|Purred: Thu Aug 9, '12 7:50pm PST |
|Yes cats can definitely go into heat before 6 months, although personally the two females I've had who were intact at that age did not...
I delayed getting Harlequin spayed because she was so tiny and I kept waiting in hope maybe she would grow a little more first (she was one of the runts in the feral litter I rescued). When I finally did get it done she was 9 months old, 5 1/2 pounds and had never gone into heat. She's still tiny as an adult.
Roxy's breeder advised not spaying until 8 months old due to Maine Coons developing slowly and we had hoped she wouldn't go into heat at all because she didn't for so long, but then she ended up finally doing so getting her first heat before 8 months old. So she did go into heat once before she was spayed.
I couldn't find a lot of data on spaying a cat before vs. after their first heat regarding mammary tumors in cats, although I did find this:
"This study indicates that cats spayed before 6 months of age had a 91% reduction in risk for mammary cancer. That dropped to 86% if they were spayed between 6 and 12 months. Any decrease between then and 24 months was insignificant."
Overley, G, Shofer, FS, Goldschmidt, MH et al. (2005) Association between ovariohysterectomy and feline mammary carcinoma. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 19 (4): 560-563.
So even if your cat is not spayed until she is 6 months old it does not seem like it increases the risk a huge amount...
Edited by author Thu Aug 9, '12 7:51pm PST
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