Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Getting Your Cat Fixed: When and What To Know

As a responsible pet owner, one of the most crucial decisions you will make is whether to get your cat fixed. This process, known as spaying for females and neutering for males, is essential for their health and well-being. Understanding when to get cats and/or kittens spayed and neutered and knowing what to expect, whether a cat is fixed or not, can help ensure your feline friend leads a happy and healthy life.

When to Get Your Cat Fixed

Timing is a key factor when considering getting a cat fixed. Most veterinarians recommend spaying or neutering kittens at around five to six months of age. However, some shelters and veterinary clinics advocate for early spay/neuter procedures, which can be done as early as eight weeks old, provided the kitten weighs at least two pounds. This early intervention can prevent the onset of problematic behaviors and reduce the risk of certain health issues.

The procedure can be performed on adult cats at any age, although it's generally best to do it sooner rather than later to maximize the health benefits. It's important to consult your veterinarian to determine the optimal timing based on your cat's health and circumstances.

How are spaying and neutering different?

There are differences between spaying and neutering your cat because these are different procedures for different genders of cats.

Spay vs Neuter

When a female cat is spayed, the vet removes its uterus and ovaries, or just the ovaries, to prevent kitten birth. Neutering or castration is the term used for male cats. It involves the vet removing their testicles to prevent them from fathering kittens.

Expectations When a Cat is Fixed

Health Benefits

Getting your cat fixed offers numerous health benefits. For spayed cats, the risk of ovarian and uterine cancers is eliminated, and the likelihood of developing mammary cancer is significantly reduced. Neutered cats benefit from a decreased risk of testicular cancer and prostate problems. Additionally, spaying and neutering can prevent various reproductive health issues, such as uterine infections in females and perineal hernias in males.

Behavioral Improvements

Spaying and neutering can also lead to more manageable and pleasant behaviors. Spayed cats are less likely to go into heat, which means fewer yowling, restlessness, and attempts to escape outdoors in search of a mate. Neutered cats are less prone to marking territory with strong-smelling urine and are generally less aggressive. Overall, fixed cats tend to be more affectionate and less territorial, making them better companions.

Expectations When a Cat is Not Fixed

Choosing not to get your cat fixed can result in several challenges. Unspayed female cats will go into heat multiple times a year, leading to increased vocalization, restlessness, and potential attempts to escape. These behaviors can be stressful for both the cat and the owner. Additionally, unspayed cats are at a higher risk for various cancers and reproductive diseases.

Unneutered male cats often exhibit marking behavior, spraying urine around the house to mark their territory. They are also more likely to roam, which increases the risk of getting lost, injured, or contracting diseases from other animals. Aggressive behavior can also be more pronounced in unneutered males, making them less sociable and more difficult to manage.

Getting Your Cat Fixed

Getting your cat fixed is a responsible choice that can lead to your furry friend's healthier and happier life. By understanding the benefits of spaying and neutering and knowing when to schedule the procedure, you can help ensure that your cat avoids many health and behavioral issues. Whether you have a kitten or an adult cat, consult your veterinarian to make the best decision for your pet's future.

Taking this step benefits your cat and helps reduce the overall population of homeless animals, contributing to a more humane and compassionate community. Remember, fixing your cat is an investment in its long-term health and well-being.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is it time to get your kitten or adult cat spayed or neutered, contact our veterinarians at Goleta now to schedule an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

At Goleta Airport Pet Hospital, we are always accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health and well-being of all Goleta pet companions. Contact us to book your pet's first appointment today!

Contact Us

(805) 968-4300