What is the Best Time to Spay a Cat?


If you’ve just recently adopted or are considering adopting a female cat then spaying her 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 spay your female 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 spay a cat? So let’s take a look at key reasons to spay your female cat and also everything you need to know about how and when you can get this procedure completed.

If you happen to have a male cat then please check out this article for details on males & neutering.

Behavioral Reasons

Have you ever heard a female cat in heat?  If not check out this wonderful video of a female cat yowling so you’ll have an idea of what you can listen to for days at a time. Females that haven’t been spayed usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house and at all hours of the night!

On top of this females that are in heat will be very prone to attempting to escape the house to get out to male cats that want to mate. By yowling they’ll also draw male cats in the area which can result in all sorts of behavior your don’t want like cats spraying all over outside your home.

Spayed female cats won’t go into heat. Ever.

StethoscopeHealth Related Reasons

Your female cat will live a longer, happier & healthier life. Spaying helps prevent all sorts of infections, but one of the most common is UTIs. These are in fact one of the most common infections in cats in general.

Other things that appear less frequently in spayed females are breast tumors which are malignant or cancerous in nearly 90 percent of cats. Spaying your cat before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.

Monetary Reasons:

The cost of spaying your female cat is far less than the cost of having and caring for a litter of kittens.

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 spaying your female 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.

When is the Best Time to Spay a Cat?

calendarMost cat owners decide to get their cat spayed 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, so much so that they can get pregnant as early as 4 months old!

Given this early spaying is highly recommended. Many animal shelters, including the one I volunteer at, spay female cats 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.

Early spaying has shown no impact to growth rates and there haven’t been any documented differences to physical or behavioral development between those animals spayed at a later age. Given this, if you plan to get your cat spayed it is logical to pursue this earlier than later.

How To Get Your Cat Spayed

Any veterinarian that performs services for cats will be able to help you get your cat spayed.  Your veterinarian can also help you decide if spaying 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 female cat spayed. 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 Spay a Cat

There are a ton of good reasons to get your cat spayed and on the overall it is a quite affordable procedure.  If you’re wondering what is the best time to spay 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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