Q: I had my 18-year old cat recently put to sleep. In searching for another kitten, I find most breeders have their kittens neutered at four months before they are sold. Isn’t this too early. Are there any side-affects to early play neuter, such as fat cats? B. M., Hudson FL
A: I am very sorry for your loss, and it’s great you’ll open up your heart to a new best purring pal.
It’s very safe to spay/neuter cats at four months. And I endorse the idea of spay/neuter for the health of your cat, Spaying greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer and completely eliminates the threat of uterine and ovarian cancer. Spayed/neutered cats are simply better pets; there’s no need to roam and no mess, and life is quieter. Spay/neuter also eliminates the over-population problem in cats.
However, new research indicates that with early spay/neuter, there are changes that do occur. Nearly immediately there are changes in hormones which cause “fixed” cats to be hungrier (explaining what’s sometimes inordinate begging). Specifically, spay/neuter surgery can trigger up to a 30 percent drop in caloric needs and up to a 20 percent boost in appetite.
Royal Canin has launched a new line of spayed/neutered formulas. The diet contains controlled fat levels and a unique blend of fibers to support the decreased energy and increased appetite of spayed/neutered cats. Cats on this diet won’t be as predisposed to be overweight, and may not beg so much.
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