State Veterinary Medical Associations Endorse FELINE FIX BY FIVE MONTHS as best practice

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All of the national veterinary organizations have now endorsed as best practice the spaying or neutering cats by five months of age for medical, behavioral and community wellness. State vet associations are now starting to follow suit. The campaign, called Feline Fix by Five months, was initiated by Marian's Dream, a nonprofit organization dedicated to animal welfare.

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Following the lead of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and the American Association of Feline Practitioners, state veterinary medical associations in Maine, Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi have formally endorsed the best practice of spaying or neutering cats before five months of age.

“When state veterinary associations embrace and endorse the recommended best practice of spaying and neutering cats by five months of age, it amplifies our message that the benefits of ‘fixing by five months’ are numerous and impactful to the health and welfare of cats, and to the problem of overpopulation in communities across the country and around the world,” said Feline Fix by Five’s Program Director, Esther Mechler.

Historically, the recommended age for spaying and neutering cats was six months. However, the benefits of performing surgery earlier not only result in faster recovery and fewer unwanted litters, but also health and behavioral benefits that can help reduce the number of cats relinquished to shelters by their owners.

  • The risk for mammary cancer (which is fatal in over 85% of diagnosed cases) in female cats who are spayed before their first estrous cycle is reduced by 91%.*
  • Neutering male cats reduces many undesirable behaviors such as urine marking, aggressive behavior and roaming behaviors which can result in serious injuries, diseases and death.
  • Cats sterilized before puberty are less likely to exhibit undesirable behaviors secondary to sex hormones. This also makes it more likely for cats to remain with their owners long term since many cats are surrendered to shelters due to these undesirable behaviors.

“Cat owners who may be unsure of when to spay or neuter their pet, or who wait until they are six months of age, are often faced with the dilemma of what to do with an unexpected litter of kittens. Ironically, the problem is not always the result of owners refusing to spay or neuter their cat – they simply did not know that performing the surgery before a cat reaches sexual maturity has benefits beyond just preventing ‘surprise’ litters,” said Dr. Philip Bushby, DVM, MS, DACVS, veterinary medical advisor to the Fix by Five Months campaign.

Since the Feline Fix by Five Months campaign was launched in 2016, the boards of all major national veterinary organizations and many national cat-welfare organizations have formally endorsed the practice of Fixing by Five Months.

About Feline Fix by Five Months
Feline Fix by Five Months is an initiative of Marian’s Dream, a non-profit organization that provides support to animal welfare groups and organizations dedicated to bringing awareness to animal welfare issues. The campaign’s mission is to educate veterinarians, the general public and cat owners on the medical, behavioral and community benefits of spaying and neutering cats before the age of five months. For more information, visit

*”Mammary Tumors” Cornell Feline Health Center. Accessed June 2020.

Becky Price

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Becky Price

Esther Mechler
Marian's Dream
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