Caring For Your Cat After Surgery

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.

Trimline Recovery Collars are available from Amazon.

Photo provided by Trimline Recovery Collars, used with permission.

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

342 Comments on Caring For Your Cat After Surgery

  1. Carol G.
    November 28, 2016 at 5:45 pm (2 weeks ago)

    My cat had to go into a 24 hour emergency vet hospital for extensive IV’s after she stopped eating because of her kidney condition. She had to stay there for 48 hours. I was able to visit her and even witnessed her actually eating.

    The vet (great vet) said after the constant IV’s and some other meds (appetite stimulant too) her renal panels came back “normal” – they came down.

    After two days and two nights I was able to go pick her up. When she got home she walked slowly to her litter box and peed and pooed a little (she had not pooed for days – probably because she wasn’t eating).

    Then she walked into a spare bedroom and got on the bed – the room where she stayed until I rushed her to the vet hospital because I couldn’t stand to watch her starve to death.

    Well, she laid on that bed for several hours – won’t eat again, but I’m not sure when she ate at the hospital. She finally got up, came out into the living room, walked around a little, head hung down, would lie down, then went over to the water bowl – drank a little. Still won’t eat… I picked her up and put her on a table by me where she used to hang out in her ‘normal” days.

    I finally called the vet hospital because I was so concerned at hoe lethargic she was acting. The vet tech said that the hospital lights are always on, there is always activity, and they are always “messing” with the animals in there for emergency care. When I visited her, the place looked like a trauma center – all the cages connected, vet techs running all over the place, noisy, and super hectic.

    I guess I am hoping that after spending the night at home, getting back to her routine and getting used to her quiet surroundings, she will return to a bit more of herself, and calm down a bit.

    As far as her eating goes, she ws put on prescription k/d food (I saw her eating it in the ER) and I know it is edible because my other cat started eating it (I shooed him away).

    Reply
      • Carol G
        November 28, 2016 at 7:35 pm (2 weeks ago)

        Thanks for your response. I am hoping that Maggie will start being more like herself after getting over her 48 hour trauma type existence in a hectic ICU. That place was really busy and I’m sure she was up for almost 48 hours while she was there…

        She has renal failure, so I’m not too sure I want to try the feeding tube route, plus she’s diabetic.

        I am hoping she will return to a little bit of herself tomorrow after she calms down.

        I thought perhaps others have experienced something similar.

        Reply
  2. miya
    November 24, 2016 at 4:06 am (2 weeks ago)

    i had my male cat neutered 2 days ago, he has on a cone but keeps smashing into things and freaks out still after 2 days. can i take the collar off him? im concerned he may hurt himself as hes alrdy thrown himself from the window trying to get it off.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 24, 2016 at 6:15 am (2 weeks ago)

      You can try taking the collar off as long as you can watch him so he doesn’t bother his incision. Contact your vet for additional help.

      Reply
  3. Anshu Pathak
    November 11, 2016 at 12:34 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Hello,
    My cat underwent an abdominal surgery 4 days ago, she was prescribed buprenorphine .15 ml sublingually, twice a day. However today I seem to have exhausted the medicine and all vet clinics are closed for the long weekend. She is recovering well and eating too. Does she need more buprenorphine? Will the weekend be painful for her? Is there an alternative?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 11, 2016 at 2:35 pm (4 weeks ago)

      I would check with whoever takes emergency calls for your vet over the weekend, Anshu.

      Reply
  4. Maria
    November 6, 2016 at 3:17 pm (1 month ago)

    Just got my kitten spayed he’s 3 1/2 months. 2 days ago, he’s been eating active in a room by himself ,can I bring him out to n eat my older cat 4 yrs old male?

    Reply
  5. Michael
    October 14, 2016 at 8:54 pm (2 months ago)

    Hi. My cat had a liver biopsy today. She’s home now, eating and walking around. She keeps stopping and staring at the wall every now and again. Or just sitting and like looking off into space. Is this normal for post surgery (anesthesia) and taking pain med (buprenex)?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 15, 2016 at 5:31 am (2 months ago)

      This can be normal after anesthesia, and some cats will also react that way to narcotics, but if she’s still doing it this morning, contact your vet.

      Reply
  6. Sandy
    September 28, 2016 at 1:05 am (2 months ago)

    How long after hip surgery, should a 2 yr old cat be able to sit properly again?
    and jump?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 28, 2016 at 5:38 am (2 months ago)

      This depends on a lot of different factors, Sandy – check with your veterinarian.

