Neutering or sterilization is a process of removing the reproductive organ of an animal. The term neuter is applied to both animal genders. The term castration is applied for males and the term spaying is used for females. In males, castration is a procedure that involves the removal of testes and spaying (also called ovariohysterectomy ) is an abdominal surgery performed for removing the ovary and uterus of females. Many animal shelters and rescue teams recommend pet owners to neuter their pets, so as to prevent the birth of unwanted litters, which ultimately results in many cats being homeless and later being euthanized.
Method of Neutering
i) Traditional spaying
The traditional open surgery is performed commonly on household cats for birth control. In this open approach surgery, an incision is made through the ventral midline below the umbilicus. Resorbable suture material is used to tie the ovarian arteries. The uterine body is ligated which is just in front of the cervix. Then the uterus and ovaries are removed. Surgeons also use another method where the uterus and one of the ovary are removed. This approach is called “ovary-sparing spay” and is less commonly performed.
ii) Laparoscopic surgery
Laparoscopic surgery is another method of spaying your cat and is also called laparoscopic “keyhole” surgery, as it is performed using a camera and a small incision is made to place the instruments in the body wall. An instrument is used to cauterize and cut tissues. This approach is expensive as the costs for laparoscopic surgery equipment are pricey. Despite laparoscopic surgery is expensive, it has its own benefits over open surgery. Patients who undergo laparoscopic surgery feel lesser pain and recover fast. Since small incisions are made in this approach the wounds heal quickly. Open surgery on the other is more painful as the incisions made are large which results in slow healing of the wound.
For males, castration is a surgical yet very simple procedure that involves the removal of testicles.
It is a common practice performed on male cats to prevent spraying and for birth control.
Benefits of neutering a cat
Besides, preventing the over-population of felines there are other benefits of neutering a cat. There is a very big misconception that neutered cats tend to become lazy and obese. This is due to lack of exercise and improper diet. Unneutered male cats tend to break into fights when seeking mates and become aggressive when an intruder trespasses into their territory. This is because they are driven with hormones and this can be prevented by neutering. The cats become calmer, more gentle and affectionate after neutering. Furthermore, neutering not only prevents your cat from aggressive marking territory by spraying strong odor urine. It also helps prevent diseases that are transmitted through copulation. Neutering also prevents the risk of mammary cancer and testicular cancer in male and female cats, which is fatal in about 90% of cats.
Side effects of neutering
Though it is very rare, neutering your cat at an early age may cause stunted growth. Though the risk of cystitis or urinary infections may increase in neutered male cats, the risk is very much lower than dogs. By giving a wet diet and an increase in the water intake for your male cats can reduce the above-mentioned risks. These are the benefits of neutering a cat supersede the cat neutering side effects. Thus, as a responsible pet parent one should neuter their cats. Many rescue teams and animal shelters have adapted to the TNR(Trap-Neuter-Release or Rescue) program.
When not to neuter your cat?
If you want your cat to reproduce for breeding purpose, then it is best to not neuter them as the surgery is irreversible. This is one of the reasons not to neuter your cat.
How to spay a cat at home?
Spaying your cat at home is a big NO-NO. Only a professional is allowed to spay your cat, as it is an invasive surgery. If one does spay their cat at home and it survives, then it may later lead to high-risk infections that may be fatal to your cat. Giving your cat birth control pills and injections can also lead to various diseases like diabetes, liver disease, mammary gland cancer, and uterus cancer. So, it isalways best to take your cat to a vet and get it neutered.
Care for your cat after spaying
We all know that neutering not only helps prevent overpopulation but also makes your feline friend healthier and more composed animals. But did you know what care must be given to your cat post surgery? Below are the ways you should know for cat spaying aftercare. After coming from the vet, your cat will probably be feeling nauseous for 18-24 hours. So it is important that you keep your cat in a dark, warm and quiet room. Make sure to keep other animals and kids away from a newly neutered cat. As your cat needs to recover, a frequent interruption can make them snappy.
It is recommended for the pet owner to keep the lights dimmed or turned off in your cat’s room, as the effect of anesthesia makes your cat sensitive to light. Your cat needs a comfortable place to sleep. So, place a box with a soft blanket or towel inside if your cat doesn’t have his/her own bed.
In order, for your cat to heal quickly, don’t allow your cat to strain themselves with frequent
movement. It is advisable to place the food and water and to keep the litter box near your feline
friend so that, it is easy for them to access the necessities. Substitute shredded paper or newspaper with the regular litter. The dust particles may enter into the incision and may cause an infection. To keep the wound clean and infection free, make your cat stay indoors for at least two weeks after surgery. Use an Elizabethan collar or E-collar if you see your cat licking on the surgical site. Also, avoid lifting your cat constantly, unless it is necessary.
It is common for your cat to throw up food on the first day after returning from the vet. Consult your
vet immediately if the vomiting continues. Frequently keep checking the incision area. If you see any redness, swelling, bruising, purulent discharge or separation of wound edges from the surgical site take your cat to the vet immediately.