Conscious Cat

November 29, 2010 235 Comments

Caring For Your Cat After Surgery

Posted by Ingrid

The only surgery for most cats, if they’re lucky, will be their spay or neuter surgery.  But as cats get better care, and potential problems are diagnosed earlier, they may also need surgery for other conditions.  According to Dr. Arnold Plotnick, a feline veterinarian who owns and operates Manhattan Cat Specialists in New York City, “the most common surgeries we perform, after spays and neuters, would be removal of skin lumps or masses. Bladder stone removal would also be high on our list.”

Regardless of the type of surgery, caring for your cat after surgery can be a challenge.  Cats may be uncomfortable, experience pain, and their ability to move around freely may need to be temporarily restricted.  Knowing what to expect, and what to watch out for, can make caring for your cat after surgery less stressful for you and help your cat recover faster.

Talk to your veterinarian before and after the surgery.  Make sure you understand the type of surgery your pet needs, as well as any pre-surgical requirements such as withholding food the night before.  Find out what the expectations for recovery are.  This will depend on the type of surgery, and your cat’s age and health status.   Will your cat need to spend the night at the veterinary hospital, or will you be able to bring her home the same day?  Dr. Plotnick sends most  of his surgical patients home the same day, only about a third may need to spend the night.

Ask your veterinarian about post-surgical care instructions.  If your cat requires medication such as antibiotics or pain medication, make sure that you know how, and how frequently to give the medication, and what to do if you miss a dose.  Ask whether the medication has any side effects so you know what to expect.

Discuss financial arrangements prior to the surgery so that you don’t experience “sticker shock” when you pick up your cat.  Most veterinarians will provide you with an estimate for their services.

Provide a safe and quiet place for your cat

Cats may still be a little groggy after anesthesia, and they’ll need a quiet place to rest.  You may need to keep them away from other pets or small children.  You may want to set aside a bedroom or bathroom, instead of giving the cat full run of the house right away.  Put soft blankets or your cat’s favorite bed in the room, and make sure your cat has easy access to a litter box and to water.

Keep an eye on the incision site

Most cats will try to lick the area, and in the process, may chew or rip out their stitches or staples.  While licking and biting at the incision site is a natural healing process for cats, if you notice that the stitches are coming loose, you will need to put an E-collar (Elizabethan collar) on your cat.  Traditionally, these collars were made out of hard, cone-shaped plastic, which made simple actions such as eating, drinking, sleeping and even walking up and down stairs difficult and uncomfortable for cats.  Thankfully, there is now an alternative to these collars.  The Trimline Veterinary Recovery Collar is a soft, lightweight and flexible Elizabethan-style collar that provides a barrier to the treatment area from licking and biting, while still allowing pets to move around comfortably and easily.

Not all surgical patients will need E-collars.  Dr. Plotnick only sends E-collars with cats whose  sutures are placed in a location where they could be chewed out or traumatized by a paw.  “For example,” says Dr. Plotnick, “when doing a delicate eyelid surgery, you don’t want the cat to rub hereye and damage the incision, so an Elizabethan collar is often placed on these cats.”  Dr. Plotnick likes the Trimline collars “because they’re softer and more comfortable. I like that, in some instances, you can fold them down, so that they point toward the body (rather than up as a cone around the head). When they’re directed down, toward the body, cats can eat more comfortably and they still have their full peripheral vision.”

Watch for any redness, swelling or discharge from the incision.  Call your veterinarian if any of these are present.

Watch for any signs of pain

Cats are masters at hiding pain.  The instinct to hide pain is a legacy of cats’ wild origins. In the wild, an animal that appears to be sick or disabled is vulnerable to attack from predators, and survival instinct dictates to act as if nothing is wrong, even when something most definitely is.

A good rule of thumb is that a procedure that is painful for humans will also be painful for cats.  Some signs to look for that may indicate that your cat is in pain are behavior changes (quieter than normal, hiding, pacing, aggression), decreased or no appetite, increased respiratory rate, or vocalization.

Pain control is important – not just because you don’t want your cat to hurt, but because pain causes stress in the body and stress slows down the healing process.  Pain management should never be optional, but rather, an integral part of managing a surgical patient.

It’s always upsetting when your cat is facing surgery, but knowing what to expect, and how to care for your cat after the surgery can make it a less stressful experience for cat and guardian.

FTC full disclosure:  Trimline Recovery Collars approached me about featuring their collars.   Photo provided by Trimline Recovery Collars.

The information shared in this post, and on this website,
is not a substitute for veterinary care.

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235 Responses to “Caring For Your Cat After Surgery”

  1. ellen says:

    My cat had eye removal yesterday and came home last night. She is still a bit quiet. Is that normal? I have pain meds and she ate a little but not much. She is just sitting quiet.

