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, while 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 or neutered pets are also less likely to wander, which reduces the risks of fighting and being exposed to infectious diseases, being hit by a vehicle or 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 Calgary Cat Association

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