Spaying and Neutering Cats

Spaying and Neutering Cats

To control the overpopulation of cats you should have your pet spayed or neutered. Unfortunately millions of cats are euthanized each year because they are unwanted or there is no one to take care of them. Even if your cat is an indoor cat and there is no chance of your female getting pregnant or of your male getting someone pregnant you should still have your pet spayed or neutered to avoid potential problems of spraying, heat, medical and behavioral problems. Bear in mind that just one female cat and her offspring can produce over 400,000 cats in just seven years. Spaying/neutering your pet will ensure that your pet will not contribute to the pet overpopulation problem.

A female cat is spayed, this means that her ovaries and uterus (reproductive organs) will be removed. Usually she can be spayed after 6 months of age or in between heats or litters.** Your cat can be spayed during heat but it is more complicated and there is a slight risk due to increased vessel size and lowered clotting ability. If your female is not spayed she will often be in heat. This means meowing, crying, spraying, pacing and roaming the house (or outside if there is anyway to get out – beware a cat in heat is very, very clever) to look for a male. Unspayed females can also suffer uterine infections or breast cancer.

A male cat is neutered – this is the surgical removal of the testicles. This is a very simple procedure (much simpler than being spayed) that can be done after 6 months of age.** An unneutered male will go through severe spraying, howling, marking of territory and looking for a mate. An indoor male will do just about anything to get outside and find a female. Unneutered males are also prone to severe aggressiveness and territorialism.

** There is much debate going on about the *best* time to spay/neuter. Cats can be spayed/neutered earlier than 6 months of age, studies are still in progress on whether or not such early spaying/neutering is more or less beneficial than waiting till the cat is older than 6 months of age. If you are in doubt about when to spay/neuter consult your vet.

Article submitted by: 21cats.org (Original Article)

 

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Spaying or Neutering A Cat Facts

Spaying or Neutering A Cat Facts

Recommended Age for Surgery

  • The normal range is six to nine months of age – surgery can be done earlier and of course later although with later surgeries you run the risk of an unexpected pregnancy.

Pre-Surgery

  • Your pet should be in good health prior to surgery – if not the veterinarian may re-schedule the surgery to avoid risk of complications.
  • Withhold food from your pet the evening before and the day of surgery.  Water should be withheld before surgery – suggested length of time can vary so do check with your veterinarian when you make the surgery appointment.  Follow your veterinarian’s instructions – it is very important to your pet’s health.  A full stomach can result in vomiting and aspiration while under anaesthetic.

Surgery

  • Performed under general anaesthetic.
  • In females the uterus, tubes and ovaries are removed.
  • In males the testicles are removed.

Post-Surgery

  • Males usually can go home the day of surgery.
  • Females can sometimes go home the day of surgery or usually the following day.
  • For more difficult surgeries or if there are complications your pet may require a few days hospital stay.
  • When your pet comes home – feed it small amounts of food and water that day and the following day.
  • Keep your pet quiet for a few days after surgery to prevent tearing of sutures.
  • Do not let your pet lick or chew at sutures.  Check the sutures twice a day and if there appears to be any abnormalities, check with your veterinarian.
  • A re-check of your pet in about ten days may be recommended by your veterinarian.

Health/Behavioral Advantages – Spaying

  • Reduces risk of mammary cancer.
  • Eliminates risk of uterine cancer.
  • Eliminates the risk of pyometra – a serious disease involving production of pus in the uterus.
  • Eliminates annoying behaviors associated with going into ‘heat’.

Health/Behavioral Advantages – Neutering

  • Reduces risk of prostate cancer.
  • Eliminates risk of testicular cancer.
  • Less likely to spray in house and urine odor greatly reduced.
  • Often causes pets to be less aggressive.

Spayed/Neutered Pets Less Likely to Wander Reducing Risks of:

  • Fighting and being exposed to infectious diseases.
  • Being hit by a vehicle.
  • Getting lost.

Myths about Spaying and Neutering

  • There is absolutely no benefit to pets physically or emotionally in having one litter prior to surgery.
  • Neutering or spaying will not make pets fat and lazy – this is caused by overfeeding and lack of exercise.

Cost of Surgery

  • Costs vary at different clinics – if cost is a concern check for clinics that do low cost spays/neuters.
  • Many animal welfare societies will help with the cost of spays/neuters for low income pet owners.

Information provided by the members of the Southern Alberta Calgary Cat Fanciers (Original Article)