General Cat Care and Tips

What to Expect After Spaying/Neutering Your Cat

You love your cat, however, you do not want a bunch of kittens and you are tired of the behavior of your beloved friend. You have decided it’s time to get your cat fixed, but what should you expect after spaying/neutering Your Cat?

The following is not meant to replace your vets advice. These tips are to help give you an idea of what to expect after you spay or neuter your cat before you go into the vet. Please follow all advice given to you by your vet.

How to care for your cat after spaying or neutering

How long will it take your cat to heal after spaying or neutering?

Let your cat rest

Your cat needs rest. They will be tired and they will be disorented. You need to allow your cat to rest where it’s comfortable and safe. They may want to come snuggle with you, however don’t be surprised if all they want to do is hide in a corner and sleep.

After 24 hours your cat should start to move around a bit, however, they still will need a lot of rest before they are ready to get back to normal. You do want to check on your cat and give them a few pats or pets during this time. Just to let them know you are still there. As long as they don’t lash out at you keep visiting them and showing affection.

Keep your cat away from other pets

When you bring your cat home you want to keep them away from other pets. You don’t want your cat to be exposed to a curious house member that may cause issues with the site or who may aggravate your healing cat.

You also want your cat to heal and that means being able to rest. Keeping them away from healthy and active pets will help them heal faster and get back to their normal selves.

Other cats

When you have other cats in your home you will want to keep your cat away from the others not only to keep curious cats away, but because many cats will become aggressive when you bring their friend home. It is called Non-Recognition Aggression and it’s very common in cats.

In fact when I started walking my one cat, the other had this problem when I brought him back inside. She would hiss and hide from him for a few hours, after that she was fine until the next walk. Eventually, she stopped and has gotten used to him coming in and out.

Feeding your cat

After surgery, your cat will need to eat about half of what they normally do. In fact, they may not want to eat at all upon arriving home. This is normal and is expected. However, if your cat does not want to eat the next day you may want to give your vet a call.

You do want to be sure that you have water available for your cat. They need this to stay hydrated and water may be all that they want for the next 24 hours or so.

What should you feed your cat?

You may want to discuss a recovery diet for your cat after surgery. A recovery diet consists of food that is higher in protein fat and calories. This allows your pet to eat less, but still, get the nutrients they need to make a full recovery.

You also need to be sure that the food is small enough for your cat to eat. You don’t want large peices, but easy to eat smaller bites that they are more likley to get down. Your cat will not have much energy and if they have to use that energy to eat they may just avoid eating.

Taking care of the surgery site.

Do not wash the site unless your vet says to. There is normally a glue that is holding the incision together and it will come off on its own. You do want to check the site daily to make sure there is no infection or that your cat has not messed with the site.

You may need a recovery collar or cone

If your cat keeps licking or pawing at the surgery site you will need to look into a recovery cone or collar. You will want to already have one on hand in case you need it or be ready to run to the store. There are many kinds of recovery collars out there. You will need to find one that will work best for you and your cat.

Pain after spaying or neutering

Your cat will be given pain medication that will last for a few days. This was the case when I took my cats in and after talking with a few vets it seems to always be the case. You will not have to worry about giving your cat any pain medication and you will not need to add any ointment to their skin unless directed by your vet.

No Bathing your cat

You may think you need to bath your cat because they may have a smell after surgery. This is normal and should go away after a day or two. If you still smell odd oders on your cat after the 2 days you will want to give your vet a call.

If you feel your cat really needs a bath, hold off on it for at least seven days or talk to your vet about when it is best to give your cat a bath. Healthy cats don’t need baths unless they get extreamly dirty or have fleas.

Change out your litter

Clay litter may aggravate your pet’s surgical site if you have nurtured your male cat. Until the site is healed you may want to change over to a paper-based litter to help keep dust out of the site and decrease aggravation.

Clay litter does not affect female spayed cats and can continue to be used. If you are concerned about your litter talk to your vet about what precautions you need to take once you are home.

