Why should I have my female cat neutered?
Neutering, or spaying, in female cats also offers several advantages. Most obviously, it will prevent the prospect of unplanned litters.
- Once puberty is reached, on average at around 7 months old, during most of the year the queen will be “calling” for approximately 1 week in every 2-3 until she is mated.
- During calling she may display unsociable behaviour, which is often manifest as loud and persistent crying, and frequent rubbing and rolling on the floor. Such behaviour and her scent will attract pestering tomcats from miles around. This will all be eliminated by neutering.
- Finally, spaying will remove the risk of uterine infection, and may reduce the future risk of breast cancer developing.
There is no medical reason for letting your cat have a litter before she is neutered, and behavioural changes seen with having a litter could be better or worse.
When should I have my cat neutered?
In most cases, for the reasons stated above, it is desirable to neuter before puberty, and it is customary to operate on kittens at an early age. The actual age chosen will depend upon the preference of your veterinary surgeon – many individuals will neuter both male and female cats at around 6 months old.
Cats can be neutered at any age. It is possible to neuter in early pregnancy. Please contact the surgery for further details regarding our neutering policy.
What does the operation involve?
Both male and female cats will have to undergo a general anaesthetic. This will involve a period of starvation (usually overnight) before the operation, however most animals can return home on the day of surgery, providing they have fully recovered from the anaesthetic.
In female cats the operation is performed through a relatively small incision made either in the flank, or in the midline of the abdomen. Both ovaries are always removed along with the entire or majority of the uterus. Normally, skin stitches will be placed, which will be removed after around 10 days, unless absorbable material has been used.
What adverse affects might neutering have on my cat?
In the vast majority of cases no adverse affects are noted following neutering. However, some neutered animals have a tendency to put on excess weight by storing surplus fat. Such pets require a balanced diet and should not be over-fed.
In certain cats, notably Siamese, the hair that grows back over an operation site may be noticeably darker, due to a difference in the skin temperature. This darker patch should grow out with the following moult as the hair is replaced.
Call your local Mercer and Hughes Vet Surgery to book your cat in for spaying or for more information.