Sterilisation - at what age?
A feeder wrote to me about abuse going on in her area. I suggested she get her cats sterilised, then she said she was planning to bring them in this week. One of the cats was abused, and she brought it to the vet. According to her, the vet said that the cat should not be sterilised till 8 months old. She said that different vets have different concerns and choose to sterilise at different times. Now I realise that some vets are still uncomfortable with early age spay-neuter, but 8 months? By that time, the cat might be pregnant twice over! She seemed reluctant that I speak with the vet, but I said that I would definitely need to clarify with the vet.
If you have a home cat, and you are sure you want to keep it indoors at all times, you can afford to sterilise later, but even so, health benefits accrue to cats that are sterilised earlier. If the cat is sterilised before first heat, it is less likely to get some forms of cancer.
I did some reading up this morning and found that interestingly, most veterinary associations now suggest not just sterilising at 6 months, but suggest early age sterilisation :-
The Cat Group - check out the Member organisations
The American Veterinary Medical Association has supported early age Spay-Neuter since 1993.
Even the AVA suggests that 6 months is a general guideline but that other vets do it earlier.