Spaying and neutering are one of the most responsible things that loving cat and dog owners can do for their pets. As a first-time pet owner, you may have many questions about these procedures. But also experienced animal owners and carers may want to find out more about the benefits, risks, and what to do next. Here are the answers to the most common questions around spaying and neutering cats and dogs that pet parents have about the spay and neutering process.
What is spaying & neutering?
Spaying is the surgical removal by a professional veterinarian of a female cat’s or dog’s ovaries and uterus to prevent them from having kittens and puppies. Often, behavior related to breeding instincts will decrease, but not always.
On the other hand, neutering is the removal of a male cat’s or dog’s testicles, so they cannot produce puppies and kittens with a female. Spaying and neutering are also referred to as castrating and de-sexing.
How does the procedure work?
The above-mentioned procedures are surgeries. Like all medical treatments, there is minimal risk involved. In order to minimize this, make sure to only let a trusted and professional veterinarian (animal doctor) treat your beloved pet. He or she will make sure that your cat or dog is healthy to undergo the procedure and will discuss the particular situation of your pet with you.
Both spaying and neutering are performed under general anesthetic. Depending on the age and size of the animal, the procedure itself is fairly quick. Keep in mind that your pet needs to be brought in before the surgery for a pre-check and usually will stay at the clinic for half a day after waking up to make sure your sweet girl or boy is fine.
Neutering a male cat can be done in under 2 minutes while neutering a male dog usually takes 5 – 20 minutes. A female cat spay is generally 15-20 minutes, while a female dog spay typically takes 20-90 minutes.
How do I treat my pet at home after a spay / neuter procedure?
Your vet may give you medications for your cat or dog to prevent inflammation and infections, as well as for instructions on how to treat your pet over the next days. Additionally, you should
- keep your cat / dog inside and away from other animals during the recovery period
- not let your cat / dog run around and jump on and off things for up to 2 weeks after surgery
- ensure that you cat / dog is not able to lick or bite their incision
- check the incision every day to make sure it’s healing properly. If redness, swelling, discharge or a foul odor are present, contact your vet immediately
- not bathe your cat / dog for at least 10 days after the surgery
- call the vet if the dog is uncomfortable, lethargic, eating less, vomiting or has diarrhea
After a few days, you will go back to the vet for a check-up and to remove the stitches, if necessary.
Why is it so important to castrate cats and dogs?
Did you know that 1 female cat and her mate can produce 11,000 kittens and more in just 6 years? Cats can get pregnant from as early as 4 months old and have an average litter of 4 kittens up to twice per year.
It is worthwhile saying that these numbers are estimated NOT at the maximum reproduction rate. Street animals often face difficulties like shortage of food and fights over territory, which prevents them from having the most offspring they could theoretically have. Besides, street animals and in particular babies don’t have a very high life expectancy.
7 Benefits of de-sexing
- No more unwanted kittens and puppies.
- This also reduces the number of cats and dogs, which are sold to the cruel and barbaric cat & dog meat trade.
- Spaying & neutering also reduces the risk of testicular and uterine cancer, urinary tract infections, FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), and more.
- It drastically reduces the spread of a transmissible venereal tumor (TVT), which can is spread between dogs during mating.
- De-sexed animals are calmer, less territorial, and won’t fight as much – this protects them from fight injuries (biting, scratching), especially among street animals.
- It prevents inbreeding in places like pagodas and therefore reduces the risk of genetic disorders.
- It reduces the risk of malnutrition of street animals, resulting from overpopulation and the lack of food.
When is the best time to spay & neuter my cats & dogs?
The earliest age for spaying or neutering is 3 months old.
Misconceptions about spaying & neutering
Several misconceptions about spaying and neutering cats and dogs persist:
- One of the most popular beliefs is that sterilized animals will get fat. This is not true, as long as the owner provides the proper amount of exercise and food for the beloved pet. Spayed and neutered cats and dogs do tend to need fewer calories (about 20% less), so make sure to check their diet, ideally with your vet.
- Another misconception is that spaying or neutering will change a cat’s or dog’s personality. This is also not true. If anything, as mentioned above, it will make them calmer and prevent unwanted behavior like marking the territory (your house).
- Some people also believe that you should wait with spaying your female cat or dog until she has had her first litter because of health benefits This is also NOT true.
So, now that we have covered the most important questions around spaying and neutering cats and dogs, let’s take a look at Animal Rescue Cambodia’s work in this area.
How Animal Rescue Cambodia helps
Our goal is to end suffering for Cambodian street cats and dogs. Tackling overpopulation of street cats and dogs through neutering programs is one of our 3 core pillars, with which we realize this mission.
The other 2 equally important pillars are educating local communities and schools about animal welfare and improving the quality of veterinary care through training. We strongly believe that changing human behavior is the key to create sustainable animal welfare in Cambodia.
We spay and neuter street cats & dogs AND your pet cats & dogs
- Our vets spay & neuter cats and dogs (street animals, pets)
- The regular prices range between 50 – 250 USD, depending on the animal and sex. We help for FREE!
- Make an appointment today! Tel: 012 340 114
- Due to high demand, please expect a 1-3 week waiting period
- All animals receive a complimentary microchip and rabies vaccination (FREE)
- We believe in practical veterinary training. Surgeries are often performed by veterinary trainees, under very close supervision of a qualified veterinarian.
Thank you for your interest and contribution to sustainable animal welfare in Cambodia with your actions! Make sure to tell your family and friends who also love cats and dogs about this article.