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Early Neutering

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Is there a new trend in neutering kittens? I mean young kittens? I have always had male Maine Coons in the past and always, always waited until I couldn't wait any longer - typically around 8 months old. One of our cats we got from a shelter had just been neutered at 9 WEEKS and the Ragdoll we just acquired had been neutered at 8 weeks.

What are the ramifications? With the Maine Coons we always waited because we were warned an early neuter would affect the ultimate size. This is not the thinking any longer? What about higher incidence of urinary tract infections?

Thanks very much for any thoughts.
post #2 of 27
I dont know about maine coons, but my vet wants my blue point siamese nuetered in the next few weeks, making him only 12-14 weeks old..

my female didnt get spayed til she was 6 months.
post #3 of 27
No ramifications that I know of- the urethra diameter used to be mentioned but that has been disproven.

And size? If their growth operates the same as in dogs they might actually grow larger. In giant breeds, puberty and its associated hormones are the triggering factor that signal growth plates on the ends of long bones to close. Absent those hormones the growth plates stay open longer and thus the bones grow more in length. You can end up with a taller dog, but you do lose the secondary sex characteristics that make them look "manly" and I would assume the same to be true for cats.

Two of my cats were neutered at eight weeks- it is becoming more and more common.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yes, I've also heard of the possible risk of a male not looking very "tom-y", or having the broader, heavier bone structure when neutered young. Huh. We shall see. I just don't want his growth stunted - or him to have a pinhead (hehehehe).... not that I'd love him any less. (Not that we can do anything about it now - and not that it makes one iota of a difference in our love for him. I just wanted that clear, in case anyone thought our love for him was measured by his size. )
post #5 of 27
I totally applaud pediatric spay and neuter. How many people do you know who didn't want kittens, but waited until after 4 months to spay/neuter, and ended up with a preggers cat. Then are often reluctant to do a spay/abort. If you have any doubts...we are in the middle of kitten season. Call your local shelter, and ask how many cats and kittens they have available. Then ask how many they euthanize in a year.

Early spay/neuter will reduce the unwanted kittens. My rescue now does pediatric spay/neuters, once the kittens are 2 pounds. They have been proven safe. I believe the secondary male characteristics, including spraying and marking territory, fighting, etc, will not be missed.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Oh good, Beckiboo - I am so glad you mentioned the 2# threshold. After we got Moji from the breeder, we brought him to the vet for his checkup. He was just over 3# and very, VERY thin. The vet didn't think he should've been neutered, given his weight. So I'm glad to see the 2#.
post #7 of 27
Napolean was neutered at 4.5 months and he's fine... we've neutered kittens as early as 8 weeks at our clinic. I have no idea why vets say to wait until they're 6 months old.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mairi II
Yes, I've also heard of the possible risk of a male not looking very "tom-y", or having the broader, heavier bone structure when neutered young. Huh. We shall see. I just don't want his growth stunted - or him to have a pinhead (hehehehe).... not that I'd love him any less. (Not that we can do anything about it now - and not that it makes one iota of a difference in our love for him. I just wanted that clear, in case anyone thought our love for him was measured by his size. )
Bijou was neutered young and he is very "tom-ly" looking. He has a heavier muzzle than Mika (they are full brother and sister) and larger bone structure (he's 16 lbs.) He definitely has the male look about him.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mairi II
Yes, I've also heard of the possible risk of a male not looking very "tom-y", or having the broader, heavier bone structure when neutered young.
I can prove that myth wrong right there. My tiny little black cat Da-Ku was neutered at 8-12 weeks, I can't remember, but he is huge and muscular and just a big strong cat (with a belly too).
post #10 of 27
My Remy was an early spay also, he weighs in at 16 pounds and he is 11 months old. Not fat just big!
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddicequeen
My Remy was an early spay also, he weighs in at 16 pounds and he is 11 months old. Not fat just big!
Ack! RCQ, is he a mitted blue, chocolate, lilac Ragdoll??
post #12 of 27
If you do a search on pediatric spay and neuter, you will find many posts in favor of this type of altering. It is very, very common amongst Ragdoll breeders to spay and neuter early, and to keep our kittens at least 10-12 weeks of age.
Most or all of the myths around early alter have been disfounded. There are 2 articles that I always like to reference, and they are very helpful.
http://www.winnfelinehealth.org//hea...ay-neuter.html

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


As well, we have had all of our kittens early altered before they go home without ever having a problem. Here is a picture of our 4 year old altered male Ragdoll, who has NEVER had a health issue, and never any surrounding pediatric spay or neuter. I hope that it becomes more and more common and all kittens and puppies will begin being altered early by breeders, rescue organizations, and pet owners.
Here is Toulouse a 4 year old altered male in all his glory!!

He isn't fat at all, but 18 lbs of Raggie love.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Oh my... Toulouse is absolutely gorgeous!! Thanks for those articles and your input. Much appreciated.
post #14 of 27
My handsome Steve was neutered when I got him at 8 weeks old (hence the surname Knoballz). He is large (16 lbs) and very manly. The only thing I have noticed is that he doesn't care about catnip at all. I read that catnip elicited a sexual response and cats who are neutered or spayed before 6 months old won't be interested in it.
post #15 of 27
I couldn't agree more that pediatric speutering is the way to go - it SAVES lives. I don't know of any rescue group that I work with (dog and cat) that doesn't do pediatric speutering - the alternative, to adopt out young animals intact or to wait until they are old enough for the "traditional" age of speautering ... that decreases that adoption rates. People want young, thus they get pediatric speutered animals.
post #16 of 27
I called my vet today and asked about getting Davidson neutered early (he's 8 1/2 weeks now) - and they said they don't like to do it any earlier than 6 months, but then she said it actually depends on how soon they 'develop'.