    • Ingrid says:

      It’s not unusual for a cat to be quiet for a day or two after surgery, Ellen. Make sure that she’s eating at least a little bit, and using the litter box normally. When in doubt, contact your vet.

  2. bob says:

    My cat will be due to have a lung tumor removed next week, just wondering how long after the operation for tissue to be fully healed

    • Ingrid says:

      That’s impossible to predict, Bob, because it depends on a lot of different factors: your cat’s general health status, the extent of the surgery, whether the tumor is localized, where it’s located, etc. All my best to your kitty for a quick recovery.

  3. chanel says:

    Hi my cat had a stone removed surgery its been a coupl of days and he is eating normal and everything but only peeing small amounts ever time he goes not like befor when it would a long flowing stream…please help me is this normal? And how long till he does goe back to normal? Thank you so much Chanel Auchenbach

    • Ingrid says:

      You need to contact your veterinarian, Chanel. Peeing only small amounts, especially if there’s straining involved, may indicate a urinary blockage, which can be a serious medical emergency.

  4. Dan says:

    Hi, My cat had a mass removed from his front right elbow. He has a collar on, and seems rather active(normal almost I would say, other then a bit clumsy.)But I am worried about the stiches. He normally sleeps up on the bed, which is high off the ground. I’m worried about him jumping on/off might impact the wound negatively. Any suggestions?

    • Ingrid says:

      Jumping could be a problem, Dan, especially given the location of the stitches near a joint. I know it’s almost impossible to keep a cat from jumping, but do your best. Keep a close eye on the incision. If you see any gaps, loose stitches, redness or swelling, have your vet take a look at it.

  5. Anna says:

    My 7 month old kitten was just neutered and is very aggressive coming out of anesthesia. I tried putting his e-collar in twice only to have him rip it off once and almost strangle himself the second time. It’s almost more traumatic for him to have it on, at this point. I will try to put it on him again when the anesthesia is fully worn off, but not sure what to do if he won’t wear it. Advice?

    • Ingrid says:

      It sounds like your kitten was having a reaction to the anesthesia. If he won’t keep the collar on, you’ll have to keep a very close eye on his incision. If you notice any redness, swelling or discharge, call your vet.

  6. Aser Mir says:

    Hi, my cat (Cola) has just had her spay surgery. Cola is mostly an outdoor cat and thus relieves herself outdoors. I am concerned that she will not use the litter box at all and particularly since the vet has strongly advised for her to stay indoors for the next 10 days. Is there anyway I can get around this, either by taking her outside under supervision?

    PS. She is well over a year old.

    Many thanks

  7. Ella says:


    My 3-year-old cat has just been through a surgery on her jaw– she was attacked by an unknown assailant. The vet had to pull some of her skin to stretch over the wound, and attached it at the muscle below her lip. She’s in a lot of pain, and hiding away. Is there any kind of home remedy that I can put on the stitches that will take the pain away, and minimize the scarring?

  8. Daniel says:

    Our non longer homeless, one year cat was identify as a female cat. The vet recommended to have her fixed the day we took her to her chek up and vaccines. . The next day we left the cat to be fixed, we received a call hours later from the vet saying that is a male cat. That the cat was already fixed probably when he was a kitten. Using that as a reason why she could not identify him as a male cat. She had had already open his belly to find out that. We are very traumatized and feel sorry about the cat. Is this a normal confusion ? What kind of action should we take. The cat is traumatized and look scared. I will appreciate your comments and suggestion.

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m sorry you and your cat had to go through that, Daniel! It’s a little unusual for a vet to not be able to properly sex a cat, but it has been known to happen. Keep an eye on your cat’s incision to make sure it heals properly. If you notice any redness, oozing of swelling, call your vet. Watch for any signs of pain and ask your vet for pain medication if you feel that it’s needed. As long as your cat is eating and eliminating normally, it shouldn’t take him long to recover.

  9. Miasma says:

    Hey all, my cat just had an abscess removal on her hindquarters near her bum. (there was always a ruptured anal gland)

    Im so unsure of what caused it all to happen.. but regardless. its been about a week since her surgery and she’s in the E-cone (hard plastic one) but she’s acting very strange towards me.. normally my cat comes up to me purring and making happy kitty sounds. lately if i get close she’s growling. even when i offer food/water/treats she’s always growling at me. I try to give her as much space as i can but i want to remind her I care and that I’m there..

    Lastly she has a lot of wetness looking around her eyes.. is that something i should be concerned with? is it due to her not being able to wipe her eyes with her paws?



