Ideal age to castrate a cat

Having a kitten has many benefits but also entails many responsibilities. Because of the characteristics of the reproductive cycle, it is advisable to sterilize the cats at the appropriate age to avoid unwanted litters or the discomfort caused by heat.

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In this article of YourCatCareguide you will get to know more information about the reproductive cycle of cats and discover the ideal age to sterilize a cat .

It may also interest you: Care for a neutered cat

To castrate the cat before or after the first heat?

The most usual surgical intervention is ovariohysterectomy , which consists of removal of the uterus and ovaries, always using general anesthesia. It is also possible to perform ovariectomy, removal of the ovaries only, or a ligation that exclusively blocks the tubes.

The latter methods are not usual, since the blockage of the fallopian tubes, for example, allows the cat to continue having the normal sexual cycle, which causes it to continue to present the uncomfortable signs of heat.

What is the ideal time to castrate a cat?

There are two lifetimes indicated to perform the intervention:

  • In the pre-puberty period when it reaches 2.5 kilograms.
  • After the first heat when you are in anestrus.

Your veterinarian will indicate the ideal time to sterilize your kitten according to its characteristics.

Is it possible to castrate a cat in heat?

Although it is possible to perform the operation, it is not advisable to castrate a cat during estrus since it would have more risks than normal operation.

When do cats get into puberty?

The cats reach sexual maturity 1 between 6 and 9 months of age, thus beginning their fertile age. There are different factors that influence the onset of puberty:

  • Weight of the cat: when the cat reaches the somatic development of the breed.
  • Race: Long-haired cats reach puberty later (12 months) while the Siamese reach puberty early.
  • Hours of light: clear light for more than 12 hours during the two months prior to what would be expected for the first heat can make this anticipate.
  • Presence of males
  • Date of birth (season): females born at the beginning of the breeding season show puberty earlier than those born at the end.
  • Cats that were born in autumn-winter are earlier than those born in spring-summer (it’s warmer)
  • Stress: If your cat lives with active and dominant cats may not present puberty to avoid fights.

Stages of the estral cycle of the cats

Two types (mixed):

  • Ovulatory : normal, with follicular phase and luteal phase.
  • Anovulatory : only follicular phase.

The cycles are distributed in the breeding season irregularly and arbitrarily. There may be ovulatory cycles along with anovulatory. For ovulation to occur it is necessary that at the time of estrus the cat is stimulated at the level of the cervix, that is, an ovulation induced.

Cats that live in the interior of the house may have cios throughout the year and although it is a seasonal species that usually have cycles from January to September (greater hours of light).

Phases: Proestro → Estro:

Anovulatory cycle

If it does not ovulate (because it is not stimulated) it produces the post-estrus. The corpus luteum is not formed. No metaestrus or right handedness occurs. The cat continues in anestrus phase (sexual rest) and continues with a normal cycle (depending on the season).

  • New Cicle
  • Seasonal anestrus

Ovulation cycle

There is excitement (the cat crosses) and, as such, ovulation. Follows with:

  • Metaestro
  • Right handed

In function of the copula:

  • Copula correctly performed: there is gestation (seasonal anestrous), it continues with childbirth and lactation.
  • Copulation not performed properly: when the cervix is ​​not stimulated well, there is ovulation but no gestation occurs.

There may be a luteinization of the follicles leading to a dystrophy with pseudogestation ( psychological pregnancy ). Thus, there is metaestrous and right-handed, anestrous and at last he returns to being with heat.

Duration of each phase

Regardless whether you ovulate or not:

  • Proestrus: 1-2 days. During proestrus the cats vocalize in an insinuating way and with greater intensity. Rubbing the head and neck for pheromone release and marking. They try to attract the male and position themselves in lordosis (curvature of the spine).
  • Estro: 2-10 days (6 days approximately), depends on the breed and the time of the breeding season (at the end → some follicular residues remain on the ovaries and, as such, have longer estrus and shorter rest).

Ovulation does not occur immediately after the mating, occurs precisely 24-48 hours later.

  • Metaestro
  • Gestation (58-74 days) / Pseudogestation.

After 6-6 days of ovulation, the embryos move to pass the uterine tubes and once they reach this location they continue to move rhythmically to favor the secretion of placental estrogens and inhibit the synthesis of uterine PG, which allows the cat to know who is pregnant.

Definitive implantation: 12-16 days after intercourse.

After delivery: the cat can follow the lactation of a new gestation (it recovers the cycle 48 hours after the birth or, if it is the season, it enters into seasonal anestrus).

If copulation is not effective:

  • Psychological pregnancy between 35-50 days → Anestrous (1-3 weeks) → New cycle.
  • The difference between psychological pregnancy in bitches and cats is mainly the fact that cats do not present breast changes or behavioral changes. The only thing that happens is to end the reproductive behavior.


Advantages of sterilization

Many people have doubts about whether or not to sterilize the cats. Surgical intervention for castration has many advantages:

  • Prevention of reproductive diseases : such as mammary tumors and pyometra (infections of the uterus).
  • Reducing the risk of transmission of infectious diseases : feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus, etc. (through bites, crosses and fights during estrus).
  • Reduction of sexual behaviors : excessive vocalizations, marking with urine, escapades, etc.

In addition, it is important to note that having a litter to improve cat health is an unfounded myth.

Can I use the cat pill?

There are pills and injections that we can administer in the cat to avoid the onset of estrus and, as a consequence, ovulation. In practice it is like a momentary “sterilization” since the treatment has a beginning and an end.

These types of methods have serious side effects since they increase the risk of different types of cancer and behavioral changes. They are not recommended to be used at any time.

Postoperative and recovery

The care of a newly castrated cat is essential to prevent the wound from infecting . You should ensure regular hygiene of the area and at the same time prevent the cat from biting or scratching that region. In addition, you should strictly follow all the advice of the veterinarian.

In addition, it is necessary to change the power to one that adapts to the new needs. In the market you can easily find good rations made specifically for sterilized cats.

After castrated the cat should not have any more. If your castrated cat goes into heat , you should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible, as it may be a problem called remnant ovary syndrome.

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read more articles like the ideal age for neutering a cat , we recommend you to join our section Prevention .

    Emily Harris

    Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-pI am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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