      Reply
  7. Travis
    September 27, 2016 at 12:03 am (2 months ago)

    Hello, you have some great questions, and great answers. Now for my question… my cat was has had a hip dislocated, the vet here says it’s to late to pop back in, I will either have to have the ball cut off, or send to a specialist to pin it back… what is the best choice of both bad choices?? He is my boy.. Thanks, Travis

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 27, 2016 at 5:37 am (2 months ago)

      I would consult with a boarded veterinary surgeon, Travis.

      Reply
  8. Maham
    September 22, 2016 at 7:08 pm (3 months ago)

    Hello, my cat a day ago had bladder stones removal surgery. Even though he seems fine he ate n drank water but his body has started trembling all of a sudden. Is it pain of stitches or something else I need to worry about?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 23, 2016 at 9:58 am (3 months ago)

      You need to call your vet immediately if you haven’t already done so.

      Reply
  9. Jo
    September 22, 2016 at 1:25 pm (3 months ago)

    Hello,

    My male cat (2 years) had an urethrostomy six days ago. He isn’t eating much, and his breathing is quicker than normal, but he is not panting. Do I need to take him to the vet?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 23, 2016 at 9:56 am (3 months ago)

      If you haven’t already done so, you need to call your vet immediately, Jo.

      Reply
  10. Sandy
    July 17, 2016 at 8:16 pm (5 months ago)

    Hi my male cat just had surgery to remove a mass his stitches look great but his meow is deeper he purrs hard and swallows hard and now I noticed his one eye is weird looking not like the other and the third eyelid is half across his eye are these things normal? Thank you so much

    Reply
    • Sandy
      July 17, 2016 at 8:17 pm (5 months ago)

      I guess I should mention the mass was beside his throat by carotid

      Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 18, 2016 at 5:48 am (5 months ago)

      You need to contact your vet as soon as possible, Sandy.

      Reply
    • Catherine
      November 12, 2016 at 1:39 am (4 weeks ago)

      Sandy, I’m curious to hear how your cat is doing now. My cat was attacked by a dog several days ago and suffered bite wounds to her neck with very similar symptoms; vet says third eyelid over half her eye may not resolve due to bite damaging the optical nerve that runs down back of neck. Did your kitty’s eye issue and hard swallowing resolve?

      Reply
  11. reeya
    July 12, 2016 at 11:42 pm (5 months ago)

    Hi

    My 8 mth kitty just got spayed 2 days ago and simply refuses to wear the E-collar. she managed to open it herself in the middle of the night. wound looks clean just slightly pinkish.
    she has also gone back to her bouncy self on 2nd day.
    is there any other option so that she will not try to lick the stitches?
    Also, both me and my hubs have are working. is it safe to leave her alone at home with no form of collar to prevent the licking?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 13, 2016 at 5:47 am (5 months ago)

      There’s no way to predict whether she will leave the incision alone without a collar and without supervision. You can try using Bitter Apple or a similar product around the incision (but make sure you don’t put it directly on the incision, although it doesn’t deter all cats from licking.

      Reply
  12. Amber
    July 11, 2016 at 10:22 am (5 months ago)

    Hi, my cat went in for a routine dental cleaning last week which turned into a surgery to remove two teeth because of tooth resorption being found. He was put on a slow release pain med which was to last 72hrs. When I first brought him home I noticed that he was walking funny, but chalked it up to the pain meds. After three days he is still walking funny, his back legs seem stiff and the muscles seem taut when I feel them as he walks. He has a slight arch in his back when he walks as well. He can only go for a short bit and then he needs to sit or lay down. I’m concerned he is in pain and uncomfortable. I took him to my vet on the morning of the third day and they suggested that he may be metabolising the pain meds very slowly and he may be walking oddly because he feels unstable. Today is day five after surgery and he’s still not walking properly, his pupils are no longer fully dilated and he’s back to normal except for the leg issue. I was just wondering if you may have any ideas of what may be causing this issue and what I can do to fix it.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 11, 2016 at 11:50 am (5 months ago)

      Did your vet do x-rays? I’m wondering whether he injured his back legs? It’s definitely not a normal reaction to surgery and/or anesthesia or pain medication.

