Spaying your female cat won't only avoid her going on heat, but it can also improve her health and wellbeing. Here's why you should sterilize your cat!

Some owners neglect to sterilize their pets, which can be problematic for a number of reasons. In order to protect your cat and ensure their health, it's important to spay female cats.

Why should I sterilize my cat?

Spaying is known medically as an ovariectomy or ovariohysterectomy. Although two slightly different medical procedures, both lead to sterilisation.

There are a number of arguments in favour of sterilisation. Additionally, the procedure can have some advantages for your cat. We explain below.

Preventing your cat from going into heat

Firstly, sterilising your cat will prevent her from going into heat. It should be noted that a cat’s behaviour during this time can be challenging for both you and her to manage. Generally, your cat will demand extra attention, rub herself against everything in order to mark it with her scent and pheromones, and meow loudly.

Typically, your cat will be in heat for a period of between five and 10 days. Additionally, if your cat hasn’t mated, she will likely go into heat every three weeks. The change in hormone levels can be challenging to manage and regular periods of being in heat can be stressful to your animal.

Ensuring your cat’s health

By spaying your cat, you help minimise the risk of her catching sexually transmitted diseases, most notably HIV (often referred to as FIV - Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). Unfortunately, many stray cats carry the disease, and it is present in others too.

During the sterilisation process, it is possible to detect and treat any ovarian problems that might exist. Your cat can also develop complications such as mammary oedemas (swelling due to excess fluid), which tend to be present in young felines and those who are given contraceptives.

Feline sterilisation can also be beneficial to your cat if she has been diagnosed with diabetes. In fact, when your cat is in heat, her hormone levels are significantly elevated and this can put unwanted stress on her health.

How old should my cat be when she is sterilized?

A cat can be sterilized anytime from a few weeks after birth. Typically, it is recommended to do so during puberty or around the six-month mark. Carrying out the procedure at the earliest advisable age will help to prevent potential illnesses from developing. Sterilising your cat at a younger age also means she has a 91% chance of never developing a tumour.

Some people believe that it is better to wait until a cat has had her first litter before sterilising her. However, this is not necessarily true, as it also depends on whether the cat is going to be bred. Ultimately, the earlier your cat is spayed, the greater the chance of helping ensure she lives a long and healthy life.

When did you sterilize your cat?

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    Amanda E My vet recommended Ruby wait until she was 7 months old. Some vets in England do it earlier though.