Your vet will provide you with detailed and personalized instructions for your cat’s care after being spayed. One area that’s worth taking note of is their litter material. Most litters are clay-based and prone to clumping which also means that it’s easy to get caught in stitches. If you have a cat that’s going to be spayed, then you are probably concerned about how to care for your pet. After all, it can be trying to have a cat go through surgery (for both you and your cat). The primary goal after being spayed is to give your cat the time, space and environment to rest and heal.
How to Care for Your Cat After Being Spayed
The good news is that the typical time necessary for any post-op exercise restriction or confinement only lasts about 10-14 days although it may differ depending on your vet’s recommendations. While this time seems like an eternity for some cat owners, it’s important to provide care in order to prevent any post-op complications. These are a few guidelines and tips to help you and your pet get through the post-op recovery period without complications.
Regardless of the procedure, your vet is going to provide you with a list of don’ts in order to keep your cat healing well after their surgery. Even indoor cats should avoid running and jumping in order to speed up recovery. Although your cat should have plenty of places to play and run, both running and jumping just after being spayed can result in any of these problems:
- Hitting something or falling if they’re under the effects of painkillers
- Loosening stitches which will delay healing
- Failure of sutures which can cause bleeding and other more serious complications
Setting up a Post-op Space
In order to allow your cat to avoid complications, it’s a good idea to get a recovery space. This will not only help your cat to be comfortable but also prevent strenuous physical activity. These are a few options to use for your cat.
Large Carrier- Many people already have large dog crates or kennels that they can use for a recovery space. This crate is larger than a cat carrier and it will allow your cat to have space to lounge but not get into too much trouble. If you don’t already have one, you could consider borrowing one. Make sure that any kennel that you use has plenty of fresh air and visibility. It’s ideal if there’s also room for their water and food along with their litter box so the kennel will need to be sizable for this purpose.
Small Bathroom or Laundry Room- This is probably the most commonly used space and with good reason. A small room is not a bad idea although there will be surfaces where your cat could jump. A washing machine and countertop are potential problems. You’ll also want to make sure that you remove or block any access to trash cans, medications, detergents, or other items that your cat could get into while recovering. Keep the cat comfortable with a bed, food, water, and the litter box.
Basic Post-Op Needs
Your vet will provide you with detailed and personalized instructions for your cat’s care after being spayed. One area that’s worth taking note of is their litter material. Most litters are clay-based and prone to clumping which also means that it’s easy to get caught in stitches. One of the best types of litter for a cat with sutures is a pelleted paper-based litter. This type is not particularly absorbent though so you may also need to put a pad at the bottom of the litter box.
First things you should do after your cat is Spayed
Immediately after coming home from their surgery, you should expect to do the following for your cat:
- Rest- your cat is going to be groggy until their anesthesia has worn off. Let the cat rest as much as possible although check on your cat throughout the day. They should not have any abnormal bleeding or swelling so monitor the surgery site. Also, make sure that your cat is regaining his or her appetite and drinking water. Call your vet if anything seems abnormal.
- Give medications as directed- if your cat has gone home with medications, it’s important to give them on time and as directed by the vet. If you have any problems giving medications to your cat in general, always check with your vet before going home. But never stop giving medication without discussed with the vet before. If you don’t stick with the medication schedule, you run the risk of your cat being in pain or developing antibiotic-resistant infections
- Use an E-collar or Cone- Also known as the cone of shame, your cat probably won’t be a fan. However, if you’ve ever been licked by a cat, then you know how rough their tongue can be. If they are able to lick the incision site, it could become infected or heal more slowly. The cone keeps them from hurting themselves so use this and monitor your cat to make sure that it stays in place.
- Keep up with the follow-up appointment- Even if your cat appears to be healing well, make sure that you keep the post-op appointments. This may not always be necessary. However, if you have one scheduled, don’t skip it without first checking with your vet.
Keep Vet Information Handy
Although having a cat spayed is a generally safe procedure, it’s important that you know where to turn if you run into any problems. Most veterinarian offices are happy to take questions so keep your vet’s information handy. It may also be a good idea to keep the number of a 24-hour emergency vet available if needed although this need would be rare. Keep in mind that when your vet says that you should call for any questions or concerns, they do mean this seriously. It’s much easier to prevent a problem than dealing with one later on.
If you follow these instructions along with the ones provided by your vet, you should expect a relatively painless recovery for your cat. Use these guidelines to get started and you shouldn’t have any problems. You and your vet can make up a plan for your cat’s recovery plan and they are available to serve as a reference. Make sure that you follow these and their instructions for a low-stress recovery period.