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Prepubertal versus traditional gonadectomy in cats
The optimal time for gonadectomy is discussed controversially. So a group of colleagues performed a cohort study with more than 250 animals over three years to determine long-term results and complications of gonadectomy performed at an early age (prepubertal) or at the traditional age in cats.

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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