top of page

When is the Best Time to Sterilize?

Updated: May 3, 2021

The Golden Time to Sterilize


June 2020

Some people may ask questions like "Doc, if i want to sterilize my kitty, how old do you think?" or "Doc, can my dog ​​/ cat be sterile or not?"

The questions above are the frequently asked questions by some of our clients, and the answer is Yes! However, this needs further consideration by the veterinarian.

Sterilization in males is known as castration, and sterilization in females is known as ovariohisterectomy. Sterilization helps control the dog and cat population in your neighborhood. In addition, sterilization helps reduce the level of fighting during the mating season, reduces animal noise during mating season, reduces spraying and marking activities, helps maintain health, and reduces the risk of reproductive diseases in the future.


According to quotes from various journals of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, the best time to sterile kittens is when the animal weighs 1 kg, and is at least 6 weeks old. Some practitioners around the world may use these criteria as a recommendation "When" is the golden time to be sterile.

Many considerations are beneficial when sterilization focuses on pediatrics. Young animals have very high rates of tissue growth and repair, kittens will bleed less than adult cats, and are more responsive to pain treatment than older cats. So, your little one's recovery will be more comfortable without feeling pain after surgery.

It should be noted that early sterilization of kittens is not associated with serious health problems and does not appear to affect skeletal, physical, and behavioral development.


A few decades ago, recommendations for sterility in adult dogs were applicable at any age. While the puppy recommendation is after passing the first puberty. However, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recommended the best time when weights 1 kg and are at least 8 weeks old. Puppy recovery rates also tend to be high, as is the case with kittens. And the most important thing is to avoid inherited reproductive diseases or breed-borne reproductive diseases.

Both types of animals will experience changes after sterilization. In male castration, habits such as 'spraying and marking' in unfamiliar areas will be more quiet and friendly. Competitor traits may decrease among other dogs / cats, resulting in decreased fighting rates. Sterilizing the female will eliminate the heat cycle. Usually 'the heat' is characterized by vocalization or animal noise in attracting male attention. This sterilization prevents males from coming to your house.

Female cats are in heat for 5 to 7 days, 3 to 6 weeks. While female dogs are in heat for 6 to 12 days, twice a year. This varies depending on the breed and the individual animal. In large or giant dogs, the likelihood of heat is once a year. When the mating season arrives, the female heat will release 'pheromones' that attract males. Loops bleeding in female dogs may occur in the vicinity of household furniture, and the scent of these 'pheromones' is very attractive to males to a large radius. That's why your male dog can disappear 6 to 12 days when mating season arrives, as can male cats.

Opinion of Indonesian Veterinarian

Due to the sensitivity of young (pediatric) animals to anesthesia, the safety of the pediatric individual, and the caution of veterinarians in pediatric anesthesia is very varied, so veterinarians in Indonesia consider postponing the sterile period. Some veterinarians in Indonesia use the criteria for male castration, at least one month after the descensus testiculorum (time of descending the testicle into the scrotum), for easy testicular outreach. This period generally occurs around the age of two months. Whereas in females sterilize, at least they have gone through the first estrous cycle, which means that the animal has reached puberty and is already showing symptoms of heat. The average age for dogs and cats to reach puberty is 6 months.


Editor: Drh Mahardhiko Widodo


  1. American Association of Feline Practitioners. AAFP Position statement: Early spay and castration. AAFP website. Diakses Juni, 2020.

  2. American Veterinary Medical Association. AVMA Animal health & welfare: Elective spaying and neutering of pets. AVMA website. Diakses Juni 2020.

  3. Root Kustritz MV. Early spay–neuter: clinical considerations. Clin Tech Small Anim Pract. 2002;17:124-128.

  4. Hoffman JM, Creevy KE, Promislow DEL. Reproductive capability is associated with lifespan and cause of death in companion dogs. PLOS One. 2013;8(4):e61082.

31 views0 comments


bottom of page