Your cat had major surgery today, so please review the following to help your pet recuperate:

  • Your cat may be groggy and off balance due to the effects of anesthesia, which can last up to 12 hours.
  • Confine your cat to a quiet place such as a bathroom, bedroom or laundry room where he/she can rest away from other pets, curious children, stairs and other obstacles.
  • Make sure a litter box and fresh water are nearby!
  • For the next 24 hours, make every effort to prevent your cat from jumping, climbing and rough-housing.
  • Your cat may have a tablespoon of his/her regular food tonight unless you have been told otherwise by the TEAM staff. Resume a regular feeding schedule tomorrow morning, but don’t be surprised if your cat has no appetite until much later in the day!
  • It is okay for a nursing female to nurse her kittens after surgery.
  • Some firm swelling around the incision site is okay as long as your cat has a normal appetite and activity level. The swelling usually diminishes in 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Your cat’s sutures are sometimes visible, but do not need to be removed.
  • Other household pets may behave strangely when the cat comes home (hissing, spitting, shunning, etc.). This is because the cat may smell differently to its housemates after having been on the mobile clinic with other cats, medications, and things that have an unfamiliar odor. Don’t worry! This will pass in a few days.
  • Try not to lift or excessively handle the cat for 3 to 5 days.
  • Keep your cat indoors for at least 3 days so that you can monitor recovery and limit activity.
  • Feral cats may be released in the afternoon the day after surgery if awake and alert.
  • Bathing is not recommended, because cats groom themselves.* However, if your cat urinates or defecates on himself, you may use a warm, damp cloth to gently clean the cat, but be sure to avoid the incision area. It is best to let the cat recuperate and clean itself.

*We don’t recommend collars either, since they inhibit a cat’s ability to groom itself thoroughly.

Please refer to the post-op handout you were given at discharge for additional information. Call the TEAM veterinary staff if you have any questions about your cat after surgery: 1-860-399-4530.