Veterinarians routinely tell their clients that spaying and neutering are important for their pets' health. Yet, some people still refuse to have their cats spayed. Often, this is due to false myths that have circulated about the spaying procedure and associated recovery. Here are a few of those myths.

Myth: Spaying is a dangerous procedure.

There are some cats who suffer side effects due to spaying. However, they are few and far between. This is a very routine surgery, one that most vets have performed thousands of times. As long as you take precautions in helping your cat to recover, such as not allowing them to jump onto high surfaces and keeping a cone on their head so they don't lick their incision, the risk of complications is very low. On the contrary, leaving your cat unspayed does put them at risk of a wide array of health problems, including ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and urinary tract infections. Spaying is the best choice for health, and it is a safe path towards improved health.

Myth: You should let your cat have a litter of kittens before spaying. 

Maybe you've heard you should let your cat have kittens before spaying so you don't deprive her of the chance to be a mother, or so that her personality has more of a chance to develop. But the thing is, there is no evidence to suggest cats feel deprived of motherhood, and there are several reasons it is best to spay cats early. For one, allowing your cat to have kittens — even one litter — contributes to the pet overpopulation problem. For two, spaying a cat before she goes into heat reduces the risk of some cancers.

Myth: Spayed cats urinate outside of the litter box.

Yes, your cat might go outside of the litter box right after her procedure when she is feeling disoriented from the anesthesia and when jumping into the box might be a little painful. You can help dissuade from this behavior by using a litter box with low sides for the time being. However, this is not a lasting behavior. Once your cat feels better, she should return to her prior litter box behavior; she is not more likely to go outside the box simply because she has been spayed.

If you have any lingering questions or concerns about spaying your cat, reach out to your veterinarian