Spaying or Neutering Your Cat


Whether or not to have your cat desexed is one of the most important decisions you can make for your pet. Desexing is a permanent operation performed by a veterinarian that will prevent your pet from breeding and can ultimately lead to your pet living a longer and healthier life.

What does a cat spay involve?

A cat spay, or ovariohysterectomy, is the surgical removal of the ovaries and the uterus. It is a routine procedure that is performed under general anesthetic. Although cat spays have typically been performed at 5-6 months (when the cat reaches sexual maturity), recent research suggests that spays can be safely performed at a much earlier age (e.g. as early as 8 weeks).

What are the advantages?

If you have no plans to breed your cat, then spaying her has decided advantages to leaving her entire.

• Female cats in heat often attract unwanted male cats
• Prevents unwanted kittens
• Prevents phantom pregnancies
• Reduces the chance of the cat developing mammary tumours (breast cancer)
• The possibility of your cat developing ovarian or uterine cancer is eliminated
• The chances of life-threatening uterine infections are greatly reduced
• Spaying removes oestrus (heat) cycles which can occur every 2-3 weeks in the breeding season and last 3-10 days
• Undesirable behaviour associated with oestrus like roaming and calling is reduced/eliminated

Myth – Will my cat become fat and lazy following this operation?

This is a common misconception. Obesity in cats tends to occur because the owners are feeding an excessive or inadequate diet. A healthy diet with minimal tidbits will keep prevent any problems with obesity. Keep in mind that as pets grow older, they will require fewer calories than younger ones because they tend to be less active and are no longer growing.

What does a cat castration involve?

A cat castration is the surgical removal of the testicles under general anesthetic. It is a routine operation that can be carried out at any age, but is typically done when the cat reaches sexual maturity (5-6 months) if there are no plans of breeding from him. However, some veterinarians will neuter your cat at a much earlier age (8 weeks).

What are the advantages of castration?

There are numerous benefits associated with neutered cats.

• The possibility of testicular cancer is eliminated
• Health problems like prostatic cancer are greatly reduced
• Your cat will not contribute to the production of unwanted kittens
• Drastic reduction of undesirable male behaviors such as roaming, urine spraying and marking, and fighting.
• Because neutered cats are less inclined to fight and roam, they are less likely to be wounded and pick up infections from other cats

Myth – Neutering cats breaks their spirit!

There is a mistaken belief by many owners that if they castrate their cat he will become dull and spiritless. However, the fact of the matter is that most owners usually see an improvement in their pet following castration, as many of the undesirable male behaviors are eliminated (roaming, aggression) without altering the affectionate personality of their cat.

Myth – Neutering my kitten at an early age will cause it to be stunted or small.

Neutering at an earlier age will not affect the kitten’s growth. However, it will prevent certain male characteristics such as thickenings around the face (“shields”) from developing.

Ask your vet today about how you can provide your pet with a happier, healthier, longer life.

(photo: highlimitzz)