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Old 10-14-2008, 10:24 PM
ashleywong ashleywong is offline
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Thumbs up Early Spay and Neuter of Cats


Early Spay and Neuter of Cats
The Need for Early Spay and Neuter

By Franny Syufy, About.com

Although the concept of early spaying and neutering of both cats and dogs is not new, its use by veterinarians in the mid-20th century was limited because of a number of misconceptions:

* That for some reason, it was better to let a female cat give birth to one litter of kittens before spaying.
* That a female cat should not be neutered until after her first oestrus period.
* That growth metabolism might be stunted as a result.
* That the eventual urethral diameter might be constricted, particularly in male cats, causing eventual urinary problems.
* That female cats in particular, might later develop incontinence as a result.
* That certain behavioral problems might result.

Most people should know by now that failure to spay/neuter is the number one cause of the pet population explosion. One unspayed female cat and her offspring, can be responsible for the birth of 73,000 kittens in six years. Indeed, female cats barely kittens themselves commonly give birth, and male cats as young as four months have been known to impregnate willing queens. Cat caregivers who wait the traditional six to eight months for the surgery are playing a game of Russian Roulette, and only serving to exacerbate the problem.

Humane Societies to the Forefront

Because of the exponentially increasing feline overpopulation problems, with humane societies and other shelters bearing the brunt of the consequences, these groups rose to the forefront in taking positive action.

People who run shelters know that the kittens they adopt out today can spawn descendents who will refill the shelters in short order. In the past, in an effort to prevent this, shelters have tried a number of tactics, from contracts (which run stastically to between 10% and 50% noncompliance), deposits for later spay/neutering (which are readily forfeited), and other equally non-productive incentives.

A number of shelters decided to stop relying on the adoptive "parents" and to guarantee spay/neutering of kittens by having it performed prior to adoption, either with veterinary staff or by cooperating veterinarians. In the twenty or so years of research that followed, in both the U.S. and Canada, shelter operators and veterinarians were able to dismiss the previous misconceptions one by one. It was found that in cats altered as early as six to twelve weeks, compared to cats neutered at six to twelve months, there was the:

* Same metabolic rate
* Same type of growth
* Same urethral diameter at adulthood
* Same behavioral patterns.

Notwithstanding the most obvious (and most critical) benefit, that of helping to diminish the population growth, certain side benefits of early spay and neuteraccrued to the cats themselves, such as less traumatic surgery, quicker recovery, and fewer complications.

I viewed a video produced by the U.C.Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in conjunction with AVAR, on the benefits of early spay and neuter of cats. This video was intended for veterinary use, to demonstrate the comparative ease of the technique with young kittens, as well as the collateral benefits. At the same time, I also viewed a video produced by the American Humane Association, in which surgeries (both spay and neuter) were shown in both young kittens and cats at the traditional appropriate ages.The criteria used for the suitability of kittens was a clear health check, at least two pounds in weight, and two descended testicles for male kittens.

The Surgery

In preparation for the surgery, because of kittens' predisposition to hypoglycemia, they were not fasted as long as older cats prior to surgery, but actually were given a small meal. They were also well-swaddled in toweling and placed on a heated pad, because of the possibility for hypothermia. Other than those preparations, the surgeries were basically the same, including the kind of anesthetics used for inducement and maintenance. There were two important differences, however:

1. The surgeries went much quicker and with less trauma for the kittens because there were no extra layers of fat to cut through. For the same reason, closure was a relatively simple process of one stitch through the one-centimeter incision for the spay.
2.

Because of the delicate nature of the organs at that young age, gentle tissue handling was important.

Recovery

Kittens shed the anesthesia much quicker than the adult cats. In a video comparing neutering surgery at two different ages, fifteen minutes after the surgery the kitten was awake and starting to move around. The one year old cat was still out cold. Within an hour, the kittens were moving around, playing, and eating. They didn't show the adult cat at an hour later, but from my recollections, my own cats were still pretty groggy when we brought them home several hours later.

Conclusion

The evidence seems clear that early spay and neuter is not only safe for the youngsters, but that the procedure produces less tissue trauma, is less stressful, provides a shorter recovery period, with a lower risk of complications. On the other hand, no working studies are available to support the appropriateness of waiting the traditional period.

