Female cats can begin oestrus (season) from around 6 months of age. Our practice routinely neuters (spays) females from 6 months of age. Occasionally a cat comes into season earlier and in that case neutering can be done at an earlier age. It is of course possible to let a female have a litter and then perform neutering afterwards. However it should be remembered that it is not always possible to find homes for the kittens and there are often unwanted kittens and cats that already need good homes. If female cats were left un-neutered they could continue having two litters a year for life.
Male cats can also be neutered (castrated) from 6 months of age. This can help to prevent their fighting and wandering tendencies which often lead to serious injury from road accidents or the spread of disease that is contracted from this life style. Urine marking with its strong odor can also be avoided by neutering your male cat.
Female dogs are routinely neutered (spayed) before the first season at about 6 months of age. Neutering avoids the continued problem of seasons which occur twice yearly and also avoids 'false pregnancy' which often occurs 6-8 weeks after the season causing hormonal and behavioural problems. Early neutering will significantly reduce the chances of mammary tumours later in life and of course avoid the occurrence of a womb infection (pyometra).
Male dogs are neutered (castrated) from 16 weeks of age. Dogs are most often neutered to avoid behavioural problems such as aggression, wandering and urine marking. Castration also avoids or reduces the risk of testicular and prostate disease.
Please do not hesitate to ask for advice on this subject if you have any concerns. The operations involved (castration and hysterectomy) require a general anaesthetic. Hysterectomy is of course a more major abdominal surgery and although occasional problems can be encountered the procedure is usually routinely straightforward in young healthy individuals.
We recommend neutering rabbits as soon as they become sexually mature at around 4-6 months of age.
Pet rabbits can be happier with a companion to live with but there may be problems such as fighting and unwanted litters. Neutering at a young age avoids these problems.
It has been shown that neutered rabbits live longer.
Unspayed females are likely to develop uterine or ovarian cancer by the age of 5 years. This is virtually eliminated by spaying. Spayed females make better pets as they are a lot quieter and easier to handle.
Neutered males live longer and are less likely to be aggressive. They will be less stressed and friendlier companions. An aggressive rabbit can be quite frightening especially to a small child.
Neutering will remove the urge to mate making your rabbit calmer and happier.
Rabbits spray urine to mark their territory and in some cases will do so over their owners as a sign of affection especially in the breeding season. Once neutered male rabbits will generally stop spraying urine.