Dear Dr. Baum —
When is the proper time to neuter a kitten?
Thanks, Linda, Los Angeles, CA
Male cats (tom cats) can be neutered or castrated as early as two months of age, but I prefer to wait until they are five to six months of age. There are no deleterious effects from neutering them at these young ages.
For females there is a definite health benefit for spaying (or ovariohysterectomizing) at this young age — before the onset of the first heat. Breast cancers are practically nonexistent in females that never experience the estrogen jolt to their systems that occurs with onset of the heat periods. Spaying after the first heat has only a minimal effect in relationship to the occurrence of these cancers.
NOTE: For further information on this topic, please also read this Q&A, How Old Should Puppies Be When I Take Them to Be Spayed or neutered, which has additional info on the topic.
If you live in Los Angeles, do check our low cost spay-neuter clinics.