  10. Chrissy says:

    My 9 year old cat Tiger had bladder stones removed and had to have his penis removed to widen his urethra in case new stones form. The vet said that his bladder and kidneys were severely bruised and damaged when they opened him up. It is going on a week after surgery and I finally got to bring him home. He is not eating and attempted to sleep in his litter box, which I removed out of the bathroom where I am keeping him. I am afraid he will not make it. I am so worried and hate to see my once playful, energetic cat so weak and lethargic. I just need to know if he will be better? I can’t live with out my baby.

  11. Amy says:

    Hi Ingrid , thank you for writing this page out with these tips. I do have some questions though as this is my first cats surgery and honestly have no idea what to be expecting as the day goes on. She’s 6-years old and just came home last night from getting a tumor removed from inside her mouth, as well as a tooth extraction. She got anesthesia so was pretty out of it when came home as expected but she didn’t just lay down, she kept pacing back and forth even after I feed her, she seems pretty anxious and will meow at the top of he lungs (isn’t like her) she’s been smashing herself into things especially the door (she’s in the bedroom cause of other cats) she hasn’t drank any water yet and it’s now the next day in the afternoon she’s also barely slept, is the after effects from the anesthesia? Should I be worried? Also last night she went to use the litter box and peed all over herself, I don’t want to stress her out by having her take a bath and struggle so should I use a waterless shampoo or will this effect with her mouth when she licks herself?
    I’m sorry there’s so much to read and a bunch of questions I’m just worried and I’m not sure if I’m just overreacting or if I actually should call the vet or something. I’m not sure what to do..
    I’d really appreciate any help

    • Ingrid says:

      Amy, never hesitate to call your vet if you’re concerned. Some of what you’re describing may be after effects of the anesthesia or any pain medication your cat may be on, but I would run all of this by your vet.

  12. Chrissy says:

    Tiger passed away 1/20/14. He took his last breath in my arms. I miss him so much.

  13. Stephanie says:

    Hi i just got my 9mo old female kitten zaza fixed today. i have two other cats ..i tried putting a ecollar on her so she wont lick her wonds but me being one handed its really hard to get it on and my mom tried too..she is like a lightning bolt and flew out of our arms .. she is eating and drinking a little bit..i put her in a bigger cat carrier so she can rest she does rest a little bit but she is insisting to get out and roam with the other cats.. when can i let her have free run with the other two?? is there anything that i am doing wrong here??? please help!! thank you

    • Ingrid says:

      Ideally, you should try and keep her quiet for a few days after her surgery, Stephanie. Once you let her out with the other cats, make sure you keep an eye on her. Don’t let her play rough with the others, and keep a close eye on her incision. If you notice any redness, swelling or discharge, contact your vet immediately.

  14. Maddy says:

    My 4 month old mushroom got desexed last week, her brother axton ripped her internal stitche for our vet to put her in for emergency surgery to correct it. He’s given me a cone collar for mushroom, I take it off for her to eat because she can’t reach the bowls, is there anything I can do to make her more comfortable? Even her purring is different when she is wearing the cone.


    P.s the vet showed me how loose to do the cone up so I know it’s not too tight

    • Ingrid says:

      Hopefully, you vet gave you some pain medication for Mushroom, Maddy. The soft collars (Trimline) are more comfortable than the plastic cones, so depending on how long Mushroom has to wear hers, you may want to look into getting one of those.

  15. Shana says:

    My 8 month old kitten just got neutered today. On the way home he escaped from his carry case and crawled under the car seat. We believe when he did this a little bit of the glue the vet used cam undone. Hes been having slight bleeding but we have been washing him twice daily with providone-iodine and putting neosporin on after each cleaning.I have been keeping him in my room whixh incompletely sanitized and vacuum up all the litter as he spills it. I have not left hom alone at all to keep him from licking and I dont intend to for the next 3 days. How long till the bleeding subdues? How likely is it that it will get infected even though I am treating it regularly?

  16. Cassandra says:

    My cat Ramses (about 1 year old now) just had surgery on sunday to remove a foreign object from his intestines. The vet told us not to be too concerned about a bowel movement for a few days. How long should I wait to see if he has a bowel movement before taking him back to the vet?

  17. jenn says:

    My 15 yr old kitty had surgery to get two teeth removed she broke her teeth not sure when. It got really infected snd had puss and blood coming out her mouth so I took her to vet. I brought her home last night she ate her wet food shortly after getting up but today she isa hiding under my bed snd is still bleeding quiet a bit she won’t eat or drink today and hasn’t used her litter box in two days… I got told she would still be bleeding a bit but I’m nervous won’t eat or drink and hasn’t gone to the bathroom.

