Maine Coon side view

Best Age to Neuter a Maine Coon

If you’re not planning on breeding your Maine Coon, it is recommended to neuter or spay them. Any cat owner should know that the surgery, and the overall experience, wouldn’t be painful for the cat. Today, veterinarians always take measures to control the pain and ensure that the cat experience less discomfort as possible, even during the post-surgical days.

Some Maine Coons’ owners are skeptical about neutering their cat because of some misconceptions about the practice and the consequences that it may have on their cat’s growth and behavior. Most of these beliefs aren’t true. On the contrary, the procedure would bring both medical and behavioral benefits for your cat.

Nevertheless, it’s extremely important to have your Maine Coon neutered/spayed at the proper age. Performing the surgery too early or too late in their age can expose them to several risks. The ideal age to neuter/spay your Maine Coon would be between 4 and 6 months of age.

Maine Coon on rock outside

Why You Should Neuter Your Maine Coon?

Unless you plan to breed your Maine Coon, both veterinarians, and Maine Coon breeders advice is to neuter or spay them. Castration procedures are different for males and females: males are neutered (their testes are surgically removed) while females are spayed (uterus and ovaries are removed) – spaying is usually more expensive than neutering since the surgery is a little longer and more complex. In none of the cases, the procedure is cruel to the cat: they experience minimal pain and they would get both medical and behavioral benefits.

Medical Benefits

  • Spaying your female Maine Coon would prevent uterine infection and breast tumors, which are cancerous in 90% of cats. To offer the best protection from this type of issue, you should spray your cat before her first heat.
  • Neutering your male Maine Coon would prevent testicular cancer and prostate issues.
  • If you have a couple – or more – of kittens, by neutering/spaying them you’ll prevent inbreeding between siblings at an early age.

Behavioral Benefits

  • Your male Maine Coon won’t spray to mark his territory.
  • Your female Maine Coon won’t go into heat. When your queen goes into heat, she may yowl and urinate more frequently as an effort to advertise for mates.
  • You should also consider the economic aspect of having your Maine Coon spay/neutered: the cost of their surgery would be far less than the cost of caring for an unwanted litter.

Maine Coon in grass close up

When to Neuter a Maine Coon

If you have chosen of neutering/spaying your Maine Coon cat, you need to have them have their surgery at the right age.

Maine Coons should be neutered before they typically hit puberty: neutering them between 4 and 6 months of age would be ideal. Until some years ago, veterinarians used to wait until the kittens were at least 6 months old. The reason why they suggested to wait was that, in both neutering and spaying surgery, anesthesia is used, and.using anesthesia on kittens was tricky in the past. Today, the practice has been perfect allowing veterinarians to spay or neuter kittens earlier in their life without any risk.

Risks of Neutering Your Maine Coon Too Early

Some veterinarians and association object strongly to the practice of neutering kittens too early in their life. They believe that EAA, Early Age Altering, leads to an increased risk of fracture to long bones, obesity, and changes in behavior and that it may have a negative effect on the overall growth. They also feel that using anesthesia on kittens it still too risky, despite the recent medical and technical development.

Risk of Neutering Your Maine Coon Too Late

When your car hits puberty, some behavioral changes may occur if he or she is not neutered or sprayed. Once they start, such changes could be irreversible, and neutering your cat, later on, won’t stop them. The risk of neutering your Maine Coon too late is that you may found yourself with a difficult pet, having he or she developed behaviors that are annoying for the owner, but also useless and pointless for a neutered cat.

Urine Spraying Habits

Cat spraying also referred to as urine marking, is the habit of the cat to release small amounts of urine in their surroundings. This behavior is mostly associated with non-neutered males, but sometimes intact females show the same behavior. For males, spraying is a way to mark their territory. Females do so to communicate where they are in their reproductive cycle.

Urine spraying starts when a cat begins to sexually mature. If you wait too long before having your cat spayed/neutered, your Maine Coon may develop the habit and this behavior would continue even after the surgery. Therefore, it’s important to have your Maine Coon neutered or spayed before he or she gets into the habit.

