The best time to spay puppy or kitten is before they reach puberty.
Typically this is around 6 months but some veterinarians will do these surgeries on puppies or kittens when they reach 2 lbs if they’re in animal shelters, rescue organizations or if they’re feral or community cats.
Didja know that some female cats can get pregnant as early as 4 months old!?!
When is the Best Time to Get Your Puppy or Kitten Fixed?
The ideal time to spay your puppy or kitten is before their first heat cycle.
We suggest you get your kitty fixed so you can prevent an ‘OOPS’ litter. Here’s a not-so-fun fact from Fayette Humane Society:
An average cat has 1-8 kittens per litter and 2-3 litters per year. During her productive life, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens. A single pair of cats and their kittens can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years.
Neuter Before Puberty
Neutering your male puppy or kitten before puberty will:
- Reduce testicular and prostate cancer in both cats and dogs
- Reduces mammary cancers and tumors developing in both cats and dogs
- Reduce the desire to jump your fence, run outside to mate or hump your leg
- Reduce the spraying or marking behavior (leading factor in people giving their pets away)
- Helps your dog or cat be better house pets by lowering their testosterone levels
Can Older Dogs and Cats Be Spayed or Neutered?
Generally they can if they’re healthy. Always consult a reputable veterinarian and have the dog or cat evaluated before performing this surgery.
As stated before, the best time to spay puppy or kitten is before they reach middle age but vets will spay and neuter older pets. However, if you’re doing the surgery because your dog or cat is peeing everywhere and you’ve been told that getting him fixed may help, don’t bet on it. That may not solve the problem.
Pet Developed a Spraying Problem?
If your dog or cat has developed spraying or marking behavior, spaying or neutering may not curb his or her urge to pee in the house.
That behavior or habit may be already set in their minds but…spaying or neutering can definitely help. It’s not a cure all and if you manage the behavior yourself, with professional training, you should notice a difference.
Things you can try to reduce their need to mark/spray include:
- Clean areas they’ve already peed on with enzymatic pet urine cleaner
- Clean or replace cat litter boxes and scoop daily
- Try different cat litter
- Have one more litter box then number of cats you have, place boxes in various places around your home
- Take dog outside more frequently to potty
- Put physical object in the place of frequent potty places
When Should You NOT Spay or Neuter Before Puberty
People who will show their dogs or cats in a professional manner, like at the Westminster Kennel Club, American Cat Fanciers Association or other professional show circuits might not want to spay or neuter when their pet is younger. There’s a big debate on this topic but we urge you to talk to your veterinarian and do your research.
Military Working Dogs and Police Canines
Spaying and neutering isn’t typically done to military working dogs or police canines. It’s believed these high-energy dogs benefit from being spayed or neuter later. However, in some cases it is done at younger ages but when it is, it usually doesn’t happen until the dog is over 2 years old. Here’s an article that discusses the 9 biggest myths about military working dogs.
If you’re still wondering when the best time is to spay puppy or kitten, err on the side of youth…getting them fixed when they’re young helps them bounce back after surgery, helps them NOT start peeing in the house, reduces unwanted litters and helps pets become adopted much more quicker.
If you’re looking for a local veterinarian, send us a message, we can refer you to some awesome vets in Muncie, Anderson and New Castle!
Please spay or neuter your pet,
Kelley Stewart, CEO|Pet Sitter
sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC
“Your pet sitting, dog walking, poop scooping specialists!”