Just Kitten Photos! Big Book of Photographs & Pictures of Baby Cats & Cat Kittens, Vol. 4

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Avoiding Infection From Raw Meat : Eating raw or undercooked meat is the most common way that humans contract toxoplasmosis. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat. Avoid Infection From Soil : If you garden, wear gloves when working in the soil. The toxoplasmosis parasite lives in the dirt, so also wash your hands well after gardening. Get your cat used to baby sounds and smells. Long before the big day, wear the baby lotions and powders that you will be using. Let your cat sniff you, and help her develop positive associations with the new scents by praising her and giving her a treat.

Get a recording of a baby crying. Play it for your cat, starting with low volume and short length, and working up to full volume and duration. Again, use positive attention and treat rewards. If possible, invite a friend or family member to bring their baby over for a short visit, followed by a few longer visits. During the visits, let your cat walk around. It's best to have the baby sitting on a lap. A baby seat or playpen might also work well.

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Play with your cat at the same time. If you're building or preparing a nursery, give kitty a chance to become used to the new setup one step at a time. Let her get her curiosity thoroughly out of the way. Remember to keep up your daily interactive play sessions. Subscribe to receive posts from Stranger Dimensions by email. Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. He manages Stranger Dimensions in between changing aquarium filters and reading bad novels about mermaids.

After my cat Alice died 5 years ago, I would be walking to the store and I felt her presence walking behind me for at least a years time, and every now and then, she is happy we have cats! My cat rose died 6 years ago and I steel feel her presence and I hear a meow once every few minutes and I see a shadow of a cat.

Our cat was a little over 15 years old when she died a few weeks ago. So sorry for your loss my cat Mercury was 15 he had nasal lymphoma I still hear him my thoughts are with you Michelle x. I asked him to do that before he left us. My cat Charlie died last month and I strongly feel his presence. He used to go walking with me and I have the sense of him at my heel. I also feel him kneading the bed and hear his mew.

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May people who experience cat ghosts seem to enjoy the experience. The relationship continues with no cat liter cleaning or food buying! They also need sleep and not to get worn down. This changes our view of life and the world forever. Thank god for God. Unfortunately, there are not many of either profession who really understand this stuff as well as you the author does.

Cat ghosts, per se, can be the tip of the iceberg. I ended hanging out with her and my good friend jason,jason insisted we hang at his house. I loved Gracie very much we had nine wonderful years together, she passed from this world too early due to cancer. Last night she meowed around a. She gave this call when searching for anyone to know if she was alone. I checked for other cats outside finding none. Trixie my living, breathing cat was asleep. The bed jiggled as something jumped up and began to walk around me. Small, lite steps.

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The cold chill spread up my spine. As there was nothing to be seen. As I talked to her spirit she settled down and i was left sitting in the dark. They apparently had the ability to smell, and in one case had to learn how to walk through walls and doors. The cat called to be let up from the basement. It acted like a living cat not knowing its paranormal abilities. When Gracie passed I wondered if she would linger in this realm. I know without a doubt she has. Now i have to learn how to show I still love her.

My cat who passed about a month ago still meows. I just scritch her like usual. I cant see her, but I feel and hear her meows. She had seperation anxiety, so I was worried she would try to stay as long as possible. I dont mind, I just hope she is able to be in a happy place until we can be together again. My ghost cat tilly does the same. Our kenny passed away 3 weeks ago. We had him cremated and a plaque done. There was a short delay in that process but when it was all finalized ans sorted the following night i felt the bedroom air go cold and something rub up my leg as i lay on the bed.

I thought kenny might be calling by to say a last goodbye and thankyou for sorting out his body. He was malled by dogs. Hello everyone, I am being haunted by a medium size, dark grey almost black cat. I have had two encounters so far and both in the same area near my TV. The first time I noticed it I was watching a scary movie on Youtube weeks before Halloween.

It came from nowhere and scurried behind my TV. At first, I thought it was my kitten but whne I looked for him he was asleep in his treehouse. Then my immediate thought was that it was a huge rat and so I went to my bed room to scoop up my big boy yellow tabby and Himalayan mixed. I led him to the TV and he immediately began sniffing around and investigating behind the television. I grabbed my bamboo bo-staff and looked as well.

