From improving your cat’s health and longevity to decreasing the tendency of unfavorable behaviors, spaying holds surplus benefits for both you and your cat. On the other hand, kittens require their mother cat’s milk for proper development, hence, if the lactation process of the mother cat is disrupted, the kittens won’t be able to nurse from their mother. So, the question is “can spayed cats produce milk?”
Spayed female cats can produce milk and nurse their kittens normally after spay surgery. They will continue to produce milk and feed the kittens for 8-12 weeks (the required nursing period). This is because the hormones involved in milk production (oxytocin and prolactin) aren’t secreted from the cat’s reproductive system.
You must know how a kitten can safely nurse from a spayed mother cat and what precautions to take after spaying. All this information is crucial for the health of both the mother cat and the kittens. We have a detailed guide about spaying a nursing mother cat. So, let’s dive right in!
Spaying a cat is a wise decision to control pet overpopulation since we have too many pets in the world but not enough pet lovers to take care of them all. Spaying cats has numerous benefits.
If your cat just gave birth and you want to spay it, there must be a lot of questions in your head.
Spaying a lactating mother cat is totally fine. You can wait for 3-5 weeks after the birth of a mother cat before spaying her.
Spaying a mother cat doesn’t affect the lactation process. The female body of a mammal prepares itself for lactation way before the birth of its children.
Hormones such as prolactin and oxytocin are responsible for preparing the mammary glands for lactation. Both these hormones are secreted by the pituitary gland which is situated in the brain.
In spay surgery, the affected areas are the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus. Learn more about spay surgery in cats to understand which body parts are affected by it. These body parts of female mammals barely have any role in milk production.
When a kitten tries to nurse from its mother cat, it stimulates the mammary glands to produce oxytocin. Due to this, the process of lactation starts.
A spayed cat can nurse her kittens for as long as the kittens need. Spaying a cat won’t affect its lactation process or disturb the hormones involved in lactation.
The preparation of breastfeeding glands in cats finishes a month before the kittens are born. So, even if you spay your new mother cat just a few weeks after her delivery, she will be able to nurse her kittens.
Kittens nurse from their mothers for 8-12 weeks after birth. They will be able to get milk from their mother cat after spaying for the required time.
You can wait till the kittens are at least 8 weeks old before spaying the mother cat. This way, the mother cat will be exposed to a lower risk of complications associated with breast development.
However, if it is urgent to spay the cat right after the delivery, you don’t need to worry about nursing the kittens.
A mother cat is the best caregiver for her kittens. Kittens should stay with her for at least 12 weeks. Otherwise, the kittens may face health problems. Don’t keep kittens away from their mother cat for more than 24 hours.
You can let a mother cat nurse her kittens 24 hours post-surgery. This is enough time for the mother cat to recover from spay surgery.
Cat milk consists of healthy nutrients essential for the proper growth of the kittens. It contains the crucial vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats for the kitten’s development. Therefore, you shouldn’t keep a kitten away from its mother cat.
Both the kitten and the cat will be safe if you allow the mother cat to feed her kittens after spay surgery.
Giving some time to the spayed cat before letting her nurse her kittens is important. The cat doesn’t need weeks to recover but a few days. Here’s what you can do for the mother cat!
As soon as the mother cat comes across her kittens, she will want to nurse them. You don’t have to keep the kittens separate from the cat for days. But don’t let them be around all the time.
It is your duty to intervene and temporarily keep the kittens away from the mother cat. This will allow the cat to recover faster.
Allow the mother cat to be away from her kittens for at least 24 hours.
You won’t be able to stop a mother cat from feeding her kittens if they are living together. The motherly instincts will remain there in the mother cat even after spay surgery.
Find a kitten formula milk with all the essential nutrients such as iron, protein, calcium, and fat. If the kittens are less than 10 months old, they will need their mother cat’s feed. But you can control the amount of nursing by providing the kittens with milk replacers.
Don’t use cow milk or milk from other animals for the kittens. Kittens don’t have the enzymes to break down sugars found in cow milk. The only suitable milk for kittens is from their mother or milk replacers.
Providing warmed subcutaneous fluids to the mother cat will help in recovery after spay surgery. The speedy recovery process means that the mother can nurse her kittens as soon as possible.
You can ask the veterinarian to provide suitable fluids for the mother cat. Don’t go for any fluids without a proper prescription from a professional vet.
4. Monitor the Mother Cat Closely
The mother cat requires close monitoring after spay surgery for at least 24 hours. Don’t leave it alone in a room or somewhere where her kittens can disturb her.
The kittens can be very playful towards the mother cat. But you have to lower the activity of the mother cat for a few days. Therefore, the best solution is to keep the kittens in a separate room.
Kittens can nurse from a cat that’s not their mother. It is a lot more common than you think. Adult cats won’t mind raising someone else’s kittens with their family. She will provide her with everything like her own kittens.
Female cats can produce milk even if they aren’t pregnant. So, a different cat can feed a kitten if the kitten sucks on her teat. But this practice isn’t very common because female cats require hormone stimulation. It isn’t easy for a non-pregnant cat to produce milk but it is possible.
You can expect a cat to take care of a kitten that’s not hers. However, you will most probably have to use milk replacers for the kitten’s diet.
If the cat has her own kittens growing, she can feed the other kittens as well. Milk from another cat is totally safe for the kittens.
Even if the cat’s mammary glands aren’t lactating, the kitten may suck on her teats. It provides a sense of comfort and warmth to the kittens especially if the cat is involved equally.
The mammary glands might start milk production but it will require a lot of time. The kittens may stop suckling on the cat before milk production starts.
You can introduce milk replacers in the diet of a kitten to keep it away from a spayed cat. However, it isn’t safe for kittens to use milk replacement formulas before the age of 3 weeks. So, you will have to wait at least 3 weeks post-delivery to spay a cat.
After 3-4 weeks, the kittens can survive on milk replacers. Milk replacement formulas consist of healthy ingredients and provide the required nutrients to the kitten.
You can make homemade milk replacement formulas or buy them from any store. Here are a few milk replacements for kittens that are safe and healthy to use!
Nutri-Vet Milk Replacement for Kittens is a safe milk replacer consisting of essential nutrients. It will keep your kitten healthy. It has gut-supporting ingredients that prevent the kitten from having GIT problems such as diarrhea.
The milk replacement has a considerable amount of whey protein which is necessary for a kitten’s development. You can totally rely on this one as a safe alternative for a mother cat’s milk.
Kittens seem to love the taste of Hartz Powdered Kitten Milk Replacement Formula. So, introducing it to the kittens will be easy.
You can start giving a kitten Hartz Milk Replacement Formula after they turn 5 weeks. It is not only yummy for the kittens but also keeps them hearty. The formula is dense enough to fulfill the hunger of the kittens. All you have to do is add powder and milk to a baby bottle and feed your kittens with it.
PetAG KMR consists of a balanced nutrient blend suitable for all kittens. The powder doesn’t have any preservatives or extra flavors which can be harmful to the kittens.
It suits kittens with sensitive stomachs as well due to an easy-to-digest formula. It is one of the milk replacers whose composition resembles the essential nutrients in a mother’s milk. So, if you want the kittens to develop properly, PetAG KMR is your best solution!
Now you know that a spayed cat can produce milk even after spay surgery. The lactation process in the spayed cat won’t be disturbed and it will be able to nurse her kittens. You will have to take care of the spayed cat after the surgery and monitor her closely. Keep the cat away from the kittens so she can recover safely. You can also use milk replacement formulas for feeding the kittens after spay surgery.