Can a cat get pregnant after being spayed? Spaying, also known as ovariohysterectomy, is a standard surgical procedure performed on female cats to prevent them from reproducing.

However, occasional misconceptions and myths surround spaying, including the belief that a spayed cat can still become pregnant. In this read, we will explore the myths, the facts, and the reasons behind such misconceptions.

The Spaying Process

Before addressing whether a spayed cat can get pregnant, it’s essential to understand the spaying procedure itself:


Spaying involves the complete removal of a female cat’s ovaries and uterus, ensuring she cannot become pregnant. A veterinarian typically performs this surgery while the cat is under general anesthesia.

Permanent Sterilization

The removal of both the ovaries and uterus ensures that the cat cannot go into heat, conceive, or give birth to kittens. It is considered a permanent form of sterilization.

The Misconception

Despite the straightforward nature of the spaying procedure, some misconceptions and myths persist, leading to the belief that a spayed cat can get pregnant. Here are some common misconceptions:

Pregnancy Hormones

Some people believe that residual pregnancy hormones can cause a spayed cat to exhibit pregnancy-like behaviors.

Incomplete Procedure

There’s a misconception that the spaying procedure may not have been completed correctly, leaving some reproductive organs behind.

Phantom Pregnancy

Phantom pregnancy, also known as pseudopregnancy, can lead to false beliefs that a spayed cat is pregnant. This condition can cause a cat to exhibit nesting behaviors and abdominal distention.

Reality Check

Let’s dispel the myths and clarify the reality surrounding spayed cats and pregnancy:

Hormonal Changes

After spaying, a cat’s hormonal balance is significantly altered. Her ovaries, the primary source of reproductive hormones, are removed. Consequently, she can’t experience a pregnancy, go into heat, or conceive.

Complete Procedure

Veterinarians are highly skilled in performing spaying surgeries. When done correctly, the procedure leaves no reproductive organs behind. Any errors or complications are typically addressed immediately.

Phantom Pregnancy

Phantom pregnancy, while it can mimic some pregnancy-like behaviors, does not involve the actual development of fetuses. It is a psychological response to hormonal changes, not a sign of a spayed cat becoming pregnant.

The Importance of Spaying

To emphasize the significance of spaying, let’s explore the key reasons why it’s essential:

Overpopulation Control

Spaying prevents unwanted litters, which contribute to feline overpopulation. Shelters are already overwhelmed with homeless cats, and spaying helps reduce the number of stray cats euthanized due to a lack of homes.

Health Benefits

Spaying reduces the risk of various health issues in female cats, including uterine infections and certain types of cancer. 

Behavioral Improvements

Spaying can lead to positive behavioral changes, such as a decreased likelihood of yowling during heat, territorial marking, and aggressive tendencies.

Preventing Feline AIDS

Spaying reduces the likelihood of a female cat engaging in risky behaviors, such as roaming and mating with multiple males, which can lead to the transmission of diseases like Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).

Addressing Phantom Pregnancy

While a spayed cat cannot become pregnant, it’s worth mentioning phantom pregnancy, as it can sometimes create confusion:


Phantom pregnancy can cause a spayed cat to exhibit signs like nest-building, nursing behaviors, and abdominal distention.

Veterinary Consultation

If you suspect your spayed cat is experiencing phantom pregnancy, consult your veterinarian. They can provide guidance and, if necessary, offer treatment options to alleviate your cat’s discomfort.

Support and Care

Provide your cat with comfort and care during this time. Offer a safe and secure space, as well as extra attention and affection to help her through the psychological changes associated with phantom pregnancy.

Conclusion: Can a cat get pregnant after being spayed

In conclusion, a spayed cat cannot get pregnant. Spaying is a permanent surgical procedure that removes a female cat’s reproductive organs, preventing her from experiencing pregnancy, going into heat, or giving birth to kittens.

While misconceptions and myths about spayed cats becoming pregnant persist, understanding the facts behind spaying is essential for responsible cat ownership. Spaying prevents overpopulation and offers numerous health and behavioral benefits for your feline companion. If you ever have concerns about your spayed cat’s behavior or health, consult your veterinarian for professional guidance and assistance.