Spring is in the air, and so are kittens. Heaps and heaps of kittens. At Pets in Stitches, we know this time of year is kitten season, and while those fluffy balls of fur are a lot of fun, they can be too much of a good thing. Spaying and neutering play an important role in cat population management. By providing the option of flank spays in cats, we can help to keep the kitty count under control.
Cat Reproduction 101
Our feline friends are seasonal breeders, choosing to have their young during the warmer months of the year. Unlike dogs, who go through a short breeding cycle, cats follow a longer timeline, and continue to cycle during the warmer months until they are bred.
Cats reach reproductive maturity early in life. In fact, a female cat needs to only reach 80% of her mature body weight before she is able to become pregnant. This can happen as early as 4 months of age.
A cat carries her young in her womb for about 60 days and may become pregnant again just 3 to 4 weeks after giving birth, while she is still nursing her litter. Without our intervention, she may have multiple litters during a breeding season.
It is easy to understand how the feline population can grow to extreme numbers without our help.
What is a Flank Spay?
One of the biggest challenges that we face in curbing the cat population is the fact that mother cats can become pregnant again well before their kittens are weaned. Traditionally, we often need to wait to perform a spay surgery as it is difficult for a nursing mother cat to heal when little kittens are rooting to nurse. However a flank spay is a spay procedure that allows new cat mothers the option of surgery.
When performing a flank spay, we access the ovaries through a small incision on the side of her abdomen, away from delicate mammary tissue. This allows an active nursing cat mother to continue providing nutrition to her kittens, while healing from this important surgery. The side entry also helps us monitor feral cats healing as we are often unable to closely inspect an incision on her underside.
How Can You Help?
When you start thinking about how many litters a female cat might have in her lifetime, let alone how many litters a Tom cat might father, it becomes clear that it is never too late. We are happy to assist you in spaying or neutering pets, or stray/feral cats, at any age.
Pets in Stitches is committed to helping bring quality, affordable care to animals of all walks of life. Helping to control the cat population helps ensure the cats that are in existence have the resources they need to thrive.
We enjoy a sweet kitten just as much as the next person, but we also know that keeping these bundles of joy to a minimum is essential to help the cat population stay healthy. We do this in many ways on a daily basis, and providing flank spays in cats is just one more way we help.