      Reply
      • Amber
        July 12, 2016 at 11:17 am (5 months ago)

        No x-rays of his legs were taken, my concern is that his legs were perfectly fine when I dropped him off and ever since I’ve gotten him back they are not. I’m not sure how he could have injured himself as they haven’t told me anything went amiss while he was in their care.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          July 13, 2016 at 5:44 am (5 months ago)

          I wouldn’t want to speculate, Amber.

          Reply
  13. Raychel
    June 30, 2016 at 11:04 pm (5 months ago)

    I have small concern of my baby kitty that is about 7 months old. She got neutered on Wednesday the 22nd of this month I was with her for 3 night until I left her with a babysitter that took care of her for almost a whole week and during the week I kept contact with my babysitter. She told me she wasnt eating either her regular food or her treats so she tried wet food but nothing. Now that I have her back she seems skinny. She is eating a bit more with me but the other thing her wound is still a bit open. What can or should I do?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 1, 2016 at 5:38 am (5 months ago)

      If you haven’t already done so, contact your vet as soon as possible, Raychel.

      Reply
  14. Beatriz Silva
    June 17, 2016 at 8:16 pm (6 months ago)

    Hey,
    My cat had a surgery because of feline urethral obstruction, like a month ago. We did everything the vet told us to do. But since the surgery whenever when I pick up the cat near the tummy, he meows, and I see that it is swollen, and I don’t know what to do. He has also been meowing a lot, for no reason. And he pees a really small amount of it. Is this normal?
    Thanks for the attention.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 18, 2016 at 5:50 am (6 months ago)

      Please contact your vet or your nearest emergency clinic immediately, Beatriz. Your cat may have another urethral obstruction, which can be life-threatening.

      Reply
    • Amanda
      September 23, 2016 at 1:20 am (3 months ago)

      Yes please see a vet asap. Sometimes, a surgery can also not heal properly from the inside and septic can be entering his system. You should take him in to be safe. He may just still be healing. Call you vet and see what his recommendation is but don’t leave it. All the best to you and your sweet cat.

      Reply
  15. Donna Mckeny
    June 10, 2016 at 10:58 pm (6 months ago)

    My male cat just had surgery for stones 3 weeks ago, he is showing signs of having them again, I just spent 1500.00 on his surgery. I can’t do it again and why is he having stone already? is there a way stone can pass with some kind of medicans with out another surgery?
    thank you Need to know asap.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 11, 2016 at 5:33 am (6 months ago)

      You need to discuss this with your vet, Donna. It depends on the type of stone he has. Some stones can be dissolved with diet and/or medication.

      Reply
  16. Kyla
    June 10, 2016 at 1:13 am (6 months ago)

    Hi! My 3 year old male cat just got neutered, but also had to have a toe amputated because it was extremely infected. The vet wanted him away from other animals so we thought it best to keep him at my house (he stays at my mom’s until I move). On top of this new environment, the vet told me to use shredded newspapers as litter, which he’s not used to.

    So my questions are:
    1: how can I make him more comfortable?

    2: how can I get him to use the new litter? He’s already urinated outside of the box, I’m terrified to sleep until I knew he can use it.

    3: He has to wear an E collar, how do I make sure he doesn’t take it off?

    Please get back to me asap. Thank you

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 10, 2016 at 5:38 am (6 months ago)

      I’m assuming your vet gave you pain medication for your kitty – make sure you give it on a regular basis. If you weren’t given pain medication, contact your vet immediately. Using the box is most likely painful for your cat, even with the shredded newspaper. Try using pee pads or lining the litter box with pee pads. You’ll have to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t take the collar off.

      Reply
  17. terry
    April 14, 2016 at 5:43 am (8 months ago)

    Hi, our cat just received surgery for a broken leg, the leg was pinned and the surgeon said that the operation went very well, we have followed all of the instructions given to us including keeping him in a confined area and making him comfortable, he is eating and drinking well although he is very frustrated at confinement, the problem is that at every now and again he goes into what can only be described as a violent spasm or convulsion, he literally throws himself around the cage for no more than a second or two and then settles back down as though nothing as happened, it is distressing to see, we are due to take him back to the vets on Monday (3 days from now) have you seen this behaviour before in cats after surgery, and is there anything to be concerned with that we should do something about.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 14, 2016 at 6:28 am (8 months ago)

      You need to contact your vet if you haven’t already done so, Terry. This is not normal behavior.

      Reply
    • Sumeira
      July 3, 2016 at 11:20 am (5 months ago)

      Hi Terry, my cat underwent a surgery today for a broken leg, the exact same situation as you mentioned above. Can you please help?

