Sterilisation (Cat)

Most people opt to have their cat neutered unless they are planning to breed from them. Neutering for male cats (toms) is called castration and for female cats (queens), it is calleAd spaying.

We aim to answer the common questions and guide you in your choice. There are many factors to consider, so if you are still undecided after reading this article, please ask one of our staff for advice.

 

WHY IS IT NECESSARY? 

Males (castration)

  • Prevents tumours of the testicles
  • Reduces occurrence of hernias near the rectum
  • Decreases sexual behaviour, aggression, dominance, roaming etc.
  • Reduce spraying the house and reduce unpleasant ‘tom cat’ odours
  • Decreases likelihood of getting into fights, developing abscesses and catching viruses like feline leukaemia and feline immunodeficiency

Females (spaying)

  • Reduces the risk of mammary tumours
  • Prevents ovary and uterus tumours
  • Prevents pyometra (a potentially fatal womb infection)
  • No unwanted pregnancies or kittens
  • No false or phantom pregnancies, no milk production
  • Decreases likelihood of getting into fights, developing abscesses and catching viruses like feline leukaemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses
  • Convenience – no calling and no tom cats sniffing around

 

ARE THERE ANY RISKS?

The procedure is carried out under a general anaesthetic. This always carries a very small risk, but we aim to minimise this by using short acting anaesthetics that we can ‘reverse’ once we have finished the surgery.

 

WHEN SHOULD IT BE DONE?

Females 

Spaying is normally done at around 6 months of age, or anytime thereafter. Spaying is not advised when a queen is ‘calling’ (in season), as there is a higher risk of bleeding. When calling queens will cry, crouch down and stick their bottom in the air; occasionally new cat owners mistake these signs for symptoms of pain. If you are in any way concerned please let us examine your cat to determine if there is indeed a problem or whether your cat may be in season.

 

Males

Neutering can be done from around 6 months old. It may be possible to castrate at less than 6 months if, for example, there is also an entire queen in the house, as cats can reach sexual maturity at about 4 months of age.

Retained testicles have a dramatically higher incidence of becoming cancerous and it is very important that they are removed but fortunately this condition is uncommon in cats. We may have to make one or more extra, larger, incisions to search for the retained testicle(s) and this does make the operation more complicated.

 

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS?

 

We perform neutering 5 days a week (Monday-Friday).

In toms, we cut into the scrotum, pull the testicle out and tie off the blood vessels. The process is repeated on the other side. The skin is not sutured.

In queens, we normally make a incision on the underside of the abdomen.  The ovaries and uterus are identified, the blood vessels tied off and the entire reproductive tract is removed. The incision is sewn up in 3 layers (muscle, fat and skin).

 

I HAVE A RESCUE CAT; CAN I TELL IF IT HAS BEEN NEUTERED ALREADY?

Sometimes we can tell by feeling for an old incision wound or looking for a scar. The cat’s behaviour can be a guide, too. Alternatively, we may perform an ultrasound scan or need to do an exploratory operation to check for any ovaries or testicles.

 

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact the clinic.