Cat Post-Operative Care

Cat Post-Operative Care
  • Female cats should stay separated from other cats in the household until you are sure that they are able to urinate. Pregnant female cats have high precautions for post-op urination. If your cat was pregnant at the time of her spay, please verify that she continues to urinate for several days after surgery.
  • Check your cat’s mucous membrane (gum) color when you arrive home. The mucous membrane color should be a pale pink to red; more importantly, the color must quickly return after applied pressure to the gums (above the canine tooth). Check your cat’s color throughout the evening to verify mucous membrane color return.
  • Offer water immediately after returning home. If your cat is not vomiting, you may offer dry food after 8pm. Resume normal feeding the day after surgery. Generally, a lack of appetite is normal for the first 24 hours post-op. However, your cat must be drinking water. If he/she shows no interest in food or water after 24 hours, contact the clinic. Contact the clinic if your cat continues to vomit water after 12 hours.
  • Check your cat’s incision daily for Redness, Swelling, Discharge or Wound Gaping. Some redness and swelling is normal, contact the clinic if it looks excessive to you. Contact FACE about any discharge or opening of the incision.
  • Do not clean the incision because you may introduce infection. The incision needs to remain dry. If it becomes dirty, flush the incision with Saline Solution (contact lens saline solution). Do not bathe your cat for at least 7 days.
  • Some discomfort 24-36 hours post-op is normal. Your cat should continually improve; he/she should feel better every day.
  • Your female cat has buried sutures; there is no need for suture removal. Male cats do not require sutures.
  • Male cats remain virile for 3-4 weeks after surgery. Keep them confined.
  • If you feel your cat is in need of pain-relieving medication, please contact the clinic or our on-call staff before administering any medicines. Some over-the-counter medications can be very dangerous to your cat.

EMERGENCY: Contact FACE at (317)638-3223.

After hours: The clinic voice mail will give you instructions for contacting a staff member to discuss concerns and treatment. We will not be responsible for postoperative care provided without contacting the FACE Spay/Neuter Clinic emergency staff.

Post-Operative Signs: What to Watch For:

Feral cats will huddle in a small area. Signs of postoperative problems will not be obvious.

Keep cats on white or light-colored towels so you can see any external bleeding.

Watch food intake closely; lack of interest in food, especially after days with a good appetite can signal a problem.

Clean the litter box often – once daily at a minimum. The cat should urinate at least once daily. Lack of urine production, especially in female cats, can indicate a problem.

Become familiar with the cats ‘energy level’. In most cases a feral cat will not move when you are nearby; however, he/she will be watching closely.

If the cat’s attention to you when you are nearby seems less energetic or his/her eyes seem less bright/attentive, contact the clinic for support.

If you can touch the cat (formerly untouchable) and the cat feels cool to the touch, (especially female cats) he/she could be in trouble.

If the cat’s third eyelid is visible (and does not move back after awaking, etc), this is also a sign of distress.

EMERGENCY: Contact FACE at (317)638-3223.

After hours: The clinic voice mail will give you instructions for contacting a staff member to discuss concerns and treatment. We will not be responsible for postoperative care provided without contacting the FACE Low-Cost Animal Clinic emergency staff.