New recommendations for feline spay/neuter surgery

Vet-stethoscope-kitten_300pxThe AVMA Board of Directors has endorsed a document recommending that cats not intended for breeding be gonadectomized prior to five months of age.

The Veterinary Task Force on Feline Sterilization Recommendations for Age of Spay and Neuter Surgery is a consensus document put forth by the Veterinary Task Force on Feline Sterilization for Age of Spay and Neuter Surgery. In addition to the AVMA, it also has been endorsed by the American Association of Feline Practitioners, Association of Shelter Veterinarians, American Animal Hospital Association, Winn Foundation, Catalyst Council, Cat Fancier’s Association, and The International Cat Association.

This document represents a clear and evidence-based position that promotes individual animal health and welfare, contributes to effective population control, and can be communicated clearly to clients. It supports veterinarians in using their best professional judgment based on current scientific literature in deciding at what age gonadectomy should be performed on individual animals. While more specific, it is consistent with the AVMA policy on Pediatric Spay/Neuter of Dogs and Cats, and its endorsement was recommended by the AVMA’s Animal Welfare Committee.

The consensus document “provides useful guidance to companion animal practitioners as they advocate for the health and welfare of their feline patients,” said AVMA President Dr. Tom Meyer in his letter endorsing the recommendation.

The task force recommendation joins a growing library of gonadectomy resources available to AVMA members at avma.org/SpayNeuter. These include CE webinars, a new literature review of the welfare implications of gonadectomy of dogs, and client education materials including a brochure you can use in your clinic.

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