What Do I Need To Know About Spaying My Cat?

Here's why it's so important.

spaying a cat

Getting your cat spayed is one of the most important things you can do for her, but it’s normal to have a lot of questions about the procedure.

Here’s an overview of what a cat spay is, what the recovery process looks like and why you should book an appointment to get it done.

What is a cat spay?

“Spaying is a surgical procedure to prevent unwanted pregnancies in female cats,” Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, a veterinarian at Animal Medical Center in New York City, told The Dodo.

Spaying also comes with a ton of health benefits, and will stop your cat from having heat cycles (aka periods).

What are the benefits of getting my cat spayed?

Spaying isn’t just done to prevent kittens — it’s a necessary procedure that can literally add years to your cat’s life. Some of the biggest health benefits include:

- Spaying virtually eliminates the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer
- Spaying decreases the risk of breast cancer in cats — especially if she’s spayed before 6 months of age.
- Spaying also has behavior benefits. Unspayed females are less likely to yowl or try to escape — which can be dangerous, especially if she gets far away from home!

What’s the recovery like after my cat gets spayed?

The procedure is quite safe, especially if your cat is in good health. While most cats recover quickly after their spay, younger cats tend to recover even faster, so it’s best to get your cat spayed while she’s still young (talk to your vet about the best timing for your individual cat).

The most important thing is to keep her rested and away from her incision for about a week to 10 days, and if she was in heat during her surgery, to keep her strictly indoors for at least one week after.

For more hyperactive cats, it can be hard to keep their energy levels down, so Dr. Hohenhaus suggests restricting her to a smaller room and limiting playtime — she might not be happy with you, but it will be worth it in the long term!