Sometimes your cat might need to go through surgery to eliminate health problems or due to severe injuries. It is highly possible that your cat that might have been suffering from some underlying medical condition or recently got into an accident. If your cat has undergone surgery recently due to the above reasons, then it is the responsibility of the owner to take complete care of the cat. Some of the common surgeries that a cat might have to undergo include sterilization, bladder stone surgery, tumours, cystotomy, jaw fractures, etc. Sterilization of feline males is called as neutering and sterilization of feline cats is called as Spaying. Neutering and Spaying are considered as a very common surgery that a feline would undergo to get sterilized. Neutering and spaying help in controlling the population of feral cats. If you don’t want your cat to get diseases like testicular cancer or feline AIDS or leukaemia, then you must get your cat sterilized.
Another common surgery for a cat is bladder stone surgery. The time taken to do the bladder stone surgery is almost 3 days. After the bladder stone surgery/cystotomy, the cat should rest for two weeks in your home. Some cats might be recommended for surgery by the vet for abdominal hernia. The abdominal hernia is performed on a cat only if the muscle balls are about to tear and there’s a possibility that the internal organs might start slipping through the muscle walls. The surgery of abdominal hernia is not as big operation when compared to bladder stone surgery and sterilization. In certain cases, your vet might suggest you for dental surgery for the cat. The dental surgery is performed on cats if they have tumours, inflammation inside the mouth, jaw fractures, etc. Dental or oral surgery is a very painful experience for cats. If your cat has undergone surgery recently, then some of the things that can go wrong are:
- Your cat might not want to eat food or drink water for quite some time after the surgery. Your vet would have suggested not to give a lot of food to your cat after the surgery. If your cat continues to skip eating meals even after a week or two, then you should consult a vet.
- The cat might appear a bit lethargic or even depressed in the days after the surgery. The cat is in pain after the surgery and that is why it might take some time to come out of this depression or lethargic behaviour.
- One of the major reactions noted to anaesthesia is limping and twitching. Your cat must be neither limping nor twitching after the completion of surgery. If your cat is limping and twitching, then you should visit the vet again. If your cat is experiencing excessive swelling or bleeding after the surgery, then you must call a vet.
You can get detailed instruction from your vet on how to take care of your cat after surgery. Your vet might have suggested you on how and when to give pain medications to your cat. You must be aware of the side effects of pain meds. If not, then you should clarify your doubts from your vet. Do not try to give pain relievers which are used by humans to your cat without taking suggestion from your vet. In some surgeries, the vet might prefer to use staples or glue rather than stitches for your cat. It is the responsibility of the owner to save the cat’s incision from getting wet by water or any other liquid. You must not groom or scratch the area of cat’s incision. If you are worried that the cat might want to jump or move around after the surgery, then you need to try to restrict the activity of your cat. If you are planning to keep the cat in a restricted space, then make sure that you keep food bowl, water bowl and some toys in that place too.
Why is my cat so active after surgery?
If you feel that your cat is trying to jump or becoming very active after she has returned home from getting surgery, then you need to restrict the physical activities of your cat. You can shift your cat to a small room so that you can restrict the activities like jumping. Make sure that your cat does not jump down from heights after the surgery. It is better to keep your cat in a restricted space which is calm and quiet so that the cat does not get tempted to move around.
Most cats tend to be more active after they have undergone surgery. If you have a female cat, you must restrict its physical activities until the sutures have been successfully removed. In the case of male cats, you should keep them restricted for at least one week after the completion of the surgery. If you want your cat to heal properly as well as quickly, then you should stop your cat from running free inside or outside your home. In case your cat continues jumping or moving around, then there’s a high possibility that your cat’s incision would end up breaking down. If the incision breaks down, your cat has high chances of getting a hernia. Therefore, make sure that your cat is restricted to a small room and there’s no physical activity.
What should I do if my cat is licking the wound or chewing the stitches?
A cat has a habit of cleaning its body by licking. If a cat has undergone surgery recently, then the cat might get tempted to clean the incision or wound by licking again and again. The wound of the cat might become itchy when it starts to heal. As the wound starts healing, the fur starts to grow back on the incision area. The itchiness of the wound/incision might irritate the cat. The cat usually responds to this itchiness by licking the wound/incision. a lot of people believe that the saliva in the cat’s mouth contains antibacterial activities which could help in healing the wound. According to studies, there are no antibacterial properties present in the cat’s saliva. So make sure that your cat is not constantly licking the wound or incision after she gets a surgery.
In case the cat is excessively chewing or licking the wound, there is a high possibility that the stitches might come out or the infection could spread in the cat’s body. To stop your cat from licking the wound, try using an Elizabethan collar. The collar could be a little uncomfortable for your cat in the beginning. The Elizabethan collar will stop your cat from reaching the are of the wound. A cat can chew the incision in just a few seconds. If your cat has chewed the incision, then you must visit your vet as soon as possible.
Are the instructions for care of different types of surgical incisions the same?
The basic instructions which are provided to the owner by a vet for taking care of the incision are the same for most of the surgical incisions. For almost all surgical incisions, the cat is not allowed to go to any place outside the home after surgery. The cat must remain indoors so that the wound does not get any infection. You must restrict the physical activities of your cat for at least one or two weeks. The wound requires at least two weeks to get properly healed. You must stop your cat from jumping and engaging in physical activities which might lead to excessive stretching of the wound.
The first week after the surgery is a very crucial time for the cat. If your cat is engaging in excessive physical activities, then the stitches might get pulled out. Moreover, there’s a possibility that the wound starts bleeding again. It is much better to keep the cat in a restricted place or in a small room to stop any physical activities like jumping. You must make sure that the incision does not come in contact with any kind of liquid such as water. You should not bathe your cat in the first two weeks after the surgery. Do not try to put any cream or ointment in the incision area unless your vet has recommended it. Some ointments and disinfectants contain hydrogen peroxide and alcohol which have the ability to damage cat’s cells as well as delay the healing process of the wound/incision. Licking and chewing of the wound must be prevented with the help of Elizabethan collar. If your cat chews the wound, the stitches might get pulled out or the infection might spread in the cat’s body.
When do the stitches need removing?
In case your cat’s incision was successfully closed with the help of sutures, then your cat will not be requiring any removal of the stitches. But if the cat has undergone incision with non-dissolving kind of skin stitches and staples, then they must be removed in 14 days. The correct time for removal of stitches completely depends on which kind of surgery was performed on the cat. After the completion of the surgery, your vet will tell you about the correct time for removal of stitches.
What are the Best Places to Put a Cat After Surgery?
When your cat returns to home after the completion of the surgery, you should keep her in a small and restricted place. It is necessary to control the physical activities of the cat. The cat must not jump as it might affect the cat’s incision. Do not take the cat outside home, or there’s a chance that the wound might get infected. You can buy a large carrier or a crate for your cat. Select a crate which is spacious and airy. If you buy a big crate for your cat, then you can make some space for litter or food bowl inside it. If you don’t want to confine your cat in a crate, then you can keep your cat in the laundry room or small bathroom. Keep your cat in the bathroom only if there’s no window. The next option is to build a cat-proof room wherein you could place the bedding, food bowl and water bowl for your cat. You can also choose to keep your cat in the medical boardroom available in the vet’s hospital.