For vets: Early Neutering
NPO Catnip advocates early neutering for shelter animals. However we do not pressurise vets to early-neuter if they are not comfortable with the procedure.
It is critically important to us that animals we re-home are, or will be, neutered.

In Japan the standard age at which cats and dogs are neutered is 6 months. This is after the animal has reached sexual maturity - leading to the possibility of unwanted pregnancies and litters.

For a rehoming organisation this is too late. The best time to re-home a kitten or a puppy is while it is still young. At CATNIP we will generally re-home an animal when it is from nine to twelve weeks old.

Local veterinary practices thus put in the position of having to re-home an animal that we have not yet neutered.

We can attempt to ensure that such a young an animal is subsequently neutered via a neutering agreement - but these can be difficult to enforce.

For this reason for “shelter/rescue animals” of the kind we are dealing with, we strongly advocate early neutering - between 8 and 12 weeks. This is the only way we can ensure they do not reproduce.

This is in line with standard United Kingdom veterinary practice and recommendations. For cats, these are that animals can safely be neutered from 8 weeks and this is the recommended neutering age for shelter or rescue animals. The "standard" age for non-shelter animals - ordinary pets - is around 16 weeks.

Early neutering - at 8 to 10 weeks - of shelter and rescue animals is thus a common and recommended procedure outside Japan.

Inside Japan, although it is not wholly unknown - at least some vets are prepared to offer it in Tokyo and Osaka - it is fair to say that it is regarded with suspicion and incomprehension.

We understand that some vets around Fukuoka have veterinary objections to early-neutering. Other vets don’t feel comfortable with it simply because they have not been trained in the technique and do not see the need for it.

There is a need - for a rehoming organisation early neutering is a critical tool to ensure that we execute our responsibilities to the animals we re-home.

Although we are strong advocates of early neutering, we do not pressure any vet to “early neuter” our animals.

If you do not offer this service, but are interested in the topic of early neutering, do please contact us for more information.

[If you are involved in rehoming animals in Fukuoka, and need the name of a vet who will undertake spay/neuter before 6 months, contact us.]