Spaying and sterilizing are very common operations, but they are still surgical procedures. If you don't know how to care for a cat after sterilizing it (female) or neutering it (cat), don't worry, you've come to the right place. There are many tips to help your pussy recover in the best way possible.
Part 1 of 3: Creating a Safe Environment for Recovery
Step 1. Provide a comfortable, calm space for the pussy
He will likely feel sick and confused for the first 18 or 24 hours after anesthesia. What's more, he's more likely to growl at people and other animals, so creating a calm and secluded environment is very important.
- Keep an eye on the cat and clear out any hiding places or dangerous spots.
- Do not let children or other pets come near the cat. He needs to rest and recover, and he won't be able to do that if he is constantly disturbed.
Step 2. Make the pussy as comfortable as possible
If he doesn't have a cot of his own, try lining a cardboard box with a blanket or soft pillow.
If possible, place the bed in a room with a tile or wooden floor. Cats love to cool their bellies in a solid, cool place! This can even help alleviate pain at the incision site
Step 3. Keep the environment in dim light as, due to the anesthesia, the pussy will probably be bothered by the light
An alternative is to turn off the lights completely.
If none of this is an option, get a covered cot to provide an escape from the light
Step 4. Keep everything close:
a clean toilet, feed and water. As it will not be able to climb stairs, jump or get too tired, it is essential to satisfy the animal's needs.
Do not use regular sanitary sand for at least a week after the procedure. The product can come into contact with the incision and cause an infection, especially in males. Use newspaper or shredded paper or even raw rice grains
Step 5. Always leave the animal indoors for at least two weeks
Thus, the surgical site will be clean, dry and free from infection.
Part 2 of 3: Taking care of your pussy after surgery
Step 1. Examine the incision to get an idea of what it looks like so you can monitor the progress of the recovery
If possible, ask the veterinarian to show you the surgery site at the clinic. A tip is to take a photo to have a reference in the following days.
Females (and males with abdominal surgeries) will have cuts on their tummy. Most males will have two small incisions in the scrotum - under the tail
Step 2. Wear an Elizabethan necklace provided by your doctor or purchased at a pet store
This object is for the animal not to lick the incision.
The product is also called an "isabelino" or "surgical" necklace
Step 3. Once you get home, pour some water into a shallow bowl or offer an ice cube for the animal to lick
The veterinarian will likely have provided feeding instructions; follow them. If you have not received any specific recommendations, please consider the following:
- If the cat is alert and receptive, offer approximately 1/4 the normal amount of kibble two to four hours after getting home. However, don't force the pussy to eat or drink.
- If the animal is able to eat normally, give another serving of feed after three or six hours. Keep repeating this pattern until the cat starts eating its usual portion.
- If the animal is less than 16 weeks old, feed half the normal amount of feed once you get home.
- If the pussy doesn't want to eat, soak a cotton ball with a little corn syrup and rub it on his gums. An alternative is to use a cotton swab.
- Don't give the cat any "special" food. In other words, stay away from the snacks! As the pussy's stomach can be a little weird, it's best to keep eating as regular as possible. Also, do not give milk, as cats cannot digest it.
Step 4. Let the pussy rest
Do not play or fondle too much immediately after surgery. While it's good for you, it's not for him.
Step 5. Avoid picking up the cat unless absolutely necessary
Moving the animal too much can cause the incision to open. If it's a male cat, avoid putting too much pressure on the scrotum (under the tail). In females, avoid putting pressure on the abdomen.
If you need to lift the animal for any reason, do the following: Gently hold the butt part with one hand and use the other to support it in the chest area, just below the front legs
Step 6. In the week following surgery, do not let the animal jump, play or move too much, as this may cause irritation or infection
- The tip is to remove scratches from the environment. Do the same with any furniture the pussy likes to bounce around on.
- When you can't supervise the cat, keep it locked up in a small space - the bathroom or laundry area, for example.
- If the house has more than one floor, carry the animal up the stairs. It will be difficult to open the stitches when making the move up or down the stairs, but this is a very sensible precaution.
