Whether you're looking to adopt a kitten or a full-grown cat, one of the questions you'll want to ask the shelter or person you're adopting from is whether or not the cat will be spayed or neutered before you bring it home. If not, then you will want to look into finding a local spaying service at a veterinarian's office.
Why Spaying and Neutering Your Cat Matters
Even if you plan on keeping your cat indoors at all times, it is still imperative that you have your cat spayed or neutered. For starters, if your cat were to get outside, it is very possible that it could reproduce. Considering there is already a massive problem with stray pet populations across the country, it is the socially responsible thing to do to spay your cat. There are also numerous health and behavioral benefits to doing so; for example, did you know that spayed and neutered cats are less likely to run away and tend to have better temperament overall?
Recommended Age to Spay or Neuter a Cat
Typically, kittens can be spayed or neutered as early as eight weeks. However, there are many factors that must be taken into consideration when deciding on the right time to schedule this procedure. A veterinarian may want to wait until a kitten reaches a certain size or weight before performing the surgery. In most cases, however, cats over the age of three months are large enough and developed enough to be neutered or spayed without issue.
What to Expect After Your Cat is Spayed or Neutered
Spay and neuter surgeries are among the most routine veterinary procedures performed on cats. Most cats are able to return home the same day of the procedure, and are given sutures that will automatically dissolve over time so you don't need to return to the vet to have them removed. Some cats will experience a bit of lethargy in the first 12-24 hours as the anesthesia wears off, but for the most part, the only thing you need to worry about is making sure your cat doesn't claw or bite at its incision site.
If You're Having Trouble Affording the Procedure...
There are many low-cost spay and neuter options available, and some clinics and animal shelters will even host occasional spay or neuter events where the procedure is performed for free or at an extremely low cost. Depending on where you adopt from, some shelters may also issue you a voucher to have the procedure done for free at their preferred vet.
Contact a vet, like Southwest Animal Hospital, for more help.