What is the Best Time to Neuter a Cat?

If you’ve just recently adopted or are considering adopting a male cat then neutering him should be one of the first things on your to do list as a new cat owner. There are a wide variety of reasons that you should neuter your male cat and they can be broken down into a couple of simple categories.

But one of the most common questions out there is what is the best time to neuter a cat? So let’s take a look at key reasons to neuter your male cat and also everything you need to know about how and when you can get this procedure completed.

If you happen to have a female cat then please check out this article for details on females & spaying.


Behavioral Reasons

Have you ever had the joy of smelling cat urine? It isn’t a good smell to say the least. If you’ve not experienced it and wish to then keeping your male cat intact is a likely way to give you an opportunity. Male cats that aren’t neutered commonly start spraying at some point or another in their life. This is partially about marking territory and partially about letting females know he is about and available for mating.

On top of this males that hear or smell a female in heat will be very prone to yowling and attempting to escape the house to get to that female. They’ll be incredibly loud and you will not be able to quiet them down until they get where they want to go, it can be beyond frustrating. Neutering will remove this tendency to yowl and to escape the house too.

Neutering also decreases the chance for your cat to be hit by a car because your cat is much less likely to roam far from home after he has been neutered.


StethoscopeHealth Related Reasons

Male cats that haven’t been neutered tend to roam much further than their neutered counterparts. This puts them at risk of encountering and fighting with other male cats over territorial disputes.

Fighting means the cat is put at much higher risk of serious infectious disease such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukaemia virus, both of which are transmitted through puncture wounds from bites.


Monetary Reasons:

The cost of neutering your male cat is far less than the cost of having your male cat start a fight and come home needing a vet trip to clean up the wounds.  Or in a more serious fight the potential for getting a lifelong disease will also clearly have a monetary impact.


Community Reasons:

Stray animals are a massive issue, especially in major cities.  This has driven multiple rescues to aim for no kill cities, but the simple fact is this isn’t possible due to scale the overpopulation.  Every year, millions of cats of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers come from unplanned litters that could have been prevented by neutering your male cat.

Cats are also quite damaging to local wildlife, research has shown they kill billions of birds per year. Minimizing overpopulation of cats will minimize the impact they have on local wildlife.


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When is the Best Time to Neuter a Cat?

Most cat owners decide to get their cat neutered when they are about 6 months old. That being said, I would personally recommend getting your cat spayed as early as two months. Kittens are pretty impressive little creatures, male cats can sire kittens as young as five months old and females can get pregnant as early as 4 months old!

Given this early neutering is highly recommended, especially if your cat is an outdoor cat. Many animal shelters, including the one I volunteer at, neuter male kittens at about the 2 month mark.  There are of course other things we take into account, for example the weight of the cat, but if possible we spay at about the 2 month mark. We do this before they are ever even put up for adoption to ensure they won’t contribute to overpopulation.


How To Get Your Cat Neutered

Any veterinarian that performs services for cats will be able to help you get your cat neutered.  Your veterinarian can also help you decide if neutering your individual pet at an earlier age is appropriate. The vet will take into account all necessary considerations like the weight of your cat to ensure the procedure is safe.

If going to a traditional veterinarian is not an option for you due to costs then you can work with one of many local rescues in your area. Most rescues work with local veterinarians to provide heavily discounted or even free services for getting your male cat neutered. The ASPCA even provides a tool to help animal owners locate a low cost spay option, you can check it out here.


Wrapping It Up on What Is the Best Time to Neuter a Cat

There are a ton of good reasons to get your cat neutered and on the overall it is a quite affordable procedure.  If you’re wondering what is the best time to neuter a cat, the short answer is as soon as possible, assuming of course your cat is large enough and old enough.

If you have any other thoughts on spaying your cat then please do leave a comment below or shoot me an email at Craig@StuffCatsWant.com so I can update this post.

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4 thoughts on “What is the Best Time to Neuter a Cat?

  • October 29, 2017 at 9:52 pm
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    I saw a documentary that stated house cats tend to have about a 10 block radius they roam, from their home. If this is an accurate statement, would neutered cats have a smaller “territory”?

    Oh, my…I think Jack Daniels and I would become best buds if I had to listen to that howling on a regular basis!!!

    Great information, Craig.

    Reply
    • October 30, 2017 at 8:15 am
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      While I’ll freely admit I don’t know the specific amount of distance a cat covers in blocks (they seem so random in size from city to city) you hit the nail right on the head. Neutered cats don’t wander as far and are thus are more likely to stay healthy.

      Hahaha! No kidding. I get annoyed when my cats won’t stop meowing after 10 minutes let alone hours on end! Fortunately I have a separate room I can put them in that is the ‘cat room’ with all their toys and their castle.

      Reply
  • October 30, 2017 at 10:28 am
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    Everyone should get their cat spayed or neutered asap.

    Reply
    • October 30, 2017 at 3:08 pm
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      I completely agree. It is the only way we will ever start to decrease the number of cats and dogs in shelters that are euthanized.

      Reply

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