Cat spay – Everything you need to know
Desexing surgery (spay) is an important step when raising a kitten that will improve your cat’s quality of life and protect it from diseases. Let us explain why it’s a good idea to spay your cat and what to consider.
Why should we desex cats when they are young? How does sterilization affect a cat’s health? This article will share everything you need to know when considering to book an appointment for spay surgery.
I. Why should you spay your cat?
- Desexing helps to live a healthier and longer life.
A spayed cat will live longer than an intact cat. According to a study at Banfield Pet Hospitals – USA, conducting a experiment of 460,000 cats, the results showed that female cats that were neutered lived 39% longer than those that were not neutered and this rate in male cats was 62%.
In addition, desexing also helps improve the quality of life of your cat. The female cat will not show any troublesome signs of heat like vocalisation or escape attempts to find a male. Not to mention unwanted pregnancy, which can be a big stress to a young female. It can lead to complications with delivery, often resolved with emergency c-section surgery.
Early neutering prevents from developing mammary glands cancer, mastitis and pyometra.
Your female cat will have a happy and healthier life after neutering. It is not true that a female needs to be pregnant at least once in her life. There is no scientific research proving that myth. When spayed, cat won’t feel the instinct telling her to procreate. She will be happy with no need of having kittens.
- Reduce costs
Desexing your cat will greatly reduce your future costs of veterinary care. Early neutering reduces the risk of diseases in cats such as mammary gland cancer or uterine infection. Treating these conditions can be expensive for owners and dangerous for pets. Or the cases where the cats that are not sterilized become aggressive and fight causing injuries, easily costly due to the cost of treatment.
- Minimize the feral cat population
According to the Animal Rescue Profesional, a pair of cats within 7 years can create 420,000 kittens! It creates a very large number of feral cats. Big feral cat population will increase the risk of transmitting diseases to pets – like cat flu, infectious diarrhea, FIV, viral leukemia and deadly FIP.
Therefore, when you have a cat and you have no intention of raising a litter of kittens, spay her.
See more about why should I neuter my cat?
II. At what age is best to spay your cat?
We recommend that you spay your female cat from the age of 6 months old. It’s the time when your cat has completed all the vaccinations and is mature enough to undergo a surgery and general anaesthesia. It is also the time around when a female cat comes into her first heat – spaying her will prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
When your kitten reaches the age of 6 months, you should take her to see a veterinarian. You will learn more about your cat’s health status, the vet will examine her, check vaccinations, qualify her for surgery and explain about the procedure in detail.
III. What a spay actually is?
Spay is a surgical removal of the ovaries and the uterus which means the female won’t be able to come into heat and become pregnant. It’s a routine surgery carried out under general anaesthesia. We perform surgeries in a 100% sterile environment (which means antibiotics are not needed) with safe and modern anaesthetics. Before the operation we do the blood test to ensure the patient is healthy and fit for the procedure. We give pain relief medication and provide IV fluid therapy during the surgery and recovery time. A small incision is made under the belly button (midline approach). The skin is closed with an intradermal suture pattern, which means there are no external sutures and they will dissolve. We always monitor our patients after surgery until they can safely go home.
IV. What to do before and after spay surgery?
- Before spay surgery
- Check your cat’s vaccination. Before desexing your cat, you should make sure your cat is fully vaccinated according to the schedule.
- Choose a reputable clinic. There are a few things you can do to check the clinic’s credentials, professionalism and reputation. Ask questions about the surgery. Is your cat going to be provided with IV fluid therapy? Will the doctors perform a pre-anaesthetic blood test? Is the surgery done in a sterile environment? Will your cat receive pain relief medications? How big is the incision? What is the recovery time? Will your cat be fully awake at the time of discharge?
A commonly seen problem in South East Asia in female cats is ‘ovarian remnant syndrome’, which means an ovary wasn’t fully removed. Females with that syndrome will regularly come into heat, but won’t be able to get pregnant. In some other cases, if the routine surgery is not performed properly, it will cause complications like wound infection, sutures rupture, peritonitis (infection in abdomen). In each case an animal needs urgent veterinary attention and often re-doing a surgery.
How to prepare your cat for surgery:
- Before surgery make sure your pet is clean. It will reduce the risk of complication in wound healing.
- Remove food from your cat 8 to 12 hours before surgery. Empty stomach will prevent vomiting that can be dangerous during general anaesthesia. It’s OK to provide water the night before the surgery.
- After the surgery:
After the surgery in ADI your cat will be carefully monitored by our doctors and nurses until she is fully awake and ready to go home. Discharge time is usually at 5pm.
When at home, provide a quiet and safe place, do not bother your pet and don’t let other animals and kids play with her that day. Offer half of the normal amount of food. She might be hungry, but if she refuses to eat just after the surgery, it’s normal. The next day she will be back to normal.
Monitor the incision site to ensure there is no swelling or discharge, but do not touch the incision, do not apply any cream or bandage. If you have any doubts just contact your vet!
You will receive a post-operative check ups schedule.
Keep the buster collar on your pet at all times. It prevents it from licking the incision, which can lead to infection and other complications.
Don’t wash your cat until the final post-op check, when the doctor removes the buster collar.
At Animal Doctors International you will receive detailed discharge instructions and our doctors are always happy to answer any questions. We follow up after each surgery making sure our patients are recovering well and are happy!
Contact Animal Doctors International if you are thinking of spaying your cat. Our team will walk you through the procedure and ensure your pet gets the best care possible!