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 Early Neutering 

We follow the current recommendations of the ASPCA and the American Veterinary Medical Association for early neutering of all pet kittens before they go to their new homes.*

Compared with neutering at a later age, early neutering between 8 and 16 weeks old has been shown to result in a faster, easier recovery. Reproductive organs of young kittens compared to older kittens are quite small and undeveloped, which means their removal potentially causes less bleeding, less pain, and healing is rapid. In the years (since 1996) that we have been doing early neuter, we have been continually fascinated at the way young kittens are up and playing and eating normally only 12 hours after surgery. In contrast, older kittens and adult cats, especially the females, are lethargic and not eating for a week after surgery, apparently because of pain.

Veterinary research studies have not found any convincing evidence of ill effects of early neutering compared to neutering at age 6 months or age 12 months. In fact, early neutering seems to offer only advantages over neutering at older ages. In addition to faster and easier recovery, kittens neutered early apparently achieve slightly greater adult size and have a lower risk of mammary cancer. Kittens that are neutered early are less likely to develop aggressive behavior and urine spraying habits compared to early maturing kittens neutered at later ages. For more information about early neuter, please read the following articles:

From the American Association of Feline Practitioners:
AAFP Position Statement: Early Spay and Castration

From the Journal of Reproductive Fertility:  

Early-Age Neutering of Dogs and Cats in the United States (A Review)

From the ASPCA: 

Spay/Neuter Your Pet

From the Winn Feline Foundation: 

Early-Age Spaying and Neutering 


*Note: The English verb "neuter" means "to desex." It comes from the same linguistic origin as the word "neutral." Contrary to what you may have heard, the word "neuter" can refer to either spaying of females or castration of males.

Copyright 1996-2011 by Dr. Cris Bird of Sarsenstone Cattery. You may not redistribute it in any form without the express written consent of the copyright holder.