There was nothing there but my adult cat sensed something because he sat by the TV and watched for a long while. My second encounter I was watching movies on Youtube again when I noticed a dark cat slowly walk behind my TV but this time from the opposite direction. Again, I believed it was my kitten who has grown a lot by now but he was asleep underneath my lamp.

Seems to be a residual haunting to me but I have had times when I am cooking or doing dishes and felt something touching my leg like fur and though it was either of my cats rubbing on my leg when I turned to look there was nothing there. I placed a cross made from blessed palms on my cabinet doors and sealed the doors shut. This cabinet is right next to my fridge high up and incidentally, my tabby had been inside that cabinet maybe a month or two before. The place I live is an older house built around that was converted to three apartments. I have on several occasions seen a shadowy cat in my apartment.

At another time I felt a cat jump on the bed. I thought it was my cat, but when I looked down, nothing was there. Dusty seems to be aware of this phantom cat. I think it must be the ghost of a cat that once lived here. I often get woken up at night by my living cats walking into my room, so there was no surprise one night when I woke up to the sound of something brushing against my bedroom door. Accompanied by little floor creeks as tiny feet walked across it.

I was lying there waiting for the cat to jump on my bed and curl up next to my head, but after a couple minutes there was nothing. I then began to hear the wet sound of licking under my bed, so I turned on my lamp — first to double check around me but still there was nothing — and then check under my bed. Nothing at all. After going back to sleep and waking again the next morning, I thought about it and, if it was a ghost cat visiting me, I immediately thought of my first cat.

Her name was Milli and we developed a strong bond as I was a baby when my parents first adopted her. She used to visit me at night before she passed away, and her favourite spot was under my bed. We lovingly call it our 2nd cat as there is only affection. Our only cat was near us at the time. This has only happened in the past mnths. Or perhaps a previously passed cat of mine? The fact that we heard his distinct meows clearly from outside while he was asleep on our bed means this is a consideration.

Either way, we love them both! My calico tabby cat, X-Ray Cat, died Nov. It was not an easy death and I was traumatized. We also feel her jump on the bed and lie down against my legs or my back. A few mornings ago I heard a cat meow and did not see any outside.


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We have no other pets. I hope she understands that we were trying to help her, but I am not sure about that. My darling black boy Freddie died last week at home after being treated for cancer. My vet said she thought he would go on for at least another 4 months but he went downhill and died. This morning I looked at my clock and decided to have another 10 minutes before getting up when I heard him meow twice.

Consequently, the myth of automatic post-desexing obesity has become perpetuatedand, as a result, many owners simply will not consider desexing their cats becauseof the fear of them gaining weight and developing weight-related problems e. Author's note: The fact of the matter is that cats will not become obese simply because they have been desexed. They will only become obese if the post-neutering drop in their metabolic rateis not taken into account and they are fed the same amount of food calories as an entire animal.

Author's note: Those of you who care about your finances might even be able to see the benefits of desexing here. A spayed cat potentially costs less to feed than an entire animalof the same weight and, therefore, neutering your animal may well save you moneyin the long run. Desexing equates to a loss of breeding potential and valuable genetics: There is no denying this. If a dog or cat or horse or other animal is the 'last of its line' i.

Author's opinion point: of all the reasons given here that argue against the desexing of female cats, this is probably the only one that has any real merit. Desexing does equate to a loss of breeding potential. In an era where many unscrupulous breedersand pet owners "backyard breeders" we call them will breed any low-quality cat, regardless ofbreed traits and temperament, to make a quick buck, the good genes for breed soundness, breedtraits and good temperament are needed more than ever.


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Loss of estrogen or underexposure to estrogen as a result of desexing especially early age desexing may result in underdevelopment of feminine characteristics,retention of immature juvenile behaviours and cause urinary incontinence: The ovaries are responsible for producing progesterone and estrogen: the hormones that make mature female animals look and act like female animals.

It is the hormones produced by the ovaries that cause female animals to develop the distinctive body characteristics normally attributed to the entire female animal. These include: increased vulval size and development;mature breast mammary development and enlargement; increased maturity and emotional development; increased sex drive and libido and, controversially, improved bladder control and continence. Desexing, particularly early age desexing prior to the first season , may limit the development of mature feminine features such that they remain immature and juvenile-looking throughout life i.

