Stopping Your Cat From Spraying and Marking

by catfood

Children’s Neutering

Spraying and marking have so many proven medical and behavioral benefits that veterinarians frequently advocate them as part of a pet owner’s comprehensive health care regimen.

Today, the question is not so much whether the procedure should be performed as it is when.


For many years, the best age to neuter an animal was regarded to be six months. When the procedure is performed when the final vaccine is delivered at three to four months of age, owner compliance is higher. Traditional neutering contracts were shown to be ineffective by shelter employees, thus one natural option was to neuter all animals before they were adopted. Many of these animals were regarded too young for surgery, which sparked the discussion.

There have been no conclusive, controlled research to determine the optimal age for neutering dogs and cats. According to a recent study, spaying before the first heat prevents the development of mammary gland tumors. Females can go into heat as early as four months of age, thus they should be spayed before that to safeguard their safety. Early-age neutering, also known as pediatric neutering, is currently performed on animals weighing at least two pounds and aged six to eight weeks. Schedule a spay appointment with your veterinarian.


Initially, veterinarians were concerned about the long- and short-term safety of operating on such young animals. Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston doctors presented methods for safe surgery and anesthesia in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association in 1993, demonstrating short-term safety. Other studies have since confirmed these findings, and the JAVMA stated in December 2000 that Texas A&M University researchers detected no increase in physical or behavioral problems in cats for at least three years after surgery. Veterinarians have safely done the surgeries for shelters since the 1980s, adding to the growing body of supportive anecdotal data.

The debate rages on

Despite the fact that studies on the long-term consequences of neutering at six months of age have never been done, the absence of controlled studies on the long-term implications of pediatric neutering is nonetheless emphasized as a matter for worry. Obesity, stunted growth, underdevelopment of secondary sex traits, behavioral difficulties, and a higher incidence of both lower urinary tract disease and urinary incontinence have all been examined and determined to be false in the veterinary literature. Any variations observed appear to be clinically insignificant and to occur regardless of age at neutering.


The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association are two professional organizations that support pediatric neutering. For several years, the ASPCA has neutered all shelter animals weighing at least two pounds before adoption. The dispute continues despite facts, testimonials, anecdotal evidence, and endorsements.


Surprisingly, pediatric surgeons believe that it is faster and less stressful for the animal than standard surgery. There is less body fat to deal with, less bleeding occurs, and patients are awake much sooner after surgery. They could be given a light meal and released the same day. Specialized surgical equipment is not required. When animal shelters began to seek for new ways to manage pet overpopulation in the late 1970s, this notion was questioned. Most veterinarians who were initially hesitant to perform pediatric neutering now favor it—the hardest part was deciding to try anything new in the first place. The best part is that everyone benefits from it.

Wondering about Improving Feline Socialization? Check it out on our latest post!


You may also like

Leave a Comment