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When to spay cats after estrus

Sterilization during pregnancy

Doctors can neuter a pregnant cat to prevent unwanted offspring. In this case, an ovariohysterectomy is performed, in which the ovaries and uterus with the fetuses present in it are excised.

spay, cats, estrus

It is better to carry out this operation 1-4 weeks after fertilization, while the uterus is small and has low blood circulation. Excision of reproductive organs with already formed large fruits threatens with bleeding.

Sterilizing a cat after childbirth

Having received offspring from a cat, many owners prefer to neuter the females in order to:

  • eliminate unwanted manifestations of sexual desire;
  • prevent unwanted pregnancy;
  • reduce the risk of developing diseases of the reproductive organs and mammary glands.

Sterilization after childbirth can be done if indicated. These include:

  • pyometra;
  • endometritis;
  • ovarian cysts;
  • benign and malignant tumors of the internal genital organs;
  • violation of the integrity of the reproductive organs during childbirth or injury.

Contraindications to sterilization of adult cats are:

  • diseases of the cardiovascular system;
  • intolerance to anesthesia;
  • pathology of the nervous system.

Therefore, before the operation, the animal must be examined for the presence of chronic diseases by conducting an ultrasound scan, ECG and laboratory blood tests.
It is impossible to sterilize a cat immediately after giving birth during the period of feeding the offspring, since after the operation milk will cease to be produced, and the kittens will need to be transferred to artificial feeding.

Important! After spaying, a cat that has given birth may have a false pregnancy. If you notice changes in the behavior and physiology of the female, you should immediately consult a doctor.

Sterilization during heat

Owners who have a cat for the first time do not think about spaying it until the first estrus. But, seeing the suffering of their pet, they rush to the pharmacy for pills that suppress the synthesis of sex hormones, and feed them to the female, without consulting a veterinarian. This often leads to the development of pathological processes in the uterus and ovaries, as well as the formation of benign and malignant neoplasms in the mammary glands.

At the other extreme is the desire of owners to neuter the cat during or immediately after estrus. It is strictly forbidden to do this, since there is a high likelihood of bleeding, leading to death.

Very important! If the veterinarian agrees to sterilize the cat during the sexual hunt, then you must immediately leave such a clinic. Only a specialist with a low level of qualification may not be aware of the degree of risk to which he exposes the animal.

Sterilization after the first heat

The unpredictability of the timing of the first estrus sometimes leads to the fact that the owners do not have time to sterilize the female before the onset of sexual heat. In this case, you should protect the cat from contact with males as much as possible, wait 7-10 days after the end of estrus and send the animal to the clinic for surgery.

You should be aware that in such females, the signs of sexual heat can normally appear within 2-3 weeks after the removal of the reproductive organs. During this period, it is important to refrain from using medications that suppress the production of hormones, and just patiently wait.

But if these symptoms are not eliminated for a longer time, are accompanied by refusal to feed and lethargy, then this may indicate that one of the ovaries is not completely removed, and continues to perform its function. In this case, an urgent appeal to the veterinarian is necessary.

Age of formation of reproductive organs

In most cat breeds, the reproductive system reaches full development at 5 months. In theory, this makes sterilization possible before the female begins her first estrus. But the solid experience of veterinarians testifies to the emergence of dangerous complications in kittens after using anesthesia at an early age.

It was also noticed that in females who underwent surgery up to 7 months, the general hormonal background is disrupted. This leads to disproportionate development of various parts of the body and stunting.

There is a widespread misconception among owners that in order to maintain a normal hormonal balance, the first heat must be missed, and during the second, the cat must be made and given the opportunity to give birth, after which it can be sterilized.

This statement has no scientific basis. On the contrary, during estrus and reproduction of offspring, the female develops sexual behavior and maternal instinct, which can persist even after removal of the reproductive organs.
This is explained by the fact that the function of producing sex hormones is taken over by such endocrine glands as the adrenal glands and the pituitary gland.

