Cat Spay Surgery

Health care questions and answers about puppies and dogs

What is a cat spay surgery?  
Questions and answers about the cat spay surgery.
The spay surgery entails removing the ovaries and most of the uterus of a female animal. The medical term is ovariohysterectomy.  There are well established reasons, both medical and sociological, supporting spaying dogs and cats.  The surgery is usually done between 4 and 7 months of age... before the cat goes through a heat (estrus) cycle.  There is no data to indicate cats "should" have a heat cycle or have a litter before spaying; nor does the surgery affect the psychological character of the cat.

Health care questions and answers about cats and kittens

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     My cat is always inside and there's no chance she will get pregnant.  There are tomcats in the neighborhood but since she's never outside, why should I get her spayed?

location of incision for cat spay surgery

Answer:   indoor... cat... why  spay
     Excellent question!  One reason to spay your cat is to prevent her from coming into heat (estrus cycle).   Cats are what is called "seasonally
cat spay surgerypolyestrus" which means they may have several short heat cycles during a season of the year.  Outdoor cats usually go into heat in late winter; indoor cat could begin the estrus cycle any time!
     During a cycle they often seem very affectionate, vocal, stretch out with back arched and act like they have fleas or a skin problem.  A slight discharge may be noticed.  In fact, they can become very annoying for days to weeks and even seem annoyed themselves.  
     Some unspayed cats will develop a mucometria where the uterus fills with mucous and can affect the cat's health; a severe uterus infection called pyometra also can develop which may require emergency surgery!

           Doctor's Notes
All cats should be kept under control to avoid vigorous activity for 7 to 10 days following a spay procedure.  Be sure to check the incision daily for any signs of infection, drainage or increasing swelling.
Read the instructions!

     Most topical products are not repellants, they kill fleas and ticks on contact with skin oils.  Do not expect these topical medications to keep pets totally free from fleas and ticks... their job is to kill parasites after the parasites contact the skin; they are NOT repellants!

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cat spay surgery cat spay surgery cat spay surgery cat spay surgery
A common location for the incision in the midline of the abdomen An ovary is located and gently pulled up and through the incision View of ovary showing recently active follicle, ovarian vessels and ligament and a uterine horn  The ligament and vessels are ligated and ovary about to be excised

  I was always told a cat or dog
should go through at least one heat cycle before they got spayed otherwise they would never be contented, happy pets.  Is this true?

Answer:     cat... when to spay... how old
  No.  It is not true that cats or dogs "should" have a heat cycle prior to being spayed. cat spay uterus The only proven undesirable effect of spaying or neutering at any age (other than being unable to have offspring, which for most people is an advantage) is a decline in total daily calorie needs.  That simply means that you can feed your cat or dog less food after being spayed or neutered.
     The "disadvantage" is that if you continue feeding the same amounts of food after the spay or neuter procedure over time the pet will almost certainly become overweight.  The fact is, though, that cats and dogs cannot prepared their own meals so you, the pet's owner, have the ultimate responsibility for your cat or dog's body weight.
     Every day we veterinarians hear well-meaning people state emphatically that their cat or dog "got overweight after she was spayed"... as if the surgery created the weight problem and the amount of food being eaten is unimportant!  This is a classic cop out to deflect responsibility for the pet's body condition to something other than ourselves.

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