So this one isn’t a very popular subject… amongst present company, but I do have a few pointers that may help all you loving cat owners, because it is a necessary evil. The average female cat can produce three litters of six kittens every year and, as much as I prefer things to be left in their natural state and semi-abhor tinkering with other living creatures, if you don’t do this, you are simply unleashing multitudes of feral kittens into the world. Let’s be honest, you may love your cat to bits and refer to yourself as a crazy cat man or woman, but 18 cats and rising… is well beyond crazy. The way Teabag “alley-cats” around the neighbourhood the human race would have some serious competition for our current position at the top of the food chain if he wasn’t fixed. So really it’s for the greater good.
There are some other advantages too, in female cats spaying reduces the risk of breast cancer and a womb infection called Pyometra, and spaying also stops them coming into heat constantly which can be very tiring and stressful for the poor ladies, both physically and because of the crowd of ruffian tomcats, like Teabag, who will inevitably turn up and make a nuisance out of themselves. In male cats, neutering reduces the risk of FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) which is similar HIV in humans and it also reduces their urge to roam and fight, meaning they’re less likely to get injured fighting another male cat and less likely to be out all hours and so are less likely to be shot at by an idiot kid with a bb gun or hit by a car. Oh and one more thing… un-neutered male cats mark their territory in the usual way, so your upholstery and carpets will thank you as will your friends and family.
So having decided to do the right thing, there are some simple rules you need to follow;
Firstly do not attempt to do it yourself. You are not qualified! Teabag and I found this out the hard way, we also found out that I’m not a responsible cat owner, and that Teabag is 5% for bravado and 95% for running away when it comes to the crunch. Incidentally, nutcrackers… are also not suitable surgical equipment for the job.
Secondly if you intend on rubbing it in your cats face later, remember to get his claws clipped first. Otherwise you’re in a world of pain, which in all fairness you have richly deserved.
In female cats, the medical procedure that happens is called an ovario-hysterectomy. Your vet will anaesthetize your cat, make a small half-inch long incision and remove her ovaries and uterus. Then the wound will be closed with sutures. Your cat should be fine to come home with you the same day and other than being a bit groggy from the anaesthetic, there shouldn’t be any worries. All you need to do is keep your cat in for a few days to make sure the wound does not get infected and provide fresh clean litter for the same reason. After a few hours make sure your cat has some food and water available and all should be well, but keep and eye out for any unusual swelling, pinkness or distress and call your vet if you think something just ain’t right.
In male cats, we’re talking castration. Your vet will anaesthetize your cat, make a tiny incision in the scrotum and removes the testicles (or testes) one at a time. The incision is so small that it doesn’t really require sutures and that’s it, you can usually have your cat back the same day. As with female cats you’ll need to keep your little Ex-Casanova inside, but as he’s a male the recommendation is to keep him inside for two weeks to keep him from fighting and allow the wound to heal properly. Licking is also not allowed, so your vet should provide a hilarious collar to stop your cat from damaging himself, and as above you need to provide fresh clean litter and food and water. You will need to look out for a few things with this opp too; any loss of appetite, redness or swelling should have you on the phone to your vet.
The average cost for the operation for a female cats is £30-60 and the average cost for a male cat is £20-40. Though there are usually national neutering and spaying programmes going on which can significantly reduce this cost and in some cases (if you have a low-income for example) you may actually be able to get it done for free. Check in with Cats Protection or the RSPCA to see what’s available.