    Is this normal?

    • Ingrid says:

      If she’s still bleeding, and hasn’t used the litter box at all for two days, I’d call your vet or contact an emergency vet, Jenn. They can advise you whether she needs to be seen.

  18. Shanelle says:

    My 6 month old kitten was spayed two weeks ago. When I picked her up from the vet, she had a large bulge on her belly that I thought was swelling, but it didn’t go down so a week later, I took her back and it was a hernia so she had another surgery. Then yesterday (one week after the hernia surgery, she again had a budge on her belly, so I took her back and they opened her up again and said it was fluid (a seroma?). They gave her a shot of antibiotics and sent me home with anti inflamatories for her. Now today, the bulge is back again. What causes this fluid buildup, and what should I do? She is being kept in a large kennel so she is not roaming free, etc.

    • Ingrid says:

      Seromas are fairly common after hernia repair, Shanelle. Call your vet immediately. Since the seroma keeps recurring, your vet may need to place a drain.

  19. Marie says:

    My 5-yr-old cat had surgery 2 days ago for intestinal obstruction (hairball) and had to have part of his intestine cut out and then sewn together. He’s home now and drinking water/urinating, but does not want to eat. I also hear stomach/digestive sounds coming from him, usually after he drinks water. Is this a good or bad sign? Will he be okay for a while as long as he’s drinking water, even if he doesn’t want to eat? It seems as if he’s afraid to eat, like he remembers how he was throwing up so much before he had the surgery. Does he instinctivelt know that food might have a hrad time digesting right now because his intestine is still sore from the sutures to put it back together? Thanks for any help/advice. :)

    • Ingrid says:

      If he hasn’t eaten for 2 days, you need to call your vet immediately. Cats who don’t eat for more than 24-48 hours are at risk for developing hepatic lipidosis, which can be life-threatening. The bowel sounds you hear after he drinks water are probably not unusual after intestinal surgery.

  20. Lu lianne says:

    My cat had surgery for closing an open wound near her abdomen area. She has been sleeping a lot (most of the day) and eating but less than what she used to when she was ok. Is all of this normal and if not what do you recommend?

    • Ingrid says:

      It’s not unusual for a cat to sleep more and eat less than normal after surgery for a day or two. I would contact your vet for advice – your cat may need pain control if she’s still not back to normal.

  21. Lu lianne says:

    Her surgery was two days ago.

  22. shelby says:

    My cat thats 9 month’s got spayed today and when she was in they found a hernia, she’s home now but very scared and won’t leave the room. She hasn’t eaten since she’s arrived back home and her face looks like she’s been crying. She’s also backes into a corner and hissing at me whenever I go by her, which she’s never done before. Is this normal and should I just let her be?

    • Ingrid says:

      The “tears” are remnant of the eye lubricant that is used to keep the eyes moist while she was under anesthesia. The behavior is a bit unusual, but may be her way of coping with the stress of the surgery and having been at the clinic. If she’s still acting like that in the morning, and if she still hasn’t eaten, call your vet.

  23. Haley says:

    My cat had sutures taken out today and the vet said the wound looked great. It looks like my cat must have scratched where the sutures were because it is bleeding. Is that normal?

  24. Stew says:

    Hi, my cat had to have his tail removed around 4 weeks ago after coming home one morning with it all cut and bruised. It has slowly healed, he has had anti biotics and pain relief whilst wearing a cone, but as soon as I remove his cone he’s licks and bites at it straight away leaving scratches. Should I let him clean and lick it etc or keep him wearing his cone, should it not be bothering him by now?


    • Ingrid says:

      Check with your vet, Stew. If your cat is still bothering the incision even four weeks after surgery, he may still be feeling pain.

      • Claire says:

        Our approx 2 yr old cat Beyonce had 3 inches of tail removed after an injury. She had to have 2 ops as the first didn’t work so had a plastic collar on for 4 weeks. She had the stitches out and collar off on Friday and she has been very down since and is constantly looking at her tail which is much shorter and half bald from the op. Mainly she’s been hiding, I’ve had to bring her to her bowl and put out tempting wet food so she’ll eat. She’s normally so lively and a big eater and enjoys the outside but she is not interested. I’ve give her cuddles etc and she’s happy with that & doesn’t seem to be in pain, but you never know. Her tail also shakes a bit sometimes like it’s nervous. Hope you can advise. Thanks.

        • Ingrid says:

          Tail injuries are very painful, so she may still be experiencing some pain, Claire. The hiding, depression and not wanting to eat can all be signs of pain. I would ask your vet about prescribing pain control for her to see if that helps.

