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  1. cats health and wellness

Post-Surgery Recovery and Aftercare for Cats

Posted by Dr. Roth on March 17, 2022

Medical Advice
Wellness Care
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Pet parents put a lot of effort into ensuring their cats are healthy and happy, but sometimes surgeries are unavoidable in a cat’s life. There are several standard surgical procedures a cat may experience throughout their life. 

Undergoing a surgical procedure is stressful for both the cat and their pet parent. However, the following cat health advice will help pet parents prepare for their cat’s surgery, making the process less stressful. 

Post-Surgery Recovery and Aftercare for Cats

For most scheduled pet surgeries, the pet parent will drop their pet off in the morning and pick them up at the end of the day. The staff at the vet hospital will review the post-surgical information with the pet parent when they come to pick up their cat. Pet parents can request the post-surgical care information early so they can prepare their home before the cat’s surgery.

To prepare the home for the cat’s post-surgical care, pet parents should:

  • Make a comfortable resting area for the cat in a quiet area.

  • Keep any other pets away from the cat's resting area.

  • Place food and water nearby.

Also, pet parents need to monitor their pet for at least 24 hours after the surgery to ensure their cat doesn’t have any post-surgical health complications.

Spay and Neuter Recovery Care

Spay or neuter is when the vet removes the reproductive organs. With these surgeries, the area where the surgery takes place is shaved, and there’s a wound — the incision site. The incision site needs to be cared for and monitored. 

Pet parents can expect the following when they bring home their cat after surgery:

  • Lethargy: The cat will be exhausted and inactive immediately after surgery, but most regain regular activity the following day. 

  • Cone Collar: The vet will probably send the cat home with a cone collar. However, cats are very good at getting out of them, so they need to be monitored closely.

  • Medications: Pain medications and antibiotics are usually sent home with the cat. Infection is the most common complication after surgery; therefore, it is vital pet parents monitor the incision site and administer the antibiotic as prescribed.

  • Restricted movement: Cats love to jump and be up high. However, pet parents should limit access to the entire house to prevent their cat from jumping too much. The incision site could rip open if the cat is too active.

Dental Surgery Recovery Care

The most common dental surgery cats undergo is dental extractions. This surgery is common for senior cats because their teeth decay over time. The post-surgical care for dental extractions is similar to the previous instructions with a few differences:

  • The cat should be fed soft food for at least a week.

  • Activity doesn’t need to be limited.

Additional Cat Advice

Pet parents should contact a vet online or at the clinic if the cat is not eating or drinking 24 hours after surgery or is lethargic after 48 hours. 

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