If you've recently adopted a kitten or are thinking about bringing one into your life, you're probably planning on having it desexed in the future. For female cats, that involves spaying. This is the common term used to describe the removal of the uterus and ovaries. This sterilizes your cat, ensuring she cannot go into heat and become pregnant.
Many owners are surprised at just how soon a cat can start having heat. While you can wait until after that first heat to have your cat spayed, it's actually beneficial to have the operation performed before the first cycle. Here are just three reasons why.
1. Removes Risk of Pregnancy
One of the obvious advantages of having your cat spayed is to ensure they cannot become pregnant. While more kittens might sound like a nice idea, pregnancy has health risks for your cat, and you may not be able to find homes for all those new cats. To ensure the cat population is kept under control and prevent more cats from ending up without homes, it's best to have your cat spayed before they have a chance to become pregnant. Remember, this can happen much sooner than many owners expect, so it makes sense to act early.
2. Avoids Behavioural Issues
Cats that have been spayed are much easier to manage. They will be less likely to roam, which can be especially dangerous for a younger cat, and they won't spray urine to mark their territory or yowl in an attempt to attract a male. This period can be distressing for your cat if they aren't able to mate, and it can also be rough on new owners. These behavioural issues are best avoided entirely, and you can help make that happen by having your cat spayed before her first heat.
3. Reduces the Risk of Health Issues
While all owners understand that spaying is important to prevent unwanted litters, it can also help your cat live a longer life. Spaying prevents issues with the uterus and ovaries, and it also significantly decreases the risk of health issues such as mammary cancer and other infections. Your cat will enjoy those health benefits even if you wait until she has gone through a few heats before having her spayed. However, de-sexing a cat before that first cycle is even better at preventing such health issues. Additionally, spaying is easier, faster, and involves less tissue trauma when performed on a younger and less developed cat.
For more information about pet desexing, contact a local vet.