  25. Janet says:

    My Cookie comes home today after having a lumpectomy. I am praying the lab tests results are negative to cancer. The lump was located under the skin just below the rib cage underside of her body. What can I expect for her recovery?

  26. toni says:

    my storm cloud just had 2 surgeries yesterday..spayed and her “cherry eye” fixed. we had to bring her back to the vet this morning because her eye was gunked closed when she woke we gently wiped with warm washcloth…just as I had to for my daughter when she had conjunctivitis.. so when the vet called to check on her today and we told her that we wiped around the eye and she wanted to see her immediately. anyways now I am concerned because the eye drops they gave me wont go into her eye because again there is so much fluid buildup that she cant open the eye. what can I do for my poor baby girl? will she be ok if I wipe the excess gunk build up off at least under her eye? I feel horrible for even having this surgery done!

    • Ingrid says:

      Have your vet look at what’s going on and follow her advice, Toni. The fluid build up is a concern and needs to be addressed by your vet.

      • toni says:

        My storm cloud is doing much better.her eye doesn’t look like the other one but it’s definitely better than it used to be.I can see her 3rd eyelid but it’s not a big red bubble like it was before’s been just about a month and it still waters from time to time but the vet said she healed just fine. :)

        • Ingrid says:

          Thanks for the update, Toni! I’m so glad she’s doing better.

          • Susan says:

            L-Lysine amino acid added to my kitty’s food helped his cherry eye & 3rd eyelid go down on it’s own.
            Maybe Ingrid would suggest you try it?
            Both my Persian cats have big round eyes that run and the Lysine helps that too.

  27. Susan says:

    My 9 month old cat had his Cherry Eye repaired a week ago.
    His eye is still closed and fat, all hair fell out around his eye.
    We have to lubricate his eyes with sterile eye drops and lubricant drops for 20 mins or so, to even get the eye open a bit to get the antibiotic in.
    When his eye gets a bit open, the cherry seems to still be there.
    He refuses to use this eye at all. He always keeps it shut, or it is stuck shut.
    I think he is not producing any natural tears.
    Wearing a collar for another week.
    From other surgery pictures, the eye should have been open a long time ago…

    • Ingrid says:

      I would take your cat to your vet for a follow up visit as soon as possible, Susan. This does not sound like a normal healing progression to me.

      • Susan says:

        Thank You for your advice Ingrid.

        I took my cat back to the vet, back on June 5, as you suggested.

        Turned out his stitches tore out right after his surgery and were rubbing against his eye.
        He developed an abscess behind his eye and scratches from the stitches on his cornea.
        The poor thing was in absolute agonizing pain for almost a week!
        The vet removed the stitches, and gave me new drops. (asked for $55 more!)
        Seems healed now, but always has a strange yellowy reflection when you look at his eye. I fear he is damaged permanently.
        The vet said they would do another cherry eye surgery for free.
        I don’t trust this vet.
        I’m going to try to get my money back.
        Cherry has gone back down on its own.
        L-Lysine seems to do the trick to keep it under control.

        • Ingrid says:

          A lot of people have had success with L-Lysine, although there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that it does help. You may want to get a second opinion on your cat’s eye if you no longer trust the vet who did the surgery.

  28. Demelza says:


    My cat was hit by a car and ended up having his left eye removed. He has had a collar on for about a month now because every time it take it off he goes hard out, licking his eye until the skin bleeds. Is this normal or will he stop if I just leave him?

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m sorry about your cat. I would have your vet take another look at the eye, clearly, something is still bothering him even a month after surgery. I definitely wouldn’t take the collar off until he stops bothering the area.

  29. Shell Wade says:

    Hi I have a set of twin kitty’s, a male and female. I had Kramer the male fixed back in April. He went through it like a champ, and was his normal self by late that evening. *but they are twins and don’t handle being separated at all.. and the vet had told me to keep them apart when I brought him home that day.. but they just couldn’t or wouldn’t allow me to keep them apart.. Well I had Chloe fixed yesterday, and I know that her surgery is a whole different type of assault, and I kept them apart till around 7 last night.. but then we let her out of the bathroom, *where I had set up a little litter box, water bowl, her favorite blanket and necessities* They were happy to be back together, and Kramer didn’t bug her to much. but when she started wanting to be held, and pet, well that’s when he got pushy. But the reason I am writing this question, is I haven’t seen her use the litter box at all, and when I tried to give her food, *her favorite stuff* she walked away and let Kramer *the bottomless gut* scarf it up.. Should I be worried? Or when should I call the vet, about her eating. I mean she still looks like a crack head, or a heron freak, eyes all loopy, and walking funny like a drunk. And her vet appointment was yesterday at 8:30 am. I picked her up at 1 pm.. and she was doing all this today when I left for work at 1pm. Am I just being a nervous nelly? Just wondering.. thanks Shell in ND.

