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How old should a kitten be before being spayed or neutered?

How old should a kitten be before being spayed or neutered?

by Sonia Atamian
(Calgary Alberta Canada)

Hi, I would like to know how old a kitten/cat needs to be before it can be spayed.


Hi Sonia…. thanks for visiting and asking. I’ll answer the question in relation to spaying (female) and neutering (male).

I’ll quote from the best cat health book: Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook, Fully Revised and Updated

Cat Care & Health Books).


The best time is when the cat is 6 or 7 months of age. By this time the cat’s growth and bone structure are not adversely affected. If castrated before 6 months of age (before development of secondary sexual characteristics} “his penis may remain small”.


The best time is at 5 to 7 months of age before the female cat goes into heat for the first time. Sometimes vets do it as early as 7 weeks of age. The vet authors of the above mentioned book say that early spaying does not cause health problems or long term behavioral effects.

Hope this helps.

See Neutering Cats too if you like.



How old should a kitten be before being spayed or neutered? to cat health problems

Comments for
How old should a kitten be before being spayed or neutered?

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Jun 08, 2011 Animal control
by: Ruth (Monty’s Mom)

I understand why animal control insisted on neutering Monty early. They did give him a month to mature, so he was probably three months old when it was done. The month I adopted him Milwaukee animal control killed over 600 cats. I had no idea at the time how bad things were. I pictured it as no kittens being killed, any friendly cats sent on to other shelters after the 7 day hold, and really only feral or sick cats being killed. I think Elisa’s rescue work well illustrates the truth and the shelter she works with kills fewer cats than the facility I rescued Monty from! However, animal control refused to declaw him. That was still during the time my husband was making it an issue because he had some friends telling him exaggerated stories of the supposed destructiveness of cats claws and how you “have to” declaw. The woman at animal control was the first person to try to talk me out of it and sites like this one (and others like it) totally convinced me. If I ever have another cat needing to be neutered I’ll see if animal control will let me pay them to do it because I’ll know my cat could not be declawed accidentally there, as can happen with some vets who routinely declaw with spay/neuter operations.

Jun 08, 2011 Too right
by: Anonymous

Neutering too young takes their kittenhood and in the USA and Canada the vets who declaw cats don’t give a toss about the health of the cats in later life.
They take out their reproductive bits and chop off their toe ends while they are tiny unprotesting babies because that means more lovely dollars in their bank accounts!
BOYCOTT declaw vets!
They are not to be trusted!

Jun 08, 2011 Agreed
by: Michael

I agree Ruth. I don’t like the idea at all. This is an earlier article on the subject:

At What Age Should A Cat Be Spayed Or Neutered?

Jun 08, 2011 My opinion
by: Ruth

It worries me that some vets recommend a kitten is neutered (which means de-sexed, spayed for a female, castrated for a male) very young.
They reckon it doesn’t affect the kitten’s developement and that the younger they are neutered the quicker they recover. Well I may be old fashioned but I’m not convinced of either of those facts.
Compare it to human surgery, surgeons don’t operate on tiny babies unless it’s essential, they wait until the child is older and stronger because no matter how careful they are, the anaesthetic and the shock of the operation is still a risk.
Every vet I worked for and the vets we use now, recommend kittens to be at least 5/6 months old for either sex, the males preferably 6 months although you need to go by how mature they are by the size of their testicles. One of our present cats was ready at 5 months, but the other was 7 months before it was his turn.
A female can come into season as young as 4 months but they are normally older. If she does start calling and rolling around wanting to mate before 5/6 months, simply book her in to be spayed for around a week to 10 days later.

Jun 07, 2011 Early neuter affects male appearance
by: Ruth (Monty’s Mom)

My little guy was neutered very young. He was a feral kitten and my husband initially made me turn him in to animal control. I convinced my husband to let me go back for Monty. Animal control told me in no uncertain terms that I would bring the cat back to be neutered in a few weeks– they specified the day and I had to comply if I wanted to keep the cat. Some of his siblings from another litter are at a shelter near me now. Monty resembles the females. The male cats, who were neutered at an older age than Monty, look a lot different than Monty. Monty is smaller and more effeminate than he would have been. He has a relatively small head. If I’d had my choice I would have waited a bit longer to get him fixed. But he’s a happy cat today with a loving home, and that’s what really counts.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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