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What is the procedure?

‘Spaying’ is also known as an ovariohysterectomy. This means removal of the ovaries and uterus. This stops the cat from having heat cycles and reproducing.

Should I get my cat spayed?

Cats reach sexual maturity at a young age, and are capable of producing several litters of kittens per year. Many cats in the UK are able to roam freely outdoors and there is no practical way to prevent unwanted pregnancy in this situation. For this reason, unless you specifically plan to breed from a health tested queen by a carefully selected, health tested sire, we generally advise that all female cats should be spayed as part of routine preventative health care, before being allowed outdoor access.

So, what are the proven benefits?

  • Protection against unwanted pregnancies and population control.
  • Eradicates oestrus behaviour and associated calling.
  • Eliminates the risk of uterine or ovarian cancer.
  • Eliminates the risk of developing pyometra (pus in the uterus). This is an uncommon but entirely preventable condition.
  • Reduces the risk of malignant mammary cancer if spayed before 2 years old.
  • Reduces the risk of painful mammary hyperplasia

When should I get her spayed?

Current recommendations are that female cats are neutered before reaching sexual maturity, at 16 weeks of age.

What are the potential complications and risks of the procedure?

Spaying is one of the most common operations performed in veterinary practice. Providing the cat is in good health and aftercare protocols are followed, serious complications are rare. However, despite being a routine surgery, minor to major complications can occur and it is important that you are aware of them.

  • Slippage of ligatures and bleeding. This can be a serious complication that occurs during or after the surgery and may potentially require surgical intervention.
  • Haematoma, abscess or seroma. Accumulations of blood or fluid below the incision may occur and will generally resolve without intervention. More rarely, pus may accumulate and requires antibiotics. This is very rare due to careful aseptic technique.
  • Infection and wound breakdown. Stopping her from licking her incision is important in preventing the incision from becoming infected and opening up.
  • Anaesethetic risk. Multiple measures are taken to reduce this risk and your pet will be closely monitored at all times. Generally, cats are spayed young and therefore anaesthetic complications are uncommon.
  • Mild gastro-intestinal upset post surgery that is usually self-limiting.
  • Weight gainpost surgery if her diet is not adjusted appropriately.
  • Though exceptionally rare, damage to the urinary tract or bowel are recognised possible complications.

What should I expect after the procedure?

Your cat will go home the same day as the surgery. She will be given a buster collar to prevent her from licking her incision.

We will see her for a check up 3 and 10 days post surgery to make sure she has recovered from the anaesthesia and that there are no complications that need addressing