I was really hoping to get him neutered as soon as possible, I don't want to go thru the spraying we went thru with Harley!
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
What was the vet's reasoning on the "at least 6 months old"?
post #18 of 27
She didn't say - I'm going to talk directly to the vet about that when he goes in for his appointment
post #19 of 27
My kitties were neutered when they were 2 months old. Was that too early? One of my cats doesnt always pee in his litterbox. Could being neutered too early be the cause?
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mairi II
Is there a new trend in neutering kittens? I mean young kittens? I have always had male Maine Coons in the past and always, always waited until I couldn't wait any longer - typically around 8 months old. One of our cats we got from a shelter had just been neutered at 9 WEEKS and the Ragdoll we just acquired had been neutered at 8 weeks.

What are the ramifications? With the Maine Coons we always waited because we were warned an early neuter would affect the ultimate size. This is not the thinking any longer? What about higher incidence of urinary tract infections?

Thanks very much for any thoughts.
Thanks for asking this question! I hope that there will be significant responses so that we all will be better informed.

I had posted a similiar question, but you were better able to articulate this kind of inquiry.

I did receive some information that was helpful, I'm looking forward to reading the responses to your post.

Gloria \t
My Post: Spayed Females Possible Health Problems with aging
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mairi II
What was the vet's reasoning on the "at least 6 months old"?
It's old school practice. Early spay and neuter practices (2 pounds, 8 weeks) have been around for about 20 years and there are really no documented problems associated with the procedure. It has become more prevelant as attitudes change within rescue groups. There are more and more no-kill type groups, and when you run a business where you would actually like to be out of that business one day, early spay and neuter makes sense. There is never a guarantee that a person adopting an animal from a shelter will have their pets fixed and it perpetuates the need for that shelter. Early spay/neuter breaks the euthanasia cycle.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilytimeRags
If you do a search on pediatric spay and neuter, you will find many posts in favor of this type of altering. It is very, very common amongst Ragdoll breeders to spay and neuter early, and to keep our kittens at least 10-12 weeks of age.
Most or all of the myths around early alter have been disfounded. There are 2 articles that I always like to reference, and they are very helpful.
http://www.winnfelinehealth.org//hea...ay-neuter.html

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


As well, we have had all of our kittens early altered before they go home without ever having a problem. Here is a picture of our 4 year old altered male Ragdoll, who has NEVER had a health issue, and never any surrounding pediatric spay or neuter. I hope that it becomes more and more common and all kittens and puppies will begin being altered early by breeders, rescue organizations, and pet owners.
Here is Toulouse a 4 year old altered male in all his glory!!

He isn't fat at all, but 18 lbs of Raggie love.
Thanks for this post! I especially am grateful for the links. Education is a wonderful thing!

My daughter adopted a Ragdoll from the SPCA in San Bernadino CA - they didn't identify her breed correctly - but after my daughter did a little research she identified her as a Ragdoll. She's beautiful, and is grooming herself, and others, all of the time :-)

Thanks, again -- I'll be looking for other informative posts from you :-)

Gloria
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittyluver27
My kitties were neutered when they were 2 months old. Was that too early? One of my cats doesnt always pee in his litterbox. Could being neutered too early be the cause?
Not always peeing in the litterbox I think would be more likely from a cat that was neutered later and more likely he is marking. I cannot imagine how neutering at 2 months would have any effect on the cat's litterbox behaviors.

Going outside the box is more likely from a UTI or crystals where it is actually painful for the cat to go in the box and therefore it sometimes chooses to go elsewhere. BTW you most likely will have no idea of the pain a cat is in when it has a UTI, sometimes they will cry when going but a lot of times they don't so it is left untreated or thought to be that the cat is acting out which is not true.
post #24 of 27
Our shelter has a low cost spay and neuter clinic, and all the vet does is spay and neuter, and I believe is an absolutely wonderful vet. They also do the 8 week/2 pound thing, for the same reasons others are saying - less problems down the track. As long as the kitten is healthy, it shouldn't be a problem at all.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen
Not always peeing in the litterbox I think would be more likely from a cat that was neutered later and more likely he is marking. I cannot imagine how neutering at 2 months would have any effect on the cat's litterbox behaviors.

Going outside the box is more likely from a UTI or crystals where it is actually painful for the cat to go in the box and therefore it sometimes chooses to go elsewhere. BTW you most likely will have no idea of the pain a cat is in when it has a UTI, sometimes they will cry when going but a lot of times they don't so it is left untreated or thought to be that the cat is acting out which is not true.
Jen, I couldn't agree with you more. Although, typically a whole male neutered later will usually stop spraying after the hormones have left and leveled, not always the case, but most of the time.
I would assume a possible UTI as well, and cats aren't too great at letting us know when they are in pain. It is worth a check at least.
post #26 of 27
4 of our 6 were altered at 8 weeks/2 pounds.
The oldest of our pediatric neuter kitties is 7 and he's a very svelt (foreign body type), but very 'manly' 13 pound boy.

My twelve year old NFC was spayed at 4 months, but only 2.5 pounds, the only reason she wasn't done earlier was her size and malnurishment.

Both of these cats have never had a medical issue of any kind.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
4 of our 6 were altered at 8 weeks/2 pounds.
The oldest of our pediatric neuter kitties is 7 and he's a very svelt (foreign body type), but very 'manly' 13 pound boy.

My twelve year old NFC was spayed at 4 months, but only 2.5 pounds, the only reason she wasn't done earlier was her size and malnurishment.

Both of these cats have never had a medical issue of any kind.
Thanks, Arlyn -
Whew! they were so small!, It's wonderful to hear the good report about how healthy they are!

Thanks for taking the time to help me by providing this information.

Gloria
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