Q. Many of our friends are adopting pets for their elderly parents due to their isolation, during these difficult (covid) times. Is there a prohibition to have a female cat spayed?
A. Spaying is a surgical procedure performed by veterinarians to render female animals incapable of breeding by removing their reproductive organs. The operation, also called ovariohysterectomy, involves the removal of the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and uterus. It corresponds to neutering in males, usually referred as castration or the complete removal of their testicles.
From the Torah text (Vayikro 22; 24) regarding korbonos, it would seem that the prohibition of castration applies only to male animals.
Poskim disagree regarding female animals if the prohibition is only Rabbinical (Rambam – H. Issurei Biah 16: 11, Shulchan Aruch E.H. 5: 11, Taz ibid. 6, Aruch Hashulchan ibid. 22, and others) or if it is even a Biblical proscription. (Hagra E.H. 5: 25 – 26).
Lev Aryeh (2: 34) rules regarding a doctor experimenting on female animals reproductive organs, that since most Poskim maintain that it is at least a Rabbinical prohibition, it is difficult to permit even in need.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a