What are the problems after a cat spaying surgery?

Updated February 21, 2017

Cat spaying surgery is a procedure that a veterinarian performs on a female cat. During this procedure, the vet will remove the female reproductive organs so that the cat is not able to reproduce. As with any medical procedure, your pet may experience some side effects or reactions to the surgery or the recovery process.

Common Side Effects

There are some very common side effects your cat could have after the spaying surgery, which include pain and slight bleeding and swelling at the incision site. To help alleviate these side effects, you can administer pain killers (only those prescribed by the vet) or alternate hot and cold compresses to help relieve swelling. Keep your cat confined to a small area, as excess activity can aggravate or pull out sutures. Call the vet if you see severe swelling at the incision site as it could be a sign of something that needs medical attention, such as a hernia or severe infection.

Moderately Common Side Effects

Somewhat common side effects include break down or infection of the wound. The breaking down of the wound will result in a fleshy hole in the abdomen that looks to be rotting or festering. Typically this happens if you are not careful to prevent the cat from licking the wounds or keeping the cat as inactive as possible. Infection may cause the same symptoms, or the skin may simply be red, swollen and warm to the touch. Both of these conditions should be treated by your veterinarian to avoid further infection or injury.

Uncommon Side Effects

The most uncommon, yet still possible, side effects to watch for after a spaying surgery include an allergic reaction at the suture site, excessive bleeding of the wound, a septic infection, botched surgical procedure or surgical complications. Botched surgical procedures that may result from an inexperienced or careless vet include failure to properly tie off all blood vessels or a lacerated (cut) ureter. Surgical complications may include kidney failure or tracheal damage from breathing tubes. Again, these types of reactions are very rare, but it is important to keep an eye on your cat and report any abnormalities or changes in behaviour to your vet immediately.

Other Post-Surgical Side Effects

After surgery and recovery, your cat may gain some weight, which is normal. She might also have some bits of her ovaries left, which could cause her to go into heat and to lactate even though she is spayed. These side effects are more rare, but you should know they are normal. Speak with your vet if you are concerned.

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About the Author

Beth Wankel is currently working as a freelance writer, editor and as a parenting blogger. She holds a bachelor's degree in English, with a minor in print journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She has several years of professional writing and editing experience, namely web writing. Wankel resides in San Francisco with her husband and young son.