VERIFY: How old should an animal be before it's spayed or neutered

Our Verify team is checking out an issue for pet owners after a viewer reached out on Facebook. She was upset after a kitten she adopted died at 5 weeks old. She blamed the shelter for spaying the kitten at such a young age.

So what are the rules? How young is too young to spay and neuter a pet?  Our fact checkers went to the American Veterinary Medical Association. It says there is no standard age that is best. Instead, your vet should decide based on your animal's needs.

Most veterinarians spay and neuter between six and nine months of age.


According to a study of the long-term risks, researchers found performing the procedure before six months did not lead to an increased risk of death.

It recommends animals always be spayed or neutrered before being adopted from a shelter. So we can verify that it, according to research, it is safe to spay and neuter younger pets in most cases but the veterinarian should make the call. 


American Veterinary Medical Association


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