Long-term outcome of gonadectomy performed at an early age or traditional age in cats. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine long-term results and complications of gonadectomy performed at an early age (prepubertal) or at the traditional age in cats. DESIGN: Cohort study. ANIMALS: 263 cats from animal shelters. PROCEDURE: 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. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: 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.

published proceedings

  • J Am Vet Med Assoc

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Howe, L. M., Slater, M. R., Boothe, H. W., Hobson, H. P., Fossum, T. W., Spann, A. C., & Wilkie, W. S

citation count

  • 47

complete list of authors

  • Howe, LM||Slater, MR||Boothe, HW||Hobson, HP||Fossum, TW||Spann, AC||Wilkie, WS

publication date

  • December 2000