The concept has been slow to enter into the mainstream of small animal practice. However the fact that it is being taught in more and more veterinary colleges, coupled with the endorsements of such august groups as the AVMA with 64,000 members; The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, with over 8,000 members; The state veterinary associations in California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Wisconsin; and numerous humane societies, promises that new ground is being gained every day. One fact is for certain: people who run shelters can attest that their NBA (Neuter Before Adoption) programs have contributed to increased morale in shelter workers.

That's a real plus, in my book.
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  #2  
Old 10-15-2008, 12:52 AM
cerz cerz is offline
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

wow, this is very valuable info. indeed. thk u!
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:21 AM
ashleywong ashleywong is offline
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

hi cerz

this article didn't say "early age" at what age but from what i gathered from my vet is roughly about 4 months of age and in some cases, even younger. bareen from this forum mentioned her experience with prengnant "kitten" was at 3 1/2 months.

i'm glad you find this article useful. let's hope other people find this article use, informative. and let's hope this article give food for thought to people who are thinking of owning cats or already own cats but not neuter them.
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2008, 12:07 AM
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

Quote:
It was found that in cats altered as early as six to twelve weeks, compared to cats neutered at six to twelve months, there was the:
Normally they are done as young as 6 weeks old in UK and other western countries but i heard abt those for puppies only.. not sure abt kittens but ur article said the same.(as above). ive send puppies and kittens for neuter as young as 2 months so far. vets here are not as experience to do it since it takes alot alot of hands on experience however, i';ve managed to find 1 or 2 vets that does it. That's y, vets here ask us to wait for as long as 1 year to neuter and they give all the cons of doing early age neutering(because they want u to come back to them adn they are not experience enuf to do young) when u ask them and some vets can be quite rude when u interfere during their teaching. its always better to neuter a dog before 8 months b4 they mature and develop temperamental behavior.
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:00 AM
ashleywong ashleywong is offline
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

i have read of early neuter but not sure exactly how old - and how heavy.

can i ask you which veterinary clinic you patronise? in case i need to avail myself of their service in early neutering.


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Originally Posted by cerz View Post
Normally they are done as young as 6 weeks old in UK and other western countries but i heard abt those for puppies only.. not sure abt kittens but ur article said the same.(as above). ive send puppies and kittens for neuter as young as 2 months so far. vets here are not as experience to do it since it takes alot alot of hands on experience however, i';ve managed to find 1 or 2 vets that does it. That's y, vets here ask us to wait for as long as 1 year to neuter and they give all the cons of doing early age neutering(because they want u to come back to them adn they are not experience enuf to do young) when u ask them and some vets can be quite rude when u interfere during their teaching. its always better to neuter a dog before 8 months b4 they mature and develop temperamental behavior.
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:24 AM
June June is offline
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Default Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

For male kitten,are not advisable to neuter them before 5 mths old.Early neuter will cause complicated later. This I get to know from one of the famous breeder in KL.
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

Quote:
Originally Posted by June View Post
For male kitten,are not advisable to neuter them before 5 mths old.Early neuter will cause complicated later. This I get to know from one of the famous breeder in KL.
June, what sort of complications? I am planning to neuter GINGER he is already 3 mths ++ ... should I wait?
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  #8  
Old 10-23-2008, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

Quote:
Originally Posted by sillylupie View Post
June, what sort of complications? I am planning to neuter GINGER he is already 3 mths ++ ... should I wait?
One of the things is bila dia sakit nak insert catheter susah ... and boys have a tendency towards urinary problems. Early Age Neutering (EAN) is minimum 2 months and more than 1 kg ... not to mention the fact that the little kitten MUST be healthy.

I also prefer to neuter my boys at 7-8 months, but not later than 8 months. Even my girls I prefer at 4 months. I prefer for their organs to be more developed first and senang nampak sebab not all vets are so cekap.
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

Thanks for the advice furkids, really appreciate it.
I have 3 kittens, 3++ months and I would like to get the "fixed" as soon as they are ready. I can't imagine them multiplying!!
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:29 PM
June June is offline
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

Bina.utk male si ginger blh tinggu smp dia 5 bln baru hantar to fix. I pun rasa lbh baik klu u tunggu until they reach 5 mths baru antar fix.biar organ dia develop dulu as per FK lah.some vet pakai potong mcm potong ikan.bukan tgk betul2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sillylupie View Post
Thanks for the advice furkids, really appreciate it.
I have 3 kittens, 3++ months and I would like to get the "fixed" as soon as they are ready. I can't imagine them multiplying!!
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

Quote:
Originally Posted by sillylupie View Post
Thanks for the advice furkids, really appreciate it.
I have 3 kittens, 3++ months and I would like to get the "fixed" as soon as they are ready. I can't imagine them multiplying!!
That is why animal shelters and rescue team go for EAN, takut mereka multiply.