      Reply
  18. Eva
    February 29, 2016 at 9:32 pm (9 months ago)

    My cat had surgery for a chylothorax. It seemed the surgery went fine. Now, she caught à cold at the vet. She doesnt eat so she cannot come home until she eats or drink by herself. Do you think it is the cold? The vet said there is nothing else. Any tricks?

    Reply
  19. Babz W
    February 20, 2016 at 1:54 pm (10 months ago)

    Hi, my 7 year old cat just had surgery for pyometra. She is toothless and I was wondering if I could remove her E- cone. She has been wearing it for 9 days, and she is healing nicely (although it is not completely healed, still a bit swollen. No redness, no leakage). She does not seem like she in pain, she eats and bounces around like a kitten. Is it safe to remove now, since she is toothless?
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 20, 2016 at 5:13 pm (10 months ago)

      It’s PROBABLY safe to remove the E-collar at this point, Babz, although it would be better to keep it on until the swelling has gone down. Perhaps you could remove it while you can keep an eye on her, but put it back on when you can’t watch her?

      Reply
  20. Raychel
    February 13, 2016 at 10:47 am (10 months ago)

    My cat just had a tumor removed from her side, a small one. And now it’s really swelled and painful, we took her back and they said that she has sonoma??? What exactly is that and what can we do to take care of it???

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 14, 2016 at 5:55 am (10 months ago)

      A seroma is an accumulation of fluid in the tissue that can occur after surgery. The fluid, called serum, leaks out of nearby damaged blood and lymphatic vessels. Your vet should advise you how to care for it – it depends on the severity of it. Minor seromas usually don’t require treatment, the body may naturally reabsorb the fluid. Larger ones may need to be drained.

      Reply
  21. Nina
    January 28, 2016 at 11:36 am (11 months ago)

    Hello, my cat got spayed 3 days ago and has resumed to normal activity day 2. The analgesia if anything made her more active. She currently has an e collar on but she is running around, jumping and climbing everything she can in the room I have her in. I’m worried this is going to affect her sutures…what should I do?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 28, 2016 at 12:11 pm (11 months ago)

      Contact your vet. Some cats react with hyperactivity to certain pain medications.

      Reply
  22. Justine
    January 11, 2016 at 3:04 pm (11 months ago)

    Hello I just got my female 6 month old cat spayed 13 days ago. The incision looks almost completely healed except for a small spot which is a tiny scab. We kept the cone on her for 11 days and then took it off as the wound looked good and we were able to supervise her. How long before I can leave my 2 cats alone together unsupervised? Should they be okay now? We have another 1.5yr old male whom has been nutered already.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm (11 months ago)

      If the incision is completely healed, it should be okay to let your cat return to normal activities.

      Reply
  23. Sangye
    December 29, 2015 at 3:28 am (12 months ago)

    hey,
    My cat was attacked by a dog 4 days ago and now she has 9 stiches under one of her legs.For some reason she isn’t eating anything from yesterday. she is drinking very few amount of water. my vet says its because of the pain that she isn’t eating.
    Is there any way to make her eat something?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 29, 2015 at 5:58 am (12 months ago)

      I’m assuming your vet has given you pain medication for your cat? If not, he should be. You can try some of the tips in this article to entice her to eat: http://consciouscat.net/2013/07/03/how-to-get-finicky-cats-to-eat/ If she’s still not eating, you need to contact your vet immediately. A cat who isn’t eating for more than 24-48 hours is at risk of developing hepatic lipidosis.

      Reply
  24. Kent
    November 19, 2015 at 3:47 am (1 year ago)

    My cat just went to the vet about 2 days ago, although, once we came to pick him up. The vet said that there was this strange yellow liquid inside of him. Before we took him to the vet, he was acting strange for days now. We thought he only had an upset stomach, but it turned out to be a rare disease. The vet told us that we wouldn’t have to pay for anything because of this rare disease. The vet also told us that we’d need our cat to undergo surgery, although his chances of living are 1 out of 4 (1/4).

    His symptoms are:
    -Big stomach
    -Loss in weight (He was healthy and quite fat before – heavy.)
    -Yellow liquid inside the stomach. The vet told us that they’ve never seen yellow liquid inside a cat before.
    -Doesn’t eat, just drinks water.