Early desexing may also cause the spayed pet to remain emotionally and mentally immature well into adulthood i. Not that this is always a problem. The immature body characteristics rarely pose a problem for the catand emotionally immature cats retain a lot of the playfulness and curiosity of their kitten-hood:cute traits that most cat-loving owners are all too keen to keep hold of. The incontinence issue is still a matter of debate see FAQ 6, section 8, for more info.

It haslong been said that estrogen plays a significant role in the development and maturationof bladder sphincter tone basically, how 'tight' and resistant to urine leakage the bladder neck is and that early age spaying can result in a weakness of this bladder tone, such thatthe animal is prone to incontinence and urine leakage i.

Certainly, the once-common use of oestrogen products e. As will be discussed in FAQ 6, however, although there is much merit to the desexing-causing-incontinence idea particularly in the case of dogs and early-age spaying , there is still some controversy about whether it is the loss of oestrogen per se that produces the problemor whether it is the spay technique itself i. Either way, regardless of the underlying causative mechanism, when it does occur, post-desexing incontinence and urine soiling can be a major problem for the animal and its owner.

This is particularly so if the animal lives indoors wetting on the bed or carpet is unhygienic and poorly tolerated or in a place with high blowfly populations urine soiledbottoms are prone to flystrike. The risk of the condition happening is certainly a significant reason why many owners in particular, dog owners might decide against having their female animals desexed. Important author's note: In the case of female cats , I do not personally feel that the fearof post-spay-incontinence is quite as warranted in this species as it is in dogs.

Post-desexing incontinence is very uncommon in cats compared to dogs I have never seen it and reference 22also calls the condition rare in this species and it is certainly not a reasonto avoid having female cats desexed. As an elective procedure, spaying is risky: Certainly, female cat desexing is a more risky and invasive procedure to perform than male cat desexing is. Having said that, the incidence of major complications associated with routine i. See sections 6 and 7 for more on spay complications. As an elective procedure, spaying costs too much: The high cost of veterinary services, including desexing, is another reason why somepet owners choose not to get their pets desexed.

See section 9 for more on the costs of neutering. Author's note: Having said this, the costs of feline caesarian section or having a pregnant cat desexed are significantly higher than the cost of a routine spay. The cat will "no longer be a woman" without her ovaries and uterus: It sounds silly, but it is a very common reason why many owners refuse to get their female cats and dogs spayed. See myth 2 section 8b for more.

The following two subsections discuss desexing age recommendations and how they have been established as well as the pros and cons of early age weeks spaying early spay. In Australia and throughout much of the world, it has always been recommended that female cats beneutered at around months of age and older as far as the " older " goes, the closer to the months of age mark the better - there is less chance of your female cat becoming pregnant or developing a ovarian or uterine disorder or a hormone-mediated medical condition if she is desexed at a younger age.

In addition to this, it has always been stated that it is best if the cat is desexed prior tothe onset of its first season as this will potentially reduce the risks of the animal developingmammary cancer in the future. The reasoning behind this month age specification is mostly one of anaesthetic safety for elective procedures. When asked by owners why it is that a cat needs to wait until months of age to be desexed, most veterinarians will simply say that it is much safer for them to wait until this age before undergoing a general anaesthetic procedure.

The theoryis that the liver and kidneys of very young animals are much less mature than those of older animals and therefore less capable of tolerating the effects of anaesthetic drugs and less effective at metabolizing them and breaking themdown and excreting them from the body. Younger animals are therefore expected to haveprolonged recovery times and an increased risk of suffering from severe side effects, in particular liver and kidney damage, as a result of general anaesthesia. Consequently, many vets will choose not to anesthetize a young kitten until at least 5 months of age foran elective procedure such as neutering.

The debate: Whether this month age specification for general anaesthesia and desexing is valid nowadays onwards , however,is much less clear and is currently the subject of debate. The reason for the currentdesexing-age debate is that the month age specification was determined ages ago, way back in the days when animal anaesthesia was nowhere near as safe as it is now and relied heavily upon drugs that were more cardiovascularly depressant than modern drugs e.

Because modern animal anaesthetic drugs are so much safer on young animals than the old drugs used to be, there is increasing push to drop the age of desexing in veterinary practices. This puts us onto the topic of early age neutering see next section - 3b. Are there any disadvantages to desexing at the normal time of months of age?

Just as there are disadvantages associated with desexing an animal at a very young age see section 3b , thereare also some disadvantages associated with desexing at the usually-stated age of months: Some people find it inconvenient to wait until months of age to desex. There is the chance that an early-maturing female cat may be able to mate and produce unwanted kittens before this age.

For people who choose to have their pets microchipped during anaesthesia, there is an inconvenient wait of months before this can be done. If the animal gets lost prior to this age, the unchipped cat may fail to find its way home.

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Some of the behavioural issues commonly associated with entire female animals may become manifest before the time of the desexing age recommendations e. These behavioural problems, once established, may persist and remain problematic even after the animal is sterilized.

As modern pet anesthetics have become a lot safer, with fewer side effects, thedebate about the recommended age of feline neutering has been reopened in the veterinary worldwith some vets now allowing their clients to opt for an early-age spay or neuter, provided theyappreciate that there are greater, albeit minimal, anaesthetic risks to the very young pet when compared to themore mature pet.

In these situations, cat and dog owners can now opt to have their male and femalepets desexed as young as weeks of age the vet chooses anaesthetic drugs that are not as cardiovascularly depressant and which do not rely as heavily upon extensive liver and kidney metabolism and excretion. Powerful supporters of early spay and neuter - in , the AVMA American Veterinary Medical Association advised thatit supported the early spay and neuter of young dogs and cats, recommending that puppiesand kittens be spayed or neutered as early as weeks of age.

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory for kittensto be desexed prior to 12 weeks of age. What this means is that early age desexing is now compulsory, regardless of any minor anaesthetic risks to the animal, andveterinarians who advise desexing at 5 months of age onward are breaking the law.

Owners ofcats and dogs need to check their local state laws on pet neutering ages. The advantages of the early spay and neuter of young cats: Certainly, there are some obvious advantages to choosing to desex an animal earlier ratherthan later. These include the following:. People do not have to wait months to desex their pets. The procedure can be over and done with earlier. Cats spayed very early will not attain sexual maturity and will therefore be unable to fall pregnant and give birth to any kittens.

This role in feline population control is why most shelters choose to neuter early. Cats spayed very early will not attain sexual maturity and will therefore be unable to fall pregnant. Consequently, owners of female cats will not have to deal with the dilemma of having an 'accidentally' pregnant pet and all of the ethical issues this problem poses e.

What do I do with the kittens? It is right to desex a pregnant animal before the kittens are born? Is it right to give a cat an abortion? Likewise, veterinary staff also benefit from not having to perform desexing surgery on pregnant animals, a procedure that many staff find very confronting. It makes it possible for young kittens weeks old to be sold by breeders and pet-shops already desexed. This again helps to reduce the incidence of irresponsible breeding - cats sold already desexed cannot reproduce.

For owners who choose to get their pets microchipped during anaesthesia, there is no inconvenient wait of months before this can be done. Some of the behavioural problems and concerns commonly associated with entire female animals may be prevented altogether if the kitten is desexed well before achieving sexual maturity e. Some of the medical problems and concerns commonly associated with entire female animals may be prevented altogether if the kitten is desexed well before achieving sexual maturity. In particular, breast cancer mammary cancer in dogs and maybe cats is almost non-existent in animals that are desexed prior to their first season.

From a veterinary anaesthesia and surgery perspective, the duration of spay surgery and anaesthesia is much shorter for a smaller, younger animal than it is for a fully grown, mature animal. I take about 5 minutes to neuter a female kitten of about 9 weeks of age compared to about 10 minutes for an older female and even longer if she is in-heat or pregnant. The post-anaesthetic recovery time is quicker and there is less bleeding associated with an early spay or neuter procedure.

From a veterinary business perspective, the shorter duration of surgery and anaesthesia time is good for business. More early age neuters can be performed in a day than mature cat neuters and less anaesthetic is used on each individual, thereby saving the practice money per procedure. Routine, across-the-board, early spay and neuter by shelters avoids the need for a sterilization contract to be signed between the shelter and the prospective pet owner.

A sterilization contract is a legal document signed by people who adopt young, non-desexed puppies and kittens, which declares that they will return to the shelter to have that dog or cat desexed when it has reached the recommended sterilization age of months.

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The problem with these sterilisation contracts is that, very often, people do not obey them particularly if the animal seems to be "purebred" ; they are rarely enforced by law and, consequently, the adopted animal is left undesexed and able to breed and the cycle of pet reproduction and dumped litters continues. The disadvantages associated with the early spay and neuter of young kittens: There are also several disadvantages associated with choosing to desex an animal earlier ratherthan later.

