Spaying is another word for ovariohysterectomy, or the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus. There are many advantages to spaying your cat. Spaying prevents unwanted pregnancy, and eliminates heat cycles. Considering cats go into heat roughly every 3 weeks, all year round, this is a distinct benefit! Cats in heat will cry, possibly urinate inappropriately, and do a lot of rolling around on the floor, making them generally unwelcome house pets. By spaying your cat, you eliminate the chance of uterine infection, uterine and ovarian cancer, and, if done before the first heat, virtually remove the possibility of mammary cancer. Mammary cancer is an important disease in cats, as it is the number one type of cancer diagnosed in intact females.
The best time to spay your cat is before their first heat cycle, which usually happens anytime after 6 months of age. We typically recommend spaying at 6 months old. It is important to realize that spaying does NOT change your cat, behaviourally, or otherwise. Spaying does not make them fat (too much food and not enough exercise does that!), nor are they “missing out” on an important experience. Cats can be spayed when pregnant, if they aren’t too far along in gestation. Cats can also be spayed while in heat.
When you leave your cat with us, she will be well cared for. Safety is our number one concern and there are a number of ways that we look after that. Pre-surgical bloodwork is performed, to ensure normal organ function and blood counts. IV catheters and fluid therapy are standard for all surgeries, to maintain blood pressure and provide access for drug administration. Our patients are monitored by trained RVTs, using highly technical equipment. Pain control is a critical element of surgery, and all our patients receive analgesia before, during and after their procedure. Pain medication is sent home with you to ensure the ongoing comfort of your pet.
Spay patients are kept overnight, and an appointment time for going home will be scheduled with you. The biggest job for you, the owner, is convincing your energetic young cat that surgery has occurred and she must try to stay quiet for about a week! Dissolvable sutures are used in cats, so there is no need to bring her back, however, if you are concerned about the appearance of her incision, a recheck appointment is advisable.