Ovariohysterectomy (Spaying) in Cats

Spaying also called ovariohysterectomy is a procedure that may be performed in cats to control reproduction. Cats can reproduce at an alarming rate, leading to pet overpopulation; a lot of kittens never find a home. Spaying is a term that refers only to the sterilization of female cats.

The Spaying Procedure

The vet will perform a few tests prior to the ovariohystectomy to ensure that the procedure can be performed without complications.

The procedure is performed through making an incision in the abdominal area.

The feline spaying consists of the removal of the 2 ovaries and a part of the uterus. This procedure is an outpatient procedure and may be performed with a sharp scalpel or with laser beams. The incision will be sutured.

The procedure may have certain complications such as bleeding (reduced if laser is used) or post-operatory infections. Negative reactions to anesthesia may also occur, but the vet will run tests before the procedure to ensure this won’t happen.

However, the procedure has many benefits and is recommended for all female cats.

Spaying Benefits

In addition to controlling pet overpopulation, the ovariohystectomy may also solve behavioral problems that felines display. Certain females can be very noisy during the mating season and may also become aggressive. Also, when the cat comes into heat, this may be a period when she will be very irritable and uncooperative.

Spaying will sterilize the female and she will no longer be interested in mating, so will become calmer.

The removal of ovaries and most of the uterus will prevent ovarian and uterine cancers. If the cat cannot get pregnant, the problems that occur during pregnancy and giving birth can be avoided.

If the cat is spayed at an early age, this may prevent the occurrence of breast cancers.

The Best Time for Spaying

Ideally, a female cat should be spayed before she has her first heat cycle. This should happen when the cat is between 6 and 12 months old (depending on the breed). The early spaying can be most beneficial, as the cat will surely not reproduce and the risks of mammary gland, ovary or uterus cancers are drastically reduced.

The spaying can be performed even when the cat is older, but the procedure may be more complex. If the cat has already given birth, the procedure may also be more complicated.

The spaying during pregnancy is not recommended and a lot of vets refuse to perform this procedure.

Spaying after Care

After the procedure you need to care for you pet. Ensure that she is not hyperactive, as the surgery stitches may be torn. Monitor the surgery wound and make sure that the cat is not scratching, licking or chewing the wound. Watch out for symptoms such as redness, swelling (over 2 or 3 days); if the wound gets infected, the cat will have a fever.

The surgery should heal in 2 to 3 weeks.