Numerous kittens are born each year only to be taken to overcrowded shelters or abandoned, and recommendations as to the best age to spay or neuter them have traditionally been arbitrary and inconsistent. Specific and scientifically-backed guidelines were needed to help these cats, and in 2016 a dozen prominent veterinarians met to consider recommendations for the optimal age to sterilize cats.
After many months and meetings with leading organizations dedicated to the health and welfare of cats, consensus was reached to promote that practitioners routinely schedule the surgery at the end of the kitten vaccination series, typically between four and five months of age. The recommendation of sterilization of cats by five months of age will prevent enormous suffering because millions of unwanted kittens will not be born to a very uncertain fate. Those cats already in shelters will have a better chance of adoption, kittens in homes will be less likely to be relinquished, and the incidence of mammary gland cancer will decrease further.
The Feline Fix by Five Initiative is designed to help veterinarians educate their clients on the medical, behavioral and community benefits of early spay/neuter. The links below provide substantial evidence for the importance of early spay/neuter and how it can benefit both your practice and pets:
- Practice to Practice: The Case for Neutering at Five Months of Age
- Veterinary Task Force on Feline Sterilization Recommendations for Age of Spay and Neuter Surgery
- Build Your Practice by Offering Early Age Spaying & Neutering
- Early Age Neutering: Perfect for Every Practice
- The Queen & the Four (Feline) Seasons
- Schedule sterilizations early to keep patients healthy, Roger Johnson, DVM, DACVIM (DVM360.com)
- An Overview of Pediatric Spay and Neuter Benefits and Techniques (DVM360.com)
- Timely Sterilization Makes Sense for the Practice and the Pets, Roger Johnson, DVM, DACVIM
- Why the Change in Recommended Age of Sterilization of Cats?. Philip A. Bushby, DVM, MS, DACVS,
Promote your practice by signing up to be a Feline Fix by Five “Participating Veterinarian”: