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The neuter status of cats at four and six months of age is strongly associated with the owners' intended age of neutering
  1. C. P. Welsh, BVSc (Hons), MRCVS,
  2. T. J. Gruffydd-Jones, BVetMed, PhD, DipECVIM-CA, MRCVS and
  3. J. K. Murray, BScEcon, MSc, PhD
  1. Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol School of Veterinary Sciences, Langford House, Langford, Somerset BS40 5DU, UK
  1. E-mail for correspondence: jane.murray{at}bristol.ac.uk

Abstract

The recommended neutering age of client-owned cats reduced recently from six to four months of age. This study assessed the proportion of cats neutered at these ages. Data were obtained from owner-completed questionnaires at recruitment (8–16-week-old kittens) and 6.5–7 months of age. Demographic and lifestyle factors were assessed for potential association with neuter status using univariable and multivariable logistic regression models. Of 751 study cats, 14.1 per cent and 73.5 per cent had been neutered at (or before) four and six months of age, respectively. Multivariable analysis showed that being neutered at four months was significantly more likely for cats whose owners intended to have their cat neutered by this age, cats with a microchip, and from households in deprived regions. The likelihood of being neutered at six months of age was significantly increased for cats that were insured, obtained from an animal welfare organisation, given their second vaccination, from a household with an annual income of ≥£10 000, and owned by people intending to have their cat neutered by this age. This study suggests that while neutering rates were high at six months of age, they were low at four months of age, and that further work is required to disseminate the recommended neutering age of four months.

  • Cats
  • Preventive medicine
  • Population dynamics
  • Reproduction
  • Epidemiology
  • Owner attitudes to pets
  • Accepted March 20, 2013.

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