Cat Post-operative Care

Symptoms that may require emergency care: pale gums, labored breathing, vomiting lasting longer than 24 hours or difficulty urinating.

Please note: It can take several weeks for male or female hormones to be eliminated from a cat’s body so you should keep intact (not fixed) cats apart to prevent pregnancy and you may still observe certain mating behaviors until the hormones are gone.


  • Your cat had surgery with anesthesia. Sedation effects can last for 24 hours.
  • Female cat had the uterus and ovaries removed through a small incision in her abdomen.
  • Male cat has 2 incisions; one on each side of the scrotum. Male cats may appear as if they still have testicles.This is normal and the swelling will gradually subside.
  • The healing process takes up to 2 weeks.


  • Cat must stay in carrier until the morning after surgery. Do not take cat out of carrier for any reason until the next morning.
  • First 24 hours, keep your cat away from other pets and children. Rest and sleep are essential for healing.
  • For 10 days, you cat should be confined to small area with food, water and litter.
  • Keep your cat indoors and avoid steps, jumping on furniture.
  • Cats may urinate excessively following this procedure due to the administration of fluids.


  • If given a collar, your cat must wear it at all times for 10 days. The cat may react negatively at first.

PLEASE NOTE: that any repair needed for self- inflicted damage to the incision site will result in additional costs to the owner.


  • Anesthesia and surgery can cause your cat to have a sensitive stomach.
  • Offer them a ¼ of their normal meal and water the next morning. Appetite should return to normal within 24 hours.
  • If your cat is lethargic or having multiple episodes of vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours after surgery, contact NNN.
  • Kittens (under 3 months) may be offered a few spoonfuls of wet food upon arrival home IN THE CARRIER.


  • Unless told otherwise, your cat does not have external sutures that need to be removed. The sutures are absorbable and may take up to 60 days to be fully absorbed. Male cats do not have any sutures.
  • Expect minor swelling and bruising near the incision.
  • Check the incision site daily for increased swelling or drainage. A small amount of clear, blood tinged discharge from the incision is acceptable the first day. Call NNN if you think the bleeding is excessive; if the incision has an odor or if discharge is yellow or green.
  • A small, hard lump along the incision a few days after surgery is a common reaction to the suture when the tissue is healing.
  • Do not apply antibiotic ointment to the incision site.


  • Your cat was given an injection of long acting pain medicine.
  • Do NOT give your cat over the counter (OTC) pain medicine.
  • Cats tend to hide if they are in pain. If you think your cat is in discomfort, call NNN post op number.


  • Your cat received a green tattoo next to her incision to indicate that she is fixed.


  • Your cat had eye ointment put in the eyes to keep them moist during surgery.