Cat Desexing (neutering)
Desexing your cat is a routine procedure performed to keep your feline friend as healthy as possible and keep them from developing some very nasty diseases.
In general, there are three options when deciding when to desex your cat:
- Early or pediatric desexing/spay is performed between six and eight weeks of age.
- Standard desexing/spay is performed at five to six months.
- After the first heat, between eight and twelve months.
I recommend the desexing of cats from around 5-6 months of age to keep your cat healthy. The procedure is very different for male cats (castration) and female cats (spey).
Castrations are one of the quickest procedures that your veterinary surgeon will perform. Quite simply, it’s the removal of testicles, that removes the reproductive capability of male cats. The procedure is performed under a general anesthetic so your cat won’t remember or feel a thing. No sutures or staples are required for this surgery and the surgical wounds are minute!
Quite simply, a spey is the removal of the female reproductive organs of your cat. Speys are important for your female cat. It can help to prevent many deadly conditions such as an infection of the uterus and breast cancer. Speys are a little more complicated, but not to worry, your companion will be in safe hands. The newer methods involve only a very small incision, where no sutures are left within the abdomen.
There are two ways to desex you female cats, both under general anaesthetic:
This is the traditional method of desexing and has been done for many years. In this method, the approach is made on the middle of the tummy. The ovaries and the uterus are removed and suture material is left inside the abdomen to stop the bleeding. As the surgeon has greater access to the abdomen, this approach may be associated with fewer complications. A Midline spey is preferable for cats in season, and those that have a uterus that is prone to bleeding.
The flank spay is a different approach entirely. A minute incision is made on the left hand side of abdomen and the ovaries and uterus are removed with the aid of a special tool called the caiman. This advanced surgical tool uses energy to seal the blood vessels and stem the flow of blood. There is no need to leave any suture material in the abdomen. Removing the risk of suture reaction. Flank speys are often preferred, as they ensure better and faster wound healing, which reduces the risk of complications during healing.
It is incredibly important to desex you cat. Especially if they will be outdoor cats.
Entire outdoor cats are at very high risk of developing unwanted pregnancies and are very at risk of developing FIV and FELV (both viruses that pose a huge risk to their health).
Dr Matt Wilkinson studied his veterinary degree at the Royal Vet College in London. He graduated in 2014 and has worked with small animals in the UK for the past two years. He decided to move over to Australia for new challenges. Matt likes being a vet because he loves animals and loves the variety of each day. He enjoys learning about the ever-changing veterinary environment and being able to put his skills into practice. Matt is also responsible for felines at the Lion’s Den cat hotel