Raising cats: De-sexing Science + Post-operative Recovery Advice


About raising cats, whether reading guide articles, or seekig to advice from friends based on their experience, all the information is based on the situation of other people’s cats. But each cat has a different situation. We all wanna do good things to cats, so choose the right one for your cat.
The matter of de-sexing is quite controversial. I hope you can read the article and choose the best option with your own cat.


About Sterilization Surgery

When it comes to the de-sexing of cats, the English term is Spay/Neuter, Spay for female cats and neuter for male cats.

There are usually two types of spaying for female cats: total ovarian oophorectomy and ovariectomy with preservation of the uterus.

There are two types of neutering for male cats: abdominal testicular removal for cryptorchid cats and orchiectomy for normal male cats.

There are also some sterilization procedures that are not recommended for its health risks, such as: hysterectomy (preserving the ovaries), and vasectomy. These two procedures are almost never performed by North American doctors. However, a small number of doctors in China still use them.


Benefits of Sterilization Surgery

So the question is, why should cats be de-sexed? What are the benefits of de-sexing?

1. Cats that are not de-sexed have serious territorial awareness due to hormonal problems, and are prone to urinating and aggressive behavior. Once they get used to do so, it is difficult to correct. Even after de-sexing, some adult cats still have the habit of urinating until six months to a year after de-sexing, when the hormones come down.

2. Cats in heat are prone to leaving home, anxious and cranky, and wailing to get out. Cats are prone to conflict with other cats of the same sex and have an increased chance of developing leukemia and feline AIDS.

3. When in heat, cats will reduce their appetite and lose weight, especially the female cats. The hair is greasy and male cats are prone to have greasy tails (in severe cases the skin will ulcerate).

4. Prevent cats from becoming pregnant. Caring for kittens is not an easy task. In addition, female cats also have life-threatening health risks such as miscarriage, stillbirth and difficult delivery during pregnancy and delivery.

5. Effectively reduce reproductive system diseases such as mammary cancer and uterine pus accumulation in female cats. Testicular cancer and prostate cancer in male cats (the reproductive system diseases of male cats will be discussed later).

6. Male cats with cryptorchidism in the abdomen need to be removed surgically in time, otherwise it will affect their life safety.

Disadvantages of Sterilization Surgery

1. De-sexing surgery is considered to be a stressful stimulus for cats. And de-sexing is a surgery that requires general anesthesia, and as long as it is anesthesia surgery there are risks. Although the chance is very low, but there is no guarantee that the de-sexing surgery is 100% safe.

2. There are still risks associated with post-operative recovery from sterilization surgery. There is a risk of suture rejection and any wound, male or female, is at risk of infection.

3. Premature sterilization affects bone development.

4. Premature de-sexing increases the risk of urinary tract problems in male cats as the development of the genitalia is not completely mature. (You can note that the genitals of male cats de-sexed at 2-3 months are almost invisible. However, in male cats de-sexed at 6-8 months, the genitalia are obvious even after de-sexing.)

Misunderstandings Of Sterilization Surgery

1. Cats live longer after de-sexing. There is no scientific basis to confirm this claim.

2. More clingy after de-sexing/not loved after de-sexing. It varies from cat to cat and cannot be generalized.

2. There is no difference in having sterilization surgery between having baby cats and no baby cats. Once a female cat is in heat, the chances of mammary cancer skyrocket. (Data show that the risk of breast cancer is reduced by 91% in female cats neutered before 6 months of age. The risk is reduced by 86% for cats spayed before one year of age)

4. Cats are soulless after de-sexing. Female cats are not pleasurable when mating. Male and female cats will have sexual needs for each other, but this seems to take away the essence of love.


Suggestions About Spaying The Female Cats

1. Female cats are strongly recommended to be spayed for health reasons.

2. Personally, we recommend 4-6 months for spaying, before the first heat. If there are no other cats or animals in the house, it can be 5-6 months. (Very few cats come into heat at four months, but most are still around 6-8 months. (Some breeds of cats come into heat for the first time at around 10-14 months.)

3. De-sexing during estrus is not recommended due to the increased risk of haemorrhage. However, some cats have long heat cycles but short intervals, so it is difficult to grasp the time and recommended to do spaying work before the first heat.