Many of these disadvantages were outlined in the previous section 3a when the reasons for establishing the month desexing age were discussed and include:. Early age anaesthesia and desexing is never going to be as safe as performing the procedure on an older and more mature cat. Regardless of how safe modern anaestheticshave become, the liver and kidneys of younger animals are considered to be less mature than those of older animals and therefore less capable of toleratingthe effects of anaesthetic drugs and less effective at metabolizing them and breaking themdown and excreting them from the body.

Even though it is very uncommon, there will always be the occasional early age animal that suffers from potentially life-threateningside effects, in particular liver and kidney damage, as a result of young age anaesthesia. Having said that, theanaesthesia time is heaps quicker, so maybe it all balances out There is an increased risk of severe hypothermia cold body temperatures and hypoglycemia low blood sugar occurring when young animals are anesthetized.

This hypothermia predisposition is caused by the young animal's increased body surface area larger area for heat to be lost , reduced ability to shiver and reduced body fat covering fat insulates against heat loss. The predisposition towards hypoglycemia is the result of a reduced ability to produce glucose from stores of glycogen and body fat as well as the fact that these stores of fat and glycogen are smaller in the young animal. Loss of sex hormone production at a very early age, as a result of desexing, mayresult in extremely immature development of feminine body characteristics.

In particular, the animal'svulva and mammaries will remain very small and immature. Early neutering may result in retained juvenile behaviours inappropriate to the animal's age later on. Early neutering may result in urinary incontinence later on but so can later neutering too. Note - I haven't encountered this issue in a cat, however. Early age neutering prevents cat breeders from being able to accurately determine which kittens will be valuable stud animals i.

Because desexing equates to a loss of breeding potential and valuable genetics, many breeders choose to only desex their cats after they have had some time to grow after all, it is not possible to look at a tiny kitten and determine whether or not it will have the right color, conformation and temperament traits to be a breeding and showing cat. This allows the breeder time to determine whether or not the animal in question will be a valuable stud animal or not.

Those people, having divested themselves of a problem pet, then go and buy a new animal, thereby keeping the breeders of dogs and cats in good business and promoting the ongoing over-breeding of animals. Author's note: at the time of this writing, I was working as a veterinarian in a highoutput animal shelter in Australia. Because shelter policy was not to add tothe numbers of litters being born irresponsibly by selling entire animals, all cats, including kittens, were required to be desexed prior to sale. Consequently, it was not unusual for us to desex male and female puppies and kittens at early ages anywhere from 8 weeks of age upwards.

Hundreds of puppies and kittens passed under the surgeon's knife every year on their way to good homesand I must say from experience that the incidence of intra- and post-operative complications that were a directresult of underage neutering was exceedingly low. As stated in the opening section, spaying is the surgical removal of a female cat's internal reproductive organs.

During the procedure, each of the female cat's ovaries and uterine horns are removed along with a section of the cat's uterine body. And, to be quite honest, from a general pet owner's perspective, this is probably all of the information that you really need to know about the surgical process of desexing a female cat. Desexing basically converts this Image: This is a preoperative picture of an anesthetized female cat, just prior to cat spaying surgery.

Image: This is a photo of the same cat after her reproductive organs have been removed surgically. All you can see from the outside is a small suture in the middle of her belly. Image: This is a picture of a feline reproductive tract, which has been removed by sterilisation surgery. For those of you readers just dying to know how it is all done, the following section contains a step by stepguide to the pre-surgical and surgical process of desexing a female cat ovariohysterectomy procedure. There are many surgical desexing techniques available for use by veterinarians, however, I have chosen to demonstrate the very commonly-used "midline incision procedure" of feline spaying.

Diagrammatical images are provided to illustrate the process and I have included links to myphotographic step-by-step pages on feline spaying procedure and pregnant cat spaying procedure. Preparation of an animal for any surgical procedure begins in the home. Your animal should be fasted not fed any food the night before a surgery so that she has no food in her stomachon the day of surgery. This is important because cats that receive a general anaestheticmay vomit if they have a full stomach of food and this could lead to potentially fatal complications.

