How Old Before You can Fix a Kitten? The Benefits of Spaying or Neutering a Cat
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How old before you can fix a kitten? Young cats become sexually mature from five months old, so it’s important to have your cat fixed at four months to help prevent unwanted litters of kittens.
The age at which a female kitten can be neutered, and a male cat can be spayed or fixed ranges from four to five months. Generally speaking, kittens should be at least four months old before they are fixed to ensure any potential health issues related to surgery are avoided. This is also the age when a kitten’s vaccines have been completed, and their immune systems are developed enough to handle the surgery and its aftercare.
This article will answer the question, ‘how old before you can fix a kitten?’ We’ll look at the benefits of neutering and spaying and discuss the best time to get the operation for males and females.
How old before you can fix a kitten?
Fixing is the general term for spaying and neutering, an operation to stop cats from having or fathering kittens. Female kittens are neutered to prevent pregnancies from occurring, while male kittens are fixed or given the snip.
Kittens reach sexual maturity at about five months old, and at this age, a female will be able to get pregnant and have kittens.
Males can father kittens from around five to six months of age. It’s therefore recommended that you have your kitten fixed when your pet reaches four months old. At this age, a kitten has had its vaccinations and is old enough for surgery.
- The female operation is called neutering
- Male kittens are spayed or have ‘the snip’
- Both procedures can be referred to as ‘fixing’ or ‘being done’
It’s essential to have your kitten fixed before letting your pet outdoors. Male cats are more likely to roam looking for a female if they haven’t been fixed, while females can get pregnant while they are still a kitten themselves. Having kittens at a young age can be very stressful for a cat.
The benefits of fixing a kitten
Fixing a young cat at the right time has many benefits, the main one being that the operation will help to prevent unwanted pregnancies. This can also help reduce instances of feral cat populations, as well as decrease potential health risks associated with feline pregnancies.
The ASPCA recommends that all cats should be fixed or spayed before they reach six months of age. This helps to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and means fewer kittens need to be re-homed.
Male cats are also likely to roam further from home if they haven’t been fixed. This puts them at greater risk of being hit by a cat or getting into fights with other tom cats. Unaltered male cats will also mark their territory by spraying urine which can be smelly and isn’t something you want in or around your home.
Fixing or spaying a cat also has long-term health benefits, as it can help reduce the chances of various illnesses, including some cancers and infections typically associated with reproduction.
It can also help stop the spread of FIV, which is the feline version of HIV. This virus can’t be contracted by humans but is spread to cats via bites while fighting. Male cats are more at risk of FIV if they haven’t been fixed, as they will be fighting over females.
- Prevents unwanted pregnancies
- Reduces feral cat populations
- Fewer kittens need to be rehomed
- Improved health and wellbeing
- Reduces the chance of contracting FIV
- Stops male cats roaming
What to expect from the operation
Contracting a vet will allow you to get guidance on the best age at which to fix your kitten. You can also discuss safety concerns or aftercare needs. Spaying or neutering are straightforward operations that are standard procedures for cats. Most animals can be dropped off and picked up from the vet on the same day.
After surgery, you’ll be advised how to care for your pet; this will involve keeping your kitten indoors until the wound has healed.
How old before you can fix a kitten: Conclusion
In conclusion, kittens should be at least four months old before they can be neutered or spayed, and it is advisable to have them fixed by six months of age for the best overall health benefits.
Responsible owners will fix their pets to help reduce the number of cats living as ferals and reduce overpopulation in shelters. Following these guidelines can help ensure your pet has the best chance at a healthy, happy life.