Does spaying/neutering change a purr?

alisandeNovember 5, 2011

I mentioned to a friend the other day that I've noticed over the years loud purrs becoming softer after the cat was neutered or spayed. I observed it again this week when my kitten, who formerly had an unusually loud, growly purr, was spayed. However, I can't find any reference to this phenomenon on the Internet. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places.......or maybe the "phenomenon" is only in my imagination.

Has anyone else heard of this?

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My female stopped purring all together after I got her fixed. It's been 2 months since she was fixed and has not purred since. She use to purr all the time.

I really hope Wednesday gets her purr back.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 10:10PM
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I've never noticed this phenomenon in any of my cats.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 10:16PM
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Our 8 yr old cat, spayed since ~5 months, has the loudest purr! She always had a great purr, I don't remember it being any louder during her early kittenhood. Our other cat(s) now, and before, had no discernible change in purr after spaying.

I will say, that as they age, and over time living with us ("familiarity"), they become ever more vocal, louder, and more insistent (for pets, lap space, feeding....)! This includes purring while lying right next to my ear in the middle of the night!!!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 10:58AM
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I might be totally wrong, but I think the general anesthesia used during surgery has permanent and sometimes bad effects on some animals and humans. Of course I don't advocate not using it, just think it can cause problems. I had a cat once that had a very bad reaction to it during spaying, she almost didn't come out of it and she never purred after that and her temperament was different, too. I know one instance of a dog (miniature schnauzer) that underwent ear cropping and after that his temperament was so bad that they finally had to find another owner. I also think that older dementia patients who undergo surgery many times are much worse after-wards, and don't live very long either.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 11:03AM
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Ritaweeda, I think you're right. My adult female cat changed dramatically after her spaying, and I said at the time that I thought she developed a neurological problem.

As for humans, I had a terrible reaction to Versed this past spring. Versed is a sedative that erases one's memory. It is incredibly popular with doctors and hospitals. After doing some research, I'm certain a lot of people react, to one degree or another, the way I did, but these cases go unreported because people never make the connection between their symptoms and the minor surgery they had a week or more ago.

Even with those who don't react, the older we get the harder it is to overcome drugs that mess with your memory. Anesthesias like propofol, for instance, erase memory, too.

The media talks about the huge impact on nursing homes once boomers reach a certain age.......sometimes I think current medical practices are going to guarantee this.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 11:22AM
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Tanker was so loud when he was a baby you could hear him from the other floor of the house (in the basement if he was upstairs, or vice versa). I got a vintage sewing machine that "purred like a kitten" and it made me think my kitten was defective!

I didn't connect his current nearly silent purr to his neutering- I think he just found his "indoor purr" around the same time. If he was neutered and then got quieter, I would have noticed, but it was definitely a more gradual process that started before he was fixed.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 1:12AM
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how long after surgery are we talking? All cats and dogs are intubated during a spay procedure, which means there is a tube in the throat to get the oxygen and anesthesia into and out of the lungs. This tube can be irritating and some animals (people, too) will have voice changes, throat discomfort and other usually temporary changes post op for a week to very rarely a month.

Anesthesia, though potentially associated with complications, rarely has any long term side effects unless there were problems during surgery (like blood pressure issues, bleeding, surgical errors etc.). But anesthesia itself rarely has any lasting effects.

Interesting one had a problem with Midazolam (aka Versed)... I thank heavens I got Midazolam during my several surgical procedures exactly for the reason that it is an amnesic drug (who wants to remember the pain or waking up from anesthesia?). I had some dental procedures in which they did not completely knock me out, but thankfully I do not remember them at all.

I use it a lot in animals and though it is very similar to valium, there are less potential problems... other than cost, that is.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 11:26PM
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I'd like to reiterate that I don't think we should do away with general anesthesia, but we should be aware that in rare cases there can be bad results. All the instances I cited were permanent. And yes I know about the problems with the airway insertion, my FIL almost completely lost his very commanding voice for over a year after surgery because of it. I think bad effects of anesthesia are rare, but they do exist. I especially think that dementia patients are more at risk. But, we still need to use it, I certainly wouldn't want to undergo surgery without it, and wouldn't want my pets to, either.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 6:54AM
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