Is it OK to spay a female cat while she is in heat?

CatChannel veterinary expert, Arnold Plotnick, DVM, talks about spay surgeries he has performed on cats in heat.

Printer Friendly

Q: I volunteer for a cat rescue organization, and we have this gorgeous calico queen who is nearly in constant heat. Several people who pass by our rescue within the pet supply store show an interest in this cat. The fact that she hasn’t been spayed and her unpredictable behavior stand in the way of her being adoptable.

I’ve heard that queens that are spayed while in heat have more complications from the surgery. Is this true, or is it OK to schedule an appointment with our vet to spay her, even though she’s in heat? Having all those hormones in her system all the time can’t be good for her. We usually spay and neuter intact cats before adoption, and all our other cats are spayed or neutered. She’s had at least one litter (semi-feral); she came in with a kitten who has since been adopted.

A: I wouldn’t say that queens that are spayed while in heat have more complications from the surgery. When a cat is in heat, the uterus and cervix become thick and swollen, and the blood vessels associated with the ovaries and uterus become engorged, making for a slightly bloodier, technically more demanding surgery. However, I’ve spayed many cats that were in heat, and it always turned out fine.

Some of my clients waited until the cat was no longer showing signs of heat before bringing her in for surgery. In many of those cases, even though the cat was not showing outward signs of heat, it still took longer for the reproductive system to return to normal and during the surgery the uterus was still very turgid and engorged. So, to me, it doesn’t matter.

Any veterinarian that has been in practice for a while has learned to become proficient at spaying cats in all stages of their reproductive cycle. Cats should be spayed as soon as possible, whether it is to prevent the cat from becoming pregnant or, as in this case, to hasten the adoption process.

Printer Friendly

 Give us your opinion on
Is it OK to spay a female cat while she is in heat?

Submit a Comment   Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments

Jordan    Millvale, PA

9/22/2013 10:28:58 AM

I also want to say that the low cost clinic I am using is Animal Friends who I have the utmost faith in. So it is not a fliy by night place. Great reputation and very caring. So I feel better FOR SURE> thanks again

Jordan    Millvale, PA

9/22/2013 10:25:12 AM

tHANK YOU FOR THIS ANSWER. mY CAT CONSTANTLY GOES INTO HEAT AND i HAVE TO USE A LOW COST CLINIC AND SCHEDULE AHEAD OF TIME. sHE JUST STARTED AGAIN AND IS BEING SPAYED IN 2 DAYS. i AM SO GLAD i WONT HAVE TO RESCHEDULE AND WAIT A MONTH. tHANK YOU. i FEEL BETTER ABOUT IT NOW AND NOT SO WORRIED.

Ann    Braintree, MA

12/22/2010 5:44:41 PM

My Cat Stella is a year old and I believe she just went into her first heat appx a month ago.... about 3 days ago she started heat again and I contacted a vet whom said she could spay her while in heat..... well, when I went to pick her up, she was so out of it..(which somewhat understandable...) they told me her Uterus was "Slightly longer" than usual..... and her stitches are longer than usual......they handed me pain meds and said watch her, no jumping, no other pets, no kids ect..... for 7 to 10 days...... In their paper they gave me when I first dropped her off it said none of the above for 3 days.........
well stupid me..... said ok...... now, as I research, they say spaying while in heat is complicate...... My Stella growls at me runs from me and totally hates me...... shes shaved from down below up to her front paws..... Im sick and concerned...... please help....

angie    akron, OH

8/30/2009 2:16:11 PM

how long are female cats in heat

View Current Comments


Top Products

ADS BY GOOGLE