A starving 6-month old kitten recently showed up at our rental house on the island of Cyprus, and we’ve been getting her healthy again. The vet thought we should wait two weeks to get her spayed because of this. But now she’s in heat. I’ve seen some articles say that you should wait a month after the heat cycle to get a cat spayed, which would mean we have to wait for several months if the heat cycle returns every two to three weeks through the spring and summer. We can’t keep her from the local males for that long, and we'll be leaving for two months ourselves before we're back again. Cyprus is covered with wonderful but starving cats. She won't be safe by herself, and certainly won't remain un-pregnated. All the shelters and foster homes here are more than full. We were hoping to find a home for her in the U.S. (already have) and fly her when we do, but any delay in her getting spayed makes this problematic if not impossible. So I’m hoping that when she’s out of the noisy and weird estrus phase and in her interestrus phase, it’s safe to get her spayed? Or we should wait a week after her estrus phase? If we wait two weeks afterwards, don’t we risk her going into the estrus phase again? Time is of the essence for her spaying, but we also don't want to put her in danger, though she could be in more danger if unspayed and forced to survive here alone without a cat colony to protect her.
Spaying Cat During Heat Cycle
Thanks for your question and for looking out for this little cat, she's lucky to have you.
The timing of the spay can be difficult when a cat is cycling, as you know. Cats may be in estrus for up to 1 week and then they're likely to cycle every few weeks until they become pregnant. The surgery is slightly more risky when they're in heat, as their blood vessels are a bit bigger and the tissue is a bit more friable but it is possible and sometimes there's no choice.
I think the best thing that you can do is try to time the spay a week after the end of her last estrus and let the vet know that's been coming into heat so they're aware of that during the surgery. Check this timing with your vet too. Every female cat cycles slightly differently and this makes it even harder to catch them during the appropriate window to spay so sometimes there's no way of avoiding this. Either way she'll benefit hugely by being spayed and I agree, that avoiding a pregnancy is vital for her wellbeing.
Good luck with everything and well done for helping this little cat,
Thank you! It's day 11 of her heat cycle and the vet thought I should just bring her in and do it. Makes me nervous, but I think here in Cyprus, the problem of strays and their kittens is so huge that the vet's tend to spay and neuter whenever they can. Fingers crossed!
@michellehoover I hope everything went ok!