Spaying a female cat is one of the most fundamental aspects of health care for your cat. While some pet owners feel spaying is a procedure that simply prevents unwanted pregnancies, it can also prevent mammary and ovarian cancer as well as keeping your cat from going into heat. A side benefit of spaying your cat is that spayed cats are less likely to urine mark in your home. This article will describe the procedure and give you a better understanding of what it means to spay your cat.
First of all, let’s understand the procedure itself. Cat spaying is a procedure wherein the ovaries and uterus are removed, otherwise known as an ovariohysterectomy. The cervix is tied off so that the vagina ends essentially where the uterus would start. Some vets choose to leave the uterus but most feel it is beneficial to remove everything. In most cases, the recovery period for spayed cats is very quick. Some hospitals will keep the cat overnight after the spaying while others may release them the same day and allow home observation. Some cats lose their appetite for the first day but this should return quickly.
If your veterinarian has decided to send your cat home on the same day as the spaying, try to keep your cat confined to a small area. Vets will give you explicit instructions, including when you can reintroduce food and water, and you should never let a spayed cat outside immediately. You may notice some swelling around the incision site but this usually resolves around 3 or 4 weeks after your cat is spayed. If you notice fluid drainage or bleeding from the incision you should visit a veterinarian immediately as this is not normal.
Finally, while spaying is not a time sensitive procedure, most cats are spayed around 6 months of age. Some vets will even spay cats as early as 8 weeks of age.