Cat age to spay – What to know about cat spaying

Cat age to spay- Cat Spaying also known as cat sterilization is a surgical procedure aimed at removing the cat’s or kitten’s sex glands. 

Why is it done? 

Cats are sterilized to reduce the production of sex hormones and prevent the animal from reproducing in the future. Although it may sound dangerous, it is a simple and highly demanded operation.

What does the operation consist of?

Spaying in male cats consists of the removal of their testicles. 

In the case of female cats, it involves removing the ovaries or the ovaries and uterus together. Cat spaying is also known as orchiectomy (for male cats) or ovariectomy (for female cats). If the veterinarian decides to remove both the ovaries and the uterus, it is called an ovariohysterectomy.

In any case, general anesthesia and a pre-surgical study will be required to minimize risks and adapt the anesthetic conditions to the size, breed, and age of the cat.

Your veterinarian will ask you to bring your cat in fasting (from eight to twelve hours) on the day of the operation, both solid food and liquids (about four hours).

After the surgery, the veterinarian will treat your male or female cat with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and pain relievers to reduce postoperative discomfort.

It is important to note that, in the case of male cats, the operation will be much less invasive. It is possible that they may not even require stitches. Females, on the other hand, will need sutures. Typically, males will be recovered the next day. Females will require a few more days of medication to be at 100%.

Age at which Spaying is recommended

You can sterilize your cat at any age, although the most recommended would be to operate before they reach sexual maturity, between six and eight months of age.

Some animal shelters and veterinary centers recommend Spaying at an earlier age (between two and three months old), which also does not seem to have adverse effects on the cat.

Postoperative care

A few hours after surgery, both males and females can usually return home. Since the surgery is more invasive for females, the veterinarian may recommend that your pet stay under observation for a full day.

Newly operated kittens must be in a peaceful, comfortable environment, and at a pleasant temperature. This way, they will gradually recover. This recovery is usually quick. You will notice that your cat will regain their spirits in no time!

What to expect in terms of recovery time?

Your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication, as well as some guidelines for wound care and monitoring of the sutured area.

In the case of female cats, the use of an Elizabethan collar may be necessary to prevent them from licking or biting the sutured area.

If the veterinarian has used a non-absorbable suture, the stitches will need to be removed ten to twelve days after the procedure.

In both males and females, the veterinarian will plan several days of follow-up appointments to ensure that everything is going well and there are no signs of infection, inflammation, tearing, or bleeding.

Once the cat has been sterilized, their habits will change. By reducing their daily activities, they may burn fewer calories. To prevent obesity in your male or female cat, you need to adapt their food to their new needs. You can purchase special food for sterilized cats or seek professional advice from the veterinarian.

Can complications arise after the surgical procedure?

Yes, although they are not common. Some problems that may occur after surgery include:

Infection, inflammation, or tearing in the incision area. One or more stitches can come loose. That’s why it’s important to follow the veterinarian’s instructions and take the kittens to postoperative check-ups.

Mild loss of appetite. Decreased appetite may occur a few hours or a few days after the procedure. If you notice that your cat is not eating as before, ask your veterinarian for a dietary supplement.

Over time, there may be a greater propensity to develop urinary tract problems, such as kidney stones. If you see that your cat has blood in its urine, increased urination frequency, or is urinating in inappropriate places (outside of the litter box), call your veterinarian.

Ovarian remnant syndrome. It is rare, but female cats might show signs of heat again (even months after Spaying). This can be caused by inadequate surgical removal of the ovaries or by the presence of ovarian tissue in other parts of the body.

Advantages of Spaying for your cat’s health

Spaying reduces sex hormones (such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) allowing for some benefits:

Controls the cat’s instinct to escape from home, reducing the risk of getting lost.

In males, it reduces aggressiveness, thus avoiding fights with other cats. It also reduces the risk of contracting infectious diseases, such as Cat immunodeficiency or leukemia.

In male cats, it reduces urine marking at home.

In females, it prevents unintended pregnancies and overpopulation. It also combats the abandonment of kittens.

Reduces stress and anxiety in animals, especially in the case of female cats that, during heat, may stop eating.

Prevents the appearance of other diseases, such as uterine infections, polycystic ovaries, persistent heat, breast tumors, phantom pregnancies, prostatitis problems, testicular tumors, and perianal hernias.

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