If the operation was performed at the age of 7-10 months, then this does not happen. Therefore, most experts claim that this particular period is optimal for sterilization.

When is the best time to spay a cat: age and optimal period

According to statistics, spaying a cat is one of the most common operations in veterinary practice. This suggests that the time of “fake humanism”, when the owners preferred to kill newborn kittens or throw out their grown offspring on the street, just “not to torment their darling with an operation,” is gradually disappearing into tradition. But until now, many owners who take care of their pet have questions about neutering. And one of them concerns the timing of its holding.

Sterilization of pregnant females according to indications

Sterilization can be carried out in the event of a pathological pregnancy, when:

  • freezing and decomposition of fruits;
  • uterine bleeding;
  • infection of the internal genital organs and the development of purulent inflammation;
  • the formation of malignant tumors;
  • rupture of the uterine horns.

This sterilization is considered forced, since its main purpose is to save the life of the female, and not to deprive her of the ability to reproduce offspring.

Sterilization of the female after a year

If the cat does not mate with the male during the sexual hunt, then the next estrus may begin in 3-4 weeks.

Statistics show that the risk of breast cancer increases with every estrus.

  • Cats spayed before the onset of heatwave have a cancer rate of only 0.5%.
  • After the birth of the first litter, it increases to 8%.
  • After the second birth. up to 25%.

When to spay a cat after estrus

In the process of sterilization in cats, reproductive organs are removed.

As a result of surgery, the animal cannot reproduce offspring.

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The optimal age for the operation is from 6 to 9 months.

Surgery is also done after estrus, but the risk of complications increases.

Sterilization reduces the risk of developing malignant diseases of the genital organs, increases the cat’s lifespan and reduces the risk of purulent inflammatory processes in the uterus. The timing of the sterilization should be determined by the veterinarian.

Sterilization of a cat immediately after the first estrus, without allowing pregnancy, allows the body of a young cat to undergo surgery much easier.

Surgical intervention to remove the reproductive function of cats at a young age avoids serious hormonal imbalances.

For adult cats, the hormonal imbalance associated with sterilization is almost inevitable.

Sterilization itself, performed by a qualified specialist, is quite common and not difficult to perform.

The appearance of various complications after the removal of reproductive organs is extremely rare. The main disadvantage is that the operation is performed under general anesthesia.

But with a correctly calculated dosage of special drugs for anesthesia, there will be no harm to health.

In order for the operation to be as successful as possible, it is important to properly prepare the animal before the operation.

Preoperative preparation includes mandatory vaccination and treatment against ecto and endoparasites (fleas, lice, ticks and helminths).

It is also recommended to conduct a diagnostic examination in a veterinary hospital, for the timely detection of possible latent diseases of internal organs. 12 hours before the planned operation, you cannot feed the animal, but it is necessary to give water.

How long after estrus can you spay a cat?

There is no definite framework for the timing of sterilization in veterinary medicine.

For medical reasons, sterilization can be performed at any age, starting from 4 months.

But too early or late neutering of pets is associated with certain health risks.

Doctors recommend sterilization before the onset of the first estrus, but when the animal is already fully formed in the physical plane.

Sterilization during estrus is highly undesirable, as it is associated with a high risk of large blood loss. In addition, the animal will take longer to recover from general anesthesia, and the sutures will take longer to heal.

The optimal time to spay a cat after estrus should be suggested by the veterinarian after examining the cat. This is due to the individual characteristics of each individual animal, as well as the hormonal background, breed characteristics and conditions of detention. On average, after estrus, you need to wait at least 14 days, and only then carry out surgery.

Veterinary experts say that during estrus, the animal undergoes serious hormonal changes and sterilization should be carried out only after the hormonal background returns to normal.

The reproductive organs during estrus are highly bloody and even the slightest interference can provoke serious complications (for example, internal bleeding).

