Spay Your Cat For Her Health

Posted on: 17 June 2015

There is a serious problem of overpopulation of cats in the United States. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), over a million unwanted cats are euthanized each year. This statistic alone is a convincing reason to spay your female cat. What you may not know about are the health-related benefits of spaying of female cats.

Reduce or Eliminate Risk of Certain Cancers

It stands to reason that removing your cat's reproductive organs will eliminate the chances of her developing cancer or other diseases that attack those body parts. Early spaying helps prevent certain cancers from occurring, hence from spreading to other areas of the body. A spayed cat can avoid mammary gland tumors, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer.

Malignant mammary gland tumors in a cat tend to metastasize quickly. The mortality rate for cats with this type of cancer is high. Spaying your female can substantially lower her chance of developing this life-threatening cancer.

When to Spay Your Cat

It used to be said that a female cat should have at least one heat cycle before she is spayed. In most cases, this has been found to be untrue.

A young cat that becomes pregnant can be at risk. She may not be physically mature enough to handle pregnancy, labor, birth, and caring for her kittens. This puts her health in danger.

The best time to spay your cat is usually before her first heat. In fact, spaying a cat prior to her being six months of age almost eliminates her chances of developing breast cancer.

In general, the cat should be at least eight weeks old and over two pounds. Other factors such as overall health and breed may factor in. It is always best to let your veterinarian make the determination.

Anxiety in the Cat that Isn't Spayed

If your female cat isn't spayed, she will come into heat every fourteen to twenty-one days. A heat cycle lasts anywhere from three to sixteen days. During this time, your cat will be focused on finding a mate, and that may lead to her becoming anxious.

Anxiety in cats may lead to the following health issues:

  • Intestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Urinary tract infections or blockages
  • Excessive scratching or licking that may lead to lesions

Risk of Injury Due to an Accident

If your cat isn't spayed and she is an indoor cat, it may be difficult keeping her indoors when she's in heat. Should she get out, the risk of her being hit by traffic or otherwise getting hurt increases.

As you can see, there are many health benefits to spaying your female cat. Couple them with the problems of the cat populations, and spaying becomes crucial. For more information, contact a professional like the Chicago Cat Clinic