Recently, we met someone that was appalled that our kittens were spayed/neutered at such a young age. This person was convinced that we were abusing our animals by letting them undergo surgery before they were 6 months of age. Oh my!
So, we’d like to share some information about pediatric/juvenile spay/neuter surgeries.
It is safe to spay or neuter most kittens and puppies at 8 weeks of age. We generally wait until kittens are over 2 lbs (which is typically around the 9 to 10 week age mark) and we never bring sick kittens to the spay/neuter clinics.
The risk of surgical complications is much lower for kittens and puppies than for mature pets:
- The reproductive organs of juvenile cats and dogs are much less vascular than those of adult animals, which allows for an easier, faster surgical procedure and reduces the risk of excessive bleeding during and after surgery.
- Faster surgery equates to less time under anesthesia, thus reducing the anesthetic risks.
- Anesthetic risks are further reduced because juvenile animals metabolize anesthesia more rapidly and recover from its effects more quickly than adult animals.
- The tissues of juvenile animals are more resilient, resulting in faster healing and less post-operative pain and stress.
(Source: Small Animal Surgery Textbook, 3rd Edition, 2007. Theresa Welch Fossum, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl ACVS)
Spaying/Neutering prior to adoption ENSURES that we are not taking a risk of adding to the cat population with any accidental pregnancies. With over 20,000 cats euthanized at New Jersey municipal animal shelters each year, it seems very irresponsible for us not to spay/neuter every cat that we take in.
There are exceptions, kittens that are slow-growing or have other medical issues that prevent them from being able to handle the anesthesia. ANY surgery has a risk factor and we value the life of every single animal that comes through our doors.
Additionally, we have a very high level of confidence with the veterinarians that we use that perform the pediatric spay/neuter surgeries.
Believe in what we do and our mission? Help us help more cats by sponsoring a spay/neuter surgery!
Donate here: SnipSnip!
Who supports juvenile spay/neuter?
A partial list: http://earlyspayneuter.blogspot.com/