How Old Do Kittens Have to Be to Get Fixed?

If you have just got a new kitten or adult cat, you may be wondering when to have them fixed. Our San Angelo vets explain why having your cat spayed or neutered is beneficial for your cat and your community.

Should You Get Your Cat Fixed?

The short answer to this question is: yes. You should have your cats spayed or neutered as it is beneficial to their health and the community. Animal shelters throughout San Angelo are filled with homeless cats and kittens.

According to one estimate from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), around 3.2 million cats enter US animal shelters annually. Getting your new kitten fixed will help to significantly reduce the number of homeless cats in your area, and it can also reduce your cat's risk of reproductive disease, and help to curb many undesirable behaviors.

When Should You Get Your Cat Fixed?

The primary age for cats to be fixed is approximately four months old, or before they reach sexual maturity. Doing this offers the best protection against several health risks. Cats of any age can also be spayed or neutered if they are healthy. If you're unsure about when to get your cat fixed, just ask your vet, they can help you decide when to get your cat spayed or neutered.

How Are Spaying and Neutering Different?

There are differences when it comes to spaying and neutering your cat because they are spay and neutering are different procedures for different gendered cats.

When a female cat is fixed, this procedure is called. Spaying means that the vet surgically removes the cat's uterus and ovaries, or sometimes just the ovaries so that your cat is unable to have kittens. Male cats are neutered or castrated when they are fixed. This means that the vet surgically removes the cat's testicles so that your cat is no longer able to father kittens.

Benefits of Spaying Your Female Cat

Controlling the Number of Homeless Cats

Your cat may be able to have kittens of her own before she is even six months old. Not only that, female cats can have up to four litters a year, and each litter can be made up of as many as 10 kittens! That means your cat could have as many as 40 kittens every year! That is a lot of kitten that need homes.

Reduce Risk of Diseases

When you have your kitten spayed before she has her first heat cycle can reduce your cat's risk of developing breast cancer later in life, and eliminate the possibility of your cat developing pyometra (a potentially fatal infection of the womb).

Protect Wildlife in Your Neighborhood

Cats are considered threats to an ecosystem.  In the USA it is estimated that cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds annually. Domesticated cats are also accredited with the extinction of at least 63 species. By reducing the population of homeless cats, you are also helping to protect birds and other small animals.

Deter Unwanted Behaviors

Spaying your female cat can help to keep male cats out of your backyard. When female cats are not spayed, they attract the attention of neighborhood male cats. Male cats that are not neutered can hang around your house and the garden can be problematic since these males tend to spray, fight and howl.

Benefits of Neutering Your Male Cat

Reduced Numbers of Unwanted Kittens

One male cat who is not neutered can make many female cats pregnant at the same time. Having your male cat neutered can play a significant role in helping to reduce the number of homeless cats in your neighborhood.

Reduced Risk of Pet Health Problems

Neutering can help to reduce cat aggression and may mean fewer injuries from cat fights, and a reduced risk of your cat contracting FIV (immunodeficiency virus) or FeLV (Feline leukemia virus). Neutering can also curb your male cat's tendency to roam, reducing his risk of being injured by a vehicle.

Helps to Reduce Spraying

Typically, male cats who have not been neutered yet, will spray urine inside the home more often than neutered males, and often try to get outside more. Having your male kitten neutered while he's young can help to prevent spraying and other territorial and mating behaviors from starting.

    In Conclusion

    Do your part to control the pet population and have your cat spayed or neutered.

    Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

    If you have more questions about the early stages of raising your kitten or protecting your health, contact our San Angelo veterinarians today.