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Sterilization – what is it and how is it performed?

Sterilization is a surgical procedure that removes the reproductive organs – that is, the uterus and ovaries – located inside the abdominal cavity. It is also possible to remove only the
the ovaries themselves. The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic and after administration of special painkillers. The purpose of these drugs is to put the animal to sleep so that it does not feel any pain.

Advantages of female sterilization

Sterilization of animals has a good impact on many issues, which are described below:

Prevention of uncontrolled reproduction;
Elimination of the occurrence of cancerous diseases of the reproductive organs and abscesses;
Avoidance of problems directly related to pregnancy and childbirth;
Absence of oestrus, which is usually accompanied by disruptive behaviors (apathy, aggression, excessive sounding).

What does a keeper need to know?

There are certain rules that need to be followed to ensure comfort and safety before surgery:

order fasting (kittens under a year – 3-4 hours, older cats – 3-6 hours)
the last meal should be wet food (if for some reason this is not possible the fast should be prolonged for another 6 hours)
temporary fasting also concerns water, which owner should take away from the animal one hour earlier
if the cat takes permanent medication – the owner can administer it according to the scheme
the cat should be brought in a special carrier

A freshly sterilized pet may be a little dizzy. This manifests itself in wobbly steps, drowsiness, lack of motor coordination and even uncontrolled urination. Such a state lasts about a few hours. It is the owner’s task to provide his four-legged friend with conditions through which he can rest in peace.

Preparation for the procedure

A routine activity will be a blood screening. In addition, your veterinarian will check the overall form in his office. He may order additional tests if necessary. Sterile conditions should prevail in the office (sterile surgical field, disposable gloves, instrument sterilized in a dedicated autoclave, dressing materials and so on). All of this is necessary for the procedure to proceed safely, without exposure to possible risky infections that threaten health or life.

Myths about the sterilization procedure

In society there are harmful opinions about the described procedure:

“Female cats without offspring will be unhappy” – Sexual contacts in pets are only a consequence of instinctive behavior and do not affect the psychological/social background.
“The pet gets tired during sterilization” – The procedure is painless, performed in conditions isolated from all kinds of microorganisms.
“The veterinarian performs sterilization only to make money” – Animal doctors want their welfare, there is no more money behind it than there is in delivering a baby.
“Not allowing reproduction goes against nature” – Excessive reproduction leads to increased animal homelessness and multiplies the risk of spreading dangerous diseases.
When to have the procedure done?

Cats can be sterilized at any age, above 3 months old.
It is commonly said that the best time to sterilize young cats is after they have reached sexual maturity (first heat), but it can happen that the first heat does not give any symptoms, and this sometimes results in running away from home and pregnancy.
Sterilization of older female cats is done between the time of estrous and sexual quiescence.
It is advisable to contact your vet to determine the individual right time for sterilisation.