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How To Care For My Cat After Surgery

Most cats will need surgery at least once in their lifetime. Often, it's so they can be spayed or neutered. But accidents, injuries and various complications can also occur and develop, which your vet may need to address.

Whatever the issue, it's only natural to feel worried about them. You'll want to do everything you can to make sure they feel comfortable after their surgery.

Preparing your cat for surgery


Your vet will be able to advise you on how to make sure your cat is ready for surgery. However, some of the things you need to be aware of are:

Food – make sure your cat hasn't eaten for at least 12 hours before surgery. The length of time may differ if your cat is very young or has any health issues. This is because under general anesthetic, your cat can vomit in its sleep which may cause further problems.

If you just have one cat, then it won't be as tricky as if you have multiple cats. If you look after lots of felines – or even just pets, you will need to:

A) Consider the other cats.

B) Make sure your cat who is having surgery doesn't eat another's food.

Some vets can keep animals overnight, so check to see if this is an option beforehand to help – especially if you think one cat's stress might be contagious for the whole family!

Keep them close by – unless your cat is an indoor cat, they will usually enjoy going out at night and exploring. So, before their surgery, keep them safe and indoors so you can make sure that they don't go out hunting for food, and also that they're back on time for their operation.

Water – cats will also need to have their water supply taken away from them 2-3 hours before they have their surgery. Don't remove it the night before because they could end up dehydrated, which can be very damaging.

Travel essentials – after the surgery, it's understandable if your cat isn't quite themselves. Remember to line your carrier in case of any accidents and help them feel more relaxed with something familiar. Perhaps their usual bedding or a piece of clothing which has your smell on it. You could also Feliway Bedding Spray to help soothe them.

Speak to your vet for advice – your vet will be able to advise you on how to care for your cat before and after surgery. This will include any instructions on administering medicine, as well as what and when to feed them. It's always best to make sure you are around after your cat's surgery, so you can keep an eye on them, soothe them and give them extra special attention.

After surgery care


Once you and your cat are home, you'll want to give them everything they need. Sarah Pressler, owner of The Cat Haven, has some helpful tips and advice for anyone who is caring for their cat following surgery:

  • Have a warm quiet space ready with food, water and litter nearby as kitty will get chilly after anesthetic and may be groggy and disoriented.
  • Get bland food (i.e. chicken and rice) as anesthetic can cause sickness and upset tummies. Mind other cats aren't mean to poorly kitty, as often the smell of vets can upset them and cause them to hiss and growl. Brushing your hands (scent) over the cats can really help this.
  • Use a baby vest or make one from tights or leggings to cover scars to prevent biting. If the scar is on their tummy, this also stops kitty running about and hurting themselves.
  • Try hiding tablets in cheese, chicken or pâté if you're struggling. Webbox Lick-e-Lix is excellent for hiding liquid meds if your cat likes them.

Is your cat going in for surgery? Find out how our products can help you give them extra special bit of care and attention. From carriers, to harnesses, pet stairs, protector mats, raised food bowls and more.

See our Disabled Pet Care section for more information.

Disclaimer: This content in this article is intended for information or entertainment purposes only, it is not intended to replace the advice of a vet or animal health professional. Your use of the information is entirely at your own risk and Me & My Pets assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of the information found on this site. If you have any questions or concerns over your pet's wellbeing you should consult your vet immediately.  

Posted in Cats