One of the most responsible choices you can make as a pet owner is to have your female kitten spayed, or neutered if he is male. In addition to the health benefits for your kitty, this routine surgery prevents contributing to the already large population of unwanted cats, most of whom do not meet with a happy fate. Make certain your kitten is ready to be spayed.
Benefits of Surgery
A female cat allowed to go into heat will yowl often and try to get outside to find a male. Spaying, or ovariohysterectomy, is a more complicated surgery than neutering, where the male testicles are removed, though both require the cat be put under anesthesia. The female kitten's ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus are completely removed to avoid any chance of pregnancy. The health benefits of this procedure include a longer life span and lowering the risk of breast cancer. Males cannot get testicular cancer and no longer spray to mark their territory once neutered.
Age to Spay
Kittens as young as 8 weeks old are often spayed at shelters or pet hospitals before being adopted out. This is not necessary for all kittens, especially if they weigh less than 2 pounds. However, cats should be spayed or neutered before reaching 6 months of age to prevent males from spraying and females from getting pregnant. Surgery should not be done on a female in heat, as this can lead to greater blood loss.
Prior to spaying, schedule a basic visit with a trusted, experienced and licensed veterinarian. Your kitten will need vaccinations and a blood check. Use this time to review any concerns about her overall health, including eating and bathroom habits. If everything is well, your vet may suggest you prevent your kitty from eating after midnight the night before surgery.
When you bring your kitten home from surgery you need to be on hand for the next two or three days. Depending on how the surgery went, the vet may prescribe pain medication. Place your sleepy kitty in a quiet, comfortable area to rest, away from children and other pets. She should not run, jump or lick the stitches. Monitor the surgery site for any signs of infection. Other than requiring less food to maintain her normal weight, you need not worry about the surgery changing your cat's behavior or personality.