Cat Spaying & Neutering - What to Know About Cat Spaying and Neutering

What is cat neutering?

Cat neutering is what we do to our male cats. The other name for that would be castration, where we remove the testicles or the male reproductive organs in our cats. For our females, spaying or ovariohysterectomy would be the procedure that we perform when we remove the female reproductive organs surgically from our female cats.

Dr. Cason McInturff
Berry Farms Animal Hospital - Cupola Animal Hospital

How does spaying or neutering impact the health and wellbeing of your cat?

Good question. So for our cats, we know that there are many benefits to spaying our females. It helps prevent certain cancers later in life and certain types of infections they can encounter. For our male cats, it's beneficial in terms of preventing certain diseases, and behaviorally can be very important. There are many different ways that spaying and neutering can beneficially impact our cats.

How soon should you bring your cat in to see a vet to get them spayed or neutered?

Typically, we'll talk about the best time to spay or neuter your cat when we do their kitten exams and vaccinations. We'll talk about the best and most appropriate time for your specific cat. We know that if they're not going to be reproductive later or reproducing for our female cats, we need to do the spay procedure before they come into heat, especially more than a couple of times. It helps prevent certain diseases down the road. And for our male cats, being intact for too long a period can certainly negatively impact their behavior as well. We'll establish the best time for spaying or neutering during the kitten exams and vaccinations.

What are the medical benefits of spaying and neutering cats?

As we've kind of mentioned already, there are several different medical benefits for our female cats, specifically preventing certain mammary cancers later in life is extremely important. Our female cats that are intact past a certain time have an exponentially increased likelihood of getting certain cancers later, and they can also get infections in their reproductive tract.

For our male cats, the behavioral issues are significant, even as simple as wandering behavior, such as wandering off and leaving. When our male cats are intact and hormone production changes a little bit, certainly their behavior changes along with that. So those are just a couple of the things to keep in mind, medically, when we're talking about spaying and neutering.

What are some possible conditions that can be helped or prevented by spaying or neutering your cat?

So I don't know how it works, but I will tell you whenever there is a female cat that comes into heat, it's almost like there's a bat beacon that goes up, and every male cat that's intact within 10 miles finds their way to that female cat. So preventing unwanted reproduction, especially in our females, is very important. I will often tell you we see a younger female cat that may not have gotten spayed that shows up for an exam, and she might have kittens coming along. For our male cats, I will tell you that roaming behavior is significantly impacted by them being intact, even such things as urine marking behavior, and certainly getting along with other cats in the household. These are things that are all influenced by the presence of certain hormones, especially those in our male cats.

How should I care for my cat before and after spaying or neutering surgery?

Before the spaying surgery, the one thing that we ask is definitely on the morning of the procedure, make sure you don't feed them any breakfast or give them any water. We want you to take your cat's food and water away after about 10 o'clock the night before. And that procedure tends to be an outpatient procedure so that you would bring them to the hospital in the morning, and then they go home with you later that day. The most important thing for you to keep an eye on after the surgery is that tiny surgical incision. We want to make sure that things are healing appropriately and that our cats aren't agitating that surgical site and agitating those stitches.

Most of the time, all those stitches will be underneath the skin, making things more comfortable for them. They don't have any stitches outside of the skin, but you still want to keep a close eye on how that's healing, especially in the first two weeks. Generally, they bounce back from the anesthesia of the procedure pretty quickly. They might be tired for a day or two but tend to bounce back pretty quickly.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (615) 224-7776, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.