A female cat or dog who has had both ovaries and uterus surgically removed and is not capable of producing offspring is spayed.
A male cat or dog who has had both testicles surgically removed and is not capable of producing offspring is neutered. This is also known as castration. Some people refer to “neutered” as a male or female dog that has been surgically altered to render them sterile (testicles removed or ovaries removed, making them not capable of producing offspring).
These are two common misconceptions about spaying. You will do so much more for the health of your pet by spaying before the first heat. It has been reported that by doing so, you will reduce the chance of mammary (breast) cancer in your pet by as much as 97% over their lifetime. The chance of other reproductive cancers (uterine, ovarian, mammary) and uterine infection is eliminated in spayed animals. Even after the first heat, spaying will reduce the risks of certain cancers and eliminate reproductive organ disease. Providing a loving environment for your pet, proper health care, and proper training will be the most influential benefit to maintaining a happy pet that fits into your family.
For many years, veterinarians recommended spaying or neutering at 6 months of age. Now, however, the American Veterinarian Medical Association states an animal can be spayed or neutered before 5 months of age (pediatric surgery). Generally, a cat or dog can be spayed or neutered after 8 weeks of age.
“Adolescent” cats and dogs as young as 5 months can get pregnant. For many reasons, it is important to spay or neuter BEFORE the first litter is born – before 6 months.
It is best to alter males before they reach 5 months of age, and before they start “spraying” or “marking.” Even if a cat has started spraying, neutering may help. It usually takes about 6 to 8 weeks for the hormones to subside after the neutering. Neutering helps prevent spraying, roaming, and aggressive behavior.
One female kitty has the ability to produce an average of about 12 kittens each year if not spayed.
This varies, depending on the dog, but average litters are 5 puppies. Dogs can go into heat twice in one year, so that means they could give birth to up to 10 puppies in one year.