Frequently Asked Questions

How old does my cat have to be for surgery?
OAR safely spays/neuters kittens when they weigh 2.2 lbs, which is 8-10 weeks of age (kittens typically gain about 1lb a month). Cats over 7 years of age should be spayed/neutered at a private veterinarian, and bloodwork should be done ahead of time to determine if they can be safely anesthetized.

Do I need an appointment?
You need an appointment for a pet cat or friendly stray or barn cat, and can make one by calling us at 513.871.0185. 1 or 2 feral/semi-feral cats in traps per client may be brought in for surgery without an appointment between 8 am - 4 pm Monday-Thursday (pick up your cat the day after surgery at 7:30 am -- ask at drop off for pick up day), and between 8-9 am on Friday (pick up your cat the same day 3:30-4:00 pm).  Each feral/semi-feral cat must come in its own trap.  This includes kittens. There are no exceptions to this rule.

How much does the surgery cost?
Our standard surgery cost is $40. We require a rabies shot if your cat is not up-to-date on its rabies vaccination, which is an additional $10. If your cat is up-do-date on rabies, please bring proof of that vaccination with you to the clinic. Additional services are offered at additional cost. For information on discount and voucher programs, click here.

Can you spay my female cat while she's in heat? How about if she's pregnant or nursing?
Your cat can safely be spayed while she's in heat, pregnant, or nursing. In the event that your cat is pregnant, the pregnancy will be terminated during the spay surgery. If your cat is nursing, we do advise you to wait until the kittens are weaned and eating solid food (at about 4-6 weeks old), and allow the mother cat's mammary glands to dry up for a week before scheduling surgery. If the cats are inside, you can separate the mother cat from her kittens when the kittens are eating on their own, to prevent milk production if the kittens nurse for comfort.  

My cat is only 6 months old - I don't have to get her fixed yet, do I?
Cats reach sexual maturity as early as 4 months old - which means your 4-month-old kitten can get pregnant. To reduce the chance of certain kinds of cancers, and to avoid behaviors like spraying, have your cat spayed/neutered before they reach sexual maturity. This is not only in the best interest of your cat's health, but will also prevent the behaviors that sometimes lead to families getting rid of their cats (spraying, pregnancy, etc).

Will spaying/neutering my cat alter its personality?
If your cat comes in as a friendly cat, he’ll come home as a friendly cat; if he comes in hissing and spitting, chances are he’ll be like that when he comes home! Spaying or neutering your pet will not affect its personality or how it interacts with you. It will cut down on mating behaviors like fighting with other cats, yowling, and spraying.

Will my cat gain weight after surgery?
If your cat is on a healthy diet and gets enough exercise, your cat will stay trim and fit! Offer your cat plenty of toys and vertical spaces to climb on to encourage exercise.

Does OAR declaw cats?
OAR does not declaw cats, and we do not give out recommendations for private veterinarians for declawing. If you are going to declaw your cat, however, we do recommend spaying/neutering at the same time; anesthesia is hard on the cat’s system, and combining the two surgeries minimizes the risk of complications from anesthesia.

Does OAR give cats vaccines?
OAR offers vaccinations, microchips, and FIV/FeLV tests at the time of surgery, but we do not provide services for your cat at any other time. Vaccinations that require booster shots (e.g. the FeLV vaccine) must be boostered at your private veterinarian’s office.

What does Revolution do? What about Cestaject?
Revolution is a topical treatment for fleas, ticks, earmites and worms. It is applied on the cat’s back between the shoulder blades, and helps protect the cat against these parasites for a month. Revolution should be reapplied monthly  to continue protection. Revolution can take a couple of days to kill live fleas, so do not expose cats that have fleas to other cats or dogs (we use a drug called Capstar to immediately kill fleas); it can take up to three treatments of Revolution monthly to get rid of earmites. Cestaject is a drug that kills tapeworms (Revolution protects against roundworms and hookworms, but not tapeworms).

What does the FeLV vaccine protect against?
FeLV, or Feline Leukemia, is a virus that is spread through contact with an infected cat’s bodily secretions (saliva, feces or urine, milk). FeLV can affect cats in a variety of ways, but often leads to cancer, blood disorders, or suppressed immune systems that are unable to fight off other infections. This vaccine must be boostered three weeks after the initial vaccine to be effective.

What does the FVRCP vaccine protect against?
FVRCP protects against three viruses: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (aka Herpes Virus), Calici Virus, and Panleukopenia (aka distemper). The Herpes and Calici viruses in cats cause chronic upper respiratory infections, characterized by cold-like symptoms (runny eyes and nose, sneezing, fever – this can sometimes develop into pneumonia). Herpes virus is airborne and highly contagious; Calici virus is transmitted through contact with infected cats or objects, and the virus can survive in the environment for 8-10 days. Panleukopenia is highly contagious and often fatal, especially in kittens. Vaccines are highly effective against all 3 diseases.  

My female cat has a hard bump at her incision site – should I be worried?
A small bump at the incision site is normal with female cats; the bump will reabsorb itself in a month or two. The bump is the body reacting to the sutures, but is not a cause for alarm. Excessive swelling or a fluid-filled bump can indicate infection, however, and you should contact OAR or your private veterinarian for a check-up right away.