Iowa State University Veterinarian

Document Type



In this day of "pet overpopulation," many alternatives are being sought to control the reproduction of domestic canines and felines. One alternative discussed often is that of early spaying and early castration. Early, in this case, is any time before the usually suggested six to eight months (before the first heat cycle in the females). In the summer of 1993 in Minneapolis, the AVMA voted to endorse the concept of early-age spaying/ neutering. The topic of early spay/neuter always brings up the possible problems associated with this practice. Safe anesthesia in these juvenile patients is always a big concern, as is ease or ability to do the actual surgery. These concerns in kittens will be discussed in the following paragraphs. For the purpose of this discussion, a small, semi-scientific study was done.