Catfilter: If I spay my cat while she's in heat, will she continue to yowl for the rest of her life?
March 22, 2009 3:57 PM   Subscribe

I thought my cat had just _finished_ her first heat and made a vet appointment to have her spayed tomorrow. Well, guess who started yowling and moving her tail sideways to display feline private parts?! Should I keep tomorrow's appointment and have her spayed _during_ her heat, or should I wait?

I once knew a (human) female who took the Depo-Provera shot for birth control. Well, they gave her her shot at the wrong time in her cycle and she ended up having her period _all month_. I'm worried about something like this happening with teh cat if I go through with the spaying...and combing the internet for answers, I've seen it written that this can happen. Readers, do you know of this actually happening to a cat you know?
posted by bunky to Pets & Animals (12 answers total)
Correlating a human receiving a hormone injection with the surgical removal of a cat's uterus and ovaries is pretty much nonsensical. You can have a cat spayed during its heat. The operation may be more difficult and lengthy because the organs and surrounding blood vessels may be engorged due to her (presumed) condition, and as a result you may be charged extra for the surgery. It is physically impossible for your cat to go into heat after this operation.
posted by nanojath at 4:03 PM on March 22, 2009

I bet the veterinarian will have the necessary guidance for you.
posted by gjc at 4:17 PM on March 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

My cat Coltrane was spayed during a heat. It gave me pause too. But it turns out its not usually an issue. Coltrane's first and last heat started/ended that day. Talk to your vet, but I bet you have nothing to worry about.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 4:22 PM on March 22, 2009

We had one of our dogs spayed while she was in heat. There were no problems or complications, but as others have said you can ask your vet for his/her advice.
posted by amyms at 4:32 PM on March 22, 2009

You can spay a cat while she is in heat, and most but not all vets will do this. It will likely cost a bit more because there is more blood and it takes longer, but it is not significantly riskier, and is less risky than waiting around with a cat in heat. Cats can be in heat almost constantly until they get pregnant, so even if you did try to wait, you'd probably have the same problem later.

There will be no difference in your cat based on whether she is spayed during heat or not.
posted by jeather at 4:38 PM on March 22, 2009

the way our vet explained it is that there is a little more danger of bleeding out from dilation of the feeder veins and arteries to her reproductive organs, as nanojath says. love my cat, hate that yowling and peeing. we put our spaying off a week.
posted by Redhush at 4:46 PM on March 22, 2009

This happened to me (my cat went into heat the night before her spaying appointment). My one recommendation is that you call your vet and explain the situation before you bring her in, in case your vet will not spay a cat in heat. Some vets will; some won't. Mine would not. This will save you a trip in case your vet is like my vet.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:14 PM on March 22, 2009

This is one of those "call your vet" moments. Only they can tell you what to do, as they're the ones who will or will not perform the surgery. They're the experts, leave it up to them.

Anecdotely, I had a kitten who went into heat before I could get her spayed. I thought she was sick (it didn't even occur to me she might be in heat, I thought she was too young.) I called the vet, they told me she was in heat, and that they'd spay her tomorrow if I wanted. (The cat was driving me *nuts* with all the wailing and trying to get out). I agreed, and although the cat is not normal by any stretch of the imagination (she's a cat, after all), her personality ticks have nothing to do with the time in her cycle at which she was altered.

Like I said, call your vet.
posted by cgg at 8:33 PM on March 22, 2009

My roommates decided to wait and spay their cat after it was out of heat, and ended up with a pregnant cat...twice, actually.
posted by lunalaguna at 8:54 PM on March 22, 2009

As mentioned, some vets won't spay a cat in heat. Regardless of whether she's in heat or not, the outcome will be the same, as long as they get all of the tissue.

That being said, cats allowed to cycle without breeding are at risk for pyometria, so the sooner you can get her spayed, the less risk. Plus you'll both doubtless be happier campers :-)
posted by nonliteral at 9:13 PM on March 22, 2009

My cat was spayed while she was in heat. The vet charged me more, but the cat came out quite fine.
posted by transporter accident amy at 12:34 AM on March 23, 2009

Why on earth aren't you simply asking your veterinarian this question?
posted by IAmBroom at 10:08 AM on March 23, 2009

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