What is spaying?
Spaying describes the surgical procedure known as an ovariohysterectomy. The ovaries and uterus are completely removed in order to sterilize a female cat.
Why should I have my cat spayed?
We recommended that all non-breeding cat be sterilized. There are health benefits associated with spaying your cat:
- Spaying eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine cancers.
- If your cat is spayed before her first heat cycle, there is less than ½ of 1% (0.5%) chance of developing breast cancer.
- Spaying your cat prevents unwanted litters and the needless deaths of tens of millions of kittens and cats each year.
- As a female cat reaches sexual maturity, she will start to wonder seeking a mate. This can lead to fighting with other cats. Diseases such as FIV and FeLV, which can cause AIDS- like syndromes and cancers in cats, are spread through cat bites.
Pets with diabetes or epilepsy should be spayed to prevent hormonal changes that may interfere with medications.
Are there other benefits to spaying my cat?
There is no medical or scientific reason for letting your cat have a litter before she is spayed.
Once a cat reaches puberty, usually four to seven months of age, she with have a heat or oestrus cycle every two to three weeks for most of the year, unless she becomes pregnant. She will be “on call” or receptive to mating for approximately one week in each cycle. During this time she may display unsociable behaviour such as loud and persistent crying and frequent rubbing and rolling on the floor.
This behaviour coupled with her scent, will attract male cats from miles around. Removal of the ovaries will stop her oestrus cycles.
When should I have my cat spayed?
Spaying should be performed before the first cycle. Most cats are spayed between four and six months of age although some veterinarians choose to spay cats at two to three months of age: It is possible to spay you cat if she is pregnant
What does a spay surgery involve?
This is a major surgical procedure that requires a general anaesthetic. You will need to fast your cat the night prior to surgery. Most cats return home the same day as the surgery.
The operation is performed through a relatively small incision made most commonly in the midline of the abdomen, just below the umbilicus. Both ovaries are removed along with the entire uterus.
We recommend ear tattooing at the time of Desexing. The tattoo is a small symbol placed in the left ear while under the general anaesthetic.
Are complications common with spaying?
In general, complications are rare during spaying of cats. However, as with all anaesthetic and surgical procedures, there is always a small risk.
Post-operative infection may occur internally or externally around the incision site. In most cases the infection can be controlled with antibiotics. This most commonly occurs when the cat licks the site excessively or is in a damp environment.
Seroma (swelling at incision site) is common in active cats if not confined. Consults your veterinarian if this becomes red or is weeping.
Will spaying have any effect on my cat?
There are many myths and rumors that are not supported by facts or research. Be sure to address any questions or concerns you may have with your veterinarian prior to surgery.