    Can anyone tell me what’s his sickness? or any remedies? Thank you in advance

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 19, 2015 at 7:08 am (1 year ago)

      I’m not sure what to make of the fact that your vet calls this a rare disease, and that you won’t have to pay for any charges because it’s rare. Is the vet you saw a veterinary specialist? Without having more information (lab results, ultrasound and/or radiograph results, etc.) I wouldn’t even want to begin to guess. Since you seem to have a lot of questions, I would recommend getting a second opinion from a boarded internal medicine specialist. Your current vet can refer you to one in your area. All my best to your kitty.

      Reply
    • Hazirah
      January 29, 2016 at 2:40 am (11 months ago)

      Hi. My cat was also losing weight, and losing appetite altogether. When we brought him to the vet, they found out he has liquid inside his stomach, and they suspected FIP i.e. a death sentence for a cat. Problem is, FIP couldn’t be tested when the cat is alive. And the medical community has yet to find cure for this terrible disease. So they only gave me some pain medication and pills to stimulate his appetite. he seems to be eating after that but stopped for awhile. after two months, he succumbed to death. it was very heartbroken.

      I hope you can bring him to another vet for confirmation. you can also google FIP symptoms.

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        January 29, 2016 at 5:48 am (11 months ago)

        I’m so sorry about your kitty, Hazirah. The only way to definitively diagnose FIP is by biopsy, or by detection of coronavirus in cells from body cavity fluid of affected cats, but it is not true that it cannot be detected while a cat is still alive. Sadly, it is true that there is, as of yet, no known treatment. Here is more information on FIP and FIP testing: http://www.manhattancats.com/Articles/fip_testing.html

        Reply
        • Terri
          September 5, 2016 at 4:25 am (3 months ago)

          I live in Taiwan. My cat had dry FIP 4 years ago at the age of 4 months. and was near death when I brought here in (fever off the charts, eye tremors, every organ crashing, and “high blood protein,” the smoking gun that can give confirmation that it’s likely FIP. I gave her high quality beta glucan for pets (Aureo brand from Japan) and a glucose drip until day 7 when she bent the sub cu needle at a 90 degree angle and absconded. I stopped the drips that day and continued with the beta glucan (immune system modulator) for several more months. She never been sick since. There a company a high quality brand of the same type of beta glucan made by a company called Transfer Point in the US. I don’t think Aureo (which now includes probiotics – another treatment must for boosting immune function) is imported into the USA, but the Transfer Point beta glucan product is excellent and the right kind. Also, there’s a tannin in a brown algae called Ecklonia Kava that prevents replication of corona viruses. Except from NHI study: This is the first report of a (8) phlorotannin chemotype significantly blocking the cleavage of SARS-CoV 3CL(pro) in a cell-based assay with no toxicity. Furthermore, dieckol (8) exhibited a high association rate in the SPR sensorgram and formed extremely strong hydrogen bonds to the catalytic dyad (Cys145 and His41) of the SARS-CoV 3CL(pro). There are supplements available of this brown algae and it’s good for cats and dogs. I believe there is hope for treating cats with FIP, FIV, FeC, etc.. My kitty survived. Many others can, too.

          Reply
          • Terri
            September 5, 2016 at 4:27 am (3 months ago)

            Excuse the copious typos!

  25. Peggy
    October 14, 2015 at 7:02 am (1 year ago)

    Hello, I took 5 10 week old kittens to be spay and neutered on Mon & Tues. They are now recovered from the anesthesia and are running & jumping on everything they can find. I have them confined to one room but it has not stopped them. I don’t have the space to separate them and am worried they might hurt themselves internally. Is there a natural sedative that I can give them that will calm them down for a few days?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 14, 2015 at 7:58 am (1 year ago)

      Call your vet to see what they recommend, Peggy.

      Reply
  26. Meagan
    September 4, 2015 at 5:37 pm (1 year ago)

    My male cat was just nuetured yesterday. When i took him home i noticed that he had looked like he lost weight, however he was eating and has been so I didn’t think much of it.
    He will not let me pick him up even gently, the slightest pressure on his stomach and he cries. Today he tried to jump up on the couch like he usually does to cuddle with me and he didn’t make it fell down and cried in pain. He tried one more time and didn’t make it again. I am super worried about him. My vet is not back until Tuesday today is Friday and I am not sure what to do.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 5, 2015 at 6:21 am (1 year ago)

      You need to contact an emergency vet, Meagan. While not being able to jump on the couch after general anesthesia may be normal if he hadn’t completely recovered at that point, he should not show a pain response to pressure on his stomach.

