The New Normal: Spay/Neuter by Five Months of Age
Originally Aired January 13, 2021
The National Kitten Coalition is excited to host Dr. Philip Bushby and Esther Mechler from the Feline Fix by Five program of Marian’s Dream to present on sterilizing kittens by five months of age.
There is confusion in the general public and private veterinary community about the optimum time to spay/neuter felines. For many, the recommended time has been six months of age. By that time a cat may be pregnant and shelters are overflowing. For that reason, Marian’s Dream embarked on a campaign to push the recommended age for felines back by four weeks. Dr. Bushby will present his findings on why the change is recommended, specific concerns that people have raised, and the research that supports the change.
Veterinarians often wait until cats are 6 months old before spay/neuter. The AVMA, AAHA, AAFP and the ASV disagree with waiting that long. The new normal is prior to 5 months of age. Several factors have led to this change:
- Mammary neoplasia is the 3rd most common cancer in cats and 85 to 90% of feline mammary tumors are malignant. Spay before 5 months of age significantly reduces mammary neoplasia.
- Spay/Neuter prior to 5 months of age reduces unplanned and unwanted litters of kittens.
- Castration prior to 5 months of age significantly reduces sexual behaviors which often cause relinquishment of cats to animal shelters.
It is safe to spay/neuter cats that young. Surgeries are easier, faster and safer. There are no adverse physiologic or orthopedic effects from spay/neuter prior to 5 months of age. Cats in shelters should be sterilized prior to adoption. Owned cats should be sterilized after the kitten vaccination series, but before 5 months of age.
Esther Mechler, Feline Fix by Five campaign, a program of Marian’s Dream
Dr. Philip Bushby, Marcia Lane Endowed Chair of Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare, Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Watch this webinar now!
For more information about the Feline Fix by Five Campaign go to www.fixbyfive.org
Webinar Handouts from the Feline Fix by Five Campaign:
Fix by Five Call to Action Poster
Fix by Five Focus Veterinary Task Force on Feline Sterilization
No Reason to Delay-Fix by Five
Veterinary Practice Article
*Please note that events listed at the end of the webinar are past events.