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Age for Neutering Cats (2024)

It is up to each owner to neuter his cat or not, but before making a decision. It would help if you found out what time the cats are neutered. Many owners castrate their pets at an early age because they do not plan to breed kittens and do not want to increase the number of stray animals. Others, on the other hand, do not think about this problem. Adult animals are usually castrated due to health problems or to stop their territory marks and meows in the spring. Read on to learn the age of neutering cats.

Castration has many benefits, for example:

  • Neutered cats have a longer lifespan;
  • The pet will lose aggression;
  • Meowing will stop with the arrival of spring;
  • The cat will stop marking territory.

Optimal age for castration

The question of castration is considered especially acute during the mating season. When the cat begins to tear furniture and carpets and meow, veterinarians advise neutering a cat up to one year old, but you can neuter a cat and an older one. Age from 6 to 12 months is considered optimal for castration. At this time, the cat’s body is ready for such an operation, while puberty has not yet been completed. Consequently, at this time, hormones are produced only in the testes, which allows them to stop their production by castration.
After a year, hormones begin to be produced in the pituitary gland, especially after mating with a cat. So, castration may not eliminate all problems. You can castrate a cat at six months when he has already gained the necessary mass. But at the same time, puberty has not yet ended.
At the age of 6 to 12 months, the operation takes place without complications, and the kitten quickly returns to everyday life.

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Veterinarians established the recommended age for castration a long time ago, but now, more and more often, this operation is also performed on small kittens. The fact is that medicine does not stand still, and modern drugs do not bring the body such harm as anesthesia, which was before. Previous anesthetic drugs required a lengthy recovery period and negatively affected the kitten’s liver and kidneys. Modern drugs have become safer, which made it possible to castrate tiny kittens.
It is possible to castrate a kitten as early as 8 to 12 weeks of age without complications.
In some countries, a law obliges cat owners to neuter kittens for up to 12 weeks. Neutering kittens has many benefits and saves time. A cat who is castrated at an early age will not have such problems as aggression and territory marking. The kitten is castrated at a young age, due to which the operation will build less because the amount of drugs used is less. Tiny kittens quickly leave the operation and return to their old life.

Also, castration at an early age has disadvantages:

  • There is a risk that the kitten will have a hard time taking anesthesia, and the drugs will affect the condition of the kidneys and liver;
  • There is a risk that while under anesthesia, the kitten will develop hypothermia (decrease in body temperature).
  • After castration, testosterone production stops, which can lead to the cat not developing male character traits.
  • After neutering, the cat may behave like a kitten when it grows up.
  • By neutering a kitten, you can lose a promising cat for breeding because this can be determined only after six months.
  • Early castration can lead to future urological problems.

It is necessary to neuter the cat at such an early age, or you can wait a little longer; every owner decides for himself. There is no reason to rush to castration before the animals reach six months.

Neutering of elderly cats

The advanced age of cats begins at seven years old; at this age, cats are usually castrated only for medical reasons. Veterinarians do not recommend neutering old animals without serious reasons because they may not undergo surgery, and the risk of complications is also high. Usually, such an operation for pets over seven years old is carried out in connection with aggression, urinary incontinence, and diseases of the testes.
If it is necessary to castrate, you should prepare well for this. It is necessary to pass urine and blood tests, make an x-ray of the chest cavity, ultrasound of internal organs, and also consult a cardiologist. The pet can be sent for surgery only after positive results and the doctor’s permission.
If you castrate an old cat, his behavior will change, but not as much as in young animals. He can continue to mark territory, but the smell will no longer be as strong.
Some animals sometimes start asking for a cat because sex hormones in a cat that is more than two years old are produced in the pituitary gland.
There is an opinion that after castration, cats become passive, but this is not entirely true. Passive cats are obese because many owners forget that castrated cats need a different diet. If you feed him with regular food, the cat will quickly gain weight and become lazy. If you make the right diet and give food to neutered cats, then it will only become more active.

Best age to neuter a cat

Veterinarians agree that the optimal age for castration is from six months to two years. The benefits of castration at this age:

  • The cat has already gained the necessary mass, which allows the use of anesthesia;
  • The pituitary gland does not yet secrete sex hormones, so that castration can solve all problems;
  • The animal will stop marking territory;
  • The cat will not ask for the cat but will live a whole life.

In principle, you can castrate at almost any age, but it is better not to risk the health of your pet and to carry out the operation at the appropriate time. Thus, you can avoid many problems; moreover, he will quickly return to himself after the operation.

Jenifer Miona

Dr. Jenifer Miona is a highly skilled and compassionate veterinarian based in Ireland. With a passion for animal health and wellbeing, she has dedicated her career to providing the highest standard of veterinary care to pets and their families. After completing her veterinary degree at the University of Dublin, Dr. Miona went on to specialize in small animal medicine. She has since gained extensive experience in all areas of veterinary care, including routine check-ups, surgical procedures, and emergency treatments. In her clinic, Dr. Miona is known for her gentle and compassionate approach to patient care. She takes the time to listen to the concerns of pet owners and develops personalized treatment plans to meet the unique needs of each animal. Beyond her clinical work, Dr. Miona is active in the veterinary community and stays up-to-date with the latest advances in veterinary medicine through ongoing education and professional development. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the Irish Veterinary Association and the European College of Small Animal Medicine. Outside of her work as a veterinarian, Dr. Miona is an avid animal lover and enjoys spending time with her own pets. She also volunteers at local animal shelters and is committed to promoting animal welfare through community outreach and education.

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