When Should I Spay Or Neuter My Cat
Most veterinarians agree that cats are ready for neutering procedures at four to six months of age. Some vets and rescue centres spay and neuter cats from 12 weeks of age and sometimes even earlier.
- When to spay a cat: Ideally, try to get your female cat spayed before she goes into heat for the first time. This will ensure that she doesnt get pregnant before you have the chance to spay her.
- When to neuter a cat: If you get your male cat neutered before he reaches ten months of age, hes much less likely to begin spraying and urinating inappropriately. Cat urine is hard to clean up and its a habit thats tough to break, even after neutering.
Mythbusting:Some people think that its healthier for female cats to have one litter of kittens before theyre spayed. This isnt true its a myth.
Does Spaying Or Neutering Hurt My Cat
Like humans, cats are given anesthetics during operations. Cats are completely unconscious while theyre spayed or neutered, so they dont feel any pain. A long-acting pain relief injection administered immediately after the procedure eliminates post-surgery discomfort. Your vet will give you anti-inflammatories and painkillers to give to your cat at home, too.
Generally speaking, cats bounce back quite quickly after theyre neutered. Male cats usually only need painkillers for a day after castration. Female cats usually need medication for three days after being spayed.
How To Neuter A Cat At Home
Some cat owners refuse to have their feline pets fixed. One of the reasons is that they find spaying or neutering their cats too expensive. As mentioned earlier, spaying a female cat can cost $300 to $500, and neutering a male cat can cost $200 when performed at a private, full-service veterinary clinic.
Its true that there are low-cost and free spay and neutering services available. However, opting for them is not as hassle-free for many cat owners. Thats because there are requirements to meet and schedules to follow.
This is why many people who own cats would like to ask this question but are too embarrassed
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How Can I Get My Pet Spayed Or Neutered
If you are ready to get your cat spayed or neutered, the team at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital is here to make the process easy. We have refined the process of completing these procedures safely and effectively while minimizing the amount of pain or recovery that your beloved pet will experience. Contact us to get started or schedule your cat spay or neuter appointment today. We look forward to helping you ensure your pet remains happy and healthy.
I Have Unneutered Female And Male Cats In My Household What Should I Do To Avoid Unwanted Pregnancies
If you have an unneutered male and female in the same household, have them neutered as soon as they reach 4 months old. If this isnt possible, and your female cat comes on heat, its essential to keep your cats apart at all times to stop them from mating. Please remember that related cats will mate, including brothers, sisters, fathers and daughters.
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How Much Does It Cost To Spay Or Neuter A Cat
When youre budgeting to adopt a cat, dont forget to include the cost of a spay or neuter procedure. This one-time expense is important for your kittys health and happiness, and to prevent overpopulation.
Spaying or neuteringmeaning the surgical removal of the reproductive organs in a female or male animal, respectivelycan offer several benefits for your cat. Veterinarians and animal rights organizations agree spaying or neutering your cat will help them live a longer, healthier life. But on a larger scale, getting your cat fixed will help prevent overpopulation, and ensure your cat doesnt have an unplanned litter you cant take care of yourself. Heres what you can expect this procedure to cost.
The Importance Of Spaying
Cat over-population is a growing problem. The benefits to you and your cat should make you consider spaying.
For many years, we were taught that cats had to be at least one year old to be spayed or neutered. Today, that mindset is changing. The American Veterinary Medical Association now endorses the practice of spaying or neutering as early as the age of two months or a weight of two pounds. If you are adopting an older pet, one of the first things you will need to know is if your pet has been fixed or not. Asking your veterinarian is of course, the simplest, most reliable way but you can check for yourself as follows:
- If you have a male cat, its usually pretty easy to tell. An unaltered males testicles should be visible when you look under his tail. Another telltale sign is the pungent odor of his urine.
- If you have a female cat, she wont be quite as easy to read. One way to tell is to have your vet shave her belly. If shes been spayed, she should have a small ½ scar, but sometimes even this is hard to discern. Your vet may recommend a spay if they are unsure.
The Consequences of an Unspayed Cat.
If it turns out your female cat has not been spayed, you should schedule her surgery as soon as possible. Spaying involves removing her uterus and ovaries and is done under general anesthesia. A few other points to consider:
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Expectations After Neutering A Cat
There are a lot of owners who keep asking questions about what to expect after neutering a cat. As we have clarified in a previous part that neutering is a surgery where to remove male and female sex organs, especially, for male cats, testosterone manages male cats sexual attitude, aggressive behavior, and territory scent marking. These are some points of what to expect:
Do Cats Become More Affectionate After Neutering
Cats become affectionate to their owners and other animals after being neutered. The main reason for neutering is to fix some behavioral issues that are related to sexual instincts. Most spayed cats change to be calmer after the surgery and start looking for attention from their owners. Some vets state that many owners can build a trust bond between them and their cats in this period.
