Caring for Your Cat After Surgery (2023)

Caring for Your Cat After Surgery (1)

After surgery, it is important to pay special attention to your cat's care to prevent the injury from getting worse. Today, our Tracy veterinarians discuss strategies for caring for a cat recovering from surgery.

Always follow post-operative instructions.

Pets and pet owners may experience some anxiety before and after surgery. But knowing how you should care for your feline companion after he returns home is key to helping your pet get back on track as soon as possible.

Following your pet's surgery, your veterinarian will provide clear and detailed instructions on how to care for your pet while it recovers at home. It is essential that you follow these instructions carefully. If there are any steps you are unsure about, be sure to consult your vet for clarification. If you return home and realize that some aspect of your cat's aftercare has been missed, don't hesitate to call and clear it up.

Movement restriction: prevent your cat from jumping!

Your vet will likely recommend limiting your pet's movement for a specific period (usually a week) after surgery. Jumping or reaching suddenly can interrupt the healing process and even cause the incision to reopen.

Fortunately, few procedures require significant rest in a crate or cage to help your cat recover, and most outdoor cats will be able to handle being inside for a few days without issue while they recover. Read on for specific strategies on how to prevent your cat from jumping:

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Knock down all the cat trees to prevent your cat from jumping

Setting cat trees aside or covering them with a blanket is a great first step in discouraging jumping in your home. Leaving the cat tree simply invites your feline friend to try their luck.

It may not be the most elegant solution, but it is only for a short period of time for your cat to recover from surgery.

Keep the cat inside your house to prevent it from jumping.

Outdoor cats may make noise when staying indoors, but it is for their own good after surgery, as unsupervised outdoor travel has disastrous consequences for jumping cats.

You can't tell what your cat is doing when he's out of sight, so it's best to keep him within reach while he recovers from surgery.

Keep the cat away from other cats to prevent it from jumping.

Socializing post-op may not be the best idea for your cat.

When in the presence of other cats, your recovering feline friend is more likely to hop around the house to keep up with them.

If you have multiple cats, consider keeping them apart for a short time while one of them recovers from surgery.

Maintain a quiet home environment to prevent your cat from jumping up after surgery.

The more stimulation there is in your home, the less likely your cat will be able to lie down and relax. This makes the chances of them jumping much higher.

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Try to keep your cat isolated from children or other pets while he recovers, as this will help him relax and ride until he's back to normal.

Explain to family members the need to keep the volume down during your cat's next rest period.

Use a box to stop cats from jumping after surgery

Obviously a last resort for many cat owners, we don't want to encourage any animal to crate rest for days, however if your cat is particularly stubborn and reluctant to settle down you may have no choice but to prolong time in the box so they can rest.

If this is the only option that works, consider talking to your vet about anesthetics that can help your cat relax outside of the box.

If your cat loves to jump, it's best to keep him in his crate when you're away from home and let him roam on his own when you're there to supervise him.

Stay alert and focused on preventing your cat from jumping

Finally, although it goes without saying, the most important strategy to prevent your cat from jumping is to stay alert and aware of its activity.

You can't try to correct behavior you can't see, and if your cat is reinjured it's important to contact a vet right away, so cat owners should take extra care around their feline friends when they're recovering from a surgery .

What if my cat won't eat after surgery?

Due to the effects of a general anesthetic, your cat is likely to experience nausea and a loss of appetite after a surgical procedure. When feeding them after surgery, try something small and light, like chicken or fish. You can also give them their regular food, but be sure to only give them a quarter of the normal portion.

You can expect your cat's appetite to return within 24 hours of surgery. At this time, your pet can gradually return to eating its normal food. If you find that your pet's appetite has not returned within 48 hours, contact your veterinarian or veterinary surgeon. In these prolonged cases, loss of appetite may be a sign of infection or pain.

Other helpful tips to help care for your cat after surgery

pet pain management

Before you and your cat go home from surgery, a veterinary professional will discuss what pain relievers or other medications your pet has been prescribed to help manage your cat's post-operative pain or discomfort.

