You adore your cat. You may love the thought of dozens of her kitties showing you their love and affection. But the fact is this: we live in a world that is heavily overpopulated by stray cats. If you can help prevent this problem from getting bigger by spaying your cat, you will also reap behavioral benefits from your favorite feline friend while providing her with major health advantages.
What is spaying?
A cat that is spayed has had its reproductive organs surgically removed, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. The technical term is ovario-hysterectomy.
When should spaying be done?
It is recommended that you have your kitten spayed by the age of 6 months to provide her with the best possible health benefits. Female cats have been known to go into heat as young as 4 months old. Discuss your cat’s spaying timeline with your veterinarian to find out what’s best for your feline companion’s unique health needs.
Why should I have my cat spayed?
Female cats can produce anywhere from 15 to 20 kittens every year. If you’re planning to breed your cat and are certain you will find homes for all the kitties your pet has, this is ideal for your situation. If you do not want more cats for yourself or anyone else, having your cat spayed is the responsible choice, for a variety of reasons:
- Spaying eliminates the possibility of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and uterine infections.
- The chances of your cat developing cervical cancer are drastically reduced after spaying.
- Your spayed cat will not go into heat – something that happens three or four times a year.
Even if you do not plan to have an outdoor cat, and your female cat is not in contact with a breeding partner, it’s a wise choice to have her spayed. If you have multiple indoor cats, spaying your cat is a good idea.
Does my cat have to go under anesthesia for spaying?
Spaying is a surgical procedure, which means your cat will need to go under a general anesthetic and be monitored by various pieces of equipment throughout to protect against complications. While surgery is of course a worrisome thought for any pet parent, keep in mind that this procedure is normal and routine. You may actually find the preparation for the procedure the most difficult part: Your cat should not eat for about 12 hours before the surgery takes place.
Will my cat be in pain?
An incision is made in your cat to remove her reproductive organs and then closed with stitches, which are often hidden inside and, depending on the type of stitches used, removed a few weeks after the procedure by your vet. (If you’re concerned about your cat licking, pawing, or chewing at the incision site, request an Elizabethan collar – or e-collar – after the surgery to prevent this from occurring.) Your veterinarian may recommend that your female cat stay at the clinic for a few days during recovery. This may make you feel better too to know that she’s being watched by medical experts around the clock. As for whether or not your cat will experience pain after the surgery, some mild discomfort is not unusual, and pain-reducing medication may be a possibility. You will likely notice a grouchier and groggier version of your cat in the hours and days after spaying. Loss of appetite is also not uncommon, but if your cat does not perk up and get back to normal within a few days, it’s important to alert your veterinarian.
How do I take care of my cat after spaying?
Surgery is a big deal for a human or a pet, and you will be provided with post-op instructions to follow. These may include directions for feeding and bathing. You will also be given information on what to expect at meal time and from your cat’s bathroom habits. Take it easy on your cat, allow her to relax after the surgery for a few days, and minimize physical activity. It is also your job to keep an eye on your cat’s incision site to make sure there is no bleeding, discharge, tearing, swelling, or other signs that something isn’t quite right. If you notice any of these symptoms or your cat does not seem to be acting right, notify your veterinarian immediately.
Will my cat be the same after spaying?
While spaying is a common procedure, it is of course natural to be concerned about how your cat will behave after the surgery. Because your cat’s hormonal balance will change with the spaying, her metabolism may change and she may acquire more fat than muscle. Feeding your cat healthily and making sure she gets enough activity are very important. After spaying, urinary problems may be more likely to occur. Discuss all of these possibilities with your vet and find out what you can do to minimize the risks.
As for your cat’s personality, ideally, she will be happier and more content than a pet who is in heat several times a year. Your cat’s unique behavior will remain hers and hers alone, though post-spaying you may also be treated to a slightly more mature cat who is satisfied to be your one and only.
Ask your veterinarian any questions about spaying your cat. Contact the Northpointe Veterinary Hospital to learn more about spaying and find out what’s best for your beloved pet.