However if the cat is yours and you are responsible enough to take pains to confine your cat well, you can afford to wait. Animal shelters and ferals they "tut" them the first chance they get takut they do not get the chance to do it again before they multiply!

But like I said before, not all vet surgeons are equally cekap to take on the task at 6 months, apa tah lagi so small at 2 months ... orang cekap potong tak sampai 1 inci dia potong perut kucing 6 inci ... pastu benang terbuka lak ... pastu kena infection lak ... banyak cerita nightmares!

Yes, boleh buat EAN ... tapi bukan semua cekap utk melaksanakan dengan baik ... and at the end of the day it is sondri tanggung ... and paling berat si penanggung is the poor cat!

My dua sen ...
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

June, FurKids,
Thanks for the advice.... very useful 2 sens...
I guess I will wait till they are a bit older, wouldn't want to stress them!!
Very good points highlighted, thanks!
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:41 PM
ashleywong ashleywong is offline
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

HI bina


i know this article is on EAN - well, you gotta make your decision but you need input and information - talk to your vet somemore..
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

Ashley,
I am a little cost concious here, planning to send them to SPCA NEUTER CLINIC....
BTW, do you have a recommended vet, maybe slightly more expensive but all worth it?? Aiyo, I am really becoming like aunty in a market....
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

Quote:
Originally Posted by sillylupie View Post
June, FurKids,
Thanks for the advice.... very useful 2 sens...
I guess I will wait till they are a bit older, wouldn't want to stress them!!
Very good points highlighted, thanks!
Several vets I enquired pun suruh tunggu 6 bulan for the boys. If you read vet.com I think Dr Natasha spelled out the pros and cons. It is after reading them and considering my own situation that I opt for later neutering.

And if your vet is not for it, I suggest you better not insist he/she do it just becos other vets can do it or the textbook says theoratically it can be done. At the end of the day, the vet will not reveal his/her own incompetency (if any) and for $$ may still do it for you tapi the sufferer won't be him or his clinic but you, your cat and your poket!

My 2-sen worth opinion to share ...
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

Quote:
Originally Posted by sillylupie View Post
Ashley,
I am a little cost concious here, planning to send them to SPCA NEUTER CLINIC....
BTW, do you have a recommended vet, maybe slightly more expensive but all worth it?? Aiyo, I am really becoming like aunty in a market....
Bina, Klinik Kembiri boleh buat, after all they are a population control cooperative effort with SPCA, cheaper than private vets too and memang targetted for people like you who are tight on funds but have the correct attitude toward your pet.

A more expensive private vet does not necessarily translate into a better spay/neuter experience for you and your beloved pet! Ada yang mahal giler tapi potong besar sampai 6 inci tengok pun pengsan!
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

Hello all,

Very useful advices and all so relevant to this thread, thanks!

I have sent two kittens (abt 6mths) to Klinik Kembiri before, they did a good job for TOM but as for TIGER, her stitches didn't dry up and I end up spending another RM150 with a different vet... sigh ... but happy she is okay now. BIG like a buffalo...

I know I could have sent TIGER back to Klinik Kembiri to check on her stitches, but distance prevented it, quite far from where I live and despite having a "P" stucked on my hubby car still dare not drive alone....
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:21 PM
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Default Early Spay and Neuter of Cats

I have sent male and female kittens to Klinik kembiri and thank god everything was fine. i was worried also because hearing stories like yours and prayed I don't have to go through that. Honestly,it is better if you send your female kitten to the vet if you still have this reservation feeling abt Klinik kembiri.but for male i think it should be okay because male heal very fast.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sillylupie View Post
Hello all,

Very useful advices and all so relevant to this thread, thanks!

I have sent two kittens (abt 6mths) to Klinik Kembiri before, they did a good job for TOM but as for TIGER, her stitches didn't dry up and I end up spending another RM150 with a different vet... sigh ... but happy she is okay now. BIG like a buffalo...

I know I could have sent TIGER back to Klinik Kembiri to check on her stitches, but distance prevented it, quite far from where I live and despite having a "P" stucked on my hubby car still dare not drive alone....
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