Too many cats?
Too many cats? Is early neutering the answer?

Working in education we need to spend time in practice ensuring we are clinically competent, so this week I’m back at one of my favourite charity hospitals.

Walking into one of the cat wards, the enormity of the non-neutering of young cats hit home: six kennels full of young mums with at least three kittens each, some a lot more – therefore, instead of rehoming six strays, they needed to find homes for at least 24 cats.

There are many sides to the early neutering argument, the two main points being:

  • It is wrong because it stops full development (reduces growth)
  • It is right as it reduces the amount of unwanted pets

A vet friend of mine spent a few months working in Australia (where early neutering is common and has been for a number of years) and there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that neutering early causes any more issues than neutering generally.

There is currently some support in the USA for a sterilisation of pets rather than neutering, but that’s a whole other blog!

While at this hospital a saw a 1kg cat castrated. Now, if this can be done for the kittens already in the hospital, they can head off for rehoming with only vaccines for the centre and new owner to worry about.

This all seems good to me – but what do you think?

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3 Comments on "Early neutering: what are the arguments?"

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2 years 4 days ago

There was an article a while ago in PLOS One called Neutering Dogs: Effects on Joint Disorders and Cancers in Golden Retrievers, which was pretty unequivocal about increased risk of negative effects if dogs are neutered earlier than the age of 1.

Kate Platt
Kate Platt
2 years 1 day ago

Having just had my own kitten spayed at between 4.5 and 5 months (she was from a feral mum so unsure exactly how old she is) I think the recovery of younger cats is fantastic. She was bouncing about by the evening of her op and apart from the clip you wouldn’t know anything had been done. I will definitely recommend it to my clients – we see far too many unwanted kittens.


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