When we welcome a mischievous little ball of fluff into our heart, the last thing we are thinking about is that animal reproducing. However, cats can, and do, enter sexual maturity at a very young age.
Feline owners need to be aware of their cat’s reproductive status and take responsibility for protecting their pet from unwanted pregnancies and other health complications. Spaying your kitten may be far from your mind when you first bring her home, but it is something that you need to be thinking about sooner rather than later.
Cats are good at many things, and reproduction is certainly one of them. Your sweet kitten is apt to be sexually mature long before you would suspect. A cat goes through her first heat cycle when she reaches around 80% of her mature body weight- this can occur as early as four months of age!
Another often overlooked complication is that cats will and do mate with their relations and even littermates. This makes it especially important to spay and neuter those two kittens you brought home together.
Why Spaying Your Kitten is Important
Traditionally, veterinarians have recommended spaying and neutering pets around six months of age. This practice is falling to the wayside, however, as clearly, for some pets, this isn’t early enough to prevent pregnancy. Pets In Stitches recommends spaying and neutering at four months of age.
You may consider spaying your kitten early for several good reasons including:
- Reduction in risk of developing mammary (breast) cancer later in life
- Elimination of the possibility of pregnancy (especially outdoor cats or in multi-cat homes)
- Decreased recovery time as compared to at a later age
- Reduced cost compared to a more mature animal
- You still get all the benefits of spaying your kitten as you would if you waited
Modern anesthetic techniques make surgery even for your small kitten safe. There really is no reason to wait. Every year millions of cats are euthanized due to lack of homes willing to take them in and care for them. Spaying your kitten makes sure that you are doing your part to alleviate this problem.
Pets in Stitches is proud to have the expertise, facility, and compassion that it takes to provide high quality services to all of our patients, including pediatric patients as early as four months of age. Spaying your kitten is an important part of responsible pet ownership, and we hope that you will allow us to help you in fulfilling that obligation.