Have you recently added a new kitten to the family and are unsure when to get them spayed or neutered? Our Grenada vets explain why and when you should get your new companion fixed.
Why You Should Get Your Kitten Fixed
Approximately 3.2 million cats enter US animal shelters every year according to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
The absolute best way to help reduce the number of unwanted cats in shelters is by spaying or neutering your kitten.
The benefits of spaying and neutering your pet doesn't stop at population control. Getting your kitten fixed could help to curb many undesirable cat behaviors and help to reduce the risk of your cat developing several serious health conditions.
Difference Between Spaying & Neutering
When we talk about getting a companion animal 'fixed' we are using a blanket term that covers both the spaying of female animals and the neutering of male animals. This surgical procedure has more benefits than just preventing unwanted litters of kittens.
Spaying Female Cats
When a cat is spayed, the uterus and ovaries (sometimes just the ovaries) of the female cat are surgically removed. After your cat has been spayed, she will no longer be able to have kittens.
Having your kitten spayed can prevent your cat from displaying undesired behavior such as roaming and aggression. The procedure can also protect your cat from health issues such as mammary gland tumors, as well as ovarian and/or uterine cancer.
Neutering Male Cats
Neutering, or castration as it is sometimes called, involves the removal of a male cat's testes. Having your male cat neutered will prevent him from fathering kittens.
After your kitten has been neutered, they will also be less likely to show undesired behavior such as aggression. The procedure can also protect your male cat from health issues like testicular cancer and prostate disease.
Having your cat spayed or neutered will help them live a longer and happier life.
When to Get Your Kitten Fixed
If you get your kitten spayed or neutered when it is too young, it can have a negative impact on your companion. However, if you spay or neuter your kitten too late, you may be missing out on some of the benefits that spaying and neutering can provide.
In general, in an effort to limit the number of unwanted pets, it is encouraged that you get your cat spayed or neutered at an early age. Even if you aren't exactly sure of your kitten's age, it is better to spay or neuter your kitten a bit early instead of risking them having unwanted kittens.
Kittens can typically be spayed or neutered around four months old, but your vet will be able to give you their opinion on when your specific kitten should undergo the procedure. Adult cats can also be spayed or neutered at any point.
Some pet owners have heard that you should wait to have your female cat spayed after their first estrus. However, this is a myth, and having the procedure done before their first cycle can provide health benefits in the future.