Common Cat Spaying/neutering Misconceptions
Some believe that sterilizing your cat can cause weight gain, but the reality is that your cat wont become overweight or less active after their spay or neuter surgery. Your cat will only gain weight if theyre overfed or dont exercise often. As long as you continue to provide opportunities for your cat to exercise and monitor their food intake, your pet will remain fit. Many animals stay active for years to come after their spay or neuter surgery, so you can rest assured that your furry companion wont lose their zest for life.
Another spay/neuter myth is that its a guaranteed fix for all behavioral problems, but this isnt true either. While your cats behavior will likely improve, theres no guarantee that their behavior will change drastically or that any negative habitual behaviors will go away. The effects of spaying or neutering your cat rely on your cats individual personality, but the procedure wont create any negative impact on their behavior.
Timing The Spay Surgery
If your cat is in heat and you decided to wait to spay her, then it’s important to plan ahead. Remember that cats will continue to go into heat until they mate. This means a new heat cycle could begin just days to weeks after the last one ends. Finding the right window can be tough. Your vet may not be able to accommodate a last-minute surgery. Ask your vet about the best time to schedule the spay. If you can is showing signs of heat a day or two before the scheduled surgery, be sure to let your vet know as soon as possible.
What Is Spaying Or Neutering
To determine the ideal time to spay or neuter your pet, it is particularly important to understand what these services are. Spaying is when you have a female pet sterilized by having their ovaries and uterus surgically removed. Neutering is essentially the equivalent for male pets and involves the surgical removal of the pets testes.
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Before And After Your Kittens Procedure
- Ask your vet how much to feed your kitten the day of the procedure
- Your girlBAE may have a tender tummy at the site of her incision
- Give your kitten a clean, quiet place to recover away from other pets
- Keep an eye on their incision site to make sure its healing
- Recovery can take up to 2 weeks
- If anything looks red or swollen, if your kitten seems depressed, or if theyre vomiting or have diarrhea, call your vet right away
- Immediately contact your veterinary team if you have any concern
How Banfield can help
Were all about kitten health and happiness. Whether you want to spay or neuter your kitten, or if your plans include future breeding, were here with medical guidance and support. Our Early Care Plus Optimum Wellness Plan® package for kittens under 6 months old actually includes a spay or neuter procedure along with exams, vaccinations, and more. Is your cat over 6 months old? No problem you can easily add the procedure to any cat OWP.
Will Spaying Have Any Adverse Effects On My Cat
In the vast majority of cats, there are no adverse effects following an ovariohysterectomy. In certain cats, notably the Siamese breed, the hair that grows back over an operation site may be noticeably darker, believed to be due to a difference in the skin temperature. This darker patch usually grows out with the following molt as the hair is naturally replaced.
“There are many myths and beliefs about spaying that are not supported by facts or research.”
There are many myths and beliefs about spaying that are not supported by facts or research. Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your veterinarian prior to surgery.
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Spaying A Cat In Heat
If your cat is in heat, her instincts and hormones are telling her to mate. Therefore, she will go to great lengths to escape the home and find males to mate with. This is why a cat in heat should be kept securely indoors to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
Unfortunately, it can be frustrating to live with a cat exhibiting the signs of estrus. Cats in heat tend to vocalize excessively. They may obsessively try to escape their homes. Some will even mark areas of the home with urine.
If you don’t think you can deal with this behavior for about a week, then you may ask your vet about having her spayed as soon as possible. Though spaying a cat in heat is not ideal, it can be done. However, there are some disadvantages to this.
When a cat is in heat, the blood vessels that supply the reproductive organs and surrounding tissues become engorged with blood. The tissues may be more prone to tearing. This adds up to a surgery that is more complicated and lengthy than a routine spay. It will also be more expensive because of the extra time and supplies needed. Though the increased risk to the cat is minor, some vets prefer to avoid doing surgery on a cat in heat.
If you have scheduled your cat’s spay surgery in advance and find that she has started her first heat right before the surgery, be sure to contact your vet for advice. It may be more practical for you, your cat, and the vet to postpone the surgery.
Spaying A Cat: Everything You Need To Know
Written bySmall Door’s medical experts
Making the decision to spay your cat can bring up lots of questions. What are the advantages of spaying your cat? When is the best time to spay? How do you care for your cat once shes been spayed? In this article, well discuss what you need to know to make this decision, as well as what you can do to prepare for your cats spaying.
In This Article
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Is Early Spay/neuter Associated With More Surgical Or Anesthetic Complications
In 2000, Land reported on a survey of 85 veterinarians who had collectively performed approximately 200000 early spays/neuters .12 The veterinarians unanimously stated that early spays/neuters were safer, faster, and easier than the same surgeries in dogs and cats 6 months of age or older.
