Spaying is a major surgery that involves reproductive organ removal. Once you spay your female cat, a lot of things about her may change -- so be prepared for everything from a calmer, quieter and gentler overall disposition to an increased desire for food. Look out, food bowl!
Spaying surgery involves the removal of a cat's uterus and ovaries, and a result causes a permanent reduction in the female hormone estrogen. Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine indicates that estrogen is responsible for a lot of a female cat's appetite needs. The hormone offers appetite-inhibitory effects, so don't be shocked if you notice that, post-spaying, your previously dainty eater now all of a sudden has the appetite of a football player -- yikes!
The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine states that cats may put on a little bit of weight after spaying. After all, once a queen stops going into heat every few weeks, she no longer will have the restless urge to go outside in search of tomcats. This loss of desire to move about may trigger weight gain, unsurprisingly. You may notice that your cat is a lot more sedentary than before she was spayed.
In terms of specific types of food, a spayed cat's nutritional needs generally are similar to those of any feline in her age group, although it varies by individual. Speak to your veterinarian about putting together a sensible diet plan for your fluff ball -- and be sure to take into account her age, regular physical activity, medical history and any current medications she may be taking. Your veterinarian may recommend to you a diet that is centered around meat -- and full of protein and moisture. This type of diet may be appropriate for all adult felines, whether they are spayed or not.
If your female cat just got spayed, you may notice that she has absolutely no appetite, although this is probably just a temporary effect of surgery. Closely follow any instructions the veterinarian may have provided you regarding feeding. The vet may indicate not to offer your little one any water or food for several hours. If your cutie's eating patterns don't get back to normal after about a day, be sure to notify your veterinarian immediately of the issue, to be safe.
- ASPCA: Feeding Your Adult Cat
- Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine: Frequently Asked Questions
- Tree House Humane Society: Feline Diet and Nutrition
- Journal of Animal Science: Impact of ovariohysterectomy and food intake on body composition, physical activity, and adipose gene expression in cats
- East Bay SPCA: Spay and Neuter Post-Operative Care Instructions
- ASPCA: Top 10 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet