My cat was diagnosed having a pyometra. I'm thinking: if I allow her to mate and get pregnant, will it be okay? And will it help my cat with recovering from pyometra?
Please do not let your cat mate! It will not help with the disease!
To treat pyometra you need the help of a vet.
The usual way of treating a pyometra is to remove the uterus completely. This is done because the disease is life-threatening and must be treated as quickly as possible. There are other treatments if you really want to breed the cat in the future, but please talk to a vet about it. They need to administer any treatment, no matter what you decide.
The next steps for you to take:
- Contact a vet you trust and tell him about the diagnosis of your cat.
- Let the vet suggest a course of action for the treatment.
- Think about your option and decide on a treatment that is best for your cat.
Pyometra means the uterus is infected. More literally, it means pus in the uterus.
Breeding her will not solve the problem, nevermind it being very unlikely there would be any surviving kittens.
Pyometra can be very serious. I recently had a a patient who was a young unspayed female cat who first developed pyometra, then the infection spread systemically (sepsis and endotoxaemia), resulting in both pneumonia (lung infection) as well as pyelonephritis (kidney infection). The cat is now recovering well, having spent over 2 weeks at a speciality referral hospital and having undergone spay surgery once stabilized. She was one of the lucky ones, nearly $20,000 in diagnostics and treatments later.
The point being, addressed early, pyometra is something that can be treated before it gets serious. Although spay surgery will almost always be recommended, it may not be emergent in every case (although in some it will need to be done emergently). Some cases can be managed medically, but this is obviously very much a case-by-case discussion with between the vet and owner.
Pyometra is a disease ultimately caused by hormones. A little background here...Cats are induced ovulators, which means that they ovulate with mating or sexual stimulation. However, some cats can ovulate with minimal stimulation (such as just petting). When a cat goes through oestrus and ovulates but does not conceive, they are at risk of pyometra. These repeated oestrus cycles without pregnancy results in cystic endometrial hyperplasia (thickening in the uterine wall), which is more susceptible to infection. There are often genetic factors at play as well.
In theory, breeding her at every oestrus might reduce her risk of pyometra (because less endometrial hyperplasia). Obviously this strategy would result in lots and lots of kittens. But in your cat's case, if she has a pyometra already, a pregnancy is unlikely. In the future, she will likely have reduced fertility from the underlying cause of the pyometra. She is also likely to pass on any genetic tendency for pyometra to her female kittens, which is obviously not desirable.
Hormonally, it also doesn't make sense to breed her. If a cat is to get pregnant, this will result in high levels of progesterone. With more progesterone, the uterine wall has less contractions and the cervix remains tightly closed. To treat the pyometra, the pus and infection in the uterus needs a way out. Managed medically, pyometra may be treated by drugs that get progesterone levels as low as possible (just the opposite of pregnancy). Getting progesterone levels low helps the uterus to contract and the cervix to open, allowing a route of drainage in a similar way an abscess is treated by lancing it.
Please talk to your vet about forming a treatment plan for your cat, whether that be medical or surgical. This is not a problem that will just get better on its own.