There are many benefits to spaying your cat or kitten. Spaying prevents the annoyances of a cat in heat: without spaying your princess will yowl all the time and attract un-neutered males to hang out on your doorstep. Spaying also prevents diseases such as breast cancer and pyometra, a life-threatening uterine infection that happens to many unsprayed female cats. As well, spaying is part of responsible ownership: millions of unwanted cats and kittens end up in shelters every year, and many are euthanized.
When should my cat be spayed?
We recommend that kittens and cats be spayed at five and a half months of age, prior to their first heat. Cats can be spayed in heat, but spaying before the first heat prevents breast cancer later on.
Nursing mothers must wean their offspring and cease lactating for two weeks prior to spaying. PLEASE NOTE: Cats can come into heat and become pregnant even while nursing.
We look forward to caring for you and your feline friend throughout this important procedure. We hope that the following information will help you to understand a little more about our hospital, and our commitment to your cat’s care.
If you have any questions at all, or would like to make an appointment, please call us at 416-469-1121, ext. 6 or drop us a line at [email protected]
Before the Procedure
Initial Consultation & Physical Exam
Prior to any surgery, we need to establish that your cat or kitten is healthy and a good candidate for surgery. If we have not seen your pet in the last three months, or if your cat or kitten is new to Blue Cross Animal Hospital, you will need to have an initial visit with one of our veterinarians. During this visit we will thoroughly examine your pet, as well as consult with you and answer any questions you may have regarding the surgery itself, or caring for your cat before or after the procedure.
The physical exam is required for the same reasons that a medical doctor would be required to see a human patient before a surgical procedure. We need to be sure your cat or kitten is healthy and has no medical conditions that could complicate the anesthetic or the surgery.
If you are already a client of Blue Cross Animal Hospital and we have seen your cat or kitten within the last three months, no additional physical exam is required.
We also strongly recommend that all cats going under anesthetic have a blood panel done to assess liver and kidney function, as these organs need to be functioning properly to process the anesthetic. These blood tests are required if your cat is over seven years of age.
For your cat’s safety as well as for the safety of the staff and other cats and kittens in the hospital, we require that your cat be fully vaccinated prior to the surgery. If your cat has been to another veterinarian in the past we will request that the records from that clinic be faxed or emailed to us prior to your initial exam. By having this record, we can ensure that your cat or kitten’s vaccines are up to date. As well, our veterinarians can review your cat’s full medical history.
Once your cat receives a clean bill of health, we can book the surgery.
Your Cat’s Spay: What to Expect
The Night Before
- Please make sure your cat has no access to food after 9 PM on the evening prior to surgery. She may have water overnight but please pick it up in the morning. NO BREAKFAST is to be fed to your cat the morning of the surgery.
The Morning of the Procedure
- Cats and kittens coming for surgery arrive in the morning between 8 and 9 AM on the day of the scheduled surgery.
- On arrival your cat or kitten will be admitted by one of our technicians, who will check over your pet, and answer any questions you may have. You will be asked to sign permission forms, and your cat will be admitted into the hospital. From this moment on, our goal is to make your pet as comfortable as possible.
- Our Patient Care Team will set your cat up in her own quiet, warm kennel to relax in before surgery and wake up in afterwards. Your cat’s kennel will have cozy blankets and a litter box. These individual spaces are in our separate cat ward away from the dogs.
- In a little while a technician will examine your pet once more and then administer a sedative injection which will calm your pet and make her sleepy. This injection also includes pain control medication.
- When your cat is ready, an intravenous (IV) catheter is placed in her leg. This single injection port is easier for your cat.
- The IV also supplies fluid therapy during surgery. Fluid therapy supports a stable anesthetic, helps your cat flush the anesthetic from her body through her kidneys, and speeds recovery.
- An injection of anesthetic is then administered through the IV line.
During the Procedure
- An inhaled anesthetic is administered to keep your cat asleep during the procedure.
- During surgery your cat or kitten lies on a warm water blanket to maintain her body temperature.
- Throughout the surgery, a trained veterinary technician constantly monitors your cat’s vital signs, including heart rate, breathing, temperature, blood pressure, and oxygenation to ensure she is responding ideally to the anesthesia.
- If you choose, an identity microchip will be implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades while your cat is still anesthetized. It’s a good idea to do this while your pet is under anesthetic, to eliminate the discomfort of the needle.
- If you choose, just prior to your cat waking up, our technician will apply a therapeutic laser treatment to the surgical incision. Our laser has been shown to decrease pain and shorten healing times considerably.
- A second pain control injection is given just prior to recovery to be sure your cat is comfortable.
Recovery & Aftercare
- During your cat’s recovery period she is attended to by her technician and our Patient Care Team.
- Your kitten or cat is kept warm and secure in snuggly blankets and heating devices and cuddled until she is awake.
- After she awakens, your cat is returned to her kennel, still snuggled in warm blankets and is watched until her awareness and sense of balance have returned.
- A technician will call you when the procedure is finished and your cat has recovered.
- Your kitten or cat can go home the same night. Our technicians continue to monitor your cat’s vital signs and comfort throughout the afternoon and evening. When you come to get your pet either a technician or a doctor will review the post operative instructions, which are also printed on your invoice when you leave so you can refer to them at anytime.
- A dose of oral pain control medication will be sent home with you to put on your cat’s food the next day.
- We will also follow up with a phone call a day or two after the procedure to be sure you do not have any further questions and to make sure your cat is recovering well. Of course if you have any concerns or questions prior to our call, please call us at 416-469-1121, or email us at [email protected].