If you have been reading my development series, then you have been following along to the different stages of a kitten’s life. At this point, you have gotten through week two all the way through week eight, You learned how to bottle feed a kitten, how to ween a kitten onto solid food, and when a kitten can leave their mother.
You may be asking what the next steps would be? Well the next thing I have noticed a lot of people asking is when they can spay or neuter their new kitten?
What is Spaying a Kitten
First, let’s start with what spaying a kitten really is. What does it mean to spay a cat? Or neuter a cat for that matter? Spaying and neutering is the removal of the reproductive organs within your pet. For females, it is termed spaying, and males neutering. This prevents your pets from having kittens in the future. Spaying and neutering are procedures that are required to be done by a professional licensed veterinarian.
If you would like to read more about spaying, you can read the full article about why you should spay your cats, here. You can learn about what spaying, or neutering, really is and why you need to do it for your pet.
When Can A Kitten Be Spayed?
So when can a kitten be spayed? There is debate among veterinarians about the time to spay/neuter your cat. There are three different times in which you “can” spay a kitten. First, Early or pediatric spay/neuter is done at six to eight weeks of age. Second, Standard spay and neuter at five to six months. Finally, waiting until after the first heat, somewhere between eight to twelve months of age.
As someone who has had kittens neutered at nearly all the ages, I want to give you guys my opinion. Phoebe, was spayed after her first time in heat. And honestly, I do not recommend it! At the time I had just found her and did not realize she was about to go into heat. But knowing what I know now, I would definitely spay my cats prior to their first time in heat. This allows them to not have to go through the stress of being in heat.
The other two, early versus standard. A lot of times shelters will spay kittens as early as eight weeks. This allows them to be spayed prior to adoption and still be adopted as early as possible. I would only recommend this option for shelters. Let’s face it, most people want young kittens. And if spaying kittens early allows more to be adopted, then I am for it.
However, if you COULD wait! I would always recommend waiting until about five to six months. They are old enough to know their owners and begin to trust them. This age is also far enough away from the first time they go into heat. You want your kitten to be large enough and healthy enough for the surgery, but not so old that they have to go through heat a few times.
So, in my opinion, the best time to spay and neuter your kitten would be between five and six months!
There are a lot of discussions that occur around the time you get a kitten.
Then intent of this guide is to give you a single place in which you can go to find a step by step guide to caring for your kitten.
Whether you decide to spay your kitten early, standard or after their first heat, either way you are still helping your cat. Your biggest concern should be their overall well-being and whatever age in life it is safest for them, that is when you should do it.