It is not normal for your cat to show signs of heat after spay.
There are chances the something has gone wrong in the surgery or it is due to the internal system of your cat.
Your cat should not get pregnant after spay unless it already was pregnant when it was spayed.
To know more about why your cat shows symptoms of heat and pregnancy and to explore how you can deal with it, let’s read the article further.
Can A Spayed Cat Get Pregnant?
No, your spayed cat will not get pregnant. During your cat’s spaying operation her ovaries and uterus are removed.
This makes your cat infertile. Though there are rare cases where your cat might start behaving as if it is their breeding season.
If your spayed cat is showing signs of being in oestrus then you should contact your vet.
If your cat is spayed it should not show signs of being in heat or pregnant.
Though if your cat does show some typical behavior of pregnancy even after the spay then show her to your vet as your vet might have not removed all of the ovarian tissue.
It is necessary to take an action as your cat might keep going in heat otherwise and is under a high risk of mammary tumor.
Your cat might have symptoms of phantom pregnancy after spaying, it could be because of the sudden removal of hormones from the cat’s body.
These symptoms should go away after one to two months of treatment.
Sometimes your cat may only one of its ovaries removed at once. So only one of the ovaries is ligated.
So your cat may have to go through one more surgery to remove the remaining ovarian tissue. So if your cat is behaving abnormally then you should bring it to the vet.
Do Spayed Cats Go Into Heat?
No, spayed cats should not go into heat. In a spayed cat’s entire reproductive system which includes the ovaries and the uterus is removed in the surgery.
So your cat can no longer have ovaries to produce estrogen and so cannot go into heat.
While in an unspayed cat the ovaries produce a lot of hormones including estrogen. Estrogen is the hormone that triggers your cat into heat.
Though there have been cases where even after the cat is spayed they show symptoms and signs of going into heat.
This could be because the vet might have not removed all of the ovarian tissue.
Usually, there is ovarian tissue outside the ovary itself which is somewhere near the abdomen which is not easily seen.
This ovarian tissue that is not visible easily is a still-functioning ovarian tissue that makes the hormones. Hence your cat gets into heat.
This is rare after a spay surgery but it does take place. Though you should go to your vet soon, they can only tell you what is going on with your cat.
So if your cat is in heat then your dear cat will have to go through the spay surgery once again.
The vet needs to find the tissue, remove it, and prevent your cat from going into it once again. Though this should not affect your cat much.
If you see symptoms of heat in your cat then you should not worry much just consult your vet.
Further, your cat may get into heat if you had spayed your cat when she was close to her heat cycle. She would probably feel the symptoms of heat then.
Hence spaying a cat who is already in heat will not stop its heat cycle but it will finish the heat cycle.
Can My Spayed Cat Give Birth?
No, a cat cannot give birth after spay unless your cat was already nursing when she was spayed.
Your cat can continue to produce enough milk for her kittens.
Though some vets prefer to wait till the cat has weaned her kittens before performing the spay surgery on your cat.
This is because the breast/ mammary gland development which would be present during the surgery can make the surgery quite difficult.
The procedure of spaying can be performed anytime during pregnancy.
Though many times the owner is not aware that their cat is pregnant.
So before you get your cat spayed the vet would let you know if your cat is pregnant.
You need to let your vet know what your wishes are if your cat is found pregnant.
Sometimes there are chances that after the spay surgery your cat may develop false signs of pregnancy.
This could be due to the sudden removal of hormones from your cat’s body.
There are behavioral changes and there is the development of the mammary tissue during a false alarm of pregnancy.
What Should You Do If Your Spayed Cat Is Pregnant?
If you have adopted your cat from a place like a cat rescue shelter, then anything can happen.
Your cat might not have been spayed at all even though it is said they were.
There must have been a mishap and your cat might have just slipped from under the radar.
This could be because shelter being a place where dozens of cats are sterilized each day.
So maybe your cat never had the operation. As they must have thought that she is already spayed before she was dropped off at the shelter.
Hence there could be a mistake in communication.
Though if your cat does get pregnant then she should give birth to healthy kittens only.
Other chances of your spayed cat getting pregnant could be because in the spay session only one ovary of your cat might have been removed.
If your vet has performed ovariectomy and hence the uterus was also left in then your cat could get pregnant.
The thing you should be doing in such a situation is to consult your vet. Get a full physical examination Have an ultrasound scan carried out.
What Are The Causes Of Heat Sings In Your Spayed Cat?
1. Ovarian Remnant Syndrome
When your cat is spayed and you notice signs of heat then you should know that it might not be because the spay surgery was not performed fully.
It is because a few female cats have accessory ovarian tissue which is separate from the main ovary and this tissue becomes active after the main tissue is removed from the body.
In some cats, the ovarian tissue grows down the length of the ovarian ligament which is cut during this surgery but cannot completely remove as it is not visible to the naked eye.
