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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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At What Age...

I find conflicting information about this stuff when I try to research it, so I thought I'd get some opinions from you guys.

At what age (generally) do you think a kitten should do the following:

- Get free range of the house (apartment) unsupervised?
- Start wearing a collar?
- Be spayed?

I'm aware that there's a lot of debate about what age cats should be desexed. My veterinarian plans to fix her at 5-5 1/2 months, do you agree with this? Also, I have heard that kittens shouldn't wear collars unsupervised, but I can't for the life of me remember where or why. Am I imagining this?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 07:27 PM
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Re: At What Age...

My girls had free run of the house about 3 days after I got them. They were 10 weeks old. But I think I still put them in their bedroom while I was at work for a week or two after that. I'd have to go back and look at my old posts.

Lots of vets will spay now at 2 months/2 pounds. The twins were spayed as soon as Cali (the runt) hit two pounds. They were almost 10 weeks old. It's thought that they heal faster when they're young.

My girls are microchipped, but they don't wear collars, but I'm sure you'll get advice about that.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 07:32 PM
 
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Re: At What Age...

The common anti-collar sentiment come from the possibility your cat could hang herself on the collar while wandering the house. If you plan to collar and your cat's collar is a break-away collar (one with a plastic clasp) your cat should be safe should she get caught by the collar as it will automatically break under the weight of her body pulling on the clasp!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 07:38 PM
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Re: At What Age...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valkyrie
The common anti-collar sentiment come from the possibility your cat could hang herself on the collar while wandering the house. If you plan to collar and your cat's collar is a break-away collar (one with a plastic clasp) your cat should be safe should she get caught by the collar as it will automatically break under the weight of her body pulling on the clasp!
Though you'll probably want to check this by hanging something (that won't break when it falls) that weighs as much as your cat/kitten from the collar. Some of those plastic buckles are stiffer than others!

One of the collars I got when I first got Misty and Stormy could hold up a 5-lb bag of flour without breaking, easy. I wouldn't be surprised if a kitten, being light, wouldn't come loose from a lot of those break-away collars.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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Re: At What Age...

Very true with the weight pull on the breakaway clasps. However, when your kitten is that small there is a good chance the collar isn't snug around her neck and her head will slip right out when caught. Premier makes a glowing and reflective collar that is a super easy breakaway (Which sucks when you're trying to catch your cat!)
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 09:44 PM
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Re: At What Age...

My 3 were all 12 weeks when I got them, and were free to roam the house as soon as introductions were complete (about a week). Although you need extra litter boxes when they're that young. They're more likely to have an accident if there isn't a box really handy. Younger than 12 weeks would depend on how well litter trained the kitten is, how well cat proofed the house is and how inquisitive and destructive the kitten is. I know that doesn't help much, but it really depends on the situation.

Spaying....any time after 2 pounds, but definitely by 6 months. Typically a cat becomes sexually mature at 7-9 months, so you want it done before that happens. However, females can go into heat as early as 4 months...it's rare, but it happens. I played a little Russian Roulette with Holly due to my work travel schedule and she was just under 7 months she was spayed. I found out later that her littermate went into heat at 4 months!


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-04-2009, 01:11 AM
 
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Re: At What Age...

i let my cat run around the house about 3 months old
and if its a girl should get spayed when she has her first heat cycle
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-04-2009, 05:08 AM
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Re: At What Age...

Lucy and Nanook were both spayed/neutered when they were 6 weeks and not much more than a pound! But, they were shelter kitties and they don't release them here without desexing first. I wasn't happy about it, because I do think it's too young (although I understand the reasoning for it) so I to offered to leave a deposit and show proof of spay/neuter at 4 months but they wouldn't allow it. Nanook is 5 now and Lucy just past a year and they both are fine. All to say, you can do it ridiculously early if need be. But on average I think 4-6 months is a pretty safe bet. That's what I've always done, given a choice.
I'm assuming you're talking about regular collars and NOT flea collars. Flea collars are a waste of money and can be dangerous to cats (although they are great in vacuum bags if you have a flea problem! ). As for regular, ID collars, I wouldn't put one on until 3 or 4 months and only a break away type. As said before, your cat needs to weigh enough to break the collar and I wouldn't rely on it being loose enough for the kittens head to slip through. It may not.
My place is somewhat small so they had free roam pretty much right away. Of course, everything was kitten proofed within an inch of it's life! All small, swallowable items gone, anything the could eat, gone. All breakables put away. Blind string tied up out of reach...you get the idea.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-04-2009, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: At What Age...

Thanks everyone, this has been helpful.

Gadget is just under 4 months old now. We live in an apartment which is fairly kitten proof (although it's hard to believe that I've caught every potential hazard). On account of the feedback here we attempted to leave her out last night. I think the excitement was just too much, as she tormented both us and Gizmo relentlessly until we locked her up again . Usually she's pretty good, but last night she was a TERROR. She had Gizmo hissing and growling at her!

Anyways, I'm thinking perhaps a good compromise would be to let her have run of the house but lock her out of the bedroom. What I don't like about that scenario is that then she will be making a fuss right outside the bedroom door rather than across the apartment. Also, I'm not sure Gizmo will like being locked in the bedroom--he usually sleeps with us through the night, but occasionally he likes to get up and wander around.

I will definitely take the advice on getting her an easy break-away collar. I'm glad you guys suggested testing it first--never would've thought of that. She is indoors and will be microchipped, but I figure it won't hurt her to wear one.
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