Early Spay and Neuter Summary

Information gathered by Marilyn Wagner -- Marisa Ragdolls, Vancouver Island BC CANADA marisaragdolls@shaw.ca

Early spay/neuter (referred to as "speuter" …a shorter version of referencing both sexes) is typically done on kittens between 6-14 weeks. Really though, any de-sexing that is done before the age of puberty (this is somewhere between 4 and 30 months!) is early speutering. The real problem is that this sexual maturity is so variable. The other is that, if a cat reaches sexual maturity, without being speutered, behavioral problems may arise. You may find this kitty will suffer from dominance issues, spraying ("peeing" indiscriminately)…problems that make it very hard to love a kitty. Speutering before pubescence will "solve" these problems…because they will never arise!


The age of 5-8 months for speutering seems to have been picked out of a hat! There are no studies to support the "fact" that this is a good age to speuter.

There is data to support the fact that speutering younger than 6 months is easier on the kitten, physically. Their surgery is often much shorter in duration and they recover easier.

There is no data to indicate that early speuter will affect them adversely, emotionally. In fact, all data seems to indicate the opposite! …that early speuter is actually beneficial to their emotional well-being.

There is no data to support the idea that early speuter will "stunt their growth". In many cases, it could be argued that speutering pre-pubescently will actually allow them to grow larger

Many argue, then, that they will get obese. Obesity will happen whether the kitten/cat is early speutered or not! Look at the human population…there are "big" people and there are trim people. There are many factors that contribute to obesity.

Okay, what about bone growth? Again, studies show that there is no difference in bone growth, if the kitten is fixed at 7 weeks or 7 months of age.

Urinary problems? Again, there are often urinary problems in whole cats…that have never been speutered. Many times diet or a bacterial infection is the cause. These will be factors whether or not the kitty is early speutered.

There are arguments that the kitten could be immuno-compromised by speutering so young. Possibly…but if a breeder waits until the kitten has had all vaccinations (approximately 12-15 weeks of age) this is not a problem. The kitten would have all vaccinations done, be protected, and then be speutered and wormed before going to it's new home. Everything would be taken care of!


Morally and ethically, it is a GOOD thing to ensure that your kitten is speutered before it reaches sexual maturity. If the breeder that you are "working with" speuters before the kitten leaves their home/cattery, that means they are taking the extra effort to ensure your kitten will make the best pet possible…one that will never have to deal with hormonal issues. That also means that they are responsible enough to ensure that they (thru the kitten they are placing) will never contribute to the pet overpopulation.


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