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Why should my cat be neutered or spayed?
Each year there are millions of homeless pets that are destroyed because they are never adopted. If current trends continue, we can expect the numbers of pet lives lost to euthanasia to spiral upward. However, there is a reasonable and responsible solution to the problem--birth control for cats. You, as a cat owner, are responsible for your cat's sexuality.
Female cats that will not be used specifically in a breeding program SHOULD be spayed. Spaying eliminates behaviors associated with an intact female during heat cycles, such as excessive vocalization, restlessness, treading, rolling, extreme affection and inappropriate voiding of urine. In addition, spaying a can virtually eliminates certain types of cancers and medical issues associated with the mammary glands and reproductive organs.
Male cats SHOULD be neutered before they become sexually active, usually by six months of age. Neutering also helps to reduce fighting, aggressive behaviors, roaming and territorial marking with urine that is associated with intact males.
The cost of spaying or neutering is considerably less than the cost of medical bills associated with reproductive diseases and sexually related behavior problems. Also, spaying and neutering pet cats reduces the problem of homeless kittens.
What does surgery involve?
Your cat will be anesthetized using a gas anesthesia (Isoflurane) rather than an injectable anesthetic. This anesthesia is one of the safest veterinary anesthetics available. Although this anesthetic is slightly more costly than injectable anesthetics, it is safer for your cat and eliminates any discomfort felt with the less effective injectable drugs. Your cat's comfort and safety are our primary concern.
Prior to recovery from anesthesia, your cat will be given medication to control post-operative pain and discomfort. Recovery is immediate once the gas anesthesia has been discontinued.
What precautions do I need to take for my cat when he/she comes home?
We recommend keeping your cat quiet and somewhat restricted after surgery. If a cat is likely to be very active immediately after surgery, the cat may need to be restricted to a small room. Jumping can be a problem, especially jumping down from heights since this can cause injury to the abdominal incision (for females). Most cats will restrict their own activity until they are feeling better, but occasionally there will be a rambunctious cat that will not "follow the rules" and will need to be confined to a cage.
Should my cat be allowed outside after surgery?
After surgery, your cat should be confined indoors until sutures are removed (females) and for one week (males). Running free outside poses too much chance that healing will not occur properly and incisions may break down creating a hernia. Ill or injured cats may find a secluded spot to hide in, away from their unaware owners. Although it may not always be possible, we encourage that all cats be confined indoors.
How do I schedule an appointment and are there any surgical requirements?
Spaying and/or neutering are performed Monday through Friday by appointment only. Your cat or kitten will be admitted the morning of the surgery between 7:45 and 10:30am. If it is more convenient, you could bring him/her the night before.
We require that your cat or kitten be current on its vaccinations and that it has been blood tested for feline leukemia. Also, we require pre-operative blood screening. This health screen includes BUN (kidney test), ALT (liver test), PCV/PP (to check for dehydration or anemia) and urine analysis with culture.