Frequently Asked Questions:

Spay and Neuter

Reprinted in part from the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association.

See your veterinarian!  Discuss your questions about breeding and birth control with your veterinarian.

The answer is to SPAY or NEUTER your pet cat.

A spay (ovariohysterectomy) is the surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries from the abdomen of an animal.

The spay is currently the only foolproof method of birth control for female cats, and it is a permanent method.

Spayed animals no longer go through heat cycles. Female cats normally come into heat several times a year, and can have their first heat cycle as young as 4 or 5 months of age. Spaying kittens by five months safely ends several problems associated with the heat cycle, including spraying urine and continuous howling, as well as the potential for an unexpected litter when a female kitten finds a way to escape confinement.

The risk of mammary cancer is reduced if a cat is spayed before her first heat. Also spayed pets cannot develop pyometra, a serious uterine infection. Finally, difficult pregnancy and delivery in older cats or ill cats is prevented.

Your cat will not gain weight, if you provide a balanced diet and encourage regular exercise.

No. Your cat does not need to have a litter of kittens to mature.

Neutering (castration) is the surgical removal of the testicles from the scrotum of an animal.

Neutering is the primary method of sterilizing male cats.


Neutering a male kitten by 5 months prevents development of mating behavior and the obnoxious habit of spraying urine to mark territory around the house and yard. An un-neutered cat cannot control his mating instincts. Given freedom to wander, such an animal may become hurt or lost, and is almost certain to be responsible for unwanted litters. Humane societies cannot place all of the resulting kittens, and millions must be put to sleep. Countless others are abandoned.