I usually wait until about a year. Big is the only cat I had done before 8 months. I have NEVER had a male cat to spray.
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