Spaying your Cat
No food after midnight, the previous evening, although water is allowed overnight. Please arrive between 8.30am & 9am.
The technical name for a cat spay is an ovariohysterectomy, which means the removal of the ovaries and uterus (womb). You will, more commonly, hear people saying that their cat has been neutered, spayed or dressed. This is a one off procedure and cannot be reversed.
When should I spay my cat?
We feel that the ideal time to spay a cat is at four months old, although adult cats can be spayed at any time.
What are the advantages?
The main advantage is that your cat will not be able to get pregnant. Cats generally come into season around six months old. In addition, the behaviour of your cat will change and a normally content indoor cat will become disturbed and may try to escape from the house to seek a mate.
Cats that come into season for the first time often look to the owners like they have developed some sort of painful ailment like colic, with wriggling about on the ground, demanding of attention and crying out.
Prevention of pyometra and ovarian cancers. As the majority of cats are spayed, these diseases are mercifully rare but are seen in the older, entire cat. There is also a reduction in the incidence and severity of mammary tumours. Mammary tumours or breast cancer is seen in the unspayed older cat and early spaying drastically reduces the risk. Mammary tumours are almost never seen in cats spayed at six months of age.
Spaying lowers the risk of contracting Feline Leukaemia Virus, Immunodeficiency Virus and Infectious Peritonitis Virus. All of theses fatal diseases are believed to be spread, in part, by mating as well as through close contact e.g. fighting. Spayed cats are not mated and generally have less aggressive contact with other cats in the neighbourhood and therefore their risk of infection is decreased.
What are the disadvantages?
Spaying, although a routine procedure for small animal veterinary surgeons, is a major operation, involving entry into the abdominal cavity. A small number of animals have problems with anaesthetics, the operation itself and with post operative haemorrhage. This can result from too much activity, dislodging one of the internal blood vessel ties. Surgical experience, good nursing help and careful supervision does reduce the risk but that risk cannot be totally eliminated.
There is a higher proportion of overweight spayed cats compared to their entire counterparts. There is no doubt that a spayed cat requires less food for a given weight and activity level. We suggest reducing the amount fed by 15-20% immediately after stitches out. It is easier to increase the food for cats that lose a little weight than to diet those who have become overweight. We encourage weight checking and weigh your cat at each annual vaccination so that fine tuning of food intake can be made.
Energy requirements of neutered animals goes up by 30-35% within 24hours of their operation, making them want to eat more – no reason for this has been discovered yet, which is why we advise reducing their food straight away. With proper management, there is no reason for any weight gain as a result of spaying.
Booking your cat in for spaying.
We perform routine surgery each day except, Wednesday and given a little notice we can accommodate a specific day to suit your schedule.
We will ask you to withhold food from midnight. the night before and take up all fluids first thing in the morning. It is important that your cat has an empty stomach for her surgery.
We open at 8.30am and normally admit day patients up to 9am but again we can accommodate a later admittance, if it helps you. We can admit cats the evening prior to the operation, with advance arrangement
The consent form
We shall ask you, or an authorised adult, for written permission to perform the castration operation on your pet. We make time to guide you through the consent form so that we can explain any terms that you do not understand or are worried about.
We ask you to come in before the date of operation, so we can ensure you fully understand the consent form and give you time to ask any questions you may have. You may request a financial estimate at this appointment, either printed or verbal.
All pets undergoing surgery at A+G Vets have an analgesic (painkiller) as part of their premedication, so that they are more comfortable and therefore less frightened when they wake up.
We allocate each pet an individual kennel, although siblings may share a kennel, if preferred. The kennels are warm and sound insulated and each has a lightweight polyester fleece and a heat pad for warmth and comfort. All animals are within sight of the nursing team, allowing prompt intervention, if required.
Pre-Anaesthetic Blood Sample
Some problems cannot be determined by physical examination alone and we have the facility to perform a pre anaesthetic blood screen to determine whether there is damage to the liver or kidney function. We have a modern blood analyser and results are available within 15 minutes, allowing any adjustments to be made in the anaesthetic protocol. We would strongly recommend this for older patients or ones who have a pre-existing illness.
As is routine in human hospitals, we can provide intravenous fluid support (a drip) for our patients. We believe this benefits all pets and allows them to make a stronger and speedier recovery. Again we would strongly recommend this for older patients or ones with a pre-existing illness.
Care of surgical wounds
Wounds do not normally require any attention except for you preventing your pet licking excessively at the wound, or removing the stitches. We provide a clear, plastic buster collar and we would recommend that your pet wears it at all times. We have to make a charge for re suturing wounds, often involving another anaesthetic, if stitches have been lost as a result of a lack of supervision.
We normally remove stitches after ten days, although we may advise that they stay in longer, depending on the size or position of the wound. Occasionally, there may be a need for intra-dermal sutures – these are dissolving sutures and do not need to be removed. We may also use a special tissue glue which does not need to be removed, as it will disappear naturally over time.
Contacting us if you are worried.
When your cat is discharged you will receive instruction as to how to receive advice during the evening. We have 24 hour out-of-hour emergency care, which you are able to contact by calling the surgery for the relevant emergency mobile number.