      Reply
    • Hannah
      November 18, 2015 at 5:56 am (1 year ago)

      Hi I’m having a similar experience with my cat I would just like to know when you took him to the vets, did they find something wrong was it to do with neuter surgery that lead to having another problem?

      Reply
  27. naureen
    August 28, 2015 at 11:33 am (1 year ago)

    Hi I have a six month old kitten who was spayed today. I’m currently posted somewhere with not great vet care and they aren’t answering my calls. She freaked out about her e collar as soon as she woke up and was basically doing flips into things to try and break it off making me worried she would open her incision. I finally had to take her e collar off because I was afraid she’d kill herself because she was trying to wedge her head in my box spring. I’m trying to fashion a double to triple layer of covering of her lower torso with baby clothes once she goes to sleep because she won’t let me touch her yet. Should that work?
    Please note- taking her to the vet is impossible because there is no 24 hour hospital open here except the one that has terrible service on nights and holidays- they handled my last cat’s illness and death terribly. The one good vet there is out of town for the weekend. I think not traumatizing her is key because she had a bad reaction to anesthesia and had to get air. She is really phobic about e collars and even after 8 days would not go near her brother after he was fixed until the collar was off.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 28, 2015 at 12:42 pm (1 year ago)

      I’m sorry you have such poor access to good vet care, Naureen. I do agree that you want to avoid traumatizing her. Figuring out some way to loosely cover the incision should work if she’ll tolerate it, just make sure you don’t wrap anything around the area too tightly. Keep a very close eye on the incision until the good vet gets back (and hopefully you won’t need them.)

      Reply
      • naureen
        August 28, 2015 at 1:54 pm (1 year ago)

        Thanks! I finally figured out a covering where’s she is miserable but not throwing herself at walls. However by the time I could reach her it looked like she’d opened her wound a bit. It’s not bleeding but doesn’t look completely closed- I’ve never had a cat with glue on an incision- does it look slightly open or should I take her to a second class vet tomorrow. There’s no oozing blood and jihad it had completely opened I would expect there to be since its been less than 12 hours

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          August 28, 2015 at 4:26 pm (1 year ago)

          I would err on the side of caution and have the second class vet take a look at it tomorrow, Naureen. If it’s just a tiny opening and no discharge of any kind, it’s PROBABLY safe to wait until your good vet is back on Monday, but it’s not worth taking chances.

          Reply
          • Naureen
            September 5, 2015 at 9:25 am (1 year ago)

            Thanks for the help- she had opened it up and needed stitches but with the help of bandaids on the edge of her dressing and baby clothes- we have kept those in for a week and soups be able to taken out on Monday. I’m hoping to never need this but next time- no e collar!

          • Ingrid
            September 5, 2015 at 9:32 am (1 year ago)

            Thanks for the update, Naureen. I’m glad she’s okay!

  28. Janet
    June 13, 2015 at 12:51 pm (1 year ago)

    This is a great article! Thanks so much for sharing. As you mentioned in the article, my 3.5 yo DSH polydactyl was REALLY good at hiding the pain. We had NO idea she was in pain until she p’s in a box of kitty toys. Turns out she had 7 bladder stones! She had a bad reaction to the anesthesia so her surgery had to be canceled. We tried again a week later with different drugs (2 days before Christmas lat year) and she was “an easy surgery patient.” Because of the earlier complications, my vet kept her overnight. They sent us home with a Trimline E-collar, but she freaked out when she got home and coldn’t walk with it (I guess her legs are a little shorter than normal kitties). I took the collar off and she ran around SO happy, just like a new kitten! WE were stressed after her surgery because she was jumping and running all over. We tried to get her to stop jumping for fear opening the wound, but we couldn’t keep her down. Anytime we put the collar on, she would somehow weasel her way out of it. We think she was just in so much pain and discomfort for so long that she felt like a new kitty and had to make up for lost time. It’s 6 months later and she still acts like a new kitten! She even eats all of her nasty prescription diet. How did we get so lucky with such a sweet girl?!! >^..^<

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 13, 2015 at 1:37 pm (1 year ago)

      I’m so glad your girl had such a good recovery after her surgery, Janet. Sometimes, you just have to give up on the collar… 🙂

      Reply
  29. khai
    March 24, 2015 at 11:02 am (2 years ago)

    Today marks the 2nd day after my cat had his sterilisation surgery. I notice that the incision site has a bit of yellowish thingy. Should i immediately apply the antibiotic or not? help me please!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 24, 2015 at 12:16 pm (2 years ago)

      You need to contact your vet, Khai, to find out whether your cat should be given oral antibiotics. Do not use a human antibiotic ointment without checking with your vet first.

