That's become a new variable in the world! They used to refuse to spay them before they were 6 mos old. The shelter here is doing them at 6 weeks. That horrified my vet, but when she repaired a huge umbilical hernia on one of my kittens at ten weeks, she was surprised by how large, visible, and easily isolated the reproductive parts were at that age, and spayed her while she was in there. ( There are few abdominal surgeries done on kittens of that age, so their insides aren't viewed very often!) She is now willing to do them younger than she did before, but she stills sets a weight limit, as she does for neutering, because of anaesthesia tolerance, and just handling ability.
So, all that boils down to...whatever your vet is willing to do!
Got an appoinement for my male and female in November. My Vet prefers to do females at about 6 months or at first heat. He prefers to do the males at 8 months as tom kittens have late developing urinary tracts and if neutered too young will have urinary tract problems in a few years and throughout their life time.
...for a long time Veterinarians stayed away from this as many times it is not easy to see those ovaries and adjacent tissues and anesthesia on these very young animals was to be avoided. Not any longer.
We have set a limit at over 2 lbs. at the clinic that I work at. We did so when we did a smaller one and found that the skin was so paper thin we had to glue it shut!!!!! Boy did we pray over that one!!!!!!! Susan
<<<<<Cat vet here................I recommend OVH for females at 6 months, and neutering males at 8 months. I am well aware that some are doing these surgeries as early as 2 months. NEWS FLASH: Merely because a thing CAN be done, does not mean it SHOULD be done. Yes, it is physically possible to spay/neuter a 2 lb kitten at 2 months. IMHO, this is highly inadvisable. We learned a rule of thumb in vet school which is still true - one should NEVER anesthetize a pediatric patient unless its life depends on it. They are high-risk anesthetic patients. This probably explains the unacceptably high mortality rate of early spay/neutering. NOBODY should die during or as a result of this elective procedure!! Furthermore, the kitten has not completed its kitten shots until 4 months of age, so you are needlessly exposing it to the high risk of viral upper respiratory infection, which can be fatal. Also, I have seen way too many early neuters wind up down the road with urinary tract problems directly attributable to too-tiny-a-penis syndrome. They obstruct, and the penis is smaller than the cather, so they can't be catheterized, and thus need a very expensive surgery to rebuild them so they can pee. NOT GOOD. lastly, these are some very diaturbing reports of the early-neuter males developing hip fractures (expensive surgery to fix) as a result of delayed closure of the growth plates in the hip bones. There is no harm in waiting til 6 months for the girls and 8 months for the boys. The harm comes from jumping the gun.
I think the reason many shelters went to an early spay/neuter system is because it was the only way they could make sure that the young animals being adopted were actually 'fixed'. Around here, it used to work that when people adopted a puppy or kitten, they got a certificate for a free spaying or neuter for when the animal was six months old. But people weren't getting it done. Especially with the females - you wait just a little too long and they can get pregnant.
I personally prefer to wait until the animal is at least six months old.
I have to agree, Neutering a Male at to early an age will cause UTIs, I had my two done at only 4 months, and now at the age of 10, I am having nothing but troubles with that, I have almost lost my one twice now.
Gayle, you are 100% right. BUT- The vet I worked for did hundreds of pediatric spays but they were all for unadopted Humane Society kittens. A lot of adopters just did not get it done, even with a free or reduced spay based on income. So we'd get another batch of unwanted kittens from a cat that was contracted to be spayed.
Yep, we had one of these little kitties die under anesthesia- the Ketamine did it. They also seem to not "bounce back" as quickly as 6-8 mo. olds. I also volunteered at that Humane Society doing euthanasias. There were times when we'd have a 55 gallon barrel full of dead kittens during kitten season because there was no room in the shelter and no room in the creamator. It's a horrible choice, but I'd rather have one dead kitten among 100 spayed than another one of those hideous pathetic barrels.
My daughter just had an 8-wk. old kitten spayed because she was getting it from the humane society,who wouldn't let her take it home and wait until it was older to be fixed. When she told me she was having it done, I was taken aback, because the vet I used to work for wouldn't do it until approx. 6 mth. old either. This was 2 weeks ago. Last week I called to how the kitten was doing. She said it died during surgery. This seems as bad as risking sending them home intact. She saidthiskitten was still fitting in the palm of her hand!
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