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The ideal age to sterilize a cat

Having a kitten at home generates many satisfactions, but also carries a great responsibility. Due to the characteristics of its reproductive cycle, it is very advisable to sterilize at an appropriate age to our cats to avoid unwanted litters or the discomfort of heat.

In this article we will know more information about the estral cycle of the cats. Discover below the ideal age to sterilize a cat:

Should a caste be castrated before or after the first heat?

The surgical procedure that is usually carried out is a ovariohysterectomy, which consists of the removal of the uterus and the ovaries, always using general anesthesia. It is also possible to perform an ovariectomy, removing only ovaries, or the ligature, which blocks only the access of the ovules.

However, they are not usually performed since the latter, for example, allows the cat to continue having the normal sexual cycle, which causes the cat to suffer the discomfort of heat.

When is the ideal time to castrate a female cat?

There are two moments in the life of the cat indicated to perform the intervention:

  • In prepubertal period when it reaches the 2,5 kilos.
  • After the first heat when you are in anestro.

Our veterinarian will indicate when is the ideal time to sterilize our cat according to its characteristics.

Is it possible to castrate a cat in heat?

Although it is possible to perform the operation It’s not advisable sterilize a cat while it is in heat since it entails many more risks than normal operation.

When do cats get to puberty?

The cats reach the sexual maturity between the 6 and the 9 months of age, thus beginning their fertile age. There are different influential factors at the beginning of puberty:

  • Weight of the cat: when the cat reaches the somatic development of the breed.
  • Race: the long-haired cats have a delayed puberty (12 months), while the siamese cats have precocious puberty. Within the middle term are the common races and mesolineas.
  • Hours of light: clear light more than 12 hours about two months before the date when puberty would come causes it to go ahead.
  • Presence of males
  • Date of birth (season of the year): females born at the beginning of the breeding season have puberty earlier than those born at the end.
  • Born in autumn-winter are earlier than spring-summer (hotter).
  • Stress: If the prepuberal coexists with dominant active cats, it may not present puberty to avoid fights.

Phases of the estrus cycle of the cats

Two types (mixed):

  • Ovulatory: normal, with follicular phase and luteal phase.
  • Anovulatory: only follicular phase.

The cycles are distributed by the breeding station in an irregular and arbitrary manner. There may be ovulatory cycles along with anovulatory. For ovulation to occur, it is necessary that at the time of heat the cat suffers a physical stimulation at the level of the cervix, that is, it is induced ovulation.

In cats that live inside the house they can be jealous throughout the year despite being a seasonal species that usually cycles between the months of January to September (longer daylight hours).

Phases: Proestro → Estro:

Anovulatory cycle

If it does not ovulate (because it is not stimulated) post-estrus occurs. The corpus luteum is not formed, therefore, the follicles that have matured (and not ovulated) tend to be hardened. There is no master or right-handed. The cat continues with an anestrus phase of sexual rest and continues with the normal cycle (depending on the time):

Ovulatory cycle

There is excitement (it is covered) and, therefore, ovulation. Follow with:

Depending on the copula:

  • Copulation performed correctly: there is gestation (seasonal anestrus), it is followed with labor and lactation.
  • Copulation not performed correctly: when the cervix is ​​not well stimulated, there is ovulation but not gestation.

There may be a luteinization of the follicles, giving a right-handed with pseudopregnancy. Therefore, there is metaestro and dexterous, anestro and finally come back in heat.

Duration of each phase

Regardless if you ovulate or not:

  • Proestro: 1-2 days. During the proestrus, the cats vocalize insinuatingly and with greater intensity. They fracture the head and neck for the release of pheromones and marking. They try to attract the male and position themselves in lordosis (curvature of the spine).
  • Oestrus: 2-10 days (6 days on average), depends on the breed and the time of the breeding season (at the end → there is some follicular residue in the ovary and, therefore, have longer jealousy and shorter rest).

Ovulation does not occur immediately after mounting, but 24-48 hours later.

  • Goalkeeper.
  • Gestation (58-74 days) / Pseudopregnancy.

During 5-6 days after ovulation the embryos move before passing to the uterine horns and once there continue to move rhythmically to favor the secretion of placental estrogen and inhibit the synthesis of uterine PG, letting the mother know that she is pregnant.

  • Final implantation: 12-16 days after copulation.
  • After childbirth: the cat can take care of the lactation next to a new gestation (it recovers the cycling to the 48 hours of the childbirth or, if it is time, it will enter the seasonal anestrus).

If the copulation is wrong:

  • Pseudopregnancy between 35-50 days  Anestrus (1-3 weeks)  New cycle.
  • The difference with the dog is that the pseudopregnancy cat does not have breast changes or behavior change. Only reproductive behavior ceases.

Advantages of sterilization

Some people experience doubts when it comes to sterilizing their cats. However, this operation has many advantages that must be assessed:

  • Reduction of sexual behavior: vocalizations, marking with urine, escapes, rubbing against surfaces, etc.
  • Reduction of the risk of transmission of infectious diseases (feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus, etc.) by biting during riding and fighting during heat.
  • We prevent hormone-dependent diseases such as mammary tumors and pyometra (infections of the uterus).

And remember, it is not necessary that the cat has to go through a gestation to improve their health, it is an unfounded belief.

Is it good to sterilize a cat with pills?

There pills and injections that we can offer a cat to avoid the appearance of heat, and as a consequence, ovulation. It is a momentary “sterilization” since the treatment has a beginning and an end.

This type of methods have serious Side effects, since they increase the risk of suffering from certain types of cancer or can cause changes in behavior. It is not recommended to use them more than once.

How much does it cost to sterilize a cat?

The price of sterilization It varies enormously according to the veterinary clinic, the anesthesia used or the country in which you are.

En Spain we found very cheap prices, from 30 to 70 euros in protective, 100 euros in sterilization campaigns or up to 200 and 300 euros in clinics and veterinary hospitals. In Mexico we would castrate a cat for 50 or 70 Mexican pesos in a protective, but in a clinic we can talk about a price that is around the 200 or 500 Mexican pesos.

En Colombia we can talk about between 70.000 and 150.000 Colombian pesos by operation and in Argentina we also find very different prices, we find stores that sterilize 500 Argentine pesos, while others can cost up to 900 Argentine pesos.

Postoperative and recovery

The care of a newly operated cat is essential to prevent the wound can become infected. We must maintain a regular hygiene of the area and at the same time avoid that you can scratch or nibble. We will follow all the advice offered by the veterinarian.

In addition, it will also be necessary to modify alimentación to one adapted to your new needs. In the market we can easily find cat food and “light”, too o sterilized, formulated specifically for castrated cats.

This article is merely informative, in .com we do not have the faculty to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to The ideal age to sterilize a cat, we recommend that you enter in our Prevention section.

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