Tips For Caring For Your Cat After Surgery

23 September 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Whether your cat is undergoing a spaying/neutering procedure or something more personalized, she needs special care for after her surgery. Your veterinarian should give you an aftercare list for your cat's specific surgery. Nonetheless, be prepared to watch your cat closely for a while after she gets back from the animal hospital.

Be Aware of "Stoned" Behavior

In essence, your cat is stoned after surgery. Veterinarians typically use opiates during surgical procedures. This often leaves your cat less energetic and sleepy. She probably won't want to eat, and she may even act out of it. This is natural. Just watch her to ensure she doesn't bump into anything or fall off a perch. This period shouldn't last beyond the first 24 hours.

Watch for Aggressive Behavior

On the other end of the spectrum, some cats act aggressive and even wild as they recover from surgery. This is more common in multi-pet households. Your cat doesn't know what just happened to her and why it happened at all, so she's lashing out. This is pretty normal behavior, too. Just keep your cat separated from the other pets in your house, and keep reassuring her.

Call the Veterinarian for Abnormal Reactions

In rare cases, some cats experience adverse reactions to the surgery. Watch for the following signs:

  • Bleeding
  • Shivering
  • Decreased or increased body temperature
  • Pale gums
  • Labored breathing
  • Vomiting

If your cat shows any of these signs, call your vet.

Limit Activity

Don't give your cat any food or water for the time recommended by your vet, typically 24 hours. Likewise, don't brush or bathe the incision sight until instructed by the veterinarian.

It's also necessary to limit your cat's activity, even beyond the first day. Pet Care RX suggests not letting her run, jump, or play with other pets. Mild exercise is encouraged, but it's wise to let her heal completely before resuming normal activity.

Check the Surgery Site

Try to keep her from hiding – you need to be able to observe her recovery, but cats notoriously like to hide when they're hurt. If your cat easily allows you to do so, check the site of her surgery every day. First of all, make sure it's actually healing. Secondly, watch for signs of infection. These include discharge, bad odor, or swelling. The site may also be warm to the touch, bruised, or lumpy. All of these necessitate a phone call to the vet.

Switch from Litter

Dust and debris from traditional cat litter can aggravate the incision site. Switch to shredded paper for about a week after the operation. This is especially important if the surgery is on the lower part of the abdomen, such as spaying and neutering.

By keeping an eye on your cat and changing a few of her routines, you can make her recovery from surgery that much easier. For more information, talk to a professional like Animal Medical Center.