The cat could choke on the vomited food particles or inhale them into its lungs resultingin severe bronchoconstriction a reaction of the airways towards irritant food particles, common in cats,which results in them spasming and narrowing down in size such that the animal can not breathe and even bacterial or chemical pneumonia severe fluid and infection build-up within the air spaces of the lungs. The cat should be fed a small meal the night before surgery e. Any food that the animal fails to consume by bedtime should be takenaway to prevent it from snacking throughout the night.

Young puppies and kittens weeks should not be fasted for more than 8 hours prior to surgery. Water should not be withheld - it is fine for your feline pet to drink water before admission into the vet clinic. Please note that certain animal species should not be fasted prior to surgery or, if theyare fasted, not fasted for very long. For example, rabbits and guinea pigs are notgenerally fasted prior to surgery because they run the risk of potentially fatal intestinal paralysis gut immotility from the combined effects of not eating and receiving anaesthetic drugs.

Ferrets have a rapid intestinal transit time the time taken for food to go from the stomach to the colon and are generally fasted for only 4 hours prior to surgery. If you are going to want to bath your female cat, do this before the surgery because you willnot be able to bath her for 2 weeks immediately after the surgery we don't want the healing spay wounds to get wet. When an animal is admitted into a veterinary clinic for desexing surgery, a number of things will happen: 1 You should arrive at the vet clinic with your fasted cat in the morning.

Vet clinics usually tell owners what time they should bring their pet in for surgical admission and it is important that you abide by these admission times and not be late. If you are going to be late, do at least ring your vet to let him know. Vet clinics need to plan their day around which pets arrive and do not arrive for surgery in the morning.

A pet turning up late throws all of the day's planning out the window. Do remember that your vet has the right to refuse to admit your pet for surgery if you arrive late. Her gum color will be assessed, her heart and chest listened to and her temperature taken to ensure that she is fit to operate on.

Some clinics will even take your pet's blood pressure. This pre-surgical examination is especially important if your pet is old greater than years. In addition to the routine health check, your cat will also be examined in order to determine whether or not she is in-heat or pregnant. If she is, the vet will discuss the added costs and risks of the spaying procedure with you and you can decide whether you want to continue with the operation or post-pone it. This is a simple blood test that is often performed in-house by your vet in order to assess your cat's basic liver and kidney function.

It may help your vet to detect underlying liver or kidney disease that might make it unsafe for your cat to have an anaesthetic procedure. Better to know that there is a problem before the pet has an anaesthetic than during one! Animals can have sudden, fatal allergic reactions to the drugs used by the vet; they can have an underlying disease that no-one is aware of, which makes them unsafe to operate on; they can vomit whilst under anaesthesia and choke and so on.

Things happen very rarely, but they do and you need to be aware of this before signing an anaesthetic consent form. Remember that the risks are greater with in-heat and pregnant animals. Remember that the costs of spay surgery will increase if your cat is in-heat in season or pregnant. As with human medicine, it is becoming more and more common these days for pet owners to sue vets for alleged malpractice. Vets today require clients to sign a consent form before any anaesthetic procedure is performed so that owners can not come back to them and say that they were not informed of the risks of anaesthesia, should there be an adverse event.

Vets may need to call owners if a complication occurs, if an extra procedure needs to be performed on the pet or if the pet has to stay in overnight. It is often best if you ring the veterinary clinic before picking your pet up just in case it can not go home at the time expected e. The cat is normally given a sedative-containing premedication drug beforesurgery, which is designed to fulfill many purposes. The sedative calms the feline makingit slip into anaesthesia more peacefully; the sedative often contains a pain reliefdrug analgesic , which reduces pain during and after surgery and the sedative action resultsin lower amounts of anaesthetic drug being needed to keep the animal asleep.

Dependingupon the premedication drug cocktail given, other specific effects may also be achieved including:reduction of saliva production and airway secretions this reduces drooling and therisk that saliva and respiratory secretions may be inhaled into the lungs during surgery ;improved blood pressure; airway dilation making it easier to breathe and so on. General anaesthesia is normally achieved by giving the cat an intravenous injection ofan anaesthetic drug, which is then followed up with and maintained using the same injectabledrug or, more commonly, an anaesthetic inhalational gas.

The animal has a tube inserted down its throat during the surgery to help it to breathe better; to stop it from inhaling any saliva or vomitus and to facilitate the administration of any anaesthetic gases. The skin over the animal's belly is shaved andscrubbed with an antiseptic solution prior to surgery.

