Feline Spay and Neuter Surgeries Explained

A feline spay or neuter surgery is a responsible action that is completely safe and beneficial to a cat's well-being. Every year, thousands of unwanted animals are brought into the world. Some get turned out into the streets where they become wild animals, others are brought to shelters where they await homes or are euthanized due to over population. According to the Humane Society of the U.S., upwards of eight million unwanted dogs and cats are handed over to shelters every year. Only half of those find new homes.

Reasons to Have a Pet Spayed or Neutered

A female cat will be in heat every two weeks until she mates or gets spayed. Typical behaviors include:

  • Loud yowling
  • Presenting herself for mating by stretching out on the floor with her rear sticking into the air
  • Urinating outside the litter box

Female cats who do not get spayed have a higher risk of developing uterine cancer. In addition, they have a higher risk of developing pyometra, a condition that causes the uterus to become infected and fill with pus.

Both male cats and dogs will mark their territory inside the house given the chance. They also become aggressive with other dogs and more likely to try to escape their house or yard.

Kittens recover more quickly than adult cats, so consider a kitten spay or neuter before the kitten reaches six months of age.

Difference Between a Cat Spay or Neuter

The difference between cat spay, neuter surgeries are simply a matter of gender. A male cat is neutered, a female spayed. With cat neutering, the testicles are surgically removed. With a feline spay, the veterinarian removes the ovaries and uterus.

A Feline Spay Surgery Explained

During a feline spay, your cat is anesthetized and then her fur is removed. Disinfectants are spread on the skin to kill germs and then the incision is made in the area of the lower abdomen. The incision is usually a couple inches long and goes through the muscle to reach the uterus.

At this point a surgical tool called a spay hook is used to grasp one end of the uterus. The blood vessels are identified, cut and then sealed off to stop bleeding. The same process is used on the ovaries. Once the veterinarian checks and stops any additional bleeding, the muscles and skin are stitched back up. Stitches for a cat spay may be the dissolving type requiring no follow up visit. If stitches have to be removed, that will occur approximately eight days later.

Cat Neutering Surgery Explained

Cat neutering surgery is less invasive than a cat spay. The male cat is anesthetized and then his fur is shaved from his anus to the scrotum. The area is washed with a disinfectant. At this point, the veterinarian finds the scrotum and makes a tiny incision to access the testicle. The testicle is removed from the scrotum and removed with surgical scissors. The remaining cord is tied off to prevent any bleeding and inserted back into the scrotum. Because the incision is tiny, exterior stitches are unnecessary.