You well know the importance of spaying or neutering your new cat. Spaying or neutering cats makes them more likely to stay at home, prevents unwanted behaviors related to sexual maturity, and even reduces the risk of certain diseases developing. Naturally, spaying a cat also prevents pregnancy. Find out how to care for your cat both before and after the spaying or neutering procedure.
Choose the Right Time
If you adopt an adult cat who hasn't been spayed or neutered, the operation should be performed as soon as possible. Adult male cats tend to be more aggressive, and they spray their territory—including your home. Adult female cats exhibit behaviors related to going into heat, thus attracting un-neutered males.
Female cats can experience their first heat cycle as early as at four months old. It's better to spay or neuter kittens before they reach sexual maturity, so around four months old for either gender.
Prepare your Cat
Cats aren't like dogs in that they don't like to go for rides. Therefore, you'll want to create a soothing environment the morning of your appointment. Get the pet carrier out a day or two before so she can explore it and become accustomed to its smells. Keep your morning routine as normal as possible the day of the appointment. Talk to her soothingly the whole time, including while you're in the car and entering the vet clinic. Having a calm cat will help minimize the stress associated with surgery.
Watch your Cat's Behavior
Your vet will talk to you about specific post-operative instructions. However, the first 24 hours are important. Watch your cat because she'll probably still be uncoordinated and drowsy from the anesthesia. Make sure she doesn't jump onto high surfaces. Not only might she fall because of dizziness, but jumping can also aggravate her surgical site.
Likewise, offer your cat water immediately after returning home. Don't give her any food right away as she may simply vomit it back up. Watch her water intake, though—a disinterest in water during the first 24 hours could be a sign of post-operative complications. If she doesn't drink any water within the first 12 to 24 hours, call you vet right away.
Keep your Cat Confined
It'll be much easier to keep an eye on your cat if you keep her confined. Set up a cat "sick room" in an enclosed area, such as a spare bathroom. Have her food (when it's time), water and litter box close at hand. In fact, switch to one of the low-dust litters, or even shredded newspaper, while her wound is healing. Set her up with clean, comfortable bedding. Visit her often to ensure she's recovering well from surgery. These precautions are especially important if you have other animals in the house.
Spayed or neutered cats lead happier and healthier lives. For more information about spaying or neutering your cat, visit a local veterinary clinic like Haverford Animal Hospital.