Does spaying affect a cat’s coat?

Q: My beautiful Bengal cat Lydia is about six months old and I’m thinking of getting her spayed. The breeder said to be careful where the vet clips her for the surgery, as this could affect the colour of her coat. If this is true, what can I do about it?

A: I have seen this happen in the occasional cat, and I must say I’m not certain why. It is likely that the clippers irritate the skin and cause melanin, the skin’s natural skin pigment, to be produced, or that clipping disrupts the normal cycles of hair growth and moulting, leading to the patch of coat regrowing with a slightly different colour.

With cats such as Bengals, whose coats are prized for being so delicate and beautiful, it’s best to have them spayed via a midline incision over the belly, where any change in coat colour will not be as noticeable. Strangely, this unusual reaction does not seem to happen as much in domestic breeds as in more exotic varieties such as beautiful Lydia, but spaying is a good idea for all cats, so speak to your vet about your concerns before the procedure is completed.