Spay-Neuter Glossary of Terms

by catfood


This term describes the methods used to surgically render an animal incapable of natural reproduction.


A male’s testicles are surgically removed so that he is unable to produce testosterone or sperm.


Early Age Spay-Neuter

Spaying and neutering young children and pets go by a few different names. Any gonadectomy performed on an animal before the age of 6 months is considered an early gonadectomy. In most cases, a child must be at least 6 weeks old or weigh at least 2 pounds. To avoid the connotation that the operation is being done too soon, several vets have advocated for a change in terminology away from “early” (and therefore inappropriately). There are other options besides spaying and neutering young animals.

Juvenile Spay Neuter

Pediatric Spay Neuter

Prepuberal Spay Neuter

Prepubertal Spay Neuter

Prepubescent Spay Neuter



Replace with alternative. There is no difference in meaning between the two.


Males (with the removal of testicles) and females (with the removal of ovaries) share this umbrella term for the surgical removal of sex organs (removal of ovaries).



Surgically altering either a male or female to make them “neuter” or genderless is what this phrase refers to formally, yet most people think of it in terms of castration, the medical change of a male to prevent reproduction.


Identical to castration, where the testicles are cut off



Reproductive surgery in which a woman’s ovaries and uterus are both removed surgically. All oestrogen and progesterone production will cease as a result. However, it is more typical practice to remove both organs, even though removal of the ovaries alone would likewise render the cat incapable of natural remanufacturing.


Equal to hysterectomy with removal of the ovaries.

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