The neutered cat goes into heat: why and what to do

How is it possible that a spayed cat goes into heat? It can happen under certain conditions – here’s what to know and how to deal with this unexpected event.

The decision to sterilize a pet is never made lightly, but always guided by the advice of our trusted veterinarian. Once the operation has been carried out, however, few know that completely unexpected and surprising events can occur, such as the sterilized cat that goes into heat. It can happen but only under certain conditions: here’s when it happens, what to do and what to expect in the future.

Spaying a cat: pros and cons

In the female of the species, this operation consists in an removal of the ovaries, called precisely ‘ovariectomy’. It is done through an incision in the abdomen and in this way the animal is therefore prevented from having other pregnancies.

Among the positive sides of the operation there is certainly that of limiting uncontrolled mating and therefore an increase in kittens often difficult to ‘settle’ in one or several houses and therefore forced to live on the street, but sometimes it is linked to the prevention of any cat health risks (e.g. breast cancer).

It is still an invasive operation, so you have to be careful of the consequences in the post-operative and during convalescence. We must avoid that the cat licks the wound, to exclude the possibility of infections or tearing the stitches.

The spayed cat goes into heat: symptoms to note

If a cat goes into heat, despite the ovariectomy, she could assume strange behaviours, similar to those of cats that can carry on pregnancies. In fact, the animal could meow at high volume and in a constant and prolonged way (even at night).

His attitude will always be agitated and nervous, as if he is looking for something and never finding it. On his walks he may often raise his tail and show his intimate area, but also rub himself on objects and people to release his scent.

The neutered cat goes into heat: when it can happen and why

Absence of ovaries and therefore absence of menstruation in the cat, yet she goes into heat: should we think that there is some serious health problem underneath? In reality, the causes of this unexpected event can be different: here they are all.

Ovaries not completely removed

During the surgical operation it may happen that the veterinarian is unable to remove all the ovarian tissue present. This residue or ovarian remains also allow the cat to go into heat, as if her ovaries had not been removed.

It is not always a human error of the veterinarian, but also of some physical and anatomical problems of the cat that do not allow to remove everything that should be removed.

Remains of ectopic tissue

The ectopic ovarian tissue, which remains inside because it has not been removed during the operation, could still give rise to hormonal phenomena such as heat. This happens because it is able to produce hormones even after a complete and complete removal of the ovaries.

But usually when ectopic tissue remains it’s because the ovaries haven’t been completely removed, so it’s likely to be due to the vet’s surgical error.

The sterilized cat goes into heat: what to do

Did we then notice the signs of a cat in heat ? The task of us masters is to alert the veterinarian to the appearance of the first symptoms. It is likely that the expert decides to proceed either with a new surgical operation to export the remains and residues or with a drug therapy.

The drugs recommended and prescribed by the doctor are often based on progestin, which however has some side effects to keep in mind (perhaps the same breast cancer from which we wanted to ‘save’ our cat). Better to avoid do-it-yourself methods and always ask your vet for advice before proceeding.

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