Speying your cat is an important part of basic cat healthcare. Speying at a young age prevents mammary cancer and spaying at any age prevents unwanted kittens, noisy heat cycles and possibly even urine marking in the house.
Unless you are serious about showing or breeding, desexing is recommended for all pet cats.
Owners are often tempted to have at least one litter from their female cat. However there is no advantage for the female cat in letting her have a litter before speying. Breeding is an expensive and time consuming process which requires a lot of hard work. It is not recommended without serious study of the involvement you will be required to give. It can be very difficult to find suitable homes for the kittens and unfortunately the SPCA is forced to euthanase many unwanted kittens.
Our clinic recommends speying female cats at 5-6 months of age, prior to puberty.
What if she is in heat? Speying while in heat does not carry a significant risk to the cat but may take a little longer due to engorgement of the tissues and blood vessels, a small extra charge may be incurred.
What if she is pregnant? Speying can be performed at any time during the course of pregnancy. Owners may be unaware that their cat is pregnant so it is recommended that you let the clinic know whether you wish the surgery to proceed if she is pregnant. Due to extra work and surgery time an extra fee will be charged for speying a pregnant animal.
If your cat has just had kittens we recommend waiting until 1-2 weeks after the kittens are weaned before speying.
Our clinic routinely performs feline spays by a “flank” approach (on the side of the abdomen). If your cat has coloured “points” (e.g. Siamese, Birman, Ragdoll) the hair can grow back the darker colour of the points so you may wish to have a “midline” spey (in the centre of the abdomen) performed to prevent a patchy appearance to the colour of the coat. This is slightly more expensive than a routine spey.
As the operation is performed under general anaesthetic it is important that no food is given from 7pm the night before the surgery, and no water is to be given from 7am the morning of surgery.
Patients will be presented at the clinic for surgery admission between 8-8.30am
A pre-operative evaluation is performed
A sedative will be given under the skin to ease the induction of anaesthesia and provide pain relief
A small patch of hair will be shaved off one of the patient’s legs so that a medication may be given intravenously to induce sleep.
Once asleep a tube is placed down the throat to ensure that a clear airway is maintained throughout the procedure.
The tube is connected up to an anaesthetic machine that delivers a specific concentration of anaesthetic gas mixed with 100% oxygen to maintain anaesthesia.
In the surgical prep area the side of the abdomen is shaved and scrubbed, the patient is then moved through to the surgical theatre where sterile surgical drapes are placed over the patient to isolate the area where the surgery will take place
An incision is made on the side of the abdomen, and the three points where the ovaries and uterus attaches are tied off and cut. The abdomen is checked for bleeding and 2-3 layers of stitches are placed to close the incision.
A trained, qualified nurse will monitor the patient’s depth of anaesthesia, membrane colour, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and oxygen levels in the blood throughout the surgery.
At the end of the surgery another Injectable pain relief will be given which will last 48 hours.
The veterinary nurse will remain monitoring the patient until fully recovered and they will be kept in an observation room until able to walk.
The patient will be able to go home the same afternoon.
Most feline spey patients go home the same day as if nothing happened, some nausea may occur in the first couple of days after surgery, and it would not be unusual for the cat to refuse food for a day or two after surgery.
Sometimes a cough is noted after surgery; this may have been caused by the tube in the throat and should only last for a couple of days.
Patients who lick at their stitches will need an Elizabethan or “E” collar to restrict access to their stitches.
Activity should be restricted during the week following surgery as excessive activity can lead to unnecessary and prolonged swelling or fluid accumulation under the incision.
Skin stitches are removed 10-14 days after the surgery, this service is provided free of charge and it is important to make an appointment with one of our veterinary nurses for this so that they may check the wound has healed well.