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Image: This is a picture of a cat's belly being scrubbed and cleaned with an antisepticscrub in preparation for surgery. The surgery: In order for you to properly understand the process of cat spaying surgery, I have to take a second to explain the anatomy of the female cat's reproductive organs. Image: This is a diagram of the reproductive anatomy of a female dog as it appears whenthe abdomen is incised and entered from the abdominal midline.

This anatomy also holds true for the female cat except that the suspensory ligaments, important in the bitch, are of little significance in the cat. I have not drawn in the intestines or bladder aside from the stump of the bladder neck - bottom , which would normally overlie the animal's reproductive structures when the animal is positioned on its back thereproductive organs occupy the roof of the abdomen, near the animal's spine and kidneys. Of particular importance, when it comes to feline spay surgery, are the fatty ovarian pedicles the tubes ofdense fat and connective tissue containing the ovarian arteries and veins and the uterine body , just ahead of the animal's cervix.

These are the highly vascular sites that must be tied off securely with sutures so that they do not bleed and cut in order for the uterus and ovaries to be removed. Image: This is a diagram of the reproductive anatomy of a female dog as it appears from theside. This anatomy also holds true for the female cat except that the suspensory ligament, important in the bitch, is of little significance in the cat. I have drawn this view in order to give you a three-dimensional idea of where the uterus sits in the dog or cat it is located very high within theabdomen.

This is the anatomy that would be encountered if the veterinarian performed a flank spay a spay technique whereby the veterinarian enters the animal's abdominal cavity via an incision madethrough the muscles of the animal's flank. These are the highly vascular sites which must be tied off securely with sutures so that they do not bleed and incised cut in order for the uterus and ovaries to be removed from the animal. Failure to ligate tie off theseregions will result in severe abdominal hemorrhage. Photograph 1: A small incision usually around 1cm long, but can be up to cm long is made in the cat's skin, approximately 1 inch below the umbilical scar on the abdominal midline.

Picture 2: In this image, the veterinary surgeon is removing some of the fat termed subcutaneous fat, sub-q fat or SC fat from the incision line region. The fat is the white, shiny substance in the center of the incision line. There is generally a lot of fat located between the cat's skin and its abdominal wallmuscles. The veterinarian will often cut a small amount of this fat away, allowing easy access toand visualisation of the cat's abdominal wall muscles.

Image 1: The veterinarian enters the cat's abdominal cavity by cutting through the abdominalwall musculature on the midline of the abdomen. The veterinarian aims to cut along a central line of scar tissue that joins the right and left sides of the animal's abdominal wall musculature.

This line of scar tissue is called the linea alba literally meaning - "white line". By cutting through scar tissue, rather than the red muscle located either side of the linea alba, the veterinarian reduces the amount of bleeding incurred in entering the cat's abdominal cavity. Photograph 2: This is a close-up picture of the incision line after the lineaalba has been incised. You can see the hole going into the abdominal cavity. Photo 3 right : This is a post-mortem image of a cat's abdominal wall muscles. The skin hasbeen removed and the linea alba white line is clearly visible.

Image: This is the same diagram that I presented earlier, showing the reproductiveanatomy of the female dog or cat. In this diagram, the sections of the reproductive anatomy that are ligated tied closed with sutures and incised cut through are indicated with green lines. This tying-off and cutting procedure needs to be performed with great care, otherwise there is the risk of severe internal bleeding occurring or a section of ovary being left behind ovarian remnant , which could result in the animal returning to heat showing signs of heat after it has been 'desexed'.

Author's note: In the case of cat spay surgery, the right and left suspensory ligamentsare not usually taken into account. These ligaments are only really important in dog spaying surgerysince they need to be broken in order for the canine ovarian pedicles ovarian arteries and veins and ovaries to be accessed, ligated and transected cut.

Image: This is the same diagram that I presented earlier, showing the reproductiveanatomy of the female dog or cat when taken from a side-on lateral vantage point. In this diagram, the sections of the reproductive anatomy that are ligated tied closed with sutures and incised cut through are indicated with orange lines. This procedure needs to be done with great careotherwise there is the risk of severe internal hemorrhage occurring or a section ofovary being left behind ovarian remnant , which could result in the animal returning to season showing signs of heat even though it has been 'desexed'.

