Usually, veterinarians advise to resolve the issue of neutering the cat as early as possible - during puberty of the animal. There is no need to wait for the first birth and sterilize after them, as is sometimes advised, especially if the owners do not plan to leave the kittens. If sterilization has been delayed for a long time, the need for it may arise immediately after childbirth or even during the pregnancy of the animal.
When can I spay my cat after giving birth?
The term for spaying a cat after giving birth depends on whether the mother will feed the kittens. If the entire litter for some reason died during childbirth or immediately after it, or the owners did not consider it necessary to leave the offspring of the cat alive, you will need to wait 2 to 4 weeks for the uterus to return to its normal state.
If the cat is feeding kittens, neutering will have to be postponed until the end of the lactation period. It is best to perform the operation in 2-3 months. It is not recommended to operate on a cat while it is nursing kittens due to the risk of trauma to the mammary glands and subsequent infection of the wound. At this time, there is also a high risk of injury during the operation of large blood vessels located near the mammary glands. After sterilization, the cat's milk will most likely disappear, so it is advisable that the mother feed the kittens before surgery. Otherwise, you should stock up on nutritional formula for kittens in advance, set a feeding schedule.
Drugs for anesthesia can get into milk, therefore, if lactation continues after the operation, after the first feedings, the kittens will have to be monitored. Lethargy, drowsiness, and infrequent breathing require immediate medical attention.
Sometimes it becomes necessary to spay a cat immediately after giving birth. This is usually due to medical indications - rupture of the uterus, the development of endometritis and other diseases of the uterus.
Sterilization of a nursing cat is also carried out if there are indications, including non-medical ones - for example, if an uncastrated cat lives in the same apartment with a cat, and there is no way to isolate the animals from each other. After giving birth, a cat may begin to estrus within two to three weeks, and a new pregnancy is not excluded, although the risk of it is reduced due to the high level of prolactin.
Neutering a cat during pregnancy and estrus
The need to neuter a pregnant cat is rare. Most owners, for ethical reasons, decide to postpone surgery until the postpartum period, even if they do not intend to keep the offspring. However, in some cases, if the cat is sick or seriously injured, it is better to spay it, as pregnancy and childbirth are dangerous to her health and life.
Sterilization is carried out in the early stages of pregnancy - up to 4 weeks, later the operation will be more traumatic due to the longer incision length, the risk of bleeding increases.
During estrus, cats are also not spayed due to the high risk of bleeding. It is better for owners to try to isolate the animal in order to avoid unwanted pregnancy, and to operate on the cat immediately after the end of estrus, without delay, since estrous cycles can be repeated quite often, especially in young animals.