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How can you tell if a female cat has been spayed?

How can you tell if a female cat has been spayed?
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2/1/2012
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21,649
Experience: Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Thank you for your question.

I have to admit I am very familiar with this challenge (having 2 female rescue kitties with mysterious histories). And it isn't nearly as easy as with male cats (since there is nothing to see outside to give us a sign).

If Prettygirl is a young cat then first thing to do is to check her midline abdomen region. Sometimes you may be able to see a spay wound or feel muscle scar in the area. If she has been a rescue kitty, some rescues will put chromic cat gut when closing their muscle layer. The reason is that this doesn't break down with healing like normal suture would, and leaves a palpable sign of a spayed female (since its so difficult to tell if they have been).

If you don't see any signs of these, then its a case of wait and see. I would advise keeping her inside initially (and away from unneutered males), because unneutered females do tend to make themselves known quite quickly. This is due to their quite noticeable and frequent heat cycle. They usually have between 2-4 estrous periods a year, but in an unmated female they tend to keep coming back into heat every 2-3 weeks. So, if she starts yowling with her bottom in the air, then you will know that she is in heat and not spayed.

This is a challenge for vets and owners of rescue kitties with unknown histories. And sometimes we find these cats booked in for spays, but find that they have no uterus when we come to do the operation (just little remnant stumps from their previous spay). So, the best thing to do is to have a look and a feel of the midline, but if nothing is giving you a clue then it is a case of waiting and seeing.

I hope this information is helpful.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
If you have no further questions, I would be grateful if you would press the wee green accept.

Thank you,

Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21,649
Experience: Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Thanks Doctor B. She is an outdoor cat who showed up this past summer, we bought a insulated and heated house for her and she loves it, would like to take her to vet but don't really know how she will handle being in a cage for the ride to the Vet. Please advise. Thanks
Awwh, well it sounds like she knew just who to adopt.
Admittedly, I have yet to meet a cat who loves car travel and a trip to the vet but most do tolerate it (even if they yell at us the whole car journey there and back). Still, to limit the stress of a potential trip there are a few things you can do.

I would advise you to have a wee read about Free Access Crate Training (LINK HERE). This is where you provide a carrier to a cat and get them used to the idea that this is a wee safe cubbie for them (similarly to how she must feel about her little house) before needing to use it. That way they aren't completely out of thier element when they the travel in the carrier.

As well, (which this article also covers), considering using a sythetic pheremone spray (ie Feliway, also known as Comfort Zone in the pet stores) to help relax her before traveling.

Take care,

Dr. B
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21,649
Experience: Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
Verified
Dr. B. and 87 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
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Dr. B.
Dr. B.
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Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21,649
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