The Importance of Early Age Spay and Neuter of Ragdoll Kittens

Sometimes it can be hard to have a site that supports purebred cats. I receive nasty emails from people who do not support breeding – and there are strong reasons why they don’t. Sometimes, I struggle with supporting breeding because of the emails I receive about irresponsible breeders.

The Importance of Early Age Spay and Neuter of Ragdoll Kittens Bluedreamer-Ragdoll-Kittens-Kansas-City-IMG_9087-scaled

Even breeders who think they are responsible end up causing irresponsible breeding.

How does this happen? They release a kitten that has not been altered to a pet owner who signs a contract that they will spay or neuter the kitten. However, something comes up – financial strain or the pet owner changing their mind and wanting to breed the cat.

Even if they sign a contract, it doesn’t stop them. Some people don’t care about contracts; the original breeder only has a little control once the kitten is released. Sure, they can sue, etc. But once the damage has been done, it’s been done.

No court of law can remove the fact that the cat has irresponsibly produced a new litter of kittens.

However, I support responsible breeders who do not release their kittens without early-age spay and neutering. Floppycats is nearly 15+ years old and in the process of receiving e-mails and comments from readers and visitors over the years,

I have come to the conclusion that it is CRUCIAL for breeders to responsibly spay and neuter kittens BEFORE they go to their forever homes.  I get weekly emails from people who decided to breed their pet quality kitten “because she’s so cute” with their neighbor’s Siamese cat – and the kittens are so cute can I list them on my site.

Or people that couldn’t afford to neuter them now need to get rid of the cat because he’s spraying all over the place. It is heartbreaking for me, for all parties included, to think that it could be avoided if breeders just spayed and neutered their cats early.

Yes, many breeders have kitten adopters sign contracts saying they will spay and neuter the kitten they are adopting, but it doesn’t always happen. And if it doesn’t happen 100%, then it needs to improve. There are too many dangers involved in NOT spaying and neutering early on.

Charlie as a Ragdoll Kitten
Charlie as a Ragdoll Kitten

When my parents got Rags and Cosby in 1989, they signed a contract to neuter the two kittens, which they did when they were 6 months old.  It’s just that only some people do this. Caymus and Murphy came neutered from their breeder, Bluegrass Rags. Charlie and Trigg came neutered from their breeder, Soulmate Ragdolls.

Some special vets know how to do this procedure, and responsible breeders will find them. Do you know a responsible breeder that does early spay and neuter? Please feel free to list them in the comments section below. Here are additional resources where you can learn more about it.

There are always two sides to every argument. Be sure to do your own research and make an educated decision.

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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96 Comments

  1. Sharon Bevis says:

    I had 5 Persians that I loved beyond all reason..they were all spayed by the time they were 6 Mos old and every one lived to be 18-19 yrs old
    Except one beautiful golden who died at 9 of kidney failure
    I totally believe in spaying and neutering all pets unless you are a breeder.
    I’ve seen too many others get cancer of the nipples or for males the sac. People have a responsibility to their animals to give them a good long life.

  2. I am a tech at a busy animal hospital that does a lot of repro services. Unfortunately, I am no stranger to bad breeders.. however, the ragdoll cat breeder we mainly deal with is so super responsible. She is super particular so some people think she is a pain in the butt, but she’s not hard to figure out once you deal with her a few times. She sterilizes all of her kittens before they leave her, and we have fixed hers as early as 7 weeks and have never had any issues. She has them examined by our vets, takes xrays for kitten count, and gets them vaccinated by us too. She does all the DNA testing and everything. I like to work with her personally because she puts a lot of blood sweat and tears into these kittens… unlike a lot of dog breeders we see who drag in dogs that act like they’ve never seen a leash in their life and their puppies virtually never see a vet after their c-section (for high dollar dogs like bullies and bulldogs) and trying to get females pregnant at 9 months old even when our vets tell them that it’s a terrible idea. Bully breeders are the worst- they bring in a female they want to breed and we tell them she has a heart murmur and they shouldn’t breed her, but they don’t care. It’s so bad that when I hear that a bully breeder decides NOT to breed a dog because of a congenital heart issue, it warms my heart and makes me so so happy because I’d say conservatively 75% of bully breeders do. not. care. Imagine what that is doing to their genetics.