In a prospective study of dogs and cats, Howe compared short-term complication rates among 3 groups of animals: sterilized at younger than 12 weeks, at 12 to 23 weeks, and at 24 weeks or older.13 Researchers measured complications during anesthesia, surgery, and the immediate postoperative period and classified complications as being major or minor . For incidence of major complications, they found no differences among the 3 groups. However, for incidence of minor complications, they found a significant difference rates were highest among animals in the oldest group and lowest among those in the youngest group.13
Neutering A Kitten Ensures Domestic Tranquility
Millions of euthanized cats is sad, but still somewhat abstract. Lets look at more practical reasons to neuter your male kitten at the earliest opportunity. Behaviorally, having a male kitten fixed has long-term consequences. Intact male cats have needs beyond sex, including territory and violent conflict. Neutering a kitten between the ages of eight weeks and five months places limits on the production of male hormones, minimizing his desire to roam and to fight with other cats.
Intact cats of both sexes also regularly engage in the act of spraying. Spraying serves a variety of communication functions between cats. Cat urine, especially that of intact males, contains pheromones and other chemicals that produce foul odors that are useful to cats, but which cause our couches, bookshelves, and table legs to reek. Spraying is linked to, but is not exclusively, an expression of sexual desire. Getting a male kitten neutered will not prevent him from ever spraying anywhere, but it will dramatically reduce the urge and the strength of the scent.
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When Should I Spay Or Neuter My Cat
Kittens can be spayed or neutered as young as six to eight weeks of age, however standard spay and neuter surgeries are most often performed when the kitten is between five and six months old. That said, it’s important to note that provided your cat is healthy, these procedures can be performed at any time during your cat’s life.
Preparing A Cat For Surgery
In most cases, veterinarians will tell you to prepare your cat by having them fast from midnightprior to the surgery meaning no food or treats. Normally its ok to leave water out for them. Fasting helps reduce the chances that your cat will vomit during surgery.
If your cat is outdoors, youll want to make sure theyve been placed inside within the same time frame to make sure theyre not eating anything. Your veterinarian will give you a specific time frame for fasting and further details on preparation leading up to the surgery.
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Are Complications After Spaying A Cat Common
While the complications from spaying a cat are low for healthy, young felines, they can still happen. In some cases, post-operative complications might include inflammation or infection at the incision site, the incision could re-open, or swelling under the skin at the incision site can also occur. Spayed female cats can also run the risk of developing bladder infections, and in rare cases, urinary incontinence.
Why Its Important To Spay Your Female Kitten
1. Heats are unpleasant to experience
An unfixed female will go into heat repeatedly until impregnated. Her heat could last 1-2 weeks, and sometimes theres little to no break between heats. Depending on the time of year and your temperature controlled, artificially lit home, she could be in heat almost constantly.
Its very unpleasant to watch your poor girl roll around and scream incessantly in desperation to be bred. Youll want to use earplugs for a couple of weeks and will want to do anything to make it stop. Many females spray just as much as males, too.
Youll also have to guard the doors and windows, as shell be desperate to escape in order to find a male.
2. Unaltered female + no pregnancy = deadly infection
Every time a female cat goes into heat, her body is preparing itself for kittens. The uterus wall will thicken in preparation for pregnancy. If shes not impregnated, the uterus becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, and can quickly turn into a life-threatening condition called pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus.
If its open pyometra , you will see pus or discharge and should bring her to the vet immediately. They may be able to do an emergency spay and save her. But if its closed, the infection is trapped inside and youll have little to no warning. The uterus could rupture or the infection could spread throughout her body, and she could go from being fine to on deaths doorstep in a matter of days.
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Best Age To Neuter A Kitten
On the average, kittens reach sexual maturity around 6 to 9 months of age. This means they are now fully-capable of reproduction. Since one of the inherent aims of neutering is to induce infertility or sterility in the cat, neutering should be done before the kitten achieves full sexual maturity. Thus, the best age for a kitten to get neutered or spayed is before it reaches the age of 6 months.
Unfortunately, no two kittens will have the same exact growth rate. Some kittens can reach their reproductive maturity by around 4 months of age, while others may become sexually mature only upon reaching 12 months of age.
Given the variability of feline growth rates, veterinarians now recommend pediatric neutering. This allows veterinarians to perform the surgical procedure in kittens that are as young as 6 weeks. There are people who object to such recommendations, of course. They say that it exposes the young kitten to needless harm. Early neutering can also lead to several developmental problems.
