Although the sterilization of both male and female cats is a routine operation in veterinary clinics, it is still an intervention that raises doubts in their owners.
If you want to know what it is, if it has adverse effects or the benefits it can bring to your pussy, keep reading.
You may also be interested in: Pros and cons of neutering and / or spaying
What does it mean to sterilize a cat?
By sterilization we understand the removal of the testicles in males and of the ovaries and uterus, or only ovaries, in females. Therefore, it not only prevents cats from reproducing, but also prevents heat from appearing . And this offers important health benefits for cats.
Sterilization in male cats
The intervention in a male cat is a simple operation. It consists of making an incision in the scrotum through which the testicles are extracted. The cut is so small that it does not require suturing . The entire intervention lasts a few minutes and, as soon as the animal recovers from anesthesia, it is discharged and can return home to a normal life .
The small wound does not require any special care, just observe it the first days to check that it closes without problem.
Sterilization in cats
In cats the operation is somewhat more complicated than in males, since it requires opening the abdominal cavity. A small vertical cut is usually made in the belly through which the ovaries and uterus are removed.
There is another technique in which the incision is made on the side and only the ovaries are removed. This approach was used in stray cats that had to be returned to their colony because the incision was smaller and the location of the wound on the side favored their recovery.
In any case, it is a routine operation for veterinary clinics . Although it takes a little longer than that of males, it is still a simple procedure. Once the cat wakes up from anesthesia, she can go home.
We must control the incision, which can be sutured externally or closed by approximation. If the cat licks herself, it will be necessary to put an Elizabethan collar to avoid it, since her scratchy tongue could open the cut. In about a week the incision will have closed and, if applicable, the stitches will be removed. Analgesia may be prescribed for the first few days.
Benefits of sterilization in kittens
Cats in heat are going to try to escape from home. They present inappropriate marking patterns, that is, they urinate outside the litter box. In addition, they will urinate by spray, small amounts and preferably on vertical surfaces. The smell of this urine is very strong and unpleasant .
Females in heat, meanwhile, will be more affectionate than usual, although some may act aggressively, rubbing against surfaces and people, raising their pelvis and showing their genitalia. In addition, they meow insistently , in a very high and desperate tone, suffer from alterations in appetite and also urinate outside the sandbox.
All these behaviors make coexistence difficult and motivate many caregivers to sterilize, completely eliminating these behaviors . But, in addition, sterilization prevents health problems as serious as the following:
Breast tumors in cats
This type of cancer is hormone dependent, which is related to the hormones involved in the cat’s sexual cycle. Therefore, eliminating this stimulus, the tumor will not be produced, that is why an early sterilization is recommended, before the first heat .
If we do it later, there has already been hormonal treatment and there will be a risk of the tumor appearing, although minimal, and it will increase the more jealousy happens.
It is a uterine infection that produces symptoms such as vaginal discharge, anorexia , listlessness or fever . It can be open neck, in which case we see the purulent secretion coming out, or closed neck, a situation in which pus accumulates in the uterus.
It is life threatening because it could become perforated, causing peritonitis . The risk is that, by not seeing discharge and presenting symptoms that may go unnoticed, veterinary attention will arrive late.
Also known as a psychological pregnancy . After heat, due to the activation of a hormonal mechanism, the cat behaves as if she were pregnant. In some cases, it produces milk, which poses a risk of mastitis. It is rare in cats.
This is inflammation of the testicles due to infection . Cats can also get tumors on their genitals.
Possible problems in sterilization
As we have said, sterilization is a common operation in veterinary clinics where no complications usually occur . In a very small percentage of cases, problems such as the following could arise:
- Healing problems:the wound can become infected or open. Sometimes it happens when the cat accesses the incision and licks herself, hence the importance of watching her or putting the Elizabethan collar on her for as long as we can’t be with her. We will have to disinfect and the vet can prescribe antibiotics. If it opens, it must be re-sutured.
- Ovarian rest: itcould be the case that during the extraction of the ovaries some tissue remains that is capable of triggering the heat mechanism as if the cat was not castrated, with which, even after surgery, the heat and all its associated inconveniences will pass .
Myths about sterilization
Although it is still believed, this operation does not affect the character of the cat. Nor does it imply a reduction in their development, since their sexual cycle is exclusively intended for reproduction, so without the hormones that drive it, they do not miss anything.
Cats, although their independence is appealed to, are domestic animals and we have to take responsibility for them to avoid overpopulation. On the other hand, it is true that neutered cats can get fat. To avoid this, we must control their diet and provide them with adequate activity.