Ovariohysterectomy, also known as spay, is the surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries. It is best to spay your cat between the ages of 4 and 6 months, before her first heat cycle. The breeding season for cats usually begins in late winter (February) and continues through late summer (September – October) with many cycles during this time.
One heat cycle in cats lasts 14-20 days. If not mated, the cycling continues until late summer or until she is pregnant. Some signs associated with the heat cycle in cats are: extreme vocalization, a crouching position with elevated hindquarters, a treading motion of the hindlimbs, and lateral deflection of the tail. Vaginal bleeding is not commonly seen in cats. Older cats can still come into heat. The following is a brief list of the likely benefits of spaying your cat:
- Prevents unwanted pregnancies and avoids the unnecessary starvation and/or death of unwanted or abandoned kittens.
- Prevents the behavioral changes associated with heat cycles.
- Eliminates the possibility of tumors of the reproductive tract.
- Eliminates the possibility of infections of the reproductive tract.
- Decreases the possibility of mammary tumors and cancer.
- Spayed cats live longer.
Spaying your cat will not change your cat’s personality, except to make her a calmer more devoted pet. The surgery will not cause her to become fat and lazy. Any older, less active pets may experience weight gain, which can be controlled by proper diet.
Unless you are convinced that you will want to show or breed your cat, we recommend that you have your cat spayed. It is a good idea to see one of our veterinarians for a free presurgical examination prior to your cat’s surgery date. This gives us a chance to examine your cat and to talk to you about the surgery and optional recommended procedures, such as preanesthetic bloodwork and ECG screening. Feel free to call us if you have any questions regarding this important procedure.