Re: Spaying a Pregnant cat
I have done both. It is a very difficult decision, and one that has long-reaching ramifications for both the cat and the person making such a decision. I am glad you are thinking about it, but you need to do what is right for you, and what your conscience can stand. Nothing is 'wrong' with either decision. Neither is one more 'right' than the other. What it is, is just a very difficult decision to make while being aware of all of the facts and making a decision that is best for the cat at that time/place in its' life.
Most of our cats showed up as ferals on our property that we took in and nursed to health and tamed/socialized. Some had litters of kittens while they were feral and I was able to catch all of the kittens, tame/socialize them and get them into an adoption program so they all were s/n/vaccinated and found homes. The mother cats were also caught and spayed. Shadow has been the only cat to have kittens in my home.
Pretty was a feral cat who had a litter and was very pregnant with her 2nd litter. I was able to trap her 1st litter (they were about 10+ wks old) to tame/socialize and go through the adoption program. I trapped Pretty about a day later, and going through the same adoption center, they were able to have her TNR'd for me. (TNR = Trap Neuter Release)
Personally, I would prefer to have a cat spayed as early as possible. If the cat were pregnant in the very early stages, I feel it is an easier spay for both the cat and the veterinary staff. I feel late-term spays are harder on both the cat and the staff, having to eliminate the life of those close-to-term kittens. With Pretty, I had no other options available to me. I had her 1st litter in my Master bath/bedroom to tame and I had no where safe to keep Pretty so she could birth and care for her kittens while I tamed her. I *had* to trap her and have her spayed, whenever I could catch her. I was unable to wait until a time I could be certain she would not be pregnant. Being feral/outside, she could have kittens, become pregnant shortly after giving birth and about the time she would be weaning the first litter, then she would be giving birth to the next litter, and getting pregnant again after having given birth. It was a very quick cycle, and with no way to isolate her, TNR while pregnant was my only option.
I eventually *did* tame her and she has become a good housecat, but it has taken many years (4) to get her to this point.
I recently rescued/fostered three young female cats. Two were trapped when they were about 3-4mo old. After they went through the program, a pregnant 7-9mo old Tortoiseshell cat showed up at my patio so I brought her in and sent her through the adoption program.
This is my "cop-out":
After I brought her inside, I called the adoption center and they agreed to include her in their program. With their program, their policy is to spay all female cats, regardless of any stage of pregnancy. In my own mind, by calling and getting her accepted into their program, I did not feel like she was 'mine' to make decisions about, so my conscience was clear when taking her for her pregnant spay appointment.
I know how hard this decision is. Best of luck to you.