- As cats may try to escape because they will be distressed, it is essential to stay alert and vigilant, especially in the first two days.
Step 7. Avoid bathing the animal for at least 14 days as this can cause irritation or infection
If necessary, clean the tummy with a damp cloth (no soap), but without wetting the incision itself. Do not rub the surgical site
Step 8. Give only the medications prescribed by the veterinarian and follow all instructions, even if you think the animal is pain free
Remember: cats are great at hiding this feeling.
- It is essential never to give other medicines to the pussy, as a medicine made for humans (and even for other animals) can kill! Never give medications other than those prescribed by the veterinarian. Even Tylenol can be fatal!
- Do not apply anything to the incision, including antibiotic ointments, unless, of course, the veterinarian has approved.
Part 3 of 3: Monitoring the Animal
Step 1. After surgery, if the cat vomits after eating, remove the feed from the cat's reach
The next morning, try feeding him some grains first. If he vomits again or has diarrhea, call the vet.
Step 2. Check the incision twice a day - morning and evening - for seven to ten days after the procedure
Compare the appearance to that of the first day to see if the pussy is recovering. If you notice any of the following signs, call your veterinarian:
- Redness: At the beginning, the edges of the incision will be pale pink or red. But that will disappear over the days. If not, it could be an indication of an infection.
- Bruises: A pale bruise that goes from red to purple during recovery is quite normal. However, if it spreads or worsens, see a veterinarian immediately.
- Swelling: Some swelling around the cut is normal, but if it persists or gets worse, call your doctor too.
- Discharge: When taking the pussy home, it is normal to notice a little red discharge around the incision. However, if it persists for more than a day, see a doctor. Likewise, if the amount increases or the discharge becomes bloody, green, yellow, white or starts to have a strange smell, the animal needs to be seen by a veterinarian.
- Cutting Opening: In male cats, the scrotal incisions will be open, but small. In females (or males who have had surgery through the abdomen), there may or may not be visible spots. If they exist, they must remain intact. If not, the cut edges must remain closed. If they start to open (or you notice any surgical material coming out of the incision), take the cat to the vet immediately.
Step 3. Check the cat's gums
They should be a pale pink color. When you press them, for example, the color should return quickly. If it doesn't (or if your gums are a different color), call your veterinarian.
Step 4. Look for any signs of pain
Cats usually don't express this problem very clearly, so it's important to keep an eye on the operated animal. If you notice any different symptoms, consult a veterinarian immediately. Some symptoms of postoperative pain include:
- Escape attempts and constant desire to hide;
- Depression or lethargy;
- Loss of appetite;
- Arched posture;
- Muscles contracted in the abdomen region;
- Anxiety or restlessness.
Step 5. Look for other warning signs to make sure the cat is recovering properly
Any behavior that does not appear "normal" should disappear within 24 hours of the surgical procedure. If you notice anything different about the animal, call your veterinarian immediately. Keep an eye out for the following signs:
- Lethargy for more than 24 hours after the procedure;
- Vomiting after the first night;
- Fever or chills;
- Lack of appetite for more than 24 or 48 hours after the procedure;
- Not having been fed for 24 (adult animals) or 12 hours (puppies) after the procedure;
- Difficult or painful urination;
- Do not defecate for more than 24 or 48 hours after the procedure.
Step 6. Call a veterinary emergency service
Generally, the regular veterinarian can solve many problems. However, in many cases an emergency consultation is required. Call your veterinarian if you notice any of the symptoms below:
- Comatose state (unconsciousness);
- Difficult breathing;
- Signs of extreme pain;
- Altered mental state (the pussy doesn't seem to recognize the environment or the owner, for example);
- Swollen belly;
Step 7. Take the animal to any appointments scheduled by the veterinarian
If the pussy has visible stitches, the doctor will need to remove them 10 to 14 days after surgery.
Even if the cat doesn't have stitches, it's critical to take him to the reviews
- On the first day, keep the animal away from children.
- Use shredded newspaper, for example, to make cleaning easier.
- Keep a neutered male away from unsterilized females for at least 30 days as he is still able to make them pregnant during that time.