Strong Smelling Urine

Unneutered cats tend to develop a strong urine smell: the pungent odor is brought by the hormones and pheromones that they release when they pee. This is also correlated to reproduction: the odor serves to females as a chemical message to signal other cats that they are ready to mate, while males would mark their territory with their strong smell. Since neutering limits the hormones in your cat’s system, it can minimize the urine stench. And even if your Maine Coon has already developed the annoying habit of spraying, at least it wouldn’t have that strong and pungent odor.

Roaming Tendencies

Sexually mature cats have the tendency to roam outside in search of a mate. When they leave the house they could face a lot of dangers: they could get stolen, lost or injured. They could also get into fights with other cats or animals or even mate with an unhealthy partner. Neutering them at the right age would prevent them to develop this habit, and even neutered Maine Coon cats that are allowed outside would mostly stay near the house or in your garden.

Producing Unwanted Litter

For an unneutered cat, the chance of mailing and produce an unwanted litter would be high: they’ll most probably find a way to mate, no matter your efforts of preventing them from leaving the house. Neutering your Maine COon before they are able to reproduce eliminates the problem and it also helps control the overpopulation of cats: let’s keep in mind that there are already far more cats born than homes to takes them in.

Aggressive Behavior

Despite Maine Coons are one of the friendliest cat breeds, intact cats can sometimes get aggressive. It typically happens because they feel like they want to “protect” their territory, food or mates. Neutering your Maine Coon on time reduces the risk of your cat developing a permanent attitude problem.

Incessant Noise

This is a problem that affects only female cats: when they’re in heat they can be very noisy. Females in heat feel the need to announce their condition to males, so they can find them. Your female Maine Coon would go into heat several times per year, so her yowling and incessant meowing can become a little annoying. Spaying your female Maine Coon at the right age would prevent her to go into heat and develop such a behavior.

How To Take Care Of Your Maine Coon Before and After Surgery

When you take an appointment with your veterinarian to have your cat neutered or spayed, they usually give you pre and post-surgical advice.

You shouldn’t give any food to your cat after midnight the night before the surgery. This is because neutering/spaying surgery requires anesthesia.

After the surgery, your veterinarian would take measures to control your kitty’s pain, so he or she may experience some discomfort, but in any case, they would suffer pain.

There is also some advice that you could follow to offer your Maine Coon cat a comfortable recovery:

  • Provide your cat with a place to recover that is indoor, quiet and away from your other pets;
  • Prevent your cat from licking the incision of the site, which may cause infection;
  • Avoid bathing them in the days that follow the surgery;
  • Check the incision site daily until it’s completely healed.
  • If you notice anything unusual in your cat’s behavior, contact your veterinarian.

Maine coon in chinese new year dress

Common Beliefs About Neutering Maine Coons – What’s True?

Neutering makes Maine Coons prone to obesity

This can be true: a neutered cat isn’t as active as intact cats since they are not constantly searching for a mate. Obesity in neutered Maine Coons can be avoided by giving them the right food in proper amounts. There are a lot of products that are specific for neutered cats.

Neutering can affect a Maine Coon’s identity

This isn’t true: neutering/spaying does not affect a cat’s masculinity or femininity. It will limit their tendency to develop some annoying behaviors, this doesn’t mean that they’ll go through an identity crisis.

Neutering affects Maine Coons’ head size

No scientific evidence has proven that neutering a cat can stunt their growth. Maine Coons are slow-growing breed; they aren’t considered fully grown until 4 years old – waiting until his age before neutering them is not recommended. It would expose them to the risks we’ve described above.

Neutering is unnecessary for homebound Maine Coons

Even if your Maine Coon is locked inside your home all day long, every day of the year, the urge to roam and find a mate would be extremely frustrating to them. They would develop those annoying behaviors we’ve described, especially excessive noise, spraying, and aggression. A neutered cat, even if they stay at home, are less stressed and happier.

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