      Reply
  30. Bonnie
    February 3, 2015 at 8:53 pm (2 years ago)

    Hey there! My cat Matzo was attacked by a bear (or large dog, but doc thinks it was a bear) and he had surgery to remove dead and infected tissue near his hip but lower on his leg-ish. He had the surgery yesterday and today he has been laying around mostly, but when he gets up to eat, the wound (where stitched with a few layers of dissolving stitches) begins to seep a clear or creamy-white-yellow color with a little pink. I understand some discharge is normal, and it really is not a lot, but should I call the vet?

    It only started seeping about 2 hours ago, since he got up for food and to potty. The vet has him on 2 pain meds and an anti-inflammatory medicine, and when he takes the pain medicine he stops licking at the wound, so I am sure the wound is irritating him..

    Thanks for any advice,

    ~Bonnie

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 4, 2015 at 7:18 am (2 years ago)

      I’d check with your vet, Bonnie. Some discharge is normal, but with a wound like Matzo’s, you want to be extra careful. All my best to him for a quick recovery!

      Reply
      • Bonnie
        February 5, 2015 at 12:13 am (2 years ago)

        Hey again, thank you so much for positive thoughts! He is better today, but still licking. I was not able to ask the vet, but, how long do you think it will take a wound like that to heal? Just curious.

        Thanks again,
        ~Bonnie

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          February 5, 2015 at 7:38 am (2 years ago)

          It’s hard to say how long healing will take. It depends on how deep the wound was, how much tissue had to be debrided, and your cat’s immune system. A simple wound usually heals in 7-10 days.

          Reply
          • Bonnie
            February 6, 2015 at 5:06 pm (2 years ago)

            He had to stitch 4 layers of tissue, so I expect it will take quite a bit of time… Oh joy!

            Thanks!!

            ~Bonnie

  31. Zoe
    January 24, 2015 at 8:19 am (2 years ago)

    My female cat was spayed 4 days ago. The vet sent her home in an e-collar but she kept freaking out and getting out of it. I caught her licking the external stitches yesterday so I put her in a babies onesie to protect the wound. Tonight I checked the wound and it is moist and slightly sweet smelling. She isn’t in any pain and let me touch her belly. My vet is closed for the long weekend and I live on an island where there is no other options. She has been taking antibiotics since her op as a precaution and there is still another 3 days supply. Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with this while I wait for the vet to get back in 2 days time? Is there a way I can dry the wound without causing infection?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 24, 2015 at 2:47 pm (2 years ago)

      Keep a close eye on the incision and try to keep it clean. You can use a clean, damp moist towel to gently clean the area. If you notice and redness or swelling, call your vet immediately or get in touch with an emergency veterinary clinic on the mainland.

      Reply
  32. Kate
    January 16, 2015 at 7:25 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi, My cat was spayed a week ago, after a few days of being very quiet and obviously uncomfortable she seemed to pretty much go back to her old self and has seemed fine until today, this evening she is showing signs of being in pain again, stitches look good, there is no swelling, redness or discharge and her appetite has been good all day. Is it normal to get periods of pain after seeming fine for the last few days or should i be worried?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 17, 2015 at 7:04 am (2 years ago)

      If she was on pain medication after the first few days following surgery, it’s possible that the effects have worn off. Call your vet – seeing signs of pain is always a concern.

      Reply
  33. Shannon
    January 12, 2015 at 9:43 am (2 years ago)

    Hi Ingrid, yes, I’m working with a cardiologist and a veterinary surgeon. The regular veterinarian did xrays which he thought was enlarged heart, but an echo showed it was really her heart and part of her liver.

    Reply
  34. Shannon McCabe
    January 11, 2015 at 10:05 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi, my recently adopted a 2 year old female, Izzy, and she will be having surgery for a congenital peritoneal pericardial diaphragmatic hernia next week and they also said her heart ventricles don’t look normal but they don’t know if that is from the hernia and will have to monitor her closely during surgery while she is on anesthesia. I’m really worried and everything I’ve read said this condition is very rare. Her only symptoms are rapid, shallow breathing. Should I put her through the surgery? Will her symptoms get worse? Have you seen this before and is her prognosis good after surgery? Any information would be really appreciated. Thank so much.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 12, 2015 at 7:10 am (2 years ago)

      I’m not familiar with this condition, Shannon. I’m assuming you’re working with a veterinary specialist? If not, I would definitely get a referral to a cardiologist and/or veterinary surgeon.