    1. Thank you for sharing!! And yes, this is what this article is about – I just had someone email me yesterday – bought their Ragdoll kitten as a pet, and is asking me how they find a mate for it, so they can start breeding. I tell them they should spay the cat if they didn’t buy it as a breeding cat because it’s irresponsible not to have it tested for genetic diseases, etc. But!! If that breeder that sold the kitten would have spayed it before releasing it, all of that wouldn’t have been possible. Do you mind emailing me and telling me who this breeder is that you like? jenny@floppycats.com

  3. So these cats are anywhere from 2 to 5 grand depending on the “responsible breeders” you obtain them from sounds to me like it’s just a money thing if there’s too many of the cats then nobody’s going to spend the big bucks. But to be blatantly honest there’s too many breeders you want to keep cat go visit your local freaking shelter and save a life period. have a blessed day y’all and don’t remember to visit your local humane society and animal shelters before you visit your local pet store or any other type of animal mill. FYI PetSmart adopts rescued cat kittens dogs and puppy may not be pure bred but get the f@#k over it. PS you should get every animal spay and neutered once you get it no matter the breed and any responsible breeder with that kind of contract in place would sell you the kitten/puppy already neutered or spayed just saying

  4. Donna Graham says:

    Once a male cat is neutered, does he still spray when he flips his tail? We have a neutered male kitty and everytime he flips his tail my hubby thinks he’s spraying.

  5. I know cost is always an issue. My feelings on strays is that, if the animal hospital or whoever is doing the free surgery has a budget, then just Neuter the males first and foremost. They can impregnate more than one female a day. Maybe leave only the females at the shelters and then when someone wants to adopt them, have that person cover the cost of the Spay before handing over.

  6. L McConnell says:

    After I’ve paid 2 grand for mine, if I choose to breed her I will. It’s no one’s business.

    1. EEK. EEK. EEK. That statement is filled with entitlement and not with responsibility. The exact reason I support early spay and neuter.

  7. Dee villa says:

    Ive had 4 raggies I helped ann davis clean her kennels back in 1989 ive always spayed and neutered my raggies they live to be 16 and 17 I signed a contact the breeder said then I could have the papers but I didn’t need them anyway it was cool meeting ann davis the lady that started the breed

    1. Karen Hall says:

      On the other hand if no one breeds . No more cats . Alot of cats are used to keep mice and other virmon down.i would like to know a solution!

      1. Anonymous says:

        Bro there’s millions of homeless cats not thousands millions how do you sound the cat in the statement is a designer cat it’s not a farm cat it’s not going to be in someone’s shed killing mice come on man.

      2. Save the cats says:

        Lol, Ha HA HA , cats do not need humans to make sure they don’t go extinct. I’m pretty sure they will find a way to have kittens without ppl trying to breed them omg.

  8. Stacey Lemons says:

    My mother-in-law has a female indoor/outdoor cat that’s always pregnant bcuz she doesn’t have the money to have her spayed. I have a friend that goes out at nite to feed strays & is always looking for homes for these cats. He also captures the strays & takes them to this vet that spays/neuters for free but if the cats are owned by someone he charges 60$ for the service. I understand the vet has to make money but we need to have someone who can offer the services for ppl who can’t afford the $60. My friend took my kitten & told the vet she was a stray so I wouldn’t have to pay the fee, I wouldn’t have been able to pay bcuz I’m on a fixed income. I believe cats should be fixed bcuz they keep getting pregnant and bring more & more stray cats that don’t have homes into the world . It’s very sad to see how many babies are thrown out bcuz the owner is irresponsible or just can’t afford to get the procedure. My cat Rosie is the best thing that has happened to me in years! She’s my companion & she keeps me from being lonely but I couldn’t keep her if she wasn’t fixed bcuz I can’t afford a dozen kittens.

    1. Come on now wtf says:

      Feeding and taking care of all those dam kittens and cats cost waaaaaaay more than getting the momma spayed, I can’t stand ppl that do this sh!t

    2. K. Presler says:

      To the people who can’t afford to spay or neuter, check with your local shelters, clinics and rescue organizations. Where I live, there are clinics that do very low cost or maybe even free spay/neutering if you qualify. Our local animal shelter does many free rabies vaccination clinics throughout the year as well. I understand what having a pet means, but I don’t understand how you afford an expensive animal but can’t afford to have it spayed or neutered. Pets require routine vet care and vaccinations, wellness checks and nail trims and grooming,not to mention illnesses or emergency care, heaven forbid. If you really can’t afford to have a pet spayed or neutered, how can you afford to care for them properly? I’m not trying to be mean or disrespectful, I just think that sometimes people don’t think it through and realize that maybe it’s not the right time or right breed. I want a particular dog from a very specialized training program and they range in price from 10 thousand dollars to over 100 thousand dollars. Guess what. I’ll be saving for years and will probably be to old by the time I can get one. Unless you are a responsible breeder with the means and knowledge to do it safely and properly, please have your pets spayed or neutered. ❤