    • Ingrid says:

      If she hasn’t eaten anything in 24 hours, I would contact your vet, Shell. I’m also concerned that she still seems to be loopy from the anesthesia more than 24 hours later.

      • Shell Wade says:

        Ok.. yeah I didn’t think that she was suppose to be looking loopy, I will contact my vet as soon as I get off work.. Thanks again.. :)

  30. meg says:

    my cat is going to have large tumor removed from her left side this coming monday. i came on here to find out post-op issues. i believe i should restrict her from doing steps so i will bring her litter box up from the basement. but i don’t know how we will keep her from going upstairs… perhaps i should KEEP her upstairs in a room all herself until she has healed completely? that way we won’t have to worry when we are at work and she’s home alone?

    • Ingrid says:

      It sounds like keeping her in an upstairs bedroom for a few days may be the best solution, Meg. Discuss it with your vet when you take her tomorrow. All my best to her for an easy procedure and quick recovery!

      • meg says:

        thank you… i’m SO worried.

        • meg says:

          well… clementine did ‘well’ for the surgery but they tell me it’s the kind of tumor that can grow back… i kept her secluded in my room for the 1st week; now she’s ‘free’ to roam and displayed some of that aggression you mention in another entry. i thought it was funny and let her be that way; figured she was just letting off steam for having been sequestered. she still ‘loves’ me. i just wish there was a magic pill to make this thing not grow back.

          • Ingrid says:

            I hope Clementine continues to recover well. I’m sorry the diagnosis wasn’t better, but hopefully, it will be slow in coming back if it comes back at all!

  31. Laura says:

    Hi there, my cat Jasper had an operation yesterday and we got him back today. The operation was on his bowel because he was swallowed a ribbon and his instead times were bunched up and swollen. I was just wondering a few things: are we allowed to pick him up? Should we give him lots of affection or give him space? Should we wait until he goes to his good or should we take his food to him?
    When we go home, our other cat Eva who he is usually really close with hissed at him, is this normal?
    Also, the vet said that while Jasper was opened up, the vets had a look at some of his other organs and it was noted that his kidneys are a bit pale. Is there anything we can do to prevent him from getting kidney disease?
    Thanks, Laura

    • Laura says:

      Oops. Intestines, not instead times. Also, food not good.

    • Ingrid says:

      I probably wouldn’t pick Jasper up until he’s healed a bit, Laura, any pressure around the abdominal area is probably going to be uncomfortable for him right now. Whether he wants affection or whether he prefers to be left alone will depend on his personality, so take your cues from how he acts. As for whether to encourage him to eat, follow your vet’s instructions.

      It is perfectly normal for your other cat to hiss at him when he got home. He had all these strange smells on him! This is called non-recognition aggression, here’s more information: Hopefully it will settle quickly, if not, follow the steps outlined in the article.

      I would probably ask your vet to pursue additional diagnostics with regards to his kidneys once he has recovered from this surgery. As far as prevention, one of the best things you can do is eliminate all dry food, feed a grain-free canned or raw diet that is high in moisture, and encourage water consumption.

      I hope this helps. All my best to Jasper for a quick recovery!

  32. meg says:

    has anyone used that ‘dinovite’ for cats i hear advertised about to much? just wondering if it’s any good or even safe. thanks!

    • Ingrid says:

      I took a quick look at the ingredients. It looks like it’s a combination of digestive enzymes and probiotics, with some other immune system boosting supplements added. I’m not familiar with the additional supplements, but I highly recommend using probiotics and digestive enzymes on a daily basis to help keep the gut healthy and the immune system strong. The product I like is Dr. Goodpet’s Feline Digestive Enzymes, which is a combination of enzymes and probiotics:

  33. Michael says:

    Hi, my neautered male of 15 years just recently underwent some pretty heavy surgery, he had a mass on his liver, and had half or 2/3 removed. Pretty large chunk we are still waiting on results to find out what it is but the doctpr says may be cancerous, or abscess or cyst., we brought him home yesterday after two days over night at the vets. He wouldn’t eat or drink or use the bathroom. We brought him home yesterday I camped out in the room all night with him, fed him (yes he did eat and had a healthy appetite) and has kept the food down well. He also drinks. Both good signs in my book. He urinates has at least 3 or 4 times. But no sign of defecation. He is still fairly weak, standing takes energy and he moves a bit, only concern I had sometimes he lays down where there is litter on the floor, or even in his box. I of course move him away to avoid any infection. I plan to call the vet, see what he says but I of course welcome your input as well.

