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Will Spaying Calm a Female Cat? What Will It Do?

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	Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Vet, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Spaying your cat is something that veterinarians around the world recommend for several different reasons. Aside from the fact that it is the one way to reduce the number of strays that end up in animal shelters or homeless, it also can help protect your cat from several different illnesses and diseases.

Even though there are health benefits to spaying cats, there are some behavioral benefits that you might enjoy as well. Spaying a female cat does tend to calm cats down after their recovery period but cannot be guaranteed. This article will explain everything you need to know, both good and bad, about cat spaying.

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Effects on Behavior After Spaying Cats

It’s true that spayed cats are usually calmer than those that aren’t spayed. This is because they are no longer driven by their reproductive hormones. However this can’t be guaranteed as some individuals and breeds are more lively than others.

Cats in heat can be a hassle to deal with. They become restless, vocal, and desperate for attention. We haven’t even mentioned the endless escape attempts and spraying that they’ll do in order to attract a mate. Because cats in heat are acting based on their hormones, you might also find that they are more irritable, anxious, and territorial as well.

Feral cats usually have a couple of mating seasons throughout the year, but indoor cats can go through their heat cycles throughout the entire year. Most cats are in heat for six days, but it can come back every couple of weeks.

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Image Credit: Andrii Medvednikov, Shutterstock

Do Spayed Cats Still Act Like They’re in Heat?

It is not normal for your feline to be acting like she is in heat if she’s already had her spay surgery. This could be a sign that she has ovarian remnant syndrome. In other words, there is usually a piece of ovarian tissue that was left behind and is still signaling to her body that she needs to mate.

If your cat does have ovarian remnant syndrome, there are some tests that your vet can use to confirm it. Once confirmed, they will likely schedule another surgery to remove the leftover or extra tissue. If they don’t get the tissue removed, they are more likely to develop breast cancer, ovarian tumors, and pyometra.

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Benefits of Spaying Female Cats

Having a calmer cat isn’t the only benefit of having her spayed, here are several others:

Increased Friendliness

Your cat might be acting calmer, but it is possible that she is also friendlier than she was before. Since spayed cats don’t feel the urge to secure a mate, they are usually friendlier towards other cats. This is because they no longer feel like they need to compete with the other cats in the house. However individual cat experiences and personalities will vary.

Eliminated Chance of Pregnancy

While kittens are cute, they are a lot to handle and expensive to care for. Having a pregnant cat means finding good homes for them, paying all the vet bills, and having to handle difficult births that might even require surgery.

Fewer Abandoned Kittens

Cats reach sexual maturity when they are around 6 months old. From that point on, a female cat can have up to five litters every year. With multiple kittens per litter, and cats living sometimes well over a decade, the math for the number of kittens in need of loving homes becomes overwhelming.

Reduced Health Risks

Unspayed cats are at higher risk for certain health complications compared to spayed cats. Unspayed cats are more likely to develop tumors that can sometimes be malignant, especially malignant breast cancers. They are also more likely to experience uterine infections that, if left untreated, could become fatal, pyometra. When spayed it is commonplace for the ovaries and uterus to be removed and therefore it is not possible to have ovarian or uterine cancers after spaying.

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Negative Effects of Spaying Cats

Although we believe the benefits far outweigh the negatives, there are still some cons to spaying your cats that you might want to consider.

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Image Credit: Andreas Almstedt, Pixabay

Permanent Sterilization

Spaying your cat is an irreversible process. Once the surgery is performed, she will not become pregnant ever again. Some states have mandatory spaying and neutering laws in place because of overpopulation issues. Depending on where you live, you might have to spay her unless you’re a registered breeder. Those who don’t abide could face fines.

Weight Gain

Another negative side effect of spaying your cat is the potential weight gain. Cats in heat can expend more energy while searching for males. Without that drive, females tend to become more sedentary. Reduced activity levels could cause obesity and other serious health conditions if their diet is not adjusted. However, you can counteract this by giving her plenty of playtime and buying her interactive toys that keep her moving. Being spayed doesn’t automatically mean that your cat will become overweight but their calorie requirements are likely to decrease after spaying.

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Final Thoughts

Even though there are some cons to spaying your cats, the benefits far outweigh them. Spaying your cat may make her a calmer, friendlier feline to be around. Always consult your vet about the appropriate time to spay her and try to get her surgery scheduled before she goes into heat at all. It will not only make your life easier, but it’ll secure more homes for the cats that are already in need of a loving home.

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Featured Image Credit: Simon Kadula, Shutterstock

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