When male cats are neutered, their testicles are surgically removed to prevent them from mating. It’s a procedure that provides health benefits and also reduces the population of unwanted cats who are feral or living in shelters. But when should the procedure be done? Here we’ll discuss when to neuter a cat.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO NEUTER A CAT?
The most commonly recommended time to neuter a cat is between 5-6 months of age. Your cat should weigh 2 lbs or more when they’re altered.
Even though a male cat may reach full sexual maturity as early as 14 weeks old or less than 4 months old, neutering too early can lead to a greater risk for urinary tract issues.
UPSIDES OF EARLY NEUTERING
Early neutering can prevent a host of behavioral challenges. If you neuter your male cats before they begin to spray -- a stinky, messy marking of their territory -- they will likely never pick up the habit. Neutered cats also tend to be more affectionate and docile. Because a neutered cat has a significantly reduced sex drive, they’re less likely to wander and roam.
Aside from the behavioral benefits, neutering boy kitties early prevents them from impregnating female cats. Millions of cats are euthanized in America each year. Spaying and neutering our cats, and keeping the streets free from unwanted litters, is one of the most fair and kind things we, as cat lovers, can do.
DOWNSIDES OF NEUTERING
Neutered cats have more of a tendency to become obese. This can be resolved by adjusting your pet’s diet with a bit of veterinary input. Also, offer your cat loads of play time to help them get exercise.
TIPS FOR BREEDING CATS
If you wish to breed your cat, do so responsibly and purposefully. Before breeding, look for resources related to your cat’s breed to see if he meets breed standards. Have your vet check your cat for the likelihood that he’ll pass on genetic health problems to a litter. If you decide to leave your cat unaltered so that he may breed, be sure to keep him indoors and away from other unaltered cats. If you decide you’d like to stop breeding your cat, have him neutered as soon as you’ve made the decision. If you’re raising a litter, be aware that unaltered male kittens at just 14 weeks of age have been known to impregnate their siblings and other cats in the house.
More on Cat Health
How Much Should Neutering a Pet Cost
All About Spaying and Neutering Dogs and Cats
Kitten Health Basics
Understanding the Lifetime Cost of a Cat
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.