Have you ever wondered when it’s too late to neuter a cat?
The answer is never. Cats can be neutered/spayed at any age, and the benefits are many. Neutering your male cat will help him live a healthier life while reducing his risk of certain diseases and behavior problems. And spaying your female cat will prevent unwanted litter, as well as cancer and other health issues later in life. Plus, the procedures are safe for your pets.
If you’re thinking about having your cat fixed but aren’t sure if it’s the right time yet, here are some things that might influence when you should schedule an appointment for their surgery.
The Right Age or Time to Spay Or Neuter A Cat?
You can neuter or spay your cat whenever you want! There is no defined age limit for neutering a cat as long as they are hale and hearty. However, you can take your time and wait as long as you wish, but that does not mean you should. When it’s about neutering a cat, the earlier it is, the better it will be for you and your cat.
According to the experts, the ideal age to spay/neuter a cat is before it gets five months old. If you own a cat, the right neutering age is 4 to 5 months. However, for cats in animal shelters, the right age could be as early as 7 to 8 weeks.
Many researches and scientific evidence show that there are no medical or behavioral reasons to delay the neutering of cats past five months, and there are various health benefits to neutering cats before they get five months old. Besides, early surgeries are faster and much more safer.
Most cat breeds, such as Maine Coon and Persian Cats (both males and females), can be neutered when they reach four months. Neutering young kittens are also safe and have many benefits, especially for female cats. However, you need to consult with your vet for the exact neutering age of your cat.
Another important thing to remember is that anesthetic risks are higher in small kittens than in old cats. So your vet might recommend you to wait for some time if your cat’s weight is less than recommended.
Cat’s overall health matters a lot when it comes to neutering. Overweight cats are also prone to the anesthetic, and in severe cases, surgery can get complicated.
Lastly, if your cat has any other health problem, it can change the neutering time.
When not to neuter or spay your cat?
Although neutering or spaying a cat is highly recommended by the vets and authorities but in some cases, neutering or spaying a cat is not an ideal decision. In these particular cases, we can say it is too late to neuter a cat. Here are those specific conditions and diseases:
A general rule is your cat must be in good shape and health. Hence if your cat shows any signs of illness or problems like flu, coughing, sneezing, runny eyes, or pain, it is possible that the vet will decline or postpone the surgery.
Is your cat suffering from bone cancer?
The second scenario when neutering a cat is not recommended is, when your pet has developed bone cancer. However, if it is in the early stages, the vet might proceed with the surgery. Thus it depends on cancer’s severity.
Is your cat too young?
If your cat is too young, let’s say one or two months, vets will examine its weight and overall, and then they will decide whether neutering your cat will be safe or not. In most cases, vets might not neuter or spay such young cats as it can disrupt hormonal processes.
Is your cat suffering from a urinary infection?
Spaying might not be suitable for female cats suffering from urinary infections or incontinence as it can make the infection worse. However, vets will examine your pet before giving their verdict.
Is your cat allergic?
If your cat is allergic to vaccinations that will be used, your vet might postpone the surgery or suggest other options.
Orthopedic issues can delay or decline the neutering surgery:
Neutering cats with orthopedic disorders are not advised. Similarly, if your cat’s skeletal growth is not completed, they should not be neutered until.
Cat’s Blood work
Before the surgery, the veterinarian will examine your cat’s recent blood work, and if they notice anything unusual or any severe problem, they will not opt for the surgery and treat that problem first.
Can your cat tolerate anesthesia?
Some cats cannot tolerate anesthesia; however, such cases are extremely rare, but there is always a possibility. If that’s the case with your furry, it is too to neuter the cat. Apart from it, if your cat’s clotting ability is not up to the mark vet cannot neuter a cat.
Neutering an elderly cat is always complicated:
If you have a senior cat (over the age of 6), vets will recommend a thyroid gland check, and if there are any complications, they might delay or postpone the neutering surgery.
REASONS TO PERFORM EARLY NEUTER
Reduction In population
Not many people know, but the fact is pet overpopulation is a serious issue. According to recent studies, around 5 million dogs and cats come to animal shelters in the USA every year. That is the main reason for the higher euthanasia rate in animal shelters.
Curtail Health Risks
As mentioned above, there are many benefits to neutering cats before they get five months old. Many scientific studies have proven that the rate of mammary neoplasia in neutered cats is much lesser than the others. It is a significant benefit you cannot overlook as mammary neoplasia is the third most common cancer in pet cats.
Furthermore, around 96% of mammary tumors in kittens are malignant, and the survival rate is less than one year. Other than that, neutering for cats also reduces the risks of the uterus, ovaries, and testes.
Back in 2013, the Benfield State of Pet Health Report issued a detailed report on the neutered cats. The study showed that life expectancy was considerably longer for neutered cats than the intact cats. To be precise, life expectancy for female spayed cats was around 13 years, while it was around nine years for others. Similarly, life expectancy for male neutered cats was 12 years, while for intact male cats, the life expectancy was seven years.
