When can I get my kitten spayed? Everything you should know about kitten neutering
You would expect pregnancy only in adult felines, but kittens reach sexual maturity pretty early. Your young feline can reproduce, so understanding how kitten development works is crucial if you want to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Most cat parents decide to have their kitties neutered too late in life, contributing to a growing number of stray, unwanted cats. Looking after one kitten is hard work, and if you don’t want extras, make the decision on time!
What is kitten neutering?
Depending on the sex of your kitty, neutering is called:
- Castration—Male cats get their testicles surgically removed, which eliminates the main male hormone responsible for reproduction (testosterone)
- Spaying—Female cats get both their uterus and ovaries removed, preventing the pregnancy
Both surgeries are done under general anaesthesia, so your kitty won’t feel any pain. There will be some post-op discomfort, but vets reduce it to a minimum with proper medication. Most domesticated felines are up on their paws and ready to explore the world only hours after the procedure.
All surgeries carry certain risks, but modern cat neutering techniques are safe.
Although kitties recover from the surgery quickly, you should allow your feline companion a day or two of peace and quiet so their wounds would heal properly. If you notice your kitten is unusually quiet or lethargic, or they start licking, biting, and attacking you, reach out to your vet.
The man in the white coat got me snoozin’...
When to neuter a kitten
Kittens shouldn’t be neutered before puberty, typically around four or five months old. Most vets recommend getting your kitten neutered at four months but only after receiving all their primary vaccines.
It’s also safe to get your feline companion sterilised when they reach adulthood or even when they become seniors—you don’t run out of time at any point in your kitty’s development. The earlier, the better because it will prevent a clowder of unwanted felines.
Female kitten neutering—does my cat need to have a litter of kittens before getting spayed?
In the past, it was thought that female felines should have at least one litter before getting spayed, but this is unnecessary. It’s much better to have your kitty neutered before she reaches sexual maturity and avoid the nuisance of your furball coming into season.
Preventing unwanted pregnancies isn’t the only reason to get your kitty spayed. Kitten neutering curbs problematic behavioural patterns associated with sexual maturity and reduces the risk of particular health issues, such as:
- Pyometra—A potentially fatal uterine infection
- Uterine, mammary gland, and other types of cancer
- Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)—Spread by saliva and usually from bite wounds, this is an incurable disease similar to HIV in humans
The benefits of kitten spaying
Besides the decreased risk of specific diseases, kitten spaying is also important because of:
- Population control—Neutering your female kitty while still young is important because she can get pregnant way earlier than you might expect, depending on the breed and individual development. Most stray, feral felines come from unwanted pregnancies, and finding a home for them is troublesome. By spaying your furball on time, you ensure that the number of kitties who end up on the streets is reduced
- Behavioural issues—During the mating season, your feline companion will call for a male cat about every three weeks for as long as they don’t get pregnant. This “call” will attract unwanted, havoc-wreaking feline visitors to your home. You can expect lots of hissing, spraying, caterwauling, and fighting to happen right at your front door
Watch my what? Behaviour? Nuh-uh, you watch your behaviour, hooman!
Male kitten neutering—the benefits of kitten castration
Kitten castration also comes with a few significant benefits:
- Controlling aggressive behaviour—Tom cats who haven’t been castrated are often aggressive towards and fight with other males. They’re also obsessed with marking their territory with heavily and unpleasantly scented urine. Male cats are at risk of catching the feline leukaemia virus, which is, like FIV, transmitted through bites
- Eliminating the urge to escape—Male felines get heavily frustrated during the mating season and tend to escape their home to find a female. It can be dangerous for a domesticated kitty to go outside and be on their own, so castrating them on time makes their indoor life easier. They won’t feel the urge to escape and then potentially get hurt
- Preventing various illnesses—Specific conditions can be prevented (or, at least, the chances of your cat getting them can be significantly reduced) with sterilisation. Neutered toms cannot get testicular cancer and are less susceptible to urinary tract infections and problems with their prostate
Does neutering affect or change your kitty’s personality?
