Choosing to sterilize or neuter your cat can feel like a big decision. While it’s a common surgical procedure, it’s absolutely important to understand the costs involved and the procedure itself. In particular, an often overlooked step is the recovery process for your cat and what you and your family can do for them. Let’s take a closer look at what it’s involved in sterilizing a cat in Singapore.
What Is Sterilization?
Sterilization, also known as Spaying or Neutering, is a surgical procedure where part of your cat’s reproductive system is removed to permanently prevent reproduction. For male animals, the testicles are removed and for females, the ovaries and uterus. One of the most common surgical procedures for pets, Sterilization should always be done by a licensed veterinarian in a sterile environment for the safest experience for your pet.
Benefits Of Sterilization The most obvious benefit to sterilizing your pet is that it prevents unnecessary breeding. This helps reduce the number of unwanted animals, and can help you avoid a big headache later down the road. Sterilization also reduces the risk of certain cancers like ovarian and uterine cancers in female cats and testicular cancer in male cats. For cats in particular, sterilization can also prevent female cats from going into heat, and male cats from undesirable sexual behaviours.
What To Expect?
Sterilizing a cat in Singapore can cost between $150 to $350. In general, spaying procedures also cost more because their reproductive tracts are more fragile. Nevertheless, sterilization is a low risk, painless surgery as it’s done under general anaesthesia. While it may seem on the costly side, this procedure is a one-off procedure that will last your pet’s lifetime.
It is recommended for cats to be sterilized by the time they are 5 months of age. They can be sterilized from as young as 8 weeks if they are over 1 kg in weight. This allows them to grow, while getting the benefits of sterilization.
First, your pet is put under general anesthesia. Once your cat is fully asleep, with a breathing tube placed in their throat, the surgery will begin.
For male cats, a face mask is used instead. For most male felines, neutering can be completed in under 2 minutes. The vet will make an incision in the skin of their scrotum and their testicles are quickly removed. The incision is then left to close on its own.
For female cats, the process is a bit more involved. When spaying a cat, the vet will make an incision on the cat’s abdomen and their reproductive tract, ovaries and uterus are completely removed. The incisions under the skin are closed with dissolving stitches and the skin closed with skin glue, skin staples or stitches. Cat spaying can take between 15-20 minutes depending on age and where they are in heat cycle.
The night before their procedure, do not give your pet food after 9 pm. They can still have water but on the morning of the procedure it should be removed. Similarly, on the day of the procedure, your cat should not be fed to reduce the possibility of vomiting under anesthesia.
Prior to the procedure, you may also be asked to admit your cat at the vet for some pre-op blood tests. These will help to ensure your pet is safe and ready for the procedure.
When bringing your cat to the vet, use a carrier like PetKit’s Evertravel Bag to easily and safely transport your pet.
How to Care for a Cat After Spaying?
Despite the fact that this is a fast and common surgical procedure, post spay cat care is still important. Make sure to prepare a clean, warm and dry place for your cat to rest. A comfortable bed like FuzzYard’s The Lounge Dog Bed is a great way to make the space immediately more comfortable for your cat!
Monitor your pet for the next few days for any signs of abnormal recovery from the surgery or anesthesia, including:
Lethargy, depression or weakness
Loss of appetite or water intake
Increased/Decreased body temperature
Vomiting or Diarrhea
Make sure to also provide half of your pet’s normal food and water serving 2 hours after returning home. They may take up to a day to start eating again but it’s good to give them the option.
After the surgery, your pet may also be given pain medication. Make sure to administer this as directed. Do not give your cat human medication.
If your cat is amenable, try to also monitor the surgery site. If it exhibits any of the below symptoms, contact your vet to check if your pet needs to be brought back to the clinic:
Has green/yellow or reddish discharge
Has a bad odor
Has something sticking out
Warm to the touch
Has bruising or a bump that’s growing
To avoid aggravating their wounds, prevent your cat from licking the surgery site. Instead of the typical e-collar cats hate (aka cat cones of shame) try more comfortable alternatives! Kong’s Ez Soft Dog Collars are also a great replacement for tough plastic e-collars.
For more comfort, assuming your cat is open to it, you can also try Kong’s Cushion Dog Collar.
An even easier and cuter alternative is putting your cat in a onesie! This helps your pet feel more comfortable and helps your cat to maintain their full field of vision while allowing them to eat or drink normally.
Spaying and neutering your cats can improve their quality of life. We hope that with all the information on hand, whether it’s about what to expect from the procedure or what you can do to help your cat feel comfortable, your mind can be at ease!
Tammi is an avid writer, but especially loves learning and writing about animals! She spends her free time visiting cat cafes, playing video games and having plenty of cuddle time with her pup.