How to Care for Your Cat after Spaying or Neutering

50164529 - veterinary nurse with cat in surgerySpaying or neutering your cat is an important element of his or her health. The American Humane Society believes that all cats and dogs adopted from public and private animal care facilities should be spayed or neutered to help prevent pet overpopulation. Considering that nearly 4 million poor animals are euthanized at shelters each year due to a lack of willing adopters, it’s critical for you as a pet owner to do your part to minimize this overpopulation. Since spaying will eliminate the crying and nervous pacing of adult females in heat and undesirable sexual behaviors of male cats, spaying and neutering really is the best choice.

Once your cat is fully spayed or neutered, there are certain steps you should take to ensure proper care and recovery for your favorite pet.

Recovery Immediately After the Procedure

Since spaying and neutering are completed under general anesthesia, your pet will be unconscious during the operation. You female cat will have her uterus and ovaries removed through a small cut in the abdominal wall, while your male cat will have his testicles removed using two incisions on either side of the scrotum.

In the first 24 hours after surgery, you’ll notice your pet may act groggy and sleep a great deal, which is entirely normal. The impact of the anesthesia may cause your cat to act aggressive or agitated, so keep your distance and don’t handle him unless necessary. Keep your cat in a crate or small room to sleep, and make sure he is comfortable and secure.

Care Around the Incision Site

On the day of surgery, the incision site on your cat might look minorly red and swollen. Check it once per day if your cat allows, and be on the lookout for any excessive redness, swelling, and discharge. You don’t need to clear or apply any topical ointment to the incision site, just let it heal on its own. If you have a female cat, she will be given a small green tattoo on the incision line as a universally recognized sign that she has been neutered.

It’s very important to prevent your cat from licking or biting the incision during the 7-10 day healing process, and there are collars and lick guard available for this purpose. Minimize all strenuous activity, keep your cat indoors, and skip all baths and grooming for 10 days. At the end of that period, your cat will be fully recovered!