In 2017, the American Association of Feline Practitioners endorsed neutering kittens at 5 months of age. This was the recommendation of the Veterinary Task Force on Feline Sterilization and released through the North American Veterinary Community Conference, also in 2017.
There is another criterion for the surgery, however. The kitten should weigh not less than 2.2 lbs at the time of the surgery. If these two criteria are met, then the kitten is safe for early neutering.
Benefits Of Spaying Or Neutering Cats
Spaying a female cat before she has her first heat is considered healthy. It helps to reduce her risk of pyometra and mammary cancers. Female cats sometimes carry infectious diseases that transfer to their kittens and further generations. Those female cats not spayed go in heat frequently throughout the year and attract other neighbouring unneutered male cats. It can be problematic since they tend to fight and caterwaul.
The best age to neuter male kitten is 6 week to 8 weeks. While in male cats neutering is done to prevent the spread of severe cat diseases such as Feline Leukemia virus and Feline immunodeficiency virus that generally spread between cats during fights. The cat neutering also cures aggressive behaviour. And yes, of course, it is essential for population control. Also, unneutered cats are more likely to mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house.
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Is Spaying Or Neutering Dangerous
While every surgery comes with some risk, both neutering and spaying are incredibly common and provide important lifelong benefits. Your veterinary team will explain the process, run tests to make sure your cat is cleared for the procedure, and discuss post-op care with you before they begin. Any concerns, just ask were here to help you and your kitty have the best possible outcome.
Your veterinary team will work with you to plan your kittens procedure, properly prep your kitten before they begin, and help know how to take care of them, both before and after they leave the vet.
Does It Matter What Age You Neuter Your Kitten
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When Is The Best Time To Neuter A Cat
Some time ago, it was usually advised to neuter male cats once they reached 9 months of age. But nowadays the tendency is to do it after only 4 or 5 months. Much will depend on whether there is an un-spayed female cat at home.
The breed of your cat will also be crucial in determining when to perform the procedure. Your vet will advise you on the best time for the intervention after taking this information into account.
Why Neuter A Male Kitten
Having debunked the myth of the intact satyromaniac cat and his endless series of fecund nymphomaniac partners, the question remaining is not when to have a male kitten neutered, but why. Regardless of how many kittens a male cat foists upon the world, theres no question that cat overpopulation is already a problem. Its a problem because it encourages the spread of communicable diseases, whether they are bacterial, viral, or because of secondary infections that result from untreated fighting wounds. Its also a problem because of the sheer number of cats that are euthanized every year in the United States alone.
There are more homeless and feral cats wandering around out there than we can possibly enumerate. Yet we do have something of a grasp on the number of strays that are put to sleep in shelters. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that around 6 million kittens and cats enter these facilities on a yearly basis, and around half 3 million cats are euthanized. One intact male living in your home will not substantially affect those staggering numbers. Just the same, are you, as a cat owner, okay with adding even a handful of cats to the total?
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Early Spay/neuter In Animal Shelters
Ensuring that all cats are spayed or neutered before adoption eliminates the risk of adopted animals producing more kittens. Many shelters will not spay/neuter kittens that weigh less than 2 pounds or are younger than 8 weeks other shelters, however, will do so provided that the kittens are healthy, active, and in good body condition .
Figure 2. Pediatric patient undergoing spay.
Your Pet’s Health And Longevity
The average lifespan of spayed and neutered cats and dogs is demonstrably longer than the lifespan of those not. A University of Georgia study, based on the medical records of more than 70,000 animal patients, found that the life expectancy of neutered male dogs was 13.8% longer and that of spayed female dogs was 26.3% longer. The average age of death of intact dogs was 7.9 years versus a significantly older 9.4 years for altered dogs.
Another study, conducted by Banfield Pet Hospitals on a database of 2.2 million dogs and 460,000 cats reflected similar findings, concluding that neutered male dogs lived 18% longer and spayed female dogs lived 23% longer. Spayed female cats in the study lived 39% longer and neutered male cats lived 62% longer.
The reduced lifespan of unaltered pets can, in part, be attributed to an increased urge to roam. Such roaming can expose them to fights with other animals, resulting in injuries and infections, trauma from vehicle strikes and other accidental mishaps.
A contributor to the increased longevity of altered pets is their reduced risk of certain types of cancers. Intact female cats and dogs have a greater chance of developing pyometra and uterine, mammary gland and other cancers of the reproductive system. Neutering male pets eliminates their risk of testicular cancer and eliminates the possibility of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia which can affect the ability to defecate.
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