Responsible pet owners have their cats spayed to help prevent the birth of unwanted kittens. It’s becoming a cardinal rule as we’re becoming aware of the massive numbers of feral cats roaming the streets. Cats are cute as kittens but unfortunately, many cat owners grow disenchanted with them as they age. If you adopt an adult cat or take in a stray, how do you know whether or not your adult cat has been spayed? This is a question that is frequently asked, and it’s a good one. The good news is that there are a few different ways to know if your cat has already been spayed.
How to tell if a cat is spayed
I Love Cats warns us that it’s not always easy to determine if a female cat has been spayed. With advances in feline surgery techniques, the scar line that is left by the procedure leaves a very tiny scar, but sometimes you can get lucky enough to find a scar if you look very closely. You have to know where to look and what you’re looking for.
Where to look for signs of surgery
The spaying procedure or OVH surgery is usually done on the midline of the body and it will run in a direction from the head to the tail. Look at the lower part of the cat’s body under the belly for a scar that will likely be about an inch in length or less. It may be the diameter of a hair if the cat is an adult and the procedure was done years ago. If you can’t get a good enough view of the area, it’s fine to clip away the hair/fur so you can get a closer look. The fur will grow back quickly.
Does finding a scar confirm that the cat is spayed?
Unfortunately, finding a scar in the right place is not a guarantee that the cat has been spayed, but it certainly increases the likelihood. If you do find a scar as described above, and your cat was once feral, it is possible that she was a part of the trap, spay, and return program. If this is the case, look at her ears. Most of these programs will remove the very tip of one of her ears to indicate that she has been spayed to avoid trapping her again and repeating the procedure needlessly. Another indication is a tattoo that is placed near the site of the incision. If there is a small mark that is either blue or green, this is more solid proof that your cat has already been spayed.
Other signs that a cat has been spayed
Hartz points out that a small tattoo that is made inside of the ear of a cat in the shape of an M indicates that the cat is micro-chipped. Other tattoos inside the ear may also indicate that the animal has been surgically altered. If the cat is chipped you may be able to take her in to the vet to have her scanned for more information about her spay status. Sometimes people must surrender pets they have cared for if they are unable to provide for the needs of the animal. You may find information about a previous owner. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to call and ask if that person has had the cat spayed. It may save you a lot of time and effort. Spayed female cats do not come into heat as they cannot reproduce. You could monitor your cat to see if this happens, but if she does come into heat, you’re taking a big chance of having unwanted kittens. This is not recommended, but if you can secure your cat indoors, and arrange for an appointment with your vet to have the procedure done quickly, it is an option.
Consult with an animal healthcare professional
After you’ve followed all of these recommendations and still wonder if a cat has been spayed there is one other way to know for certain. When there is no other way to confirm whether or not your cat has been spayed, you may contact your local veterinarian for assistance. According to Wikihow, this is one of the most certain ways to find out. Some cats that have been surgically altered heal so well that there are no physical signs that the surgery has ever been performed. A trained professional animal health provider will have the ability to determine whether or not your cat has been spayed. If he or she cannot tell by looking, there are medical tests that can be conducted to reveal the truth. If there is ever a doubt about this, it’s hard to know how to proceed in protecting your cat from unwanted pregnancy, but it’s something that you should investigate as soon as possible.
Sometimes finding out if your cat has been spayed is as simple as making a phone call to a previous owner and asking, or looking for physical signs of the surgery. Not everyone has a difficult time making this discovery. However, in some cases, a cat will show no obvious physical signs of having surgery, even though it was performed years earlier. We’ve provided several different signs that indicate a cat has been spayed, but unfortunately, there are times when nothing you do brings you closer to knowing the truth about your cat’s medical history. If you find yourself in this dilemma and you’re exhausted all of your resources, there is one sure way to find out. Your local veterinarian has ways of determining whether or not your cat has been surgically altered. Try the recommended steps before you result to making an appointment first, but if they all lead to dead ends, this is the best way to confirm whether a cat has been spayed or if you need to schedule the procedure.