Before sterilizing cats after estrus, it is not recommended to allow the animal to become pregnant. This is due to the fact that during the onset of sexual heat, hormones are intensively produced in the pet’s body. estrogens produced by the ovaries.

After the first pregnancy and childbirth, estrogens are produced in other glands of the endocrine system. Therefore, sterilization may not be as successful and as a result, the animal may retain some signs of estrus after the operation.

Changes in the behavior of cats after neutering are unconditional. The operated animal after the rehabilitation period becomes much calmer, not aggressive and makes contact with its fellow tribesmen easier.

It is worth noting that cats, after removing their reproductive organs, become more flexible and easier to train.

An important point is an increase in appetite as a result of a decrease in physical activity and a change in hormonal levels after sterilization.

The owner of the animal must take a very responsible approach to the selection of the correct diet in order to avoid serious complications associated with obesity. Leading dry food companies have developed special foods for sterilized animals.

After sterilization, it is necessary to ensure proper care of the pets, avoiding possible contact with other animals.

Also, veterinarians after surgery, as a rule, prescribe a course of antibiotic therapy to prevent infection of the body. Surgical intervention to remove reproductive organs in a cat, performed at the correct time, can reduce the risk of benign and malignant tumors in the pelvic organs and increase life expectancy.

When a person gets himself a pet. a cat, it is necessary to immediately decide whether he wants to receive offspring from her in the future or not.

If the answer is no, then you should not delay sterilization.

What to do before sterilization?

  • a cat must be vaccinated before surgery (see article vaccination), this will reduce the risk of contracting a viral infection.
  • it is recommended to undergo a cardiological examination (ECHO screening of the heart), since a significant number of felines have congenital cardiac pathologies that do not always give pronounced symptoms, but can cause complications during anesthesia or in the postoperative period. There are also breeds at risk for cardiac diseases, which include, for example, Maine Coon, British, Scottish, Abyssinian, Sphynx. In these breeds, cardiac pathologies are very common, and ECHO-screening of the heart is mandatory for them.

Preparing for surgery

Preparing the cat for neutering involves providing sufficient water the day before surgery. You can not feed the pet 10-12 hours before the procedure.

It is necessary to carry out a thorough examination of the cat by a specialist in advance, and if necessary, be tested. Transport the animal as comfortably as possible so that the cat does not experience severe stress. It is recommended to bring a warm blanket or blanket with you to the clinic, as well as a well-absorbent bedding or special diapers.

Before the operation, the specialist re-examines the animal and, in the absence of contraindications, proceeds to perform the manipulation. Identification of symptoms of intoxication. fever, fever, as well as some diseases is a reason to postpone the procedure.

The benefits of sterilization

Surgical removal of a cat’s uterus has many advantages, for example:

  • protection from unwanted offspring;
  • an increase in the life span of an animal;
  • improving the character of the cat;
  • normalization of hormonal levels.

But most importantly, the kitty will begin to behave more calmly and will not ask for a walk. This is especially important for owners who keep pets in large cities, where pets cannot be left unattended for a long time.

In order for the animal to safely undergo castration, the cat must be properly prepared for medical intervention. This will help avoid serious postoperative complications and psychological stress. If everything went well, the cat needs a good gentle regimen for at least a month. Then she will quickly restore physical strength and finally recover.

Is it possible to neuter a cat after giving birth?

Yes, you can, but not right away. Wait for the woman in labor to come to her senses and feed her children. After 2 months, you can think about the procedure, get tested and consult a doctor.

Forced sterilization is necessary for cancer of the reproductive system, tumors of the mammary glands, false pregnancy and other illnesses that threaten the life of the animal.

We thought about it and decided to sterilize our pet. What do we need to do for this??

You need to: make an appointment in advance for the operation, and come with a hungry animal, 6-8 hours of a hungry diet.

What is a cosmetic seam?

At VTS Vysota, if desired, an intradermal cosmetic suture is applied, which does not require postoperative treatment, the suture material itself dissolves and heals within 4-6 days. That is, when applying a cosmetic suture, the only inconvenience of your pet is the need to wear a postoperative protective blanket for 4-6 days.

