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How Old Do Kittens Have to Be to Get Fixed?

If you have recently welcomed a new kitten or adult cat into your home, you may be wondering about the best time to have them spayed or neutered. Our San Diego veterinarians can explain the benefits of having your cat fixed, both for your feline friend and for your community.

When is It Safe to Spay or Neuter a Kitten?

It is important to have your cats spayed or neutered. Animal shelters throughout San Diego are filled with homeless cats and kittens. According to 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 significantly reduce the number of homeless cats in your area. Additionally, it can reduce your cat's risk of disease and help curb many undesirable cat behaviors.

What is the Best Age to Spay a Kitten?

It's best for most cats to be spayed and/or neutered at 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?

When it comes to spaying and neutering your cat, it's important to understand the differences between the two procedures for each gender. Spaying is the term used for female cats, involving the surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries, or sometimes just the ovaries, to prevent the cat from having kittens. Neutering, on the other hand, is the term used for male cats. It involves the surgical removal of the testicles to prevent the cat from fathering 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 consist of as many as 10 kittens! That means your cat could have as many as 40 kittens every year! That is a considerable number of kittens that need homes.

Reduce the Risk of Diseases

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

Protect Wildlife in Your Neighborhood

Cats are considered a threat to ecosystems. In the USA, it is estimated that cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds annually. Domesticated cats are also responsible for the extinction of at least 63 species. Therefore, by reducing the population of homeless cats, you are also helping to protect birds and other small animals.

Deter Unwanted Behaviors

When your female cat is spayed, it can prevent male cats from entering your backyard. Unspayed female cats attract the attention of male cats in the neighborhood, leading to potential issues. Unneutered male cats may linger around your house and cause problems in the garden by spraying, fighting, and howling.

Benefits of Neutering Your Male Cat

Reduced Numbers of Unwanted Kittens

Neutering a male cat can prevent him from impregnating multiple female cats, helping to reduce the number of homeless cats in your area.

Reduced Risk of 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

Unneutered male cats are more prone to spraying urine inside the home and displaying territorial and mating behaviors. Neutering your male kitten at a young age can help prevent such spraying and other unwanted behaviors.

    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.

    Ready to schedule your cat's spaying or neutering? Contact our veterinarians at San Diego Bay Animal Hospital to make an appointment.

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    San Diego Bay Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of San Diego companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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