Pictures: After the uterus and ovaries have been removed, the surgeon uses absorbable suture material to close the hole in the cat's abdominal wall musculature linea alba. Because the linea alba is essentially a tendon-like, collagenous structure made of collagen , it has less blood supply than red muscle and, therefore, takes longer to heal than muscle would. To take this slower healing into account, the veterinarian often uses a longer-lasting suture a suturethat is slower to lose its strength and slower to absorb to close the linea alba.

Becausethis suture absorbs over time, the vet does not have to remove it later on. Image: The linea alba has been sutured closed. Photo: The subcutaneous fat layer also called the SC or sub-q layer is sutured closed. This layer closure acts to reduce the amount of open space called 'dead space' located between the abdominal wall and skin layers, thereby reducing the risk of a large, fluid-filled swelling called a seroma forming at the surgery site.

Images: The surgeon is closing the skin using non-absorbable skin sutures. Thesewill need to be removed in days. Image: Absorbable skin sutures can also be placed. These are called intradermal suturesand they do not need to be removed. They look like a line with no suture material showing.

They are useful because cats find it harder to chew them out. A Photographic Guide to Cat Spay Surgery: If you would like to view a complete, step-by-step, photographic guide to felinedesexing surgery, please visit our great Cat Spay Procedure page. What should be understood, however, is that the desexingof pregnant animals carries with it a much higher risk than the desexing of non-pregnantfemales does the ovarian and uterine blood vessels are much larger and bleed a lot more and the uterusitself is greatly enlarged and much more friable and prone to tearing apart, compared to the non-pregnantuterus.

In viewing this page which does contain images of surgical abortion what shouldbe clear to you is that there is added danger and risk and pain a bigger surgical incision to the female animal in desexing her whilst she is pregnant and that, for this reason, the emphasis shouldbe placed on having a female cat desexed well before she manages to become pregnant. If you would like to view a complete, step-by-step, photographic guide to pregnant cat spaying surgery, please visit our informative Spaying a Pregnant Cat page.

When your cat goes home after spay surgery, there are some basic exercise, feeding,bathing, pain relief and wound care considerations that should be taken into account to improve yourpet's healing, health and comfort levels. You can generally go on feeding your pet what it has always eaten. Some owners, however, like to feed their pets bland diets e. This is not normallyrequired, but it is perfectly fine to do.

Unless your veterinarian says otherwise, it is normally fine to feed your cat the night aftersurgery. Offer your pet a smaller meal than normal in case your pet has an upset tummyfrom surgery and do not be worried if your pet won't eat the night after surgery. It is not uncommon for pets to be sore and sorry after surgery and to refuse to eat that evening. If your cat is a bit sooky and won't eat because of surgery-site pain, feel freeto tempt her with tasty, strong-smelling foods to get her to eat.

Skin-free roast chickenoften works well and it is not too heavy on the stomach. Many cats also like strong-smellingfishy foods like fish-containing tinned food, tinned tuna or salmon or cooked fish filletsand small prawns. Avoid fatty foods such as mince, lamb, pork and processed meats salami, sausages, bacon because these may cause digestive upsets. Be aware of your pet's medications and whether they need to be given with food.

These drugs need to be given with food. Do not give these drugs if your cat is refusing to eat. Most cats that get spayed are not normally off their food for more than a day. You should contact your vet if your pet does not eat for more than 24 hours after surgery. It is therefore recommended that running-around exercise be avoided or minimized for a minimum of 2 weeks after surgery to allow the skin the best chance of staying still and healing.

Restrictingyour cat's exercise will also reduce the risk of a large seroma forming section 6b andreduce post-operative spay-site pain. Of course, many of you scoff at the idea of "keeping a cat or kitten rested and still! I would, however, avoid letting your catgo outside until she has had time to heal 14 days minimum. This will prevent excessive exercise, which couldimpede healing, and it will also prevent the feline spay wounds from becoming wet orpacked with mud and dirt and thus infected. In addition to this, keeping your cat inside will ensure that she doesn't wander off and go missing for days on end.

At least if she is kept inside, you will be able to find her and check on her progress and well-being daily. The most important thing you do need to do is monitor the wound to ensure thatit remains looking healthy and clean. Check the abdominal suture line daily. Look out for any signs of redness, swelling and wound pain surgical wounds should not normally appear painful or red beyond the first days after surgery.



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