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Favorable time for neutering a cat

Doctors recommend performing an operation to remove reproductive organs in domestic cats that have reached 6-8 months of age. It is advisable to perform the procedure before the first heat. Such foresight will have a beneficial effect on the mental health of a pet.

If time is lost, and the cat urgently requires a cat, which creates serious problems for its owners, you should not postpone the procedure. In such cases, veterinarians recommend spaying the cat during estrus, despite the risks of complications. A good doctor will do everything possible to prevent negative consequences for the tailed patient.

Some owners, wishing to “not miss the moment”, turn to veterinarians with a request to conduct a routine neutering of a cat under 6 months old. But, experienced doctors know for sure that under no circumstances should a kitten, who has not yet reached puberty, be operated on! This is fraught with high risks of complications.

Neutering cats at 4-5 months of age can also negatively affect their overall development. According to the observations of specialists, such animals lag significantly behind their peers in all respects. If you want to preserve the physical and psychological health of your pet, sterilize according to the age recommended by experienced doctors.!

Caring for a cat after neutering

Post-operative care is usually straightforward for the pet owner. The main thing. have some free time to watch the pet.

It is advisable for the cat to equip a horizontal soft place in a warm place, preferably without access to direct sunlight (bright light irritates the cornea of ​​the eye when it comes out of anesthesia and the animal is more worried).

After bringing the cat from the veterinary clinic, put it in a pre-prepared place and leave it at rest. It is advisable to restrict the access of children and other animals to the recovering cat during the first days after sterilization so that they do not bother her.

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For 7-10 days, it is also necessary to check the condition of the skin sutures (if any). The seam must remain dry and clean after sterilization. Locking and decay of the seam is not allowed.

Treatment of seams is usually reduced to wiping with antiseptic solutions (chlorhexidine, dioxidine, hydrogen peroxide). Some veterinarians prescribe additional treatment with wound-healing ointments.

Sutures applied during sterilization in our veterinary clinic do not require additional processing at all.



To prevent contamination of the wound, the cat is put on a special bandage (blanket), in which it must be in the entire postoperative period, until the stitches are removed. The discomfort of a blanket in a cat usually disappears within the first day after sterilization, and then she calmly wears this forced “clothes”.


If the wound was sutured with an intradermal suture, it is simply wiped with a 0.05% chlorhexidine solution.

The presence of slight swelling around the wound due to tissue edema during healing is allowed. Usually, the swelling subsides in 2-3 days, no additional therapy is required.

Veterinarians in the postoperative period prescribe postoperative antibiotic therapy. As a rule, 2 injections of a long-acting antibiotic at 48 hour intervals are sufficient. The first injection is carried out immediately in the veterinary clinic at the end of the operation, the second is prescribed two days later. The owner can do a subcutaneous injection himself (we dispense the drug in a syringe) or bring the cat to the veterinary clinic.

Suture removal is prescribed after 7, maximum 10 days after surgery.

Where is the best place for the operation. in the clinic or at home?

Any abdominal surgery is better and safer to do in a veterinary clinic. In the operating room, there are more opportunities for emergency measures if something suddenly goes wrong.

It is even better if the clinic provides a postoperative hospital service. Then your pet will be under the supervision of specialists during the entire crisis period. Of course, emergency measures are not always required.


Usually young and healthy cats tolerate ovariohysterectomy well and, if the minimum care recommendations are followed, they recover well at home. It only takes one more visit to the clinic to remove the stitches.

The advantages of sterilization in the clinic: all the necessary conditions for the operation are provided, the risk of emergency situations is reduced, there is a high probability of overcoming them.

Disadvantages of sterilization in the clinic: the owner’s time spent on the trip and waiting for the end of the operation.

Despite the clear advantages of surgery in a veterinary clinic, sterilization of cats at home is also practiced by most veterinarians and, with proper training and specialist responsibility, it is technically no different from surgery in a clinic.