      Reply
  35. Saylor
    December 28, 2014 at 12:53 pm (2 years ago)

    My female cat just got spayed 5 days ago. She’s been completely fine since then, incision site looks good and everything. Until this morning where she has managed to tear out one of her stitches. It’s bleeding a little bit, I’m trying to keep it as clean as I can as my vet in closed for a couple more days due to the holidays. She has some antibiotics leftover as she had developed pyometra which I’m giving her. Should I be super worried about her pulling a stitch?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm (2 years ago)

      Keep a close eye on the incision, Saylor. If you notice any redness, swelling or discharge from the incision site, don’t wait until after the holidays; take your cat to an emergency clinic.

      Reply
  36. Cathy
    December 20, 2014 at 8:34 pm (2 years ago)

    My cat had desexing surgery 8 days ago. Recently, she has developed a lump under the skin by her incision site – it is NOT warm, red or seeping and she allows me to touch it without becoming angry at me. She is still eating fine and drinking, and she is using the restroom on a normal basis. She plays with her brother and her humans and also tolerates our puppy playing with her. Should I be concerned about this lump or could this be normal?
    (She would not keep the ecollar on, she figured out how to take it off within three hours of waking up from her procedure and the last time she managed to hide it so well that I still have not found it.)

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 21, 2014 at 7:05 am (2 years ago)

      Some cats develop these lumps at the incision site. It can be a reaction to the suture material. I would contact your vet about it. I’m chuckling at your kitty hiding her e-collar from you – now that’s a smart cat! 🙂

      Reply
      • Cathy
        June 14, 2015 at 1:02 pm (1 year ago)

        So, update. I finally found her ecollar-she hid it under our summer clothes container. Don’t know how she managed to do that first day out but……this is the cat that can turn her litter box on and off depending on her whims. Thanks for the advice!

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          June 14, 2015 at 4:32 pm (1 year ago)

          Sneaky girl!

          Reply
  37. Danah
    October 20, 2014 at 12:12 pm (2 years ago)

    Help! My cat broke her leg she had surgery yesterday morning and shes bot eating! She drunk a little bit of water thats all hellllp

    Reply
      • Danah
        October 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm (2 years ago)

        She is not picky shes just too tired to eat pls help i am honestly sooo worried

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          October 20, 2014 at 5:07 pm (2 years ago)

          The tips in the article can also help entice sick cats to eat, they’re not just for picky eaters. Please contact your vet if you’re worried.

          Reply
          • Danah
            October 20, 2014 at 11:05 pm (2 years ago)

            Thanks sio much!

  38. Jason
    October 18, 2014 at 9:09 am (2 years ago)

    The vet also said that she could put a tiny bit of weight on the broken and dislocated side of her back legs but today they said that every time she moved she would cry out? She is a pretty old cat but they said she is extremely healthy for her age. Do they cats sometimes not feel the pain of surgury until a day after or is this a problem?

    Cheers, Jason

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 18, 2014 at 9:36 am (2 years ago)

      I would hope that your vet has your cat on some serious pain control drugs, Jason. Orthopedic surgeries are extremely painful, and pain slows down healing. If she’s crying out, I worry that she’s not getting enough pain control. I’d ask your vet about that.

      Reply
  39. Jason
    October 18, 2014 at 8:52 am (2 years ago)

    Hi my 14 year old cat jasper had two screws put in her hips on Thursday (one screw in each hip) because she got run over and she dislocated both hips and broke one of her legs; the vet said that the surgery went well and I went to see her at the vets yesterday and she seemed reasonably happy but today she was shivering even though she was pretty warm and the vet said that she had been eating and weeing, but not pooing?? They also said that her blood pressure has dropped a fair bit also. What are your thoughts??

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 18, 2014 at 8:59 am (2 years ago)

      Since she probably hasn’t eaten much since before the day of the surgery, the fact that there is no stool is probably not a big concern at this stage. The blood pressure is a bigger worry. It sounds like your vet is monitoring her closely. All my best to you and Jasper for a quick recovery.

      Reply

Leave a comment

First time visitors: please read our Comment Guidelines.