Neutering and Spaying
Spays and neuters are some of the most common surgical procedures we perform and there are a number of reasons and benefits which support why we recommend you have your cat spayed or neutered.
What is spaying or neutering?
The spay or neuter procedure means removing your cat’s reproductive organs, preventing them from being able to reproduce and reducing the risk of health issues. In female cats, spaying involves removing both of the ovaries and the uterus. When a male cat is neutered, both testicles are removed.
Why should I spay/neuter my cat?
There are many reasons to have your cat spayed or neutered besides preventing reproduction. Spaying or neutering your cat is the most cost-effective decision for long-term health care. Cats who are not altered have an increased risk of developing health issues such as mammary cancer, infections within the uterine tract, prostate and urinary disease.
Female cats that go through heat cycles are likely to attract male cats, as well as display undesirable behaviours such as yowling, spraying and restlessness. Well cared for house cats can go through heat cycles as often as every few weeks since they are in such good condition. Male cats that are not castrated are likely to roam in search of females in estrus, thus increasing their risk of getting lost or injured.
Cats who have not been castrated, also have increased the risk of contracting a disease. Male cats are likely to compete with one another, causing injuries and sharing bodily fluids through both breeding and fighting. Feline AIDS and feline leukemia are easily spread to both male and female cats, through these methods.
Aside from helping control the overwhelming cat population, spaying and neutering your cat can help reduce future veterinary costs and have a great effect on increasing the life expectancy of your cat.
What is the procedure to spay/neuter a cat?
To undergo these surgeries, cats are typically sedated before they are put under anesthesia and then incubated with an endotracheal tube. Throughout the surgery, your cat’s heart rate and oxygen levels are monitored with a pulse-ox machine and observed by a veterinary technician.
Feline neuters are relatively quick procedures and take approximately fifteen minutes. During the procedure, your veterinarian will make a small incision on the scrotal sack and remove both testicles. Since this is a minimally invasive procedure, cats heal quickly, and sutures are not required. Post-surgery, a veterinary technician will monitor your cat until they wake up from the anesthetic.
Feline spays take approximately twenty-five minutes to carry out. During this procedure, your veterinarian will make an abdominal incision and remove both ovaries and the uterus. It is important to remove the ovaries alongside the uterus, as they produce the hormones that would cause the female cat to go into estrus. After removal, sutures will be placed to close the incision. For cats, we use dissolvable sutures so that you do not have to return and have them removed, as we recognize this can be stressful for cats.
Often times, our surgeries are performed in the morning, so that your pet has all day to recover and be monitored in-hospital by our staff. While your cat will be fully awake by the time they are ready to be discharged, don’t be alarmed if they spend the rest of the afternoon and evening sleeping; they will likely take advantage of the familiar environment to recharge.