What is the Best Age to Have a Cat or Dog Spayed or Neutered?
Many pets are capable of procreating as early as 5 months of age, so dogs and cats should ideally be altered while relatively young. Based on recent studies, veterinarians are increasingly endorsing very early spay-neuter surgeries. One study in which kittens were divided into 3 groups – neutered at 7 weeks, 7 months, and 12 months – found that there were no problems associated with neutering 7-week-old kittens, and that they recovered more rapidly than those neutered at a later age. Dogs can also benefit from early sterilization. For example, Day notes that unspayed female dogs experience an increase in breast cancer rates of 700% after just 5 heat cycles. Many organizations are now advocating for sterilization of healthy cats and dogs at 8 weeks of age. Such organizations include the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Kennel Club, the Cat Fanciers’ Association, and the American Humane Association.