When To Neuter Your Cat

There are many reasons why it is beneficial to neuter your cat. The surgical procedure to hinder reproduction can be done at different times in your cat’s life. There are debates among veterinarians regarding the best time to neuter your cat. Discover attributes of each option to determine when to neuter your feline friend.

Embarrassed Cat

The Three Ages A Cat Can Be Neutered

Kittens develop quickly in the first few months of life with many reaching sexual maturity around the age of four or five months. Though each cat develops at their own pace, most males are able to father a litter around five months old. Although age is important to determine when a female cat will experience her first estrus cycle, other factors such as temperature, weight and environment are considered, as well.

There are three ages at which cats can be neutered and debates over which is best primarily concern the issue that waiting could result in unwanted breeding.


An early (pediatric) neutering procedure is done when kittens are between six to eight weeks old. Modern-day surgical techniques enable successful surgeries to neuter kittens at this stage if all vaccinations are complete and the animal weighs at least two pounds. A quicker recovery can be expected when neutering is completed before a kitten reaches the age of sexual maturity. Male kittens may be required to wear a cone around their neck for a few days after the surgery to avoid contact with the stitches and within two weeks the incision is usually completed healed.


The standard age for neutering is considered to be around the five to six month mark. Many veterinarians prefer to wait until this point for various reasons. Animals are usually a healthy weight and size, the procedure and required anesthesia is considered safe at this point and the owners have had time to bond and train the pet.


Neutering completed after a cat has experienced their first heat, usually occurs when the animal is anywhere between eight to twelve months old. Concerns arise in waiting until this age because there is a chance of reproducing when a cat is in heat. The overpopulation of stray cats is immense, with many ending up in shelters and eventually euthanized.

Benefits of Neutering

Besides the obvious result of eliminating the reproduction of offspring, there are many additional benefits to neutering your cat. Cats left unneutered can become frustrated with an urge to roam free. This behavior can lead to injury from fighting or traffic accidents. The surgery also lessens the chance of your cat contracting the feline immunodeficieny virus (FIV), through contact with saliva from a bite wound during a fight. This untreatable feline disease is comparable to the HIV found in humans.