Your Pet's Healthcare Starts at Home

What To Expect When You Get Your Cat Spayed

If you've finally tamed the stray cat that's been hanging around your yard, one of the first things you'll want to do is have the cat checked out by a vet. If it's a female cat and she is in good health, your vet will probably recommend having her spayed as soon as possible. You may be concerned about how your new friend will react to such a strange procedure. If you've never had a cat spayed before, you may be wondering what to expect, too. Here are a few things to know.

Why Spaying Is Necessary

Kittens are cute as can be, but there are far too many of them born into the world because of the feral cat problem. Cats that live on the streets have hard lives and die early. You don't want your stray to have kittens and add to the feral cat population. Spaying not only keeps your cat from getting pregnant, it stops the heat cycle completely. That means you can avoid some behavioral problems associated with a cat in heat. If you plan to keep her indoors all the time, she won't howl and claw to get outside when she is in heat, and there won't be male cats stalking your property to get with your pet. Plus, spaying can prevent the development of certain health problems when the cat gets older.

The Procedure Is Quick And Easy

Spaying is a very easy and common operation. Your cat is put to sleep, so she feels no pain. The vet makes an incision in her lower belly and removes her reproductive organs. Stitches are used to bind together the muscles and internal structures, but skin glue is used to seal the incision. This keeps your cat from chewing at stitches and opening the incision later on. The stitches that are inside your cat will slowly dissolve and disappear.

Your cat will wake up shortly after the surgery, but she'll stay at the vet's office for a few hours for observation. By the time you pick her up later that day, she will be awake and walking.

What To Expect During The Recovery Period

Although you can take your cat home the day of the surgery as long as there are no complications, it will take several days for recovery to be complete. It may take a full day for the anesthesia to wear off completely. The anesthesia may leave your cat with poor balance and nausea for a day or so. Give only small amounts of food for the first couple of days after surgery to make sure your cat can keep it down. Don't change your cat's diet during this time.

Have a quiet, safe place prepared for your cat to stay in during the recovery period. For the first few days, your cat may have pain near the incision. This could make her uncomfortable and grumpy. It's best to keep her from kids and other pets so she can rest in peace. Your vet may advise you to put a collar on her that prevents her from chewing or licking her incision. Although you won't have to provide care for the wound, you should monitor it daily to make sure it isn't bleeding or infected.

If your stray is young, she may adapt easily to staying indoors, and her recovery is a good time to train her to become an indoor cat. However, if your stray is older and has a safe place to sleep outdoors, such as under a shed or in a garage, it may cause her too much stress to confine her inside. Talk to your vet about the best way to care for a feral cat that prefers to stay outdoors. It may be best to let her go back outside as soon as you get home from the surgery. As long as you offer plenty of food, warm shelter, and companionship, you and your new cat can have a loving and fun relationship even if she never does become an indoor cat. And if she does stay outside all the time, it is even more important to have her spayed before she gives you a litter of kittens to worry about. Click here to learn more about spaying services.