Nip it in the bud: Fix cats at early age

We hear it at the shelter every year around April when phone calls start coming in from people who surprised that their 6- or 7-month-old kitten just gave birth: “Oh, no, I didn’t know that could happen!”

It’s true. Cats can get pregnant as early as 4 months of age. That means those “oops” litters can happen a lot earlier than most people think.

The other shocking fact is that a mother cat can go into heat and get pregnant a week after giving birth, so a female may be nursing one litter while pregnant with another.

And yet another surprise to some is that a cat can have up to three litters of kittens a year. With the average litter size being five kittens, that’s 15 kittens a year.

By spaying your cat before 4 months of age you can stop the accidents before they happen. You’ll save your cat from the stresses that constant motherhood brings, and you’ll save the animal shelter from being overrun with unwanted kittens.

Last year, the Brown County Humane Society received 156 kittens from people who did not want them.

And don’t forget those little boy cats. It’s best to neuter them before they reach 4 months of age, because that’s when they can start “spraying” or “marking” their territory. Neutering helps prevent spraying, roaming and aggressive behavior in male cats.

Female and male cats can be fixed safely as young as 8 weeks of age and when they weigh at least 2 pounds. The American Veterinary Medical Association supports the concept of pediatric spay/neuter in cats in an effort to reduce the number of unwanted animals.

One of the big advantages that veterinarians see when they fix younger pets is that they bounce back from surgery quicker than older cats.

It’s typical for an 8-week-old kitty to get fixed one day and be jumping, climbing and playing the next day, just like nothing ever happened.

Another advantage of spaying a female cat before her first heat cycle is that it has a strong protective effect against mammary cancer later in life.

So don’t be one of the “Oh, no, I didn’t know that could happen!” crowd. Get your felines fixed before 4 months of age. Your cat will thank you!

If you are a Brown County resident and need financial assistance to get your cats (or dogs) fixed, give S.P.O.T. a call at 812-703-0797.

— Brown County Humane Society


Get your cats and dogs fixed for $5 in February.

Call S.P.O.T at 812-703-0797 to make an appointment

Humane society events

Feb. 28 to March 12: Online auction (NEW)

April 24: Annual rabies clinic

May 22: Dawg Gone Walk and Fiesta

Aug. 11-13: Barn sale

Nov. 12: Chocolate Walk

Featured pet

photoNicholas is undercover. When you first meet him, you might think that he doesn’t like people, because he’s probably under his blanket. In reality, he loves them. He’s cuddly and sweet and loves being petted. It’s just that when he’s not getting attention, Nicholas likes to find a quiet, cozy space to curl up. As soon as you say hello, he’ll pop his head out to visit. So keep your eyes open, because you don’t want to miss this special kitty.