Spay or neuter your Maine Coon cat
In many cases, when you purchase a Maine Coon kitten from a breeder or shelter, you will be asked to sign an agreement. That agreement may cover a lot of territory, but one area is almost always covered: spaying and neutering. The breeder or shelter may require that you alter the cat by the time it reaches a certain age.
Kittens can be spayed after they are four months old, but your vet may prefer to wait until they are six months old. Many Maine Coon breeders do their own spaying and neutering, before the kitten is adopted, and often suggest spaying and neutering around fourteen weeks of age.
The reason vets put off neutering and spaying is that anesthesia is used, and in the past, using anesthesia in kittens was tricky. Today, much more research has been done on this and the practice has been perfected, allowing veterinarians and breeders to spay kittens earlier in life.
This practice reduces the chance that someone will adopt a kitten and not spay or neuter it later. Maine Coon breeders are especially concerned about this, as they want the breed to remain pure and do not want unplanned litters. This is also an effort to prevent sibling inbreeding at a young age. This is the only benefit of early castration.
There are those who strongly oppose EAA, or Early Age Altering. These veterinarians and associations believe that AAS leads to an increased risk of long bone fracture, obesity, a negative effect on overall growth, behavioral changes, and an increased risk of disease. They also feel that using anesthesia on kittens is too risky.
Spaying and neutering are generally not cruel to the animal, and they actually experience minimal pain. In most cases, they only experience mild pain for a day or two. Spaying is usually more expensive than neutering. In case you don’t know, and many people don’t, females are spayed and males are neutered.
If you want to breed your Maine Coon kitten at some point, this is something you will need to discuss with the breeder, often before the kitten is even conceived. The breeder usually charges a much higher fee when the breeding rights are awarded to the new owner. Keep in mind, however, that only kittens that come from titled parents have any real monetary value. So if your kitten doesn’t have titled parents, you should look for a litter that comes from titled parents.
Unless you plan on breeding your Maine Coon, it definitely needs to be modified. Otherwise, a male will be constantly ‘spraying’ to mark his territory and a female will keep you up day and night when she comes into heat. Also note that when you enter shows with your Maine Coon, you must specify that the animal has been altered, and he or she will enter class divisions specifically for altered Maine Coons.