4. I personally recommend traditional external suturing.Many cats around us will have infection or wound splitting during the internal suture when doing minimally invasive surgery.


Suggestions About neutering The Male Cats

1. neutering before the emergence of indiscriminate urination behavior can effectively forbid the behavior of indiscriminate urination and marking of cats.

2. Personally, we recommend neutering after 5-6 months. If there is no rutting behavior such as urinating, marking, howling, exploring and demolishing the house, and there is no un-neutered female cat in the house, the de-sexing time can be delayed.

3. The chance of testicular cancer and prostate cancer in male cats is very, very low (but the chance is higher in dogs), so the de-sexing is not as strict as in female cats.

4. If there are many cats in the environment, early de-sexing is recommended to facilitate socialization.

5. If both balls have not fallen out before 6 months, please take your cat to the hospital for an abdominal ultrasound to determine the location of the cryptorchid and have surgery in time.

Ancillary tests for sterilization surgery

During the spay/neuter procedure, the doctor will often give a list of items and ask the owners to choose which ones to do. There are usually the following items:

Blood tests: Basic biochemical tests to check the health of the cat’s kidneys, liver and other organs. If the standard is not met there is an increased risk of anesthesia. It is recommended that a basic blood test be done prior to surgery. Usually the price ranges from $50-$150.

Vaccinations: If the cat is just about due for vaccination at the time of surgery, some veterinarians will recommend a catch-up vaccination at the time of de-sexing. Vaccination has the potential to trigger a vaccine reaction, which is detrimental to de-sexing recovery. So it varies from cat to cat and depends mainly on the cat’s condition. Price: $15-$35.

Microchipping: Microchipping a cat can register information, so if the cat is lost and someone picks it up and sends it back to the hospital, emergency room, shelter, etc., they can scan the chip to learn the owner’s information and thus find the lost cat. We usually call it microchipping because the microchip is in a capsule and is injected under the cat’s skin through a thick syringe, so the process can be painful and it is usually recommended to inject the microchip while the cat is under anesthesia during the de-sexing. Price: $35-$65


Post-operative recovery

1. Clean and disinfect the home to ensure a comfortable and clean environment for the cat.

2. Be careful not to place too high, too steep cat trees or jumping platforms in the place where the cat is staying to prevent falling or tearing the wound.

3. Please make sure to bring an Elizabethan ring. A soft ring is recommended. After wearing the de-sexing suit for female cats, pay attention to ventilation and change clothes in time to prevent infection. Male cats are recommended to bring 5-7 days and female cats are recommended to bring 7-10 days.

4. Personally, it is recommended that the diet is the same as usual, without much additional nutrition (easy diarrhea, diarrhea can easily lead to wound infection, which is not conducive to recovery), A/D, I/D these prescription food is actually not necessary, but easy to eat bad intestines.

5. Probiotics can be added to the food to help stabilize the gut and restore appetite.

6. Pay attention to monitoring the body temperature and observe the wound condition every day.

7. It is not recommended to put the cat in a cage to recover, as it will easily lead into to a stressful state. But you can buy a fence for isolation.

Some Tips

1. After the male cat is neutered, he still has the ability to breed, and it is recommended that he be placed with a unspayted female cat after six months.

2. Once you find that the unspayed female cat keeps licking her bottom, her abdomen is slightly swollen and there is some white/yellow discharge underneath, make sure to take her to the hospital. It is likely to have pus in the uterus.

3. Three oestrus can lead to uterine pus accumulation, and thirty oestrus can also lead to uterine pus accumulation. Reproductive system problems of female cats should not be ignored, do not ignore it.

4. After de-sexing, attention should be paid to dietary calorie control.

5. Some female cats need to go to the hospital to remove stitches for de-sexing surgery, remember to listen to the doctor’s advice, usually about 10-14 days to remove the stitches.

6. Breed cats should be de-sexed for the preservation and continuation of the breed bloodline. Not blindly mating can eliminate genetic diseases and other problems.

7. It is not recommended to bathe immediately after de-sexing, but at least 3 months later.

Related Post

Follow my blog with Bloglovin