Decrease Shelter Populations
Neutering cats helps to decrease the animal population in shelters. Most countries, including the USA and UK, have massive numbers of pets in animal shelters, and these numbers should be decreased to protect poor animals from euthanization.
The population of only cats and dogs is in the millions only in the United States. Cats are 45 times productive, while dogs are 15 times prolific than humans. Hence no need to expand their numbers; instead, we should think about reducing the numbers as there are not many homes for them all.
A study revealed that around one-third of cat relinquishments to animal shelters are due to the sexual behaviors of the cats, especially stray cats. For female cats, spaying before five months of age helps to eliminate unwanted behaviors and pregnancies. For males, neutering them at an early age helps to reduce male territorial marking, aggressiveness, fighting, and roaming.
Concerns About Early Neutering
Despite the above-mentioned benefits of neutering cats at an early age, there are some questions on the process, and most of them are about surgical and anesthetic complications. Let’s check these out below.
Can Early Neutering of Cats Results In Anesthetic Complications?
The majority of studies and vets have proved that early spays/neuters for cats are safer, faster, and simpler than the same surgeries in older cats (6 months of age or above).
Placing a pet under anesthesia is an essential decision for any owner. The risks are low, and there are various handy devices and options to make things hassle-free. For example, monitoring devices that keep track of heart rate or respiratory function during surgery ensure safety in this procedure so you can feel confident about going ahead with it.
There are many health benefits of having your pet spayed or neutered at an early age. For example, it can help reduce the risk for certain diseases that animals contract in their lifetime and reduces testosterone production, which means they will not be as likely to behave badly around other people due to hormonal fluctuations. If you want to know more or have any other concerns or questions about this process, then consult with your vet.
This is a fact that pet owners cannot deny; neutered and spayed cats tend to get fatter than others. That risk is further increased when you neuter them before the first heat cycle. If you want to prevent this issue in your cat, consult the vet and provide the pet a healthy and balanced diet.
As neutered cats tend to get fat, so the risks of diabetes in those cats increase dramatically. Again the key to preventing this threat is to opt for a well-balanced diet and your vet’s advice.
This cancer is more common in dogs, but you will found it also in cats. Statistically speaking, it is found more in the neutered animals.
Do The Negative Effects Of Neutering Outweigh The Positive Effects?
Yes, the positives outweigh the negatives. Early neutering of cats has plenty of benefits for you as well as for your pet, but this also depends on the cat’s health and overall condition. The best approach in this regard is to make your decision after considering the facts.
You will found a lot of information about nurturing of cats, and even a common pet owner can understand it. So, early neutering is always better and advisable, and it is never too late to neuter a cat.
Does Early Neutering In Cats Causes Urinary Tract Obstruction?
The most common argument that supports delaying neutering in male cats is that early neutering can cause urethral obstructions. This is a myth and a false one, and multiple studies prove that neutering for young cats is safe and secure. None of the research or scientific studies have proved the incidence of urinary obstruction among young neutered male cats.
Can Early Neuter Cause Orthopedic Problems?
This is true, but not for cats. The studies have shown some concerns that early neutering of some dog breeds can cause orthopedic problems. No studies or research have found a relationship or evidence between neutering and orthopedic problems in cats.
Will neutering make the cat fat?
There is no straightforward to this question. After neutering, your cat won’t need as many calories to get an optimum healthy weight. If you continue to feed your cat too much food or an unhealthy diet, they can get fat quickly. That’s why you need to feed an appropriate amount of food to your cat after consulting the matter with your vet.
In some cases, your vet might suggest special foods for your neutered cats. You will have to work hard to maintain the right balance of food and the cat’s weight to prevent them from getting fat.
How old is too old?
If your male cat is healthy, there is no defined age limit for neutering. Older cats that are not spayed might suffer from life-threatening infections such as uterus cancer and breast cancer. Older male cats that are not neutered might suffer from prostate diseases or tumors on the testicles.
How long is the recovery period in early kittens after neutering?
Recovery depends on various factors such as age, health, and personality. Young kittens seem to behave normally on the next day. While in older cats, recovery is slower, around three to four days. The cut/wound needs up to 14 days to heal completely.
Cats can be neutered at any age. If you’re still wondering, “When is it too late to neuter a cat?” the answer is never. For male cats, neutering will reduce their risk of certain diseases and behavior problems. And spaying your female cat will help prevent unwanted litter as well as cancer later in life. Plus, both procedures are safe for your pets–so there’s no reason not to get them done on time.
Abort or Spay: Your Choice
Spaying a pregnant cat is possible, but only if your cat is in the early stage of the pregnancy. If your cat’s pregnancy is old, you will have to go for the abortion first then you can spay your cat.