    • Ingrid says:

      It’s not unusual for a cat to not defecate for 2-3 days following surgery, but any longer than that, I’d be concerned. It is a good sign that he’s eating and urinating. I would definitely contact your vet.

  34. Anastasia says:

    My cat had surgery to remove pyometra infection today at 11. its now 4 in the morn and she is wheezing/breathing deeply. her pain med must have worn off but the vet didnt give us any more because she wants to be sure shell be alright cause she has had bad reactions to other meds. is it normal for her to wheez? in the morn i am taking her to the vet as soon as she opens, which is 6 hours from now.

    • Ingrid says:

      I hope your cat is okay this morning, Anastasia. Wheezing and labored breathing are always a medical emergency and require immediate veterinary attention.

  35. Kristin says:

    Our cat de-gloved the tip of his tail on Friday afternoon on a heavy door (about 2 inches) and had surgery on Friday evening. For the past two days he has been doing great with the cone (we take it off to supervise him eating), but tonight somehow snuck out of it while we were running errands. He ended up ripping what looks like all three of the stitches out. My question is: is there an option to re-stitch this wound or it is advisable to just keep an eye on the wound and keep it clean? Is it necessary to put the cat under anesthesia again?

    Thank you!

    • Ingrid says:

      I would have your vet take a look as soon as possible, Kristin. Depending on how well the area has healed, it may not need to be re-sutured. If new sutures need to be placed, it may be possible to have it done with just a local anesthetic.

      • Kristin says:

        Thank you! I brought him in and thankfully he did not have to get re-sutured, as there were still some internal stitches in place. He is doing great!


      • Kristin says:

        Thank you! I brought him in and thankfully he did not have to get re-sutured, as there were still some internal stitches in place. He is doing great!

  36. Jane Feagan says:

    hi my cat got into a fight or caught corner of his eye? took to vets they put him on antibiotics but nothing else. then I noticed he caught it again this time skin flap hanging from corner so back he went and had to then have an op and stitches to corner of eye and e collar on for 7 days with further antiobiotics and pain killer.
    took him back monday and she said keep him in for 24 hours collar can come off. she said stiches looked ok but obviously not guarantee they wont get pulled. they are disovable.
    my question?…. he is acting fine now obviously happy to be cone free and doesn’t keep going to corner of eye but when he does im worried as I can see the finish of the stiches like a little ball/knot and im worried if he catches it with claw or whilst out etc we will back to square one. should I still be able to see wound stiches or if completely healed wld I not see anything? thanks.

    • Ingrid says:

      It usually takes about 10-14 days for sutures to dissolve, so until they’re completely gone, there’s always a chance that they get caught on something. If you want to be 100% sure, you may want to keep the collar on him when you can’t keep an eye on him, Jane.

  37. Rita Miller says:

    The vet put my 16 yo cat under to flush his ears Friday. It is a day and a half later and my cat hasn’t slept. When I reported that my cat was jumpy and the pupils of his eyes were still dialated Saturday morning, the vet told me he gave him a wake up drug and if he still can’t sleep to bring him in Monday. Is there anything I should be doing?

    • Ingrid says:

      It sounds like your cat had a reaction to the anesthesia. If he’s otherwise acting normal (eating, using the litter box, etc.), it’s probably okay to wait until Monday morning, but I’d keep a very close eye on him. If you see anything that concerns you, I would take him to an emergency vet rather than waiting until Monday morning.

  38. Rita Miller says:

    Thank you. I feel better about waiting until tomorrow because of your comment but also because he is mostly still now. He’s dozing lightly but still jumps at noises. Once he laid down I started whispering to him to calm him and turned on static on the stereo to drown outside sounds. I am now hopeful that he will sleep. I was really worried that his old heart was being taxed too much. Whew!

    • Ingrid says:

      Sounds like you’re doing all the right things, Rita. Keep me posted on how he’s doing.

      • Rita says:

        The vet determined my cat was reacting to a major change in environment. Poor baby may have been in pain. We gave him half a tranquilizer and he slept. Not good at first but now he has caught up on his zzzs. He fights the ear drops we give him but his ears are looking much better so we will keep it up for a while. The vet couldn’t see his ear drum because of the gunk down there but it won’t be long now. The moral of the story is to take your pet in for a wellness check regularly. They will not tell you if something is wrong.

  39. Kristen says:

    My cat had a degloving accident two weeks ago and had a partial amputation. We have kept the cone on for two weeks and he had a check up today in which the doctor said he is healing fine with just a small amount of redness. He did mention that because we are not always home we should leave the cone on…

    He doesn’t seem to be licking or biting it with the cone off, and it’s been 15 days since the surgery. He is miserable when we put the cone on.

