Spaying and your cat
What is spaying and when should it be done?
Spaying or “neutering” is the surgical removal of both the ovaries and uterus of a female cat. Performed as a routine surgical operation under general anaesthesia, the cat is admitted in the morning and usually collected later the same day. Generally the procedure is performed through a small incision on your cat’s left side, however, it may be performed on the cat’s belly in certain circumstances. Some owners elect to have the procedure performed on the belly in pedigree or show cats as there is a chance that the hair that is shaved for the procedure may regrow a slightly different colour. Although there is no harm in this, it may look a little strange and would not be ideal in the show ring. There is a small surcharge for a ‘midline’ spay as it takes a bit longer to perform and requires a few more materials.
We recommend female cats are spayed at 5-6 months of age. If your cat has recently had kittens it can be spayed as soon as the kittens are weaned.
Why are female cats spayed?
The primary reason for spaying is to prevent unwanted kittens from being produced. Other benefits include:
1) Calling. Female cats, once sexually mature, are triggered to come into season or call (i.e. be receptive to a male cat) by the photoperiod or length of daylight. This period of calling usually lasts from March to September for outdoor cats, but indoor cats exposed to artificial electric light can call all year round!
Calling behaviour includes:
- A change in behaviour i.e. a friendly cat becomes unsociable or an unfriendly cat becomes more attention seeking.
- Strange vocalisation which is often mistaken for the cat being in pain. This can go on through the night and is very disturbing for the owner.
2) Roaming. The desire to roam in order to find a mate increases the risk of fighting or road traffic accidents. Un-neutered females are also at risk from contracting sexually transmitted diseases, feline leukaemia and feline aids are common among un-neutered cat populations and unfortunately these diseases are fatal.
Unless you want to use a female for breeding purposes there are few advantages and many disadvantages to keeping an un-neutered female cat.
Neutered cats have fewer medical problems, live longer on average, don’t add to the pet overpopulation problem and make more loving and rewarding pets.
For further information call us and speak to one of the team.