  9. Mary Mayor says:

    I have a Snowshoe which looks just like rag doll. Rescued her 4 years ago, she fit in palm of my hand. Got her ‘fixed’ and at 8 months she was diagnosed with FBI.P. on Dec 8, 2017. Vet took exrayz which confirmed his diagnosis. He offered to ‘put her down’ telling me not cats had survived beyond 6 months once with FIP. I took her home and gave her the two (all natural) ingredients that I had been taking after I was diagonoised with cancer. After couple months, she was her frisky self again and is my partner still, 4 yrs later. I was very disappointed when I brought her back to same vet 2 years after her said she needs be put to an because though they were amazed she was still alive, but not one asked what or how I was able to cure her of FIP. Aren’t vets and their assistants suppose to cure, not kill. They never inquired how I managed her to survive what they claimed to be a fatal disease. I’d like to patent what I used and also help others animals with poor health issues. I’d include pic or video of her but don’t see how on this page. I thought about how great (for me) to have her have a litter but I realized that its was best to get her fixed. Don’t know if that helped with her recovery or not. I am just glad I didn’t take vets advice.
    Curious if FIP is known as fatal to cats. If so, my girl ‘Phish’ lives and proves that to be false. Or it’s a miracle she’s alive 1125 days past day they veterinarian said she’d die in less than 180 days.

    1. I would love to know the products you took for cancer.
      Thanks Lisa

    2. Wow, I’m so proud of you, to go with your heart, institution an not put her to to sleep..Also to use natural remedy, that helped your kitty. I adopted male Main Coon cat. . , Hercules,.. he was thrown outside, abandoned at a empty house rental. When we found him he was starving, would come up to us, ask to be loved. We would bring him can food. An he would sleep in a rolled up carpet, with dog poo in it. Sad right!! After weeks of painting rental house , finished . We decided we were bringing him home. Now he has a place clean, food, fresh water. . Flea, tick collar. Maybe your home remedy can help him. Hercules has a rash going down his back ,cause lost of hair , so itchy. Any help would be appreciated … Also not sure if I can get back to this site ,to see if you posted me back.. so ill leave my email address McGheesherry73@gmail.com. , I’ll check it. Thanks so much!! , Sherry

    3. God bless you. Every kitten deserves a chance. And people might be in better mental places if they had a kitten/cat on their laps to pet!!!!.

  10. Terri Poland says:

    In 1997 while being stationed in Northern California, we adopted two 11 month old Ragdoll brothers whom were surrendered because the woman couldn’t handle their behavior. I immediately had them scheduled for neutering. That week prior was “hell week”, and I could understand what the woman was going through. But once the surgeries were done and they were back home with us, it was Heaven. Sadly they weren’t with us for much longer. We had to suddenly move and weren’t able to take them with us. Not only did having them neutered change their depositions but now I know they could never have been bred irresponsibly.

    1. Thank you for your service and for also taking care of those kittens, so they weren’t bred irresponsibility.

  11. Hi Jenny, I’ve been breeding ragdolls for 8 years now. I’m so glad your bringing light to this issue. I strongly believe ragdolls and cats in general should be fixed, microchipped, and have at least 2 sets of shots before they leave their moms for new homes. Preferably after 12 weeks so they learn all the skills they need.

    1. Ii think it is sad that irresponsble people make it difficult for responsible people to make decisions on when to spay/ neuter their pet. One cat was given to me by a family member when she was already spayed. My other 2 cats I had from birth and I had both of them spayed/ neutered when they were about 5 to 6 month old. I believe in adoption, but more often than not pets are spayed way too early causing irreparable damage to their health. A puppy spayed at 6 weeks old (ASAP flat out lied about her age) had permanent incontinence issues due to early spaying and it can cause hip dysplesia due to delayed bones fusing. 5 months is the earliest this should be done. Same with cats. If breeders want to fix them, give. Then keep them until their reproductive organs are ready for the procedure.

  12. Our cat wasn’t a purebred. My roommate got her from some kids giving kittens away out of a cardboard box in front of a grocery store.
    So I don’t know anything about her heredity, but she looked like a Ragdoll. She had beautiful blue eyes, long mostly white fur that felt more like rabbit fur, and what my niece, a veterinarian called 3 point coloration. It wasn’t her beauty that made her exceptional though. It was her personality. She played fetch, came when called, ran to meet us at the door after work, and would just melt in our arms. It was difficult to decide to have her spayed only because I would’ve loved to have had more just like her, but it was the responsible thing to do and more importantly, it was better for her. She developed kidney disease and for the last five years of her life we had to give her subcutaneous fluids. She was on a renal diet and took oral medications as well. She would actually go and wait for us where we gave her the fluids when it was time. She had a good life and lived longer than the veterinarians predicted. I’m writing this because I have no doubt that having her spayed kept her with us and happy longer than she would’ve been otherwise. She let us and her veterinarians know when it was time for her to go. She was almost 18 years old and I miss her every day. I know there will never be another Boo (her nickname), but I do believe that when I’m ready I would like to adopt a Ragdoll. And I will definitely have her spayed
    to keep her healthy and happy for as long as possible.

