When To Spay or Neuter Your Cat

The cat spay or neuter is a surgical procedure that will stop cats from reproducing. If you have a cat and would like to spay or neuter her/him, you should find out about the best time to do this. A female cat will be spayed and a male cat will be neutered. The best time for the neutering is just before or after reaching the sexual maturity.

Cat Spay and Neuter Procedures

Cats can be spayed or neutered to prevent the unwanted kittens. Female cats will be spayed, which involves the removal of the ovaries, also known as the ovariohystectomy.

Male cats can be sterilized and the process is known as orchectomy or neutering, when the testicles will be removed.

Neutering is a term that may be used both for males and females.

The cat neuter surgery is not complicated; the neutering is performed on an outpatient basis and will take between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the age of the cat. The surgery can be performed with laser beams also, which causes less complications, but it is more expensive than traditional neutering.

When to Spay or Neuter the Cat

The best time to spay or neuter the cat is just before the cat becomes sexually mature; this happens before the first heat cycles in females, which is when the cat is about 6 months old. In some cat breeds, the cat only comes into heat at the age of 1.

Kittens may be neutered, but some vets will not recommend this procedure. In any case, the kitten spay or kitten neuter is not recommended before the age of 6 weeks.

Even if the ideal time to neuter a cat is at the age of 6 to 12 months, the cat can be neutered at any age. If the cat is older, the procedure may be more complicated; also in cats that have already given birth, the surgery may take longer.

Ideally, the cat shouldn't be neutered during heat cycles or if the cat is pregnant. The spaying surgery can be performed, but this procedure may have certain risks.

Why to Neuter Cats

In addition to the fact that the neutering surgery will not allow the cat to reproduce, the neutering can have other health benefits and behavior changes also.

The health benefits of neutering include:

  • A female cat will no longer go in heat and this will result in no behavior changes that are related to the heat cycle
  • Male cats will no longer spray and are less likely to get into fights, which will mean that the cat will no longer be exposed to injuries due to fights
  • The cat will be calmer and more affectionate
  • Decreased chances of reproductive system cancers (prostate cancer, ovary or mammary gland tumors).