Since our kittens leave our breeding sterilized and there are several questions on the matter, we wanted to create this page dedicated to the gonadectomy in kittens. You will find at the bottom of the page the references of the texts which were used to make this synthesis.

It will be a question of highlighting some important points on a subject that raises many questions about prepubescent sterilization around the age of 4 months. This practice is carried out by most conscientious breeders since the advantages over the disadvantages are important. This is also true with the Maine Coon, even if he grows longer than a cat of another breed.

First, let's start with the influences of sex hormones and growth hormones on kitten development. It is still necessary to understand the interaction of these hormones. In the whole cat, the growth hormones will have a progressive effect until the onset of puberty when the sex hormones come into play. At that time, these will have the effect of slowing down growth since they intervene in the closure of the growth plates of the articular epiphyses. We can therefore understand that the whole cat (or having been sterilized after puberty), will be slightly smaller than the younger sterilized cat. In other words, it will be slightly larger at the end of growth due to the absence of the influence of sex hormones.

The process of closing the cartilages during prepubertal sterilization takes about 8 weeks longer than normal. Faced with this, studies indicate that there is no greater incidence of fracture in castrated cats before puberty. This type of fracture which is called as in humans Salter-Harris is known to increase (especially) with overweight. In a way, early sterilization increases the duration of bone brittleness without weakening the bones in the long term.

It can therefore be said that sterilization is absolutely not altering the growth of the animal. Regarding the Maine Coon, whether it is sterilized young or not, it is imperative to pay attention to its joints during its growth since it is a slow-growing breed. Limiting difficult, intense, or demanding exercise will help protect joint and bone development.

It is often said that neutering makes cats fat. Whether the cat is sterilized or not, this remains a risk depending on its lifestyle. In addition, it is certain that the sterilized cat requires a specific diet since it will tend to be less energetic and have a slower metabolism of about 30%, according to studies. He will therefore have 20 to 30% less activity and 30% more food intake, so the owner must give him the recommended dose according to his age and weight. He also needs to exercise daily. divided into several sessions during the day. Obesity is an important factor to check throughout the life of the cat. An easy thing to set up is to weigh the cat once a month and thus review the amount of food to give according to weight.

Of course, sterilization also aims to limit the number of cats and protect lines. The serious and conscientious breeder carries out a drastic selection of cats that will be reproduced in order to be in the best standards of the breed. The unions are calculated and the lines reflected, special attention is focused on consanguinity. To avoid so-called “wild” reproduction, it is the duty of the breeder to have the kittens intended for the company sterilized and preferably before they leave for their family. This is also a guarantee of well-being for the cat and for their future owners. As a result, adopters do not have to take the steps for sterilization and pay fees, in addition, it is the breeder who assumes this part.

An important element is also to slow down the development of sexual behavior before puberty and thus avoid several disorders related to this phenomenon such as marking, heat, leaks, etc. and also limit the risk of the appearance of tumors and infection of the uterus, for example.

It was also found in a study (Spain, 2004) that early sterilization causes a significant reduction in the development of asthma and gingivitis in kittens.

Another positive effect, the process of recovery after the operation is very fast in the cat which undergoes the intervention at the prepubescent age unlike a post-pubescent cat (after 6 months). The kitten recovers more quickly from the procedure.

There has often been talk of accusing early sterilization in male cats of causing lower urinary tract disease and feline urolithiasis syndrome because of a possible reduction in the diameter of the urethra. It was shown, with measurements comparing the urethral diameters of castrated cats at 7 weeks and 7 months, that there was no notable difference. The urethral diameter is not reduced after early castration ( . To date, this is not in itself an additional risk that would favor the appearance of urinary stones.

In conclusion, faced with this still debated and poorly documented question, the observation remains that the positive effects are much greater than the negative effects. Of course, you have to stay open-minded because science evolves and relevant information supported by scientific facts can change over time. With regard to our breeding and after consultation with our veterinarian, our research and our discussions with other breeders, we remain on the position that our kittens will be sterilized from the age of 4 months and this before their departure in the new families. We will adapt our point of view accordingly, which will remain above all based on scientific observations.

We are also subscribers to various veterinary magazines such as “le point Vétérinaire”, “la dépêche Vétérinaire”, “vereproduction” and “neocare”. We take the time each week to improve our knowledge by reading articles on various breeding-related topics. It is also, in our opinion, the duty of each breeder to be informed, which is why it remains a full-time job for us, a dedication out of passion.

Finally, it is not justified to point the finger at early sterilization and to remain aware that a sterilization carried out around 12 weeks, 4 months or 8 months does not in any way guarantee that a cat will have better bones than another. In short, the results remain about the same regardless of age, this includes the risk of fractures and the precautions apply for a cat sterilized at 3 months as much as at 8 months.

References (French only) : (remise en question de la stérilisation précoce sur le comportement)