Will my kittens personality change after spaying?
No, it does not change the personality of the cat. The purpose of spaying a cat is to eliminate unpleasant behaviors related to sex. So, many cats will be calmer after being neutered, but it does not necessarily affect their personalities.
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What Do They Do When They Neuter A Cat
The male cat to be neutered is put under general anesthesia, which means that it will be unconscious throughout the surgical procedure. A small incision is made on the scrotal sac, and the testicles are removed. Afterward, the incision is closed using either dissolvable sutures or surgical glue.
Male cats are easier to neuter than male dogs because of their size. As a matter of fact, the process of feline neutering can be done in under two minutes only!
However, it doesnt mean that the cat will awaken as soon as the procedure is over. Veterinarians usually use a reversible anesthetic shot that allows male cats to recover rather quickly. Usually, a cat that has undergone neutering is awake enough for it to walk around in about 10 to 15 minutes. For male dogs, its usually from 15 to 30 minutes.
Besides pet cats, stray and feral cats can be neutered, too, which brings us to this question
What Happens If You Dont Neuter Your Cat
Failure to neuter a male cat causes it to be territorial and develop aggressive behaviors. It also makes it prone to getting lost while searching for a mate. Failure to spay a female cat causes it to give birth to unwanted kittens. Both male and female cats may develop certain diseases if not fixed.
While there are many unfavorable things that spaying and neutering cats can keep from happening, sadly, there are also negative things that can come from it. But still, the many pros of sterilizing them outweigh the few cons.
Here are the side effects of spaying a female cat:
- Risk of complications associated with general anesthesia use
- Inability to get pregnant and give birth to a litter of kittens
- Potential weight gain due to an eliminated mating desire, which burns calories
Here are the side effects of neutering a male cat:
- Risk of complications as a result of general anesthesia use
- Inability to impregnate female cats and produce offspring
- Increased risk of becoming obese as a result of a slowed down metabolic rate
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How Much To Spay Or Neuter A Cat
Lets address the elephant in the room without delay: Many cat owners steer clear of spaying and neutering their feline friends because of the cost.
Spaying or neutering cats can come with different price tags because of different factors. Some of them include the cats size and breed, veterinary clinics location, and the veterinarians experience level and professional fee. Generally speaking, spaying costs more than neutering because its a more complicated procedure.
To give you an idea of the cost of having your cat spayed or neutered, check out this table:
Please note that the cost of spaying and neutering cats at a particular establishment can vary from branch to branch. Certain events can also affect the amount of money you will have to pay to get your cat fixed.
For instance, Petcos Spay Today 2000 program allowed the customers to get their hands on a voucher that enabled them to have their cat spayed or neutered for $10 only. Back in March 2020, cat owners could register for the PetSmart Grant program, which allowed them to get their feline pets fixed for $20 only.
Worry not if you are on a budget and cannot wait for a cheap spay or neuter event to be offered.
In California, for instance, some low-cost spay and neuter clinics are:
- Animal Discount Clinic
- Community Spay/Neuter Clinic
This brings us to a pressing question cat owners on a tight budget would like to ask
What To Feed Your Cat After Spay Surgery
Your cat should be interested in food after surgery, although it may take 12-24 hours for her appetite to return after anesthesia and the stress of the procedure.
Continue to feed your cat according to your veterinarians instructions. If you are concerned about your cats appetite, please contact your veterinarian, as some oral medications can cause decreased appetite and nausea .
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Castrating A Cat At Home/rubberband Style
I have a cat approximately 9 months old. He has been peeing on everything in the house. I can’t put him outside because there are dogs that will kill him and neighbors that will shoot him. I don’t have $60 to have a vet castrate him.I have been told by one woman who runs a kennel that I could put a rubberband around him testicles and they will fall off.Is this unheard of?– Vanessa Hayes , November 28, 2001
Tips For The First 30 Days Of Cat Adoption
Be prepared should be your mantra when bringing a new pet into your home. Cats are particularly sensitive to new surroundings and some may hide under a bed or in a closet for days or even weeks.
You can avoid pitfalls with your new critter and help him or her adapt more easily by following these guidelines:
Before You Bring Your Cat Home:
Now, you are ready for your cats homecoming. Preferably, bring her home in a cat carrier. It will feel safer to her. She has seen a lot of excitement, so take her directly to her new room. Ideally, you would restrict her exposure to the whole family, but naturally, everyone is going to want to see her. Remind them of the ground rules youve set up.
