Female kittens traditionally are spayed at 6 months old, ostensibly before they experience their first heat. Spaying a female cat is called ovariohysterectomy. The cat is anesthetized, and the veterinarian removes her ovaries and uterus. The incision is closed by nonabsorbable stitches, which must be removed approximately a week to 10 days later, or by subcuticular stitches, or sutures placed below the skin that gradually dissolve in the body.
Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure that renders a female cat sterile but does not prevent her from coming into heat and attracting males. The procedure is unpopular for that reason.