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My spayed cat is still having heat cycles, I think

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any experience with this? My female cat was spayed about 4 months ago after her kittens were weaned (she came to us as a pregnant stray).

Every now and again, she does the same calling as she did when she had a heat cycle shortly after the kittens were born. She is not exhibiting ay other signs and is not around any intact males (she is an indoor only cat).

It really isn't bothersome to me, but I don't know if it is to her?

I ask because I know the only way to know if any ovarian tissue was mistakenly left behind is to do exploratory surgery. I don't want to put her through that unless necessary.

Obviously, I am going to talk to the vet about it. But, just wondering if any of you knowlegable people have any experience with this. Are there pros and cons to going back in? Does one outweigh the other?

I am not even sure it is a hormonal thing, it just sounds like the same calling and she usually does it at night. It's not horrible and she doesn't even do it long (just a few loud meows), just has me thinking that may be a possibility.

Any thoughts or suggestions? TIA
post #2 of 15
Have you had a thyroid panel done recently? One of the symptoms of thyroid problems is nighttime "calling".
post #3 of 15
Hi,
I am responding to this as a veteran of this problem. I am a veterianry technician, about 4 yrs ago I adopted Melody from the shelter as a 8 week old kitten. She was spayed at my hospital a few weeks later. For 1 year she was fine then come spring again she posessed the same signs as your kitty, very vocal and affectionate. I took her back tothe vet and explained the signs, I did not believe she was in heat again since I assisted with her spay. After taking her to a vet that I do not work for, we came to the conclusion that she must have some ovarian tissue left. We consulted a reproduction specalist and they told us that it can take as little as a few cells to cause her to go into heat. We did an exploratory surgery that I am sad to report did not go well. 2 weeks after Melody's surgery she still was not recovering well. As a tech of 6 years I was sure to keep an eye on her and I took her back to the vet and told them something had to be wrong, she was just not herself. After doing an ultrasound, we found that the surgeon had accidentally tied off her left ureatur-leading to her kidney and we had to do an emergency nephrectomy ( remove her left kidney!!). Melody came through the surgery with flying colors, but I can honestly say that I highly discourage you to go in and explore your kitty, since there can be complications. I have since then tried the stimulation approach-cats are not like us in the respect of releasing eggs to reproduce. Cats will release an egg only when stimulated (sex) so the specialist told us that we may be able to stop the heat cycles by sexually stimulating her. I have to say it was not exactly something that one should have to do to their kitty, but with the vets assistance we "helped her out" and she has not gone into heat for 2 years now. You may want to talk with your vet and see if this is an option for you-it sure beats surgery looking back now!!! Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ah, thanks...I will check into that. Had no idea. See, you people are aplethora of knowledge!
post #5 of 15
Do you have a teaching veterinary school around? They might be amenable to some questions from you. Also, an ultrasound could possibly be done rather than exploratory surgery. My cat was having terrible problems (but she wasn't spayed yet) and we found out she had LOTS of ovarian cysts. So she was having like 2 heat cycles a month. So I would say that some sort of hormonal shift could be the culprit.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
I will have to check around, I am not sure about the vet schools...but I dont know.

An ultrasound would be a great idea, I would just hate ot open her up unnecessarily. Like I said, she is not exhibiting any other abnormal signs or anything...just the calling. And it's not awful or persistent. She will stop if I call her over.

At first, I wondered if she was just missing her kittens...but it has been too long for that.

As far as the thyroid issues, she doesn't show ay other sugns, but you never know. I will definitely ask my vet about that possibility.

I guess I am just afraid that they didn't get all of the female organs and her hormones are out of whack....hoping that is not it. Well, hoping it's not her thyroid too...
post #7 of 15
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
that is interesting...especially this:
Quote:
As for the heat, some cats have been known to have a ‘false heat’ after surgery. However, only one false heat is normal. If heats do recur, it is likely that a small portion of the ovary is still in the abdomen and is causing your kitty go into heat. If this happens, talk to your vet. He/she may recommend exploratory surgery to find the remaining tissue.
The only thing is, she is not exhibiting any of the other heat signs, like the body language, kwim? That is what is throwing me off. (I have seen her in a real heat...she was obnoxious...this is different)

Oh, I hope she doesn't need surgery. But if she does, we will deal with it.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your insight Kittykorner! That is exactly what my fear is...that the likelhood is that there is very little tissue left over (if any) and how would they find it? And since surgery carries risk, as you pointed out, is it worth it? Especially if there is a significant chance they can't even fix it.

My next question is...if they think that is a possibility, is she at some sort of risk leaving it there? I mean, I can live with her calling...it isn't persistent or anything. And she will stop if I call her over. I just am more worried about her health than anything. I guess i am thinking like infection or something (from left over cells).

Then again, why wouldn't the body just absorb them? I mean, if they are left over...you would think they would eventually just die off, shrink...be reabsorbed. But, I guess if they are still receiving blood flow, that wouldn't happen...lol, just thinking out loud here...

Thanks for your help!
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Btw, what you described 'helping her out' cracked me up. It does make sense though.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by poohandwendy
Btw, what you described 'helping her out' cracked me up. It does make sense though.

By "helping her out" I meant that we literally had a thermometer go up her vagina and act as if it were a male cats penis. Gross I know but it did help and trust me, my veterinarian and I have never been so embarassed in our lives! I am not sure that in this case and ultrasound will be helpful as if it is olny a few cells it may not show at all, and ultrasounds can be very exprensive-we did and ultrasound before Melody's surgery-no answers. There is also an injectable drug that can be used to inflame the ovarian tissue to make it visible on either ultrasound or surgery but it is expensive and not a 100% guarantee to work but it may be an option should she require surgery. Good luck!!!!
post #12 of 15
Another thought, my baby still 'calls' at night sometimes as well and its been over two years since she's been fixed. But with my girl, she does it right before she takes her Halloween cat pose and goes into pysco kitten mode. Shee'll continue calling for about ten minutes if I let her and then go back to normal. I was worried about it at first and did all the blood tests, which got very costly and the vets couldn't figure it out. Now I just realize that it's tear around the house and see if we can scare the dog time.
post #13 of 15
I'm right there with you. My cat has been spayed three times. Once they missed a large part of the uterus. The second time they missed both ovaries, one of which was cystic. And the third one just occurred about a month ago. Since that last spay, she called and stuck her bottom in the air for about five days last week. My vet couldn't figure out why. She suggested hormones as well or that she has some sort of condition from birth of having ovarian tissue all over her body. I'm just hoping it was that false heat thing someone mentioned and we're good now. I can't afford any more medical work in the near future...
post #14 of 15
Tara does this from time to time as well. She was spayed several years ago, and once in awhile, she goes into heat. Calling, rubbing, even the back leg dancing. I think it might be because my neighbors all have unspayed cats, and maybe that could "trigger" it, but I'm not certain. The vet said there is no chance of getting pregnant should she ever contact an unfixed male and exploratory surgery is up in the thousands of dollars, so thats not really an option for me.
post #15 of 15

I can't do the exploratory surgery either because it is just too expensive, I am at the end of my rope with what to do, getting 2 hrs. of sleep a night, I love her but am feeling guilty about my feelings of wanting to place her with another family for adoption

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