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The advantage of sterilization at home is the absence of stress for the cat from the trip and the forced stay in a foreign place for her (some cats are panicky afraid to leave the apartment), as well as the absence of the risk of contracting infectious diseases (if the animal is not vaccinated). In addition, a doctor can be invited at a convenient time for the owner, which is also very important for people who are constantly at work.

Disadvantage of surgery at home: it is difficult to ensure high-quality sterility.

What is the purpose of sterilization?

The question of neutering a domestic cat sooner or later arises before every owner. With the onset of puberty, the cat is able to turn a quiet house into a real hell, and bring the owner to white heat with her endless purrs and loud concerts at night. Such active vocalization is not due to the fact that your pet has deteriorated in character, and not her desire to prevent you from rest. Just in this way, she informs her relatives that she is ready for mating, and calls the cat “on a date.” This is the nature of the cat. Her wild ancestors have shaped this type of behavior for centuries, and she simply obeys ancient instincts.

But what to do if there is no cat nearby, and the owner has no desire to happen to his pet and then engage in the attachment of kittens? A mutually beneficial solution is to sterilize the cat. After the operation, the production of female sex hormones (estrogens) stops for about a month, the hormonal background decreases, and the cat again turns into a cute harmless pet animal.
With a high degree of probability, neutering will help and relieve the cat from excessive aggressiveness. With a decrease in the level of hormones in the blood, the character improves, the animal becomes calmer, the aggression towards others and the owner decreases or completely disappears.

Should the cat give birth before spaying??

Not! If you do not plan to breed cats, then it is better to carry out the operation as early as possible, not allowing the cat to mate. over, you should not specially knit it, knowing that then you will sterilize.
Many cat owners are mistaken, believing that the cat must first give birth, “feel like a woman,” “let you know the joy of motherhood,” etc. (quotes from real conversations with cat owners at the reception).
I will try to explain why this should not be done. At the hormonal level, the process of feline “purring” and night screaming is carried out through the production of estrogens, which cause typical manifestations of sexual desire. Initially, these hormones are produced only in the ovaries, and after sterilization, all undesirable phenomena for the owner disappear. If the cat has already kitted, then the female sex hormones begin to produce other endocrine glands, and sexual behavior can persist for a long time, if not forever.
Thus, the owner’s stereotypical thinking can delay the achievement of the main goal of neutering the cat. avoid the manifestation of sexual desire in a pet.

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Methods for neutering cats

Let’s describe the most common surgical methods used all over the world.

The classic method. A skin incision 1 to 3 cm long is made in the center of the abdomen, 2-3 cm below the navel. The abdominal wall is dissected along the white line. The uterus is removed through the incision, a ligature of absorbable suture material (catgut, caproag, PHA, etc.) is applied to the vessels, or a coagulator is applied.
After that, the uterus, together with the ovaries, are removed, and sutures are applied to the peritoneum and skin. The skin suture can be either removable or non-removable. The first one should be removed after at least 7, at most 10 days. There is no need to shoot the second one.


A method of neutering a cat through a lateral incision. It differs from the previous one only in the place of tissue separation. The skin incision is made on the side, the muscles are disconnected in a blunt manner. The method is considered less traumatic than the classic one, but there are several nuances. First, a muscle rupture does not guarantee that there will be no bleeding. Secondly, through such a wound, sterilization is more often carried out, and not castration, since it is not always possible to remove and remove the uterus completely. The method is recommended for the sterilization of stray animals, as it does not require maintenance of the seams. If a special intradermal suture is applied, the cat can be released immediately after surgery.


Ultra-small incision sterilization method using a surgical hook. Some veterinary clinics position this method as “laparoscopic sterilization”, but it has nothing to do with laparoscopy. The skin and peritoneum are dissected in the same way as in the first case, only the incision is made less than a centimeter long. The surgeon plunges a sterile hook into the wound, picks up the ligament and removes the ovary. After ligation is applied, either only the ovary is removed together with a part of the ligament, or the uterus is pulled into the wound and removed completely. As in the previous case, the uterus cannot always be removed completely.


