Facts on Spaying or Neutering a Cat

 Ready to get your cat spayed or neutered? Check out these facts on these common procedures:

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

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