Originally Posted by lionessrampant
Fine, so they won't spay before 4 months. It's really bad on the part of the vet, but now you have a new responsibility as someone who is rehoming (homing?) cats: you are now obligated, being as responsible as you are, to keep them those 4 months until they are altered. You'll probably find better homes (in this area, at least, we statistically have fewer returns on adults than kittens) and if you're so in love with your cats and your breed, then you won't mind going this extra mile.
Again, collective "you" not just Kai Bengals "you"
I do agree with this, as well. I have been lucky to find several vet in our area that will early alter as soon as a kitten is 2lbs, our Ragdolls turn 2 lbs by 8 weeks of age, but we alter at around 10-11 weeks of age. There are several other vets who will alter at 4 months of age. I feel that many of our kitten adopter would not have had a problem waiting a few more weeks to bring home their kitten.
I also realize, however, that many are comfortable with their vets and are relucantant to change after many years of service with them. I can only respect that decision, please don't feel that I am putting you down as a breeder, if you don't have the same opinion as myself.
For those of you who would like accredited information to take to your vet, please click on this link http://www.catvet.homestead.com/EarlyAlter.html
On page 4 of this link, there will be another link to "Protocols_for_Early_Age_Altering.doc" at the bottom of the page. It gives very detailed instruction written by Susan Little DVM, who is the President of the Winn Feline Foundation. Much research has been done to prove that early altering is beneficial. This may not change your vets mind, but it does give him the up to date information regarding pediatric altering. In my opinon, the quicker the practice of early age altering becomes the norm, the better.
Not only do, we as breeders have to worry about the chance of accidental litters of pet quality kittens, but the kitten adopters, bring home their kitten with the worry of speutering behind them. The kittens are back to their playful selves the same day, and come home to heal with Mom and littermates.
There are constantly going to be people who have "good intention", when they say they want to breed that "one litter", they are ignorant to what is what ethical breeding really is. Some of these people can be educated, and you can change their mind, but there will be others who you can't reach, and early altering is going to prevent that.
I also ask many questions to our pet buyers. I have a list of numerous questions, that I can pick and choose from. I really like to get to know our families who adopt, and enjoy staying in touch, and watching our babies grow up.
Here is where the problem come in... If someone calls me up and tells me they would like a kitten and wants to breed, and I explain to them that they need to be a registered cattery, do research, find a mentor. What happens next, is they decide not to contact me back, but to go to the next breeder, and before long they will finally contact a breeder who doesn't alter their pets, and know all the right things to say, and then the next BYB pops up selling "purebred cats w/ no papers for $200". A cpntract certainly helps, but I don't feel it will 100%.
As for the issue of any purebreds ending up in shelters, if breeders will begin microchipping and register the emergency contact as yourself, then if your kitten ends up in a shelter or rescue, you are at a much greater chance of getting your kitten/cat back to you.
We also give to our local no-kill shelter, Pets and People, it may not always be a monetary gift, but sometimes food, litter, or just our time.
I have a question to those breeders who do early alter, would you let one of your kittens go as a breeder to a cattery who does not early alter? I wouldn't, just because I do strongly believe that early altering is for the best.
I think everyone has had very valid points, and have all been very respectful.