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They will explain the required dosage, how often to administer the medication, and how to administer it safely. Be sure to follow these instructions carefully to avoid any unnecessary pain during recovery and to eliminate the risk of side effects. If you are unsure about the instructions, ask follow-up questions.

Veterinarians often prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers after surgery to prevent infection and relieve discomfort. If your cat is anxious or a bit tense, our vets may also prescribe a sedative or anti-anxiety medication to help keep her calm during the healing process.

Never give your cat human medications without first consulting your vet. Many drugs that help us feel better are toxic to our four-legged friends.

How to keep your pet comfortable at home

After surgery, it's critical to provide your cat with a comfortable, quiet place to rest, away from the hustle and bustle of your home, including other pets and children. Preparing a soft, comfortable bed for your kitty and giving him plenty of room to stretch out will help avoid putting too much pressure on any part of his body.

Help your pet deal with the rest of the cage

While most surgeries do not require your cat to rest in a cage, if your cat has had orthopedic surgery, part of our recovery will involve strict limitation of their movement.

If your vet prescribes that your cat be crated after surgery, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your cat is as comfortable as possible spending long periods of time confined.

Make sure your pet's crate is big enough to allow your baby to get up and turn around. You may need to purchase a larger box if your cat has a plastic cone or e-collar to prevent licking. Don't forget to make sure your kitty has enough space for her food and water dishes. Spills can make your pet's cage a damp and uncomfortable place to spend time and make dressings wet and dirty.

Stitches and Bandages

The stitches that were placed inside your pet's incision will dissolve as the incision heals.

If your cat has stitches or staples on the outside of the incision, your vet will need to remove them approximately 2 weeks after the procedure. Your vet will tell you what type of stitches were used to close your pet's incision and what follow-up care is needed.

Making sure bandages are always dry is another critical step in helping your pet's surgical site heal quickly.

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If your pet walks or goes outside, make sure the bandages are covered with plastic wrap or a plastic bag to prevent wet grass or moisture from coming into contact with the bandage and the skin. When your pet comes back inside, remove the plastic cover, as leaving it on can cause sweat to pool under the bandage and lead to infection.

The incision site

Cat owners often find it difficult to prevent their pet from scratching, chewing, or touching the surgical incision site. A cone-shaped plastic Elizabethan collar (available in soft and hard versions) is an effective option to prevent your pet from licking the wound.

Many cats adjust quickly to the collar, but if your pet has difficulty adjusting, there are other options available. Ask your vet about less complicated products like post-op medical shirts for pets or donut collars.

Recovery Times for Pets After Surgery

Our veterinary team finds that, in most cases, any pet recovers from soft tissue surgery, such as abdominal surgery, or reproductive surgeries, such as C-sections or spays and neuters, than from operations involving bones, joints, ligaments, or tendons. . Soft tissue surgeries often heal in two to three weeks and take about a month and a half to fully heal.

In orthopedic surgeries, which involve bones, ligaments, and other skeletal structures, recovery takes much longer. About 80% of your cat's recovery will occur 8-12 weeks after surgery, but many orthopedic surgeries take 6 months or longer for a full recovery.

Here are some tips from our Plains vets to help keep your cat satisfied and comfortable while he recovers at home:

Overcome the effects of general anesthesia

We use general anesthesia during our surgical procedures to render your pet unconscious and prevent pain during the operation. However, it may take some time for the effects to wear off once the procedure is complete.

The effects of general anesthesia may include temporary drowsiness or tremors in the feet. These after effects are quite normal and should go away with rest. Temporary lack of appetite is also quite common in cats recovering from the effects of general anesthesia.

Attend your pet's follow-up appointment

The follow-up appointment gives your vet an opportunity to monitor your pet's recovery, check for signs of infection, and properly change your cat's bandages.

The veterinary teamPaws and Claws Veterinary Hospitalthey were trained to heal wounds properly. Bringing your pet to the follow-up appointment allows this process to take place, and we can help keep your pet's healing on track.

(Video) How to care for your dog or a cat after surgery. Postoperative care for your pet.

Note: The advice provided in this publication is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

If your cat is scheduled to come throughsurgerynoPaws and Claws Veterinary Hospital,Contact Usfor more information on how you can prepare for your pet's aftercare.


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