While neutering is the process where the testicles of the male is removed, spaying, which is medically called ovariohysterectomy is a surgical procedure where the ovaries as well as uterus of the female animal is removed. With this procedure, the cat or dog loses the ability to produce a litter.
Other than this, there are many other benefits of spaying cats and dogs. However, here we will discuss the topic, including its benefits, the procedure itself, aftercare, recovery time, etc.
As mentioned earlier, spaying pets does have various benefits, even apart from controlling animal overpopulation. Female cats who are not spayed go through a heat cycle at least twice in a year's time. When they are in heat, it may become difficult for the owner to keep her confined at home, and she may try to sneak out to find a mate.
Other signs of cats being in heat are bleeding, demanding attention by wriggling and howling, etc. This can be quite frustrating for the owner, more so when he/she realizes that the cat is pregnant at the end of the heat cycle. Hence, spaying your cat is a great way of stopping this kind of behavior as well as the production of unwanted kittens permanently.
Moreover, it has also been observed that spayed cats live a healthy as well as long life because they are not prone to diseases like mammary cancer, uterine infections, reproductive cancers etc.
Also, as spayed cats are less likely to wander out of the house, they are less likely to get infected with diseases from other cats and have a very small chance of getting hit by a vehicle. As there are so many advantages of spaying, let us try to know more about this procedure.
According to expert opinion, the right age for spaying is six months. However, there are veterinarians who advise owners to get their cats spayed as early as only eight weeks in. As far as research goes, there are no known side effects of getting the cat spayed at an early age.
Nevertheless, if one is unsure, it would be better to wait till six months to carry out the procedure. Another question that most people have in their minds is that whether it is fine to spay the cat while she is in heat. Though it is better to conduct this surgery when she is not in heat, spaying in heat does not have any side effects.
However, the surgery may become a little more complicated due to the engorgement of the large blood vessels and tissues. Due to this, the cost will also increase considerably.
The doctor may ask you not to feed your cat for at least 24 hours before the operation. This simple surgery is done through the stomach (just under the belly button) by giving general anesthesia. Once the incision is made, the vet removes the ovaries, which are mainly responsible for the heat cycle, and then the entire uterus.
After this, the vet ties off the cervix and stitches it close. Though this is not a very complex surgery, there have been cases where complications have come up after the operation. Hence, most hospitals keep the cat at the hospital for a night to monitor her recovery.
Once your cat is home after the surgery, it is important to follow the proper instructions so that she heals quickly. During the first few days, she may be groggy and inactive. This is a part of the recovery process, and is important for the stitches to heal properly.
During the recovery time, confine her to a small area where she won't be disturbed by other pets. Though she will be back on her feet in a day or two, the stitches will only be removed 10 - 14 days later. Some other things that you are likely to observe during the recovery time are mild swelling and soreness. Your pet may not be too inclined towards food.
However, you need not be worried about it, as she would be back to normal in a few days. If she is not, do not waste time in consulting the vet as soon as possible.
Another thing is that cats are likely to lick the place where the surgery is done and it is necessary to put a stop to this can cause the stitches to open. One can control this by applying bitter ointments around the area or by putting an Elizabethan collar on the cat.
These are some of the important details that you ought to know about spaying. Some people think that spaying their cat can make her fat and lazy. However, this is not true.
Rather, after the surgery the cat's metabolism goes down, and if she is overfed and is inactive, she is likely to become overweight. Therefore, utmost care should be taken while feeding the cat after she has undergone the procedure.