Spring is kitten season!

a mum cat with her baby kittens

One of our favourite parts of spring is that the days are getting longer, and there is more daylight to enjoy leisure activities when we get home from work.

This increase in sunlight also has an effect on our cats – a period of longer days following a period of shorter ones is a trigger for female cats to come into season and seek a mate. It is due to this trigger that the spring and summer months are known as “kitten season”.

Cats are very efficient breeders and those that are not desexed are quick to become pregnant. Female dogs are a little less prolific – they are in season twice yearly and during this time they bleed (which can be messy for those housed indoors). They are also very attractive to male dogs during this time, so you may have unwanted canine visitors trying to get into your yard.

The best way to prevent the issues of cats and dogs in season and the risk of unwanted pregnancies is to desex your pet. For most animals de-sexing only requires day surgery; there is rarely a need to stay overnight. They are given a general anaesthetic just as we are when we have surgery. In male dogs and cats, both testicles are removed. In females, the two ovaries and the uterus are taken out through an abdominal incision. Recovery is usually uncomplicated; so much so it can be hard to keep your pet quiet until their sutures are removed.

Apart from controlling reproduction, there are health benefits associated with desexing dogs and cats. The risk of developing breast cancer later in life is reduced if a female dog is desexed before her first season. Because her uterus is removed, she will never suffer from pyometra, a potentially fatal infection of the uterus. For male dogs, the chance of them developing a benign enlargement of the prostate gland and testicular cancer is lower. Male cats and dogs are also less likely to wander to chase a mate if they are desexed, so are less likely to become involved in a fight or be hit by a car.

If your pet isn’t desexed yet, please message, phone or come into the clinic and have a chat with us about the procedure. We can explain the anaesthesia and surgery your pet will undergo so your mind is at ease. We can also discuss the appropriate time for your dog or cat to have their surgery.

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