Many cat parents worry that their little feline friend’s personality might change drastically after getting neutered, but that’s not true. Besides alleviating or eliminating the unwanted behavioural patterns, your kitty’s personality will stay the same!
Neutering doesn’t affect your furball’s energy levels, playfulness, or excitement. Male kitties tend to become more docile after getting castrated, but other than that, your feline companion will be as they were before.
Do kitties gain weight after getting neutered?
Both male and female felines tend to gain weight after sterilisation. You should watch out that your kitty doesn’t get fat or even obese. Use a kitten weight chart to ensure your furball doesn’t pile on unnecessary pounds.
Excessive weight gain is easily preventable with:
- Regular exercise
- Proper diet
Get your kitty moving!
If you’re dealing with a kitten who sleeps all day long, wakes up only to eat like a hungry tiger, and isn’t too keen on exercising, you need to get them moving! To prevent them from dealing with health issues associated with obesity like diabetes and urinary and skin problems, you could:
- Make playtime exciting—Kittens love chasing LED lasers and playing with toys that have bells or squeakers, so make sure you get those! Allow your kitty to “catch the prey” from time to time when playing with a laser by pointing it at a treat
- Train your kitty—Yes, it is possible to train (not only litter train) a cat! Learning tricks provides cognitive stimulation, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to bond with your furry friend
Must… get… that… exercise…
Ensure your neutered kitten’s meals are nutritious
Neutered kitties will gain weight if you feed them dry, high-calorie, carb-rich cat food. Be careful with products containing sugar and grains because they’re unhealthy and will make your kitty fat before you know it. Here’s what the optimal diet should consist of:
More than 50%
Up to 20%
Less than 3%
As soon as they separate from their mother and start weaning, your kitty needs high-protein cat food. Since cats are obligate carnivores, their protein comes from high-quality meat and fish, not vegetables. Felines can’t thrive on a vegan diet, so you must understand what, how often, and how much they should eat to stay healthy.
Good kitten food contains the right amount of each nutrient, so read the labels carefully.
Here’s what to prioritise and what to avoid when it comes to protein sources:
Good protein sources
Suboptimal protein sources
Untamed keeps your kitty fit after neutering
Your little feline’s health is largely determined by what they eat, so each meal should have an optimal protein-fat-carb ratio and a lot of moisture. Untamed’s wet, ethically produced food offers complete and balanced jellies and gravies to keep your kitty fit, happy, and hydrated!
Did someone say… gravy?
- Contain 60%–63% human-grade whole meat—You won’t find any meat derivatives, artificial taste enhancers, or chemical colourants in our tailor-made cat food. We only use human-grade meat and fish
- Are gently steamed—Untamed meals are gently steamed as excess heat destroys the nutrients your kitty needs. Our food is easy on your kitten’s digestive system but free of pathogens. You won’t have to deal with:
- Were designed in collaboration with vets—We make food full of taurine, calcium, and vitamins to keep your kitty happy and healthy regardless of their age
- Don’t contain any known allergens—We want the most sensitive felines to enjoy our delicious food, so we make it with hypoallergenic ingredients to prevent food allergies
Take the TRY NOW quiz and order Untamed’s taster pack at the best rate!
Untamed supports your kitty’s quick journey to recovery
Moooore, give me more, hooman!
Image (c) Untamed
Feeding your kitty top-quality wet food ensures they recuperate from sterilisation or any other issue quickly. Untamed helps them on their journey to recovery—regardless of your kitty’s eating habits, they won’t be able to resist our nutritious and delicious wet food because we use tasty, high-quality ingredients!
Here’s how Untamed affects your cat:
The Untamed Effect
How to get Untamed
You can get the Untamed trial pack in our online cat food store by doing the following:
- Take the TRY NOW quiz
- Select the products
- Place the order
Our monthly cat food subscription ensures you get your kitty’s favourite meals on the same day each month, with free shipping!