- Sit on the floor and let her come to you. Dont force her. Just let her get acquainted on her own time. If she doesnt approach, leave her alone and try again later. Some cats are particularly frightened, and she may retreat to her hidey hole and not come out when youre around at all. She may only come out at night when the house is quiet. Give her time.
- Your newly adopted cat may not eat much or at all at first. Its best to give your cat the same food she had at the shelter or in her foster home, at least at first. Keeping some things familiar will make her feel more secure. Be sure to change her water frequently and make sure that she is drinking. If your cat hasnt eaten for a few days, call your vet to ask for advice.
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Advantages Of Spaying Your Cat
There are many advantages to spaying your cat. Here are some of the most important:
Reduced risk of reproductive disease
Eliminating heat cycles
Shelters and rescues are full of homeless cats, and feral cat populations in America cause problems for wildlife. Spaying your cat will prevent her from contributing to the cat overpopulation problem . Plus, pregnancy can be accompanied by costly, potentially dangerous complications for your cat.
In terms of health advantages, spaying your cat drastically reduces her risk of mammary and uterine cancer. It also prevents reproductive disorders like uterine infection , uterine rupture and torsion, metritis, and cystic changes. These conditions can be fatal and are not always treatablebut they are preventable, via spaying.
Health benefits of spaying aside, cat heats come with their own problems. Intact female cats are more likely to wander outside where they are exposed to other cats, cars, wild animals, fights, diseases, and injuries. Although cats do not generally have vaginal discharge during their heats, theyll often display behaviors that some owners find irritating, like increased meowing and howling. An intact female cat may go into heat as often as once per month.
Things To Look Out For
Once youve brought your cat home, you should keep an eye out for common signs that your cat is recovering but still not feeling quite themselves. While it can be distressing to see your cat uncomfortable, these signs are usually due to the anesthetic. As that wears off, your cat will start to feel better and behave more like themselves. Signs include:
- Eating less
- Walking slowly and a little wobbly
- Choosing not to jump
- Appearing unfocused
While the above are normal signs, you should also keep an eye out for the below symptoms, which are more serious:
- Swelling, redness, or heat at the surgery site
- Bleeding at the surgery site
- Odor from the surgery site
- Lack of appetite after the first 12 hours post-op
- Lethargy extending for more than 12 hours
- Walking with a hunched appearance
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Your cat feels too cool or warm
These are all signs that your cat may have developed an infection or is still in pain. Call your veterinarian and ask if they would like you to bring your cat in for a consult.
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Confirm If Your Cat Is In Heat
Check to see if the behavior your cat is displaying is her being in heat rather than being sick. In the heat, an unspayed cat will be noisy, restless, brush against people and things. It will roll around on the floor. If you touch her lower back, she will raise her pelvis and tilt her tail to one side in response.
- Spring and late summer are the most common times for cats to reproduce. During this time of year, she will most likely go into heat.
- Determine whether your cat is in heat or unwell. Do you see the cat agitated but not rubbing herself against everything or lifting its tail to the side? That is a good sign. If she has an injury or is in pain, take her to the veterinarian to determine the cause.
Potential Problems After Your Cats Surgery
Regardless of the surgery, youll need to keep your cat inside for their post-op recovery period. And even indoor cats have to avoid running and jumping in order to have a trouble-free recovery. While ordinarily you want to give your cat plenty of perches and places to run, play, and stretch their legs, running and jumping during their post-op recovery phase could result in any of the following complications:
- Hitting something or falling in their disoriented state
- Loosening their skin stitches or sutures, which will delay skin healing
- Loosening or causing failure of internal sutures or closures, which can cause bleeding or even leakage of bacteria or urine into the abdomen
- Pulling off bandages or even slipping bandages into a position that could cause more damage or pain
- Causing a bone plate, pin, or screws to move or otherwise not heal correctly
- Other problems
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Provide A Warm Surface For Your Cat To Sit On
Although success is not assured, some people find that placing a heat pack or a warm, damp towel on the cats lap keeps her calm and still. Microwavable heat packs may be the most convenient alternative because they get reheated if the cat becomes agitated again. An electric heat pad or blanket is another option.
How Long To Keep Cats Separated After Spaying Or Neutering
It is a good idea to keep cats separated for about 10 days after spaying or neutering. This can save them from fighting newly sterilized cats may smell differently, and other cats may fail to recognize them. Fighting can increase the risk of the incision breaking open or becoming infected.
The incisions of most cats fully heal 10 to 14 days after the surgical procedure. Thats how long the incisions of most people that have gone through surgery heal, too.