Keep your male cat away from female cats

Your newly neutred male is still able to impregnant a female cat after surgery. This last for about a month so you will want to plan on keeping your male cat away from any unspayed female cats. This can be hard, however it will keep you from having unwanted kittens.

If you are inside you can keep your male in another room while you are not around. You don’t want to keep all of your cats apart the whole month, you do want them to interact after the 2 week recovery period. Just be sure it’s only done when you are home and able to keep an eye on your pets.

You may need to keep female cats away from males as well

If your female was in heat when you had her fixed you will want to keep her away from male cats. She still has the heat hormone in her body and will attract males.

Interacting with a male cat in this way could result in serious injuries to your cat so it is best to just keep her away from others for a while. After a couple of weeks, she should be fine and able to be around male cats again.

Other tips for caring for your recently spayed or neutered cat

  • Keep a white towel around for them to sleep on. This way you can easily see if they are bleeding.
  • Clean the litter box at least once a day if you do not already
  • Check your cat’s temperature, just by petting it, if they feel cool call your vet.
  • Cats have three eyelids, if the cat’s third eyelid is visible and does not move back after waking up, could be a sign of distress.

When you need to contact or return to your vet

If you notice any of the following behavors you need to place a call to your vet ASAP.

  • Bleeding
  • Vomiting, diarrhea or constipation
  • Consistent loss of appetite or decreased water intake
  • Depression, weakness or lethargy
  • Shivering or a change in body temperature
  • Unsteadiness on their feet
  • Labored or painful breathing

Behavor changes that may happen

Your cat has just gone though a major event and you can’t expect them to get to normal right away, however you may find that your cat still has the same behavor it had before you had them spayed or nutured.

It can take a month or more for your cat to stop doing the behaviors it had before the surgery. Keep that in mind when you are dealing with a cat that may still want to attack others aggressively, spray, or wants to get out all the time.

Your cat may be aggressive

Your cat may show signs of aggressiveness for a while after the surgery. They may lash out at other pets. If you notice this happening try to keep them in their own safe place for a while. Your cat will be aggressive because its in pain and confused.

Your cat has just gone through a major event and this is not something cats enjoy at all. Give them time to calm down and in a week or so they should be back to normal.

They still may have old habits

Your cat may still do things that you thought the surgery would fix. This is normal and will eventually go away. However, you have to remember that neutering or spaying your cat will not change their personality or calm them down. This is something that is inherited and you will just have to love them how they are.

However, if you had an aggressive male cat who was aggressive due to hormones then you may see a change in this behavior after having them neutered. You may also see a decrease in spraying however this only happens in about 85% of cats. My male didn’t spray often before I had him neutered however he has sprayed occasionally since.

Your female cat may not seem as friendly as she once was, this is due to no longer going through a heat cycle. Going through Heat causes a cat to be friendly and want to be touched and loved. Now that your cat no longer goes through this you may find they are not as friendly. This is normal and may be how your cat really is.

Your cats personality will not change. If your cat was loving and energetic before their surgery they will be the same after. If your cat liked to hide and stay away from people, expect that same behavor.

Why should you spay or neuter your cat?

The main two reasons to spay or neuter your cat is to control the population and to fix behavor issues. Many people may think that their indoor cat doesn’t need to be spayed or neuterd however if your precious cat does get outside they could attribute to the overpopulation of cats.

You may have heard that it’s better for a cat to have a litter of kittens before being spayed or neutered however, this is not true and has no health benifites to mom or dad.

You want to remember the most imporatant thing when it comes to careing for your newly spayed or neutered cat. You need to make sure they are comfortable. Your cat has just been though a crazy ordeal that they had no idea was coming or what it even was. They have no idea what has happend to them and they are a bit tramatized.

Allowing your cat time and a comfortable space to heal and get back to normal is the best thing you can do to help your cat after this experance. Don’t expect to have your cat back to normal before a month or so and try to listen to them in the meantime. They will tell you when they are ready for attention and for things to be how they once were, don’t force it.