    1. Your story is so heartwarming – you and Boo were lucky to have so many years together. How kind of you, the extra care you provided. My Buick was 17.5 when we had to let him go. He was on so sick with either IBD or lymphoma, spared him so much worse but I miss him every day. So I know what you mean. Sorry for your loss, and best wishes.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Purebred?? Ppl don’t realize that most of these cats are INBRED and then INBRED again and again and again ect. There’s waaaaay too many cats out there for ppl to be trying to “BREED” them. The right thing for ppl to do would be stop at your nearest trailer park, pick out a kitten for free, and save it.

  13. Cindy Harken says:

    I have bred Sphynx for 20 years. We spay and neuter ALL kittens at 12/13 weeks BEFORE they leave. Awesome wonderful kittens is all I get in feedback. Stick to your guns!

    1. Vana Bailes says:

      Hi Jenny, I have been breeding Ragdolls for 6 years now. Kittens placed in new homes only… after they are spayed or neutered. Too many times I am called to ‘use’ my males to breed to their ‘pet’ Ragdoll…. The fact that that the potential Mother Cat has not been DNA tested for the HCM Heart Murmur, genetic problem (early death), Factor 7 Deficiency (lack of blood clotting) gene and blood type – prior to breeding is horrifying to me. To produce kittens from parents without DNA results should be a criminal offense considering the heartbreak involved with the possible death of their kitten and the financial loss. Thank you for your continuing education for our beloved Ragdolls. Vana Bailes of
      Badgerrags, Sanger, Texas

      1. Thanks, Vana. I wish we could trust that people will neuter and spay their pet Ragdolls, but after running this site for 14 years, I have learned you cannot trust that.

  14. Early spaying is neutering is even more dangerous than not breeding at all. The reason is the reproductive system produced hormones that in turn affects the growth, development, and health of an animal. Besides obesity, if the animal is fixed too soon than that has the potential to create serious health problems verses waiting to fix an animal. Also, if too many purebreds are fixed, genetic drift increases and if too many cats or dogs are fixed, they will go extinct at some point in the future. Case study – are you familiar with China’s 1 child policy? They had to get rid of this policy because their population started to shrink and now allow either 2 or 3 kids per family

    1. Amber,
      The Chinese wanted their population to shrink, that’s why they only allowed one child per family.
      I do agree with not spaying cats too early. However, I also find giving kittens away as early as 8 weeks old is cruel to both the mother and the kitten. Feral cat mothers will start shoeing their kitten away at 5 months old, so why can’t breeders wait longer to spay their kitten and them away?

  15. Stephanie says:

    Greetings

    I would like to comment that it is vitally important to spay or neuter any pet. Every pet I own gets spayed or neutered plus mixrochipped. If I cannot afford to do that then I realized that I cannot afford to be a responsible pet parent. There are too many unwanted animals out there now.

  16. S. Elizabeth Bobo says:

    Thanks for posting the information on cats. It’s interesting and certainly it supports high quality care for cats in addition to all animals humans want to keep nearby!

  17. Debra Biderman says:

    Just wanted to tell you I read 80 percent of reasonsfornot altering (deserving) cats and dogs and didn’t see a single valid reason except for ending the line of an extremely valuable cat or dog. I had a friend who bred Bsto Terriers and I don’t think she ever got rich doing it. I for one have the ability to love any cat ofany breed and with shelters full and a living in a high level feral cat area where cats are stayed and neutered free of charge, I see no reason for not desexing a pet.

  18. Lorraine Lavoie says:

    How old do the kittens need to be to be fixed. I have 2 Ragdoll kittens I believe they are either 7 or 8 months financially things are very tight at the moment but I know it needs to be done. Nothing was mentioned when I got them from breeder. Is there a reasonable place and price to have this done.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Look up low cast spay/neuter in your area. There are various programs out there to help people who can’t afford to pay a vet for spay/neuter services since spay/neutering cats and dogs is in communities best interest. For example, the humane society is a good choice with their sliding scale, and in Minnesota, there’s the MN Snap program.

  19. Anonymous says:

    So I do just want to say that for hormone levels to be properly balanced they shouldn’t be altered before 6 months and that’s the earliest that is done I believe

    1. Anonymous says:

      They can be spayed at 2 or 3 pounds here in Nashville .they can go in heat at 4 months. I TNR here too many strays

  20. Christy Stambaugh says:

    My special Boy, “Dusty Blues” is a very floppy RagaMuffin! He looks like your guys without any white markings. Such a lover boy & my Purr Baby, neutered of course!!!

    1. Trudy A ENGELDINGER says:

      We had a beautiful Ragamuffin. Grey,white and a bit of brown . Reggie lived to be 16. Just a lovely, gorgeous baby and I miss him terribly.
      .

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