Laparoscopic method of sterilization of cats. Using endoscopic technologies, complete removal of the uterus and ovaries is performed through one or more punctures of the skin and abdominal wall. The operation is technically complex, requires expensive equipment and special skills of the personnel. In Russia, it is far from being used everywhere and is much more expensive than conventional sterilization.


I would also like to note that the best method of performing the operation is the one that the surgeon is fluent in. Any technique mastered by the doctor to the finer points will lead to a successful outcome of the sterilization of the cat. Do not force your doctor to do what you read on the Internet. He may do it your way, but he will do it better and safer in his own way.

Another method of neutering cats should also be mentioned. medication. This method is based on the introduction of a special implant with a medicine under the skin. Slowly released and entering the bloodstream, the active substances cause the effect of reversible castration (sterilization) in cats, lasting up to 3 years. In this case, you do not have to expose the animal to anesthetic risks. The veterinarian, using a special device, will insert a small implant under the skin in just a few seconds. Read more about the medical method of sterilizing cats in our article.

Age of neutering cats

We recommend neutering cats after 7-8 months of age. Earlier sterilization is not desirable because the animal’s body is not yet fully formed and the risk of postoperative complications is high. In addition, there have been cases of lag in growth and development of those cats that were spayed at 4-5 months of age. It is allowed to carry out the operation at the age of 6 months, provided that the cat is large and weighs at least 2.5-3 kilograms.

In a later period (over 8 months), cats, of course, are also sterilized. But it should be remembered that the risks of postoperative and post-anesthetic complications increase in proportion to the age of the animal. Do not delay the operation. every year your cat gets older, the risk of negative consequences increases, and the effectiveness of the operation decreases.

Our long-term practice of neutering animals shows that cats aged from 7 months to 10 years old perfectly and without problems tolerate the operation. Animals over 10 years old require additional examination. We recommend such cats to donate blood for biochemical analysis, diagnose heart function and consult with a cardiologist.

Should a cat be vaccinated before sterilization??

It is highly advisable that the cat is vaccinated at least one month before spaying. In this case, there is no risk of getting a viral infection when visiting a veterinary clinic, because animals are brought there with various diseases, including viral ones. Anesthesia given to a cat during surgery can reduce the body’s immune response, and an unvaccinated animal will get sick.
Many veterinarians suggest keeping your kitten safe by injecting a special hyperimmune serum (globulin) to protect against infections for several weeks. Unfortunately, the introduction of globulins does not provide 100% protection. Therefore, it is advisable to vaccinate your pet in advance, and plan an operation in a month.

Neutering and neutering cats

The term “sterilization” is usually applied to cats (females), and the term “castration”. to cats (males). It is believed that cats are spayed, and cats. castrated. For ease of communication with the client and veterinarians use the same terminology. However, female animals undergo both castration and sterilization. Consider the differences.

The operation to sterilize a cat involves removing only the ovaries, without removing the uterus (oophorectomy). Castration is the same. complete surgical removal of all reproductive organs (ovariohysterectomy).

Which is better. castration or sterilization? Let’s figure it out.
With ovariectomy, only the ovaries are removed, while the uterus lives in the abdominal cavity with its own life, and does not perform any useful function. She will not atrophy or die off, since her blood supply is not impaired. She will never fulfill her destiny and will not be able to bear fruit. But since the organ is quite alive, the risk of developing diseases of the uterus remains in full measure. These can be neoplasms and inflammatory diseases (endometritis, pyometra, etc.). So why save an organ that will act as a time bomb, at the risk of exploding at the most inopportune moment??
That is why at present practically no one performs ovariectomy (classical sterilization); veterinarians prefer castration as the only reliable method. But for ease of communication, they still say “sterilization”.