One of the reasons why vets recommend spaying female cats is because it is healthier for them. Many pet owners simply accept this and will get their cat spayed. But if you're a more inquisitive cat owner, you may wonder exactly what health benefits come with spaying. Here are the four key reasons to be aware of.
Eliminated Risk of Uterine and Ovarian Cancers
The spaying procedure removes the ovaries and uterus, so of course, a female cat who has been spayed cannot develop cancer in these organs. This is truly a large benefit as reproductive cancers are relatively common in female cats. These cancers also tend to go undetected until they are fairly severe, which means most cats who get them will end up passing away. So, by spaying your cat, you are ensuring she does not die from uterine or ovarian cancer.
Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer
Cats can also develop breast cancer in their mammary tissue. While it is still possible for a spayed cat to develop this cancer, her risk is lower than that of a female cat who hasn't gotten the surgery. This is because spaying removes the ovaries, which produce female sex hormones that increase the risk of breast cancer. The earlier a female cat is spayed, the less estrogen her breast tissue will be exposed to, and the lower her risk of getting breast cancer.
Eliminated Risk of Pyometra
When female cats repeatedly go into heat and do not breed, the uterine lining often grows thicker and thicker. Sometimes, this can result in a serious condition in which the uterine lining develops polyps and becomes infected. The cat will die without surgical intervention, and sometimes even surgery does not save their life. Spaying a female cat eliminates the risk of pyometra because spaying removes the uterus.
Reduced Risk of Epilepsy and Diabetes
Diabetes and epilepsy are quite common in older cats. While some spayed cats do still develop these conditions, their risk seems to be lower, presumably because of their reduced exposure to sex hormones. Also, spayed cats are easier to treat if they do develop epilepsy or diabetes because the medications used to manage these conditions interact with sex hormones.
Spaying is definitely the healthiest choice for most female cats. It protects your kitty from certain cancers, pyometra, and other medical conditions. Talk to your vet to learn more, and remember, this is all about doing what is best for your feline companion.