There are a lot of myths out there about when Bengal cats should be spayed and neutered. For example, some people say you should wait until they are six months old, while others say you should wait until they are a year old. So what is the correct answer?
Spaying or neutering your Bengal is a routine, low-risk medical procedure that helps prevent unwanted litters along with medical and behavioral issues as your cat starts to mature. Vets recommend these procedures take place when your kitten is around 22 weeks old. There are several reasons for this, which we’ll explore below.
Continue reading to discover the optimum age to have your Bengal spayed or neutered, along with the benefits of the treatment, any potential risks, and the impact it will have on your feline friend.
Do I Have To Spay Or Neuter My Bengal Cat?
When purchasing a Bengal from a reputable breeder, you may find that spaying or neutering is part of the contract or that the breeder has already taken the Bengal for surgery before placing it up for sale.
This is common with purebred cats to discourage people from breeding without proper registrations and health testing.
What Happen During Neuter Or Spay Surgery?
Your feline is an important member of your family, so you’ll likely want to know exactly what the surgery involves for them. For starters, you’ll need to prevent them from eating the night before their surgery.
Neutering is a slightly more straightforward procedure than spaying – the latter can take up to twenty minutes, while vets can complete the former in as little as ten minutes. Both sexes will be anesthetized to prevent them from experiencing pain or fear – and the site will be shaved for hygiene reasons.
Neutering surgically removes the testicles of the male cat; he can usually return home on the same day and can fully recover in a few days. Spaying surgically removes the ovaries and uterus of the female cat; she may need to stay in overnight and can take up to a week to fully recover.
Rest assured that trained and experienced professionals who know what they’re doing perform both of these procedures, and the surgery is considered low risk and routine. If you have any concerns, you can book an appointment to speak with your vet.
What Is The Safest Age To Neuter A Cat?
A healthy Bengal can be spayed or neutered once they are six weeks old; however, vets recommend anywhere between four and six months to be the optimum age for surgery.
A primary reason you may consider earlier neutering or spaying is that your cat is experiencing behavioral issues. If your Bengal is overly aggressive or displays other destructive behaviors, you can talk to your vet about scheduling an earlier surgery that may help to eliminate these issues.
What Happens If You Neuter A Cat Too Early?
One of the many concerns regarding early neutering is the chance of anesthetic or surgical complications. In addition, early treatments increase the risk of urinary tract infections, obesity, growth plate fractures, and behavioral issues.
A concern for many vets is the condition of ‘blocked bladders’ in male cats caused by a smaller diameter in the urethra. Experts also raise the concern that early neutering can cause fractures because of the delay in growth plate closure.
Is Two Months Too Early To Neuter A Cat?
In general, experts consider it safe to neuter or spay a cat from eight weeks old. For kittens in animal shelters, this surgery is often carried out at an early age so that the cat is sterilized before their adoption.
However, many vets continue to follow the standard guidelines of neutering a kitten around the 22-week mark. This is primarily due to concerns over urinary issues, behavioral issues, and fractures that can occur if you get your cat fixed too soon; only 28% of vets recommended neutering at 12-16 weeks old.
Will My Male Bengal Feel Less Masculine Once He’s Neutered?
Bengals are cats, not humans, so they don’t experience emotions in the same way that we do. So while it’s easy to project human feelings of declined masculinity following neutering, this is not the case in cats.
Your Bengal is unlikely to have an emotional reaction to the surgery, and his personality after it will remain largely the same.
When Should Female Cats Be Spayed?
Your vet can recommend the optimum age for your Bengal to be spayed, which will generally be around the age of sexual maturity.
Should Your Female Bengal Have A Litter Before She Is Spayed?
There is a common myth that female cats should birth a litter of kittens before spaying. Still, there is no scientific evidence to prove that this provides any physical or behavioral benefits.
In general, female cats are at their healthiest before they experience their first heat. Therefore, if you spay your cat before she reaches six months of age, you can avoid a lot of unwanted hormone-related behaviors.
What Are The Benefits Of Neutering Or Spaying Your Bengal?
The most apparent benefit of neutering or spaying is preventing unwanted pregnancies and overcrowding. Around 3.2 million cats are placed in shelters every year in the USA, with many more left to wander the streets. Helping to reduce this issue demonstrates that you are a responsible pet parent.
In addition to this, there are several health, behavioral, and environmental benefits to neutering and spaying.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Neutering Or Spaying Your Bengal?
When you neuter or spay your Bengal, you provide an array of health benefits. Firstly, the risk of certain cancers is minimized while others are eliminated. Male cats will no longer develop testicular cancer, while the risk of prostate cancer is significantly reduced.
Female cats can no longer contract ovarian or uterine cancer, plus the risk of breast cancer is significantly reduced. In addition, spaying eliminates the risk of a cat contracting the life-threatening infection, pyometra, which is usually triggered when they go into heat.
In general, altered cats will require fewer vet visits and live longer lives than their unaltered counterparts. Which is excellent for both you and them.
What Are The Behavioral Benefits Of Neutering Or Spaying Your Bengal?
Neutering your cat means that he can remain happy and healthy in your home. Sexually mature males who have not been neutered will develop hormone-related behaviors to locate a mate, such as wandering long distances and fighting with other males.
Sexually mature females who have not been neutered will attract male cats into your yard. For both sexes, avoiding neutering or spaying increases the risk of transmitted diseases while escalating behavioral issues like spraying, aggression, and howling.
Neutering or spaying your pet reduces many unwanted behaviors; your Bengal is less likely to be aggressive towards children or other pets. And you won’t have to worry about finding a new home for a litter of kittens.
What Are The Environmental Benefits Of Neutering Or Spaying Your Bengal?
Cats are hunters, and Bengals experience a deep desire to pounce on anything that moves and give it a taste. Meanwhile, mother cats sense a compulsion to hunt to provide for their kittens.
Unaltered cats that roam the streets or stray cats caused by unwanted pregnancies are responsible for the death of millions of birds and other small creatures every year. In addition, cats who consume wild animals are at greater risk of contracting diseases.
Neutering or spaying your cat reduces its prey drive while preventing the creation of unwanted litters of kittens. Not only does this practice keep your cat safe, but it helps the environment too.
Getting your Bengal cat neutered or spayed is all part of being a responsible cat parent. The surgery comes with various benefits for you and your kitten, with little to no adverse effects.
In general, 22 weeks old is the optimum time to get your cat fixed. But your vet can provide the best advice and guidance for your Bengal.