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We yowl praises and give purrs, kisses and head butts to Dr T. J. Dunn, Jr. for the information on this page and give thanks to www.PetFoodDirect.com & www.ThePetCenter.com  for allowing us to share it with you!

Please visit their websites for other educational information.

Cat Spay and Neuter

Cat spay surgery and cat neuters, as well as dog spay and neuters, are performed daily by veterinarians all across North America, and yet there still is a growing population of homeless and unwanted dogs and cats.  If you do not plan to breed your pet, consult with your veterinarian about the pros and cons of surgical sterilization.  Here you will see a cat spay which is very similar to a dog spay, and a cat neuter.  These procedures are performed under general anesthesia.

Spaying and neutering does not "make a pet fat and lazy".  In a healthy dog or cat, free of hypothyroidism, endocrine dysfunction, or other medical disorders, overfeeding and insufficient exercise are the sole causes of a pet being overweight.  Don't blame the spay or neuter surgery if your pet is overweight.

SPAY... the medical term is ovariohysterectomy.  In this major abdominal surgery the pet's ovaries and uterus are removed.  There is no evidence that a pet suffers from any personality or emotional harm by having their ovaries removed.  The uterus is also removed to insure that it does not become a source of infection over a period of time.  See PyometraIf the surgeon simply tied or obstructed the Fallopian tubes (the channel where the eggs must pass into the uterus) in order to make the female dog or cat sterile, she would still come into heat, attract males, and attempt to breed.  Experience has shown that the best procedure is to perform a complete ovariohysterectomy. NEUTER... another term is castration.  In this surgery the doctor makes an incision in front of the scrotum and through that incision accesses each testicle.  The fibrous coverings of the testicles are incised and each testicle is removed after securely ligating the blood vessels that attach to each testicle.  The benefits of having a dog and cat neutered are well documented. And to simply do a vasectomy to render the male sterile would not alleviate the scent marking, desire to breed, territorial defense and other testosterone driven behaviors. Even in guard dogs and hunting dogs, many owners report improved behavior and manageability when the dog has been neutered.

The surgical procedures are performed under general anesthesia and employing sterile instruments and a sterile surgical field.  Medical emergencies can arise if a pet becomes infected during these procedures.  No surgeon approaches a spay or neuter as if it were "routine" because each surgery is different from every other, each pet is different, and while neutering might be deemed a minor surgery a spay certainly qualifies as a major procedure.

The photos below are of a cat spay.   Essentially, the structures and procedure are the same for a dog spay.  As you can imagine, though, there are some real differences between working on a 180 pound Saint Bernard or a 3 pound kitten!


The Cat Spay Procedure

Click on the images to see close-up


Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com
The patient is anesthetized and the fur is removed at the surgery site. The  surgical area is scrubbed to enable sterile surgery to be performed. The incision is made through the skin of the lower abdomen. The incision is deepened to the muscle wall. The peritoneum lining the abdomen is incised and abdominal contents exposed.
Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com
The spay hook is used to pick up one horn of the uterus The ovarian ligament and vessels are identified The vessels are ligated and then the ovary is separated from its cranial attachments
Zoom In
The suspensory ligament of the uterus is inspected for blood vessels
Zoom In
The body of the uterus of exposed and vessels located
Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com Cat Spay Procedure in ThePetCenter.com
The uterine vessels on one side are ligated When the vessels and body of the uterus are ligated the uterus is excised just below the forceps.
Zoom In
After the surgical area is examined thoroughly for any sign of bleeding the operative site is closed in layers The peritoneum and abdominal muscles and subcutaneous tissues are closed The skin sutures are in place and once healing has occured are removed in 8 to 12 days


What is "Pyometra"?

Now to see a cat neuter...
The benefits of neutering a male house cat far outweigh any disadvantages.   After neutering, male cats seldom spray urine, the urine loses its skunky odor, and the cat seems contented to stay home more, fight less, and we humans have the assurance that he won't be fathering any more litters!

cat neuter

The cat is anesthetized and placed on his side on the surgery table.  The surgical area from the anus to below the scrotum is clipped free of fur.  Then the area is scrubbed with antiseptic soap and an antiseptic solution is sprayed on the area.

The antiseptic spray gives the area an orange color.

cat neuter The scrotal skin is incised and the testicle is exposed. There is almost no bleeding during a cat neuter procedure.
cat neuter The testicle is pulled from the scrotum and the spermatic cord with its blood vessels is in view for the ligating procedure that prevents bleeding.
cat neuter A small suture is tied around the spermatic cord and the testicle is removed.  The cord is placed back into the scrotum and an antibiotic is applied to the surgical area.  The scrotal skin closes the incision itself so no skin sutures are needed.  The cat goes home the same day and acts as if nothing ever happened!