Just like their female counterparts, male kitties go into puberty when they reach around 6 months of age. At this time, your little boy will become sexually mature and able to reproduce. He'll also start urine marking and roaming, so it's best to have him fixed to avoid such issues.
When your little boy kitty reaches between 6 and 9 months of age, he will enter into puberty, according to the Animal Humane Society. While he won't technically be considered an adult until he reaches 1 year old, he'll still be able to reproduce with a female at this point. You'll notice that your formerly playful and sweet little boy has become a bit of a handful to deal with, marking everything in sight with urine and possibly starting fights with any other kitties in your home, including his own siblings. The little furball will also become quite the escape artist in his attempts to go outside and find a mate.
What to Look For
When your little kitten enters puberty, not only will you notice behavioral changes, but you'll notice physical ones as well. At puberty, a male kitty becomes muscular and develops thick pads of flesh on his cheeks to protect him when he gets into fights with other males, according to the Mar Vista Animal Medical Center. A sexually mature male kitty tends to get into many fights with other tomcats, fighting over both territory and the available lady felines in the area. Your previously happy house cat quickly becomes a feisty terror who produces an especially stinky urine spray, containing testosterone, that he uses both inside and outside of your home to send the message to other kitties that this area is his territory.
If you're not enthralled with the idea of a roaming, fighting, urine-spraying little furball, never fear -- neutering that potential Romeo prevents all of these issues from ever developing. Your little one can be neutered, or "fixed," when he's between 2 and 6 months old to prevent him from becoming sexually mature, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Note that younglings around 8 weeks old should be at least 2 pounds at the time of their surgery. During surgery, your vet will remove your little guy's testicles so he won't produce testosterone anymore, the hormone responsible for unpleasant, mating-related behaviors.
Once your little kitty goes into puberty, his world will revolve around escaping, mating and fighting, which doesn't exactly make for a snuggly indoor kitty. That stinky urine he sprays certainly doesn't help matters. To avoid such issues, neuter your little guy before any of this occurs. Don't worry, though, male kitties can safely be neutered after they reach puberty as well. Not only will neutering stop unpleasant puberty-related behaviors, but it prevents testicular cancer from developing in your little one, according to the Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital. It also reduces his desire to escape and fight with other cats, something that is good for his health in the long run since he won't have frequent fight-related injuries or possibly be injured by a car while outdoors.
- Catster: Three Signs That Your Kitten Has Reached Puberty
- Best Friends Animal Society: Pediatric Spay/Neuter
- The Cat Care Clinic: Frequently Asked Questions on Cat Health
- PetMD: Urinating Outside the Litter Box and Wandering Away from Home in Cats
- Mar Vista Animal Medical Center: Why Neutering is a Good Idea
- Animal Humane Society: Aggression in Household Cats
- PetPlace: Normal Reproductive Behavior
- PurinaCare: Neutering Your Cat
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Early Spay/Neuter
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.