Cats are pretty low-maintenance when it comes to their health. They groom themselves, don’t need to be walked, and generally take care of themselves. However, there are instances when they may need surgery because of an injury or illness. Here are some of the most common reasons cats need surgery.
In fact, this is a part of their comprehensive pet care (see this link for more info) which most pet parents usually overlook.
Here are six of the most common surgeries that cats may need:
1. Spaying or Neutering
This is a routine surgery often done when the cat is around six months old. It involves removing the ovaries and uterus in females (spaying) or the testicles in males (neutering). This surgery helps control the population of unwanted animals and has health benefits for your pet.
For example, spayed female cats have a lower risk of developing uterine cancer, and neutered male cats have a lower risk of developing testicular cancer. While some pet owners question its necessity and wonder if it’s ethical, this is a routine and relatively low-risk surgery that many vets recommend for most cats.
Even the most prominent animal rights organizations in the world, including the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ), support spaying and neutering as a way to reduce animal homelessness and suffering.
2. Dental Surgery
While cats groom themselves regularly, they can’t brush their own teeth. Because of this, they become susceptible to developing dental problems, such as tartar buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay.
Dental surgery is sometimes necessary to clean your cat’s teeth and remove any damaged or infected ones. The vet dentist usually performs this surgery under general anesthesia and may require a night stay at the vet for observation.
Some pet owners are worried about their cat’s anesthesia, but modern veterinary medicine has come a long way in making sure that it is safe for pets. These days, many anesthetics used on humans are also used on animals.
3. Ocular Surgery
Veterinary ocular surgeries are done to treat various eye problems in cats, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and entropion. Cataract surgery is among the most common senior cat surgeries as it is an age-related condition.
The success rate for ocular surgery is generally high, and many cats can see better after the surgery. However, you must note that not all eye conditions can be corrected with surgery, so it’s best to consult with your vet beforehand.
For other eye issues, such as dry eye or conjunctivitis, other treatment options are usually available that don’t require surgery.
4. Gastrointestinal Surgery
Cats can sometimes develop gastrointestinal issues, such as blockages or foreign bodies in their intestines. This surgery type is usually performed to remove the obstruction and clean out the affected area.
It is a relatively common surgery for cats, and the success rate is generally high. However, note that cats can sometimes develop complications after the surgery, such as infection or intestinal adhesions.
The best way to prevent gastrointestinal issues in cats is to feed them a high-quality diet and make sure that they have access to clean water.
5. Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedic surgery is sometimes necessary for cats who have broken bones or other injuries to their skeletal system. The most common type of orthopedic surgery for cats is hip replacement surgery, which is usually performed on older cats who have arthritis in their hips.
This type of surgery can be quite expensive, but it can significantly improve your cat’s quality of life. In fact, many cats that have had hip replacement surgery can run and jump like they did when they were younger.
6. Declawing or Onychectomy
Declawing is a type of surgery to remove a cat’s claws. While it is a controversial procedure, it is sometimes necessary for cats that scratch furniture or people frequently.
This is usually performed on young cats, as it is less painful for them than it would be for an adult cat. It is important to note that declawing should only be done as a last resort, and there are other options available for dealing with cats scratching furniture or people.
While cats are relatively low-maintenance pets, they can still sometimes require surgery. The key is prevention by feeding them a healthy diet, providing clean water, and keeping up with their vaccinations. If your cat needs surgery, consult with your veterinarian first to discuss all available options.
Ultimately, look for an experienced vet clinic or hospital that offers a wide range of services, including surgeries. This ensures that your pet gets the best possible care. Ask for referrals or look online by searching “animal hospital near me.” An animal facility within your location is beneficial in case of an emergency.