If the abdominal wall is touched by the ovarian tissue then the cells can attach and vascularize forming a new and small ovary.
Even if the spay surgery was performed months or years ago the secondary bits of the ovary are growing and developing during this period.
Once your cat has developed a sufficient hormone-producing power only then will you notice a significant change in your cat’s behavior.
The signs will be very visible. once it is confirmed by your vet that your cat has an ovarian remnant the surgery should be performed to locate or remove the tissue.
2. Stump Pyometra
Post the spay operation a small stump of uterine tissue remains in the abdomen where the tract is tied off.
The stump will be inactive as long as there are no hormones available and hence cannot develop a pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus.
But if hormones are circulating, pyometra can develop in the stump. This development can cause the symptoms of heat.
Even if your cat is healthy there will be vaginal discharge and a distended abdomen will be observed.
Your cat might have to undergo exploratory surgery to remove the stump pyometra.
3. Adrenal Tumors
The adrenal tumors can produce hormones that are difficult to remove.
Though the exploratory surgery helps in differentiating this and an ovarian remnant.
Signs of heat are constant in such cases
4. Hormone Exposure
The cream called topical estrogen which is used by humans may be left on your arms or hands after use which your cat might lick.
If your cat ends up licking the cream from your hand then it might go into heat.
You should make sure to keep the area exposed to cream, away from them, keep washing your hands or wear gloves.
My Spayed Cat Can Not Give Birth, Why?
Your spayed cat cannot give birth anymore because its reproductive organs have been removed during the process of spay.
The process is called an ovariohysterectomy.
It is a surgical process that a vet performs on your cat and does not involve any surgical complications.
Can A Spayed Cat Still Bleed?
Yes, sometimes it happens that your spayed cat might bleed.
It would be because there might be some ovarian tissue outside the ovary itself near the abdomen which is not visible so making your cat go into heat.
Should You Spay Your Pregnant Cats?
Spaying your cat leads to abortion if your cat is pregnant.
No one likes taking the lives of born or unborn. But the pragmatic reasons affect a lot.
Most of the animal shelters around spay the female cats that come even if they are pregnant.
Though there might be some shelters that allow the pregnant cat to give birth.
There is a major overpopulation problem of cats. Mainly caused because the cats are not spayed.
Unspayed cats keep getting pregnant by unneutered cats and those kittens would give birth to many more offspring so the process goes on.
Many groups are trying their best to control the overpopulation of cats.
There is no place to house enough cats, even after so many shelters there are many unsheltered cats.
They get severely injured, they die, etc. So to prevent this, cats are spayed.
The more cats spayed more is the overpopulation of cats prevented. Cats in poor health during pregnancy can suffer a lot and even die while giving birth.
Hence no matter how unfair spaying sounds it is one of the kindest acts.
How Can You Take The Decision Of Spaying Your Pregnant Cat?
Questions that you should ask yourself before spaying your pregnant cat are-
1. For How Long Has Your Cat Been Pregnant?
If your cat is in the early or mid-stage of pregnancy then generally abortion is usually done but if your cat is in her last stage of pregnancy then abortion cannot take place.
Let your vet check how long your cat has been pregnant.
2. What Is The Age Of Your Cat?
If your cat is older or of an extremely small age then they are likely to have complications with their newborn.
They might be deformed or stillborn kittens.
3. How Is Your Cat’s Physical Condition?
You can decide if you want to let your cat give birth to kittens if she is healthy. Though it also depends on other factors.
But if your cat is in poor health condition then all the tasks your cat might have to perform and go through could put your cat’s life and health in danger.
4. Do You Think Your House Has Enough Space To Manage A Litter Of Kittens?
You have to consider if your house is safe or not for taking care and keeping safe a few more kittens now.
It is a huge responsibility. You should have a safe room where you can keep all your cats now.
This what you can decide if you want to let your spayed cat get pregnant or abort the child.
5. Are You Well Equipped To Give These Cats A Good Home?
You should have enough space for all your cats now. You should have the financial capacity, time for them then you can surely keep all of them with you or else give them to a shelter than aborting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Spay My Cat While It Is Nursing Kittens?
Yes, you can get your cat spayed while it is nursing kittens as it is capable of producing milk even after spay.
Can My Spayed Cat Produce Milk?
Your cat should have eight teats and all are able to produce milk.
It is called pseudopregnancy when spayed cat or a non-pregnant cat can produce milk.
After Spay, How Long Can My Cat Nurse For?
Your cat can resume nursing her kids within just a few days of spay or 24 hours.
As we know that due to mishaps in the spaying process your cat might even be able to into heat and can get pregnant.
Though it is nothing to worry about as you always get an option to either let your cat give birth or get your cat spayed again.
You should decide with a lot of thought and never forget to consult and follow your vet’s instructions.
For more queries, you could ask us in the comment section.