Vet professional education package

Early-age desexing (EAD)
EAD – when kittens are 8-10 weeks old – is now practised widely by shelters and cat rescue groups in Australia, North America and Europe, and has gained popularity with breeders rehoming non-breeding pedigree kittens. Many shelters and vets have been practising EAD for more than 20 years. There is no evidence that kittens desexed early are at greater risk of medical problems as they become older compared to kittens desexed at an older age or cats desexed as adults.

Why is EAD important?
Traditionally cats were not desexed until 5-6 months of age, however by this age a female kitten can already have become pregnant, and unwanted behaviours associated with sexual maturity can have been established. Rehoming already desexed kittens provides shelters, pet shops, breeders, pounds and rescue groups with an assurance that they will not contribute to feline overpopulation. It also helps the new family and their kitten to bond, reducing the risk of relinquishment or abandonment.

Why is this EAD program for vets?
All veterinarians should feel confident to participate in EAD for the sake of feline welfare and for the success of their practice. In NSW, the age for compulsory registration of cats has been reduced to 4 months; with a big discount for registering desexed cats, there will be increased demand for EAD. Cat Protection has chosen to invest in this education program to support the veterinary community in the promotion of feline welfare. Vet nurses are critical members of the veterinary care team and there is also a video guide on EAD for vet nurses.

CPD points for registered vets
Viewing of the videos, reading the guide and completing the self-assessment will take approximately two hours of your time. The CPD points earned contribute to your structured points in the same way as attending a lecture or other approved course would. On completion of your self-assessment, you should keep a record of your participation in accordance with the requirements of the Registration Board in your state or territory. There are four videos on EAD that must be viewed before completion of the self-assessment.

Course documents