|263 cats from animal shelters were included. Cats that underwent gonadectomy were allotted to 2 groups on the basis of estimated age at surgery (traditional age, > or = 24 weeks old; prepubertal, < 24 weeks old).
Adoptive owner information was obtained from shelter records, and telephone interviews were conducted with owners to determine physical or behavioral problems observed in the cats after adoption.
Follow-up information was obtained from attending veterinarians for cats with complex problems or when owners were uncertain regarding the exact nature of their cat`s problem.
Compared with traditional-age gonadectomy, prepubertal gonadectomy did not result in an increased incidence of infectious disease, behavioral problems, or problems associated with any body system during a median follow-up period of 37 months.
Additionally, the rate of retention in the original adoptive household was the same for cats that underwent prepubertal gonadectomy as those that underwent traditional-age gonadectomy.
These results suggest that prepubertal gonadectomy may be performed safely in cats without concern for increased incidence of physical or behavioral problems for at least a 3-year period after gonadectomy.
Source: Howe LM, Slater MR, Boothe HW, Hobson HP, Fossum TW, Spann AC, Wilkie WS (2000): Long-term outcome of gonadectomy performed at an early age or traditional age in cats. In: J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000 Dec 1;217(11):1661-5
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