What is the difference between cat neutering and cat spaying?

Yeah, the terminology can get a little confusing. We use the term spaying for when we're removing the female reproductive organs from a pet, and we use the term neutering for when we're removing the male reproductive organs from a pet. The boys would get neutered, and the girls would get spayed.

Dr. Cara Hill
Advanced Animal Care

How does spaying or neutering impact the health and wellbeing of your cat?

The biggest thing is it'll prevent pregnancy from developing or from your cats fathering future kittens. But another thing that we worry about down the road is we tend to see more reproductive tract-related cancers in pets that have not been spayed or neutered.

How soon should you bring your cat in to see a veterinarian to get them spayed or neutered?

I tend to wait until six months of age to spay or neuter a cat. And the reason being is they tend to handle the anesthesia much better at that age. It's not to say that we can't do it when they're a little bit younger. There's a too young age, but that six-month mark and on tends to be a very happy place for cats.

What are the medical benefits of spaying or neutering your cat?

Again, the biggest one will be preventing pregnancy or fathering kittens and then followed by the prevention of reproductive tract-related cancer down the road—mammary cancer, testicular cancer, or ovarian cancer. And those are the most significant things we worry about with cats.

Will it affect my cat's behavior?

It can sometimes mellow them out a little bit. If there are some aggressive tendencies, it can help with that too. But those are questions to ask of your veterinarian before you have them spayed or neutered.

How should I care for my cat before and after spaying or neutering surgery?

If they're an outdoor-only cat, I would try to keep them in the day before surgery. The biggest thing is we want them to come into the clinic with an empty stomach because sometimes the anesthesia can make them nauseous. We don't want anybody vomiting. For the next couple of days after the surgery, we recommend keeping cats quiet, letting them have their own place to come back to where they're not going to be bombarded by other pets or kids in the house so they can rest and recoup and recover smoothly.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (859) 625-5678, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Cat Spaying and Neutering - FAQs

Dr. Cara Hill
Advanced Animal Care

How are cat spay surgeries performed?

Here at Advanced Animal Care and Advanced Animal Care Berea, we have a pretty comprehensive plan for your cat. The reason is we want to make sure that there's no pain involved and that we keep them as comfortable and keep the stress levels down as much as possible.

All of our cats receive an exam before they go under general anesthesia and have their surgical procedure performed, and a veterinarian performs that exam. They all receive some sedation medications so that we help reduce their stress while they're in the clinic because it's not a normal place for them to be. We make sure we get pain management on board to keep them as comfortable as possible while they're here and after the surgery.

Then, once they've got all of those on board, depending on the procedure that your pet is going to be having, we'll place an IUD catheter to give them fluids to keep them hydrated throughout the procedure. We put a breathing tube in to deliver inhalant anesthesia to keep them asleep during the procedure. And then, the veterinarian will perform the procedure. They use sterile materials, sterile drapes, sterile gloves—the whole kit and caboodle.

The procedure itself doesn't take long. The average cat neuter is over and done with in under 15 minutes. And the average cat spaying can be anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. And then here, I like to put buried sutures in my spays so that you don't have to bring your cat back to stress them out so that we have to take those sutures out later. Those sutures dissolve under the skin in about two to three months. And there's generally a minimal scar there.

How are cat neuter surgeries performed?

Cat neuters are very similar to cat spays. They receive the same doctor exam. They get the same sedation and pain medications so that they were made comfortable. They go under inhalant anesthesia as well. The most significant difference is there's not as much to do with the neuters. And, so what we do is instead of closing their skin incisions, we leave those open to drain. There are no sutures back there, but their skin heals together quite nicely in about four to seven days, and you can hardly see a scar.

Will the spay or neuter be painful for my cat?

If there's no pain medication given to prevent it, it's just like any other kind of surgery, or even if you fall off the bike or cut your finger with a paper cut or anything like that—any trauma to the skin will cause pain. But we're very adamant here in Advanced Animal Care in Advanced Animal Care Berea that we prevent any pain at all. So, we are very aggressive with our pain management protocol for pets.

Are there any complications to a spay or neuter surgery?

There can be a complication anytime we put a pet under anesthesia. And that's why we recommend doing pre-anesthetic blood work just to make sure organs are functioning appropriately, but that's why every dog or cat that goes under anesthesia gets an exam by a doctor here at Advanced Animal Care, Berea. Some complications can't be predicted, and some will be during the surgery, and some could potentially be after the surgery. Sometimes a suture may break, or there can be a bit of swelling. An infection can develop, so we do our best to prevent any of these from happening, but there is always that possibility.

Can my cat get a microchip during their spay or neuter?

Of course. And honestly, that's our favorite time to do it. The microchip needles are a little bit big because, of course, they have to deliver that microchip. And, so we can do it while they're asleep and not having to feel it. We prefer that here, but that doesn't mean that we can't do it while they're awake if you want it done sooner. It's just a personal preference to make it easier on your pet.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (859) 625-5678, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.