    My question is: are we able to leave him be without it on? Obviously we cannot be home at all times and I just want him to be able to return to cone free life :) it’s hard for him to eat and drink, sleep, etc.

    I’d appreciate your opinion!


    • Ingrid says:

      As long as there is redness around the incision area, I would leave the cone on while you can’t keep an eye on him, Kristen. You don’t want him starting to lick and bite at the area, and if it’s red, it may be itching or sore, which might make it tempting for him to work away at it. Did you get the soft e-collar? They’re much more comfortable than the hard ones, and generally better tolerated.

  40. Kristen says:

    Thanks for your response. They actually have me using a very large “vet one” collar which I think makes it harder for him. But I also think with the smaller one he would be able to access his tail. We do not have a follow up appointment as he didn’t suggest one. Should I just leave it off once the redness has disappeared?

  41. Paula says:

    My cat had PU surgery 5 days ago. Two days after the surgery I was concerned but the vet is off F, S, S so I didn’t do anything. Yesterday (Saturday) I was still worried so I took him to a different vet that was open. She gave him Clavaseptin, Onisor and Buprenorphine. Today he seems worse. The area around the surgical site is black (like bruises) and he’s not eating or drinking. I did manage to use a syringe to get 4ml of water into him twice today (morning and lunch time)

  42. Paula says:

    Now I see worms!

  43. Paula says:

    Well, took him into the vet today. They weren’t worms…they are maggots! The vet gave him revolution and said that should take care of it. They kept him for the day and put him on an IV. They sent him home at supper time and said if he hasn’t eaten by tomorrow to take him back.
    He is still crawling with maggots!

  44. Vincent says:

    My female cat manage to find her way outside today, the day after her operation. She might have stayed there for a few hours. Should I go to the vet right away or just watch for any signs of infection?

    • Ingrid says:

      When in doubt, always check with your vet. Since you have no way of knowing what she did while outside, watch her incision very closely for signs of infection.

  45. Sarah says:

    Hi. My cat recently had a Botfly removed and is currently nursing a two day old single kitten. She seems to drag the cone around the ground and absolutely refuses to nurse the kitten unless the cone is off and still takes ten minutes to calm down after.
    She will get a check up on Saturday but I don’t think the already weak kitten can make it through almost a weak of a stressed, distressed mother. To add on getting the cone off for however long to allow the kitten to nurse is an absolute pain the behind and even when nursing she’ll lick the botfly wounds!
    Is there an easier way to calm her down to allow the kitten to feed? Or should I consider getting a formula?

    • Sarah says:

      Adding On: She’s gotta keep the cone on at all times, so it’s nearly impossible for her to nurse unless someone holds her there, and it should be known that that stresses her out beyond belief.
      I’m really worried esspecially since the other five kittens were stillborn.

    • Ingrid says:

      Talk to your vet, Sarah. Newborn kittens are not my area of expertise, but I’m worried that this kitten is not going to get enough nutrition while the mom is recovering.

  46. Natasha says:

    Hi! My 5 month old kitten had to have stomach surgery. After 6 days at the vet and 3 days at home with a cone his stitches are out and he’s healed beautifully.
    The vet said he can only have wet food for the first month and as he weighs 2.5kg I’m feeding him 2 packs a day over 4 feedings.
    He screams a lot for food and keeps trying to break into his big sister’s dry food bags. Should I feed him more, 3 packs? I don’t want to overfeed his recovering tummy even though he is very active.

  47. Emily says:

    Hi! My male cat had surgery 8 days ago to remove a foreign object from his stomach. His incision looks great and he is slowly getting back to normal. He still has a cone on when we can’t watch him as he always goes to lick the area. Tonight I noticed he had clear discharge dripping from his nipple which is above the incision. When I grabbed some tissue to wipe it I noticed it was bloody. It kept draining for quite a while. I am wondering if this is normal after surgery or if I should be overly concerned.

  48. ashlea says:

    My 7 yr old cat had a bladder blockage Saturday night when we took him to the vet. They placed a catheter for 48hrs and when the removed it he was able to go on his own for almost 6 hrs. He re blocked and we were told the P U surgery was his best bet. We took him to another vet and surgery was done Tuesday. He came home this evening my sister is a nurse and since the vet isnt 24 hr we are able to monitor him at home. He hasn’t peed yet! They stopped iv fluid 8 hr or so post surgery. They placed a catheter to make sure there weren’t any other blockages and urine flowed freely 12 hrs ago so he should be able to go. He won’t eat and has only had a small amount of water since coming home. Any suggestions to get him to eat or drink or to pee!!!

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