Taking Care of Your Cat After Spaying
Spaying is a surgical procedure that prevents female pets from getting pregnant by removing their female reproductive organs. It’s a safe and important operation for any pet, but it comes with recovery time.
For that reason, it’s important to take care of your cat after spaying. This will help her heal faster.
1. Keep her confined
Spaying your cat is a very important part of being a responsible pet parent, and it’s also a big surgery that requires a little bit of time for your feline friend to recover. In order to help your furry friend get better faster, it’s essential that you keep them confined until the incision has healed.
Keeping your cat confined will prevent them from getting injured or infected and will also allow them to rest while they heal. This is because running around and playing could potentially cause them to stretch their stomach too far, which would pull open the wound and start bleeding again. If this happens, the general anesthesia that they received throughout the surgery will not be wearing off completely, and they’ll likely go into shock.
When the incision site has healed, you can let your cat out of confinement if they’re eating and drinking as usual. You’ll want to check their bathroom habits too, because if they don’t show any signs of discomfort while using the litter box, then they’re probably ready for you to release them.
If you notice any signs of complications, like a swollen belly, lethargy, or difficulty urinating, then call your vet right away. You can also visit your local veterinary emergency clinic for any urgent care that they may need, as they’ll be able to treat them more efficiently than a regular veterinarian office.
2. Give her plenty of water
Spaying is a surgery to remove your cat’s uterus and ovaries. This prevents her from having unwanted kittens, and also reduces the risk of diseases like uterine cancer and infections. Our Tracy vet team wants to help you understand what happens during a spay and how to care for your pet afterward.
Your cat will probably be groggy after getting home from the vet and may not want to eat right away. But make sure she gets enough fluids to avoid dehydration. You can offer her water in small, frequent portions. It’s best to give her a bowl with low sides, so she can easily lap it up without spilling it.
She will likely want to rest after her spay, but be careful not to let her sleep too long. If she starts to fall asleep, you can try putting her in a safe space that’s free of things she might climb or jump on, such as a crate. If she’s comfortable in a crate, she’ll be less likely to move around too much and may rest better.
Some pet owners worry their cats will gain weight after a spay. But a normal diet and regular wellness visits should keep your pet at her healthy weight. Adding exercise and activity to her routine can help prevent weight gain, too.
Your cat will probably feel a little more energetic after spaying, and you’ll want to keep her confined in an area that limits jumping or running around. For outdoor cats, this means putting them in a safe place that’s sheltered from other animals and people. You can also consider installing a camera in your house to monitor your pet after the surgery and check for any signs of complications, like a swollen belly or difficulty urinating.
3. Keep an eye on her
Spaying is a routine surgery, and it’s a good idea to watch over your pet closely to make sure they recover quickly. It typically takes a cat about 10-14 days to heal after spaying. If you have a hectic schedule and cannot be home to check on your cat, consider asking a friend or family member to come over and spend time with them for a while, or installing a pet camera so you can see how they are doing from the comfort of your home.
After your cat returns home from the vet, you will need to keep an eye on her for the first 12-24 hours. This is when she needs to be most monitored for signs of excessive bleeding and urination problems. If your cat experiences these symptoms, it’s important to contact your veterinarian or the emergency clinic right away.
A little bit of pinkish or bloody discharge and some redness around the surgical site is normal, but it’s important to monitor her carefully for any other signs of infection. If your cat shows signs of fever, vomiting or lethargy, call your veterinarian immediately.
If you have trouble determining whether or not your cat is spayed, she may have a spay scar or tattoo on her belly or ear, and she should be able to easily urinate. She will also be a lot quieter and less active, and she will most likely not want to go out and play with you. If you are still unsure, you can try checking her gums. A healthy, spayed cat should have a pale pink to red color that returns when you touch the area gently.
4. Keep an eye on her incision
Spaying is a fairly common surgery that prevents your cat from having unwanted kittens. But while it’s a relatively safe and routine operation, your cat still needs some time to recover. As such, it’s important to be vigilant and aware of the potential complications that may manifest in the wake of her spay.
The incision site might look a bit red and swollen, especially at the beginning. You should check this site at least once a day to ensure there isn’t excessive bleeding, spotting, or discharge. If you see any of these things, contact the veterinarian as soon as possible for further instructions. Additionally, watch for fevers, lack of appetite, and vomiting, as these could be signs that something more serious is up with your cat’s health.
Some vets also recommend limiting your cat’s movement for a period of time after her spay. Jumping and stretching puts a lot of strain on the incision, and it can cause it to open up again or become infected. Putting up furniture blocks, covering cat trees with blankets, or even just laying out a soft bed to discourage jumping is an easy way to limit your pet’s movements at home.
It’s also vital to keep your cat from licking the incision site. It can irritate the wound and lead to infection, so make sure she’s wearing a cone (or some sort of anti-lick collar) for the duration of the 7-10 days.
5. Keep an eye on her behavior
Keeping your female cat spayed is an essential part of pet ownership, and it also has important health benefits. As PetMD explains, spaying prevents unwanted pregnancies and significantly reduces uterine diseases such as pyometra and uterine tumors, which can be fatal. It also decreases behavioral changes caused by reproductive heat cycles, like vocalizing and escape behavior. It can also reduce risk factors for mammary cancer.
After the surgery, your cat may be a little groggy and may not want to eat the first night or two. This is normal and is due to the effects of anesthesia. The next day, she should be more alert and her appetite should return to normal. It’s a good idea to feed her a small amount of food at this time, as this will help minimize movement and prevent vomiting.
It’s also a good idea to put your cat in a cone for the first few days after her spay, as this will protect the wound and prevent her from licking it too much. While it’s natural for pets to lick their sores or wounds, excessive licking can cause them to become infected and slow down healing. There are various types of cones available for cats, from plastic ones to surgical recovery suits and inflatable collars.
Overall, spaying your cat is a relatively quick and uncomplicated procedure that will have many positive effects. With proper care and monitoring, your cat should recover quickly and be back to her playful self in no time! If you have any questions about spaying your cat, our team at Everhart Veterinary Medicine is here to help!