Its rare for male cats to develop complications while healing from neutering. The same is true in recovering female cats. However, there are more unwanted things that could come into being among them. Some complications in female cats after spaying include hernias and infection of the remaining piece of the uterus.
Speaking of which, an infection may also result from licking the suture, which is why we should answer this
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Monitoring The Cat Spay Incision
An important part of your cats recovery is keeping the cats incision healthy, so youll want to check it daily.
Spaying a cat is considered an invasive procedure. Doctors have to cut into the cats abdomen to remove her ovaries and uterus before closing the incision with several layers of sutures.
Because of that incision, you shouldnt bathe your cat for 10 days after the surgery, Bierbrier says. And your cat licking the incision can cause infections, so you may need an Elizabethan collarotherwise known as the dreaded cone of shameto keep her away from it.
If you notice any redness, swelling or discharge at the surgery site, or if the incision is open, please contact your veterinarian, Bierbrier advises.
A small lump might pop up near the incision area, but it shouldnt be worrisome as long as its not painful, swollen, red, or discharging any liquid.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, heres what a healing cat spay incision should look: The edges of the incision should be touching each other, and the skin should be its usual color or slightly reddish-pink. It may be redder the first few days after the procedure.
Pale-skinned cats may also exhibit some bruising around the incision, but thats normal. Blood may also seep out of the incision if your cat is active, which is why its a good idea to keep her subdued in the days following the surgery.
How To Manage Your Cats Pain After Spay Surgery
Pain from inflammation can occur 5-7 days after spay surgery. Pain in cats is hard to detect since they do not respond to pain as humans do. Your veterinarian will provide you with any necessary pain relief medications.
Do not stop medications without direct approval from your veterinarian. Inflammation and pain can cause secondary complications, such as licking the incision and swelling around the surgery site.
Do not give your cat any over-the-counter pain medications or human pain medications. Many of these products can be highly toxic to your cat. If you are concerned about pain management, call your veterinarian for advice.
Most veterinarians do not send cats home with antibiotics, as an ovariohysterectomy is considered a sterile procedure. If significant bleeding is noted during surgery, or if your cat is older and/or currently in heat during the spay, antibiotics may be sent home to avoid infection.
Give your cat all prescribed antibiotics until they are completely gone. Do not stop the course of antibiotics even if your cat is feeling better or seems to be back to normal. A full course of antibiotics will prevent antibiotic resistance and ensure all harmful bacteria are eliminated.
What Do Vets Do When They Neuter A Cat
Some cat owners refuse to have their pets spayed or neutered, and its usually for various reasons. And one of the most common reasons for not getting their purring pals fixed is that they want to spare them from experiencing unnecessary pain and discomfort. If it involves a scalpel, they believe, then it must be unpleasant.
The good news is that a cat wont feel any pain during the surgery because it is unconscious.
After the spaying or neutering, the vet will administer pain medications to the feline to keep it from experiencing post-surgery pain, which can last for a few days. Usually, pain medications are administered via an injection.
If you are one of those cat owners who are hesitant to take their pets to a veterinary clinic for spaying or neutering, having a better understanding of the surgical procedure, such as the things that will take place while your cat is lying unconscious on the operating table, can help alleviate any doubts and fears of yours.
For your peace of mind, lets get you acquainted with the procedure by answering these questions
Just Before You Spay Or Neuter Your Cat
When it comes to feline spaying or neutering, there are many factors to consider. They include the amount of money you will need to shell out, where you will have to take your pet and who will sterilize your cat. Its also important that the advantages and disadvantages of spaying or neutering your cat are taken into account.
Above, we answered some of the most pressing questions that cat owners would love to ask about getting their cat fixed. By now, hopefully, you have an idea of whats best for your purring buddy.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of The Pet Rescue.
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Spaying Your Cat Before Heat
A spay surgery, or ovariohysterectomy, is considered a relatively low-risk, routine, surgery if the cat is not in heat. Ideally, you will have your cat spayed before her first heat to keep things simple.
Vets generally recommend spaying kittens by the age of six months. That’s because most female kittens will have their first heat cycle between the ages of six and nine months. Though uncommon, some cats will go into heat as early as four months of age. Many animal shelters and rescue groups prefer to spay kittens as young as eight weeks of age. This prevents accidental pregnancies later on. If you are concerned about making sure you have your cat spayed before her first heat, you may want to talk to your vet about doing the surgery early.
Once a cat begins her heat cycle, she can easily become pregnant. Most feline heat cycles last about four to seven days. If she does not mate during this heat cycle, she will probably continue to go into heat again every few weeks.
If your cat does go into heat, you are now faced with a decision. Should you wait to spay your cat after her heat, or should you have her spayed while she is still in heat?