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Is it unsafe to spay an older cat?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I know this is something my vet will have to help me with. We're going in next week.

I adopted an adult female from a local kill shelter. They said she was spayed, but she acts like she's not. Will the vet be able to tell by examining her?

If she's not spayed, will it be safe to do so now? I know anesthesia can be dangerous for older animals. The shelter estimated her to be around five, but were unsure because she was a stray.

How old is "too old" to spay?
post #2 of 10
I dont think there is any age limit for spaying your cat!! I would suggest having it done! I think if they're in the age range where they can still have kitties that they qualify, but all vets are different I guess!

Thank you for adopting an older animal! Just because they're older doesn't mean that they aren't just as special as a kitten!!

Good luck to you on you kitty quest!
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for responding. I've never had a girl cat before, so I don't know anything about this.

She was on "death row" and I couldn't leave her there. My boy cat was six when I got him from a rescue group. The little kittens get snatched up, but the adults usually get overlooked. It's so sad.
post #4 of 10
Fafeena was spayed at 12 years old.
Slinky at 8.

Those were my two oldest farm kitties.

It is safe to spay them at an older age. The trick is being able to tell if they're spayed. If she's older, if she was spayed the scar is often hard to see.
post #5 of 10
I think if they can't see the spay scar they could probably do an ultra sound so see if she is all still there! When I had girl kitties my vet pretty much just gives them full histerectomys so you can tell on ultra sound if everything is there!
post #6 of 10
5 is not too old for a spay and not that old to have anesthesia. My oldest feral was 6 before I finally trapped her for her spay.

Sometimes you can find the spay scar and sometimes you cannot. We found a female stray one time and brought her to the vet to find out and the vet couldn't tell. He offered to shave her to look closer, but he admitted that even with that they cannot always tell. We held off a bit and she never went into heat, so found out that she had been fixed. If your girl is in heat, better to get her in and have it done.
post #7 of 10
IMO maybe a cat that is 10 yrs or older would be a higher risk to be spayed, but not a 5 yr old cat. That is not old - old is when they hit teen years

Unless the cat is shaved on the belly, you may or may not find the spay scar. I'd discuss it with your vet. It may be a case like Ling had. She was spayed at 8 months old and about a year later came back into heat. Turned out to be a cyst growing in the area of where the ovaries had been that was causing a "false heat" - but you would have sworn the cat was not spayed - she behaved just like a female in roaring heat!
post #8 of 10
If the cat appears to be in heat, then more than likely it has not been spayed. Its also possible that the cat was spayed, but not all the important structures were removed (it only takes a few ovarian cells to produce enough hormones).

I would spay any cat that is not going to be producing kittens. Due to the way the structures were designed, its actually more harmful NOT to spay than to spay, even with an older cat because of the risk of estrogen toxicity and pyometra.
post #9 of 10
It is safe to spay when older. I didn't spay my cat until she was over a year and I know many breeders spay their females after the females are retired from breeding, so they are usually older by then. Also many shelters frequently alter older animals. It shouldn't be a problem.
post #10 of 10
Just make sure you do bloodwork prior to surgery
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