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Feline Post-Operative Care

In order to minimize post-surgical complications, you will need to provide the proper conditions if we are to expect satisfactory healing of your pet.

TODAY AND TONIGHT: (after pick-up)

  • Please protect your pet when leaving the clinic by using a carrier.

  • Cats should stay in their carrier for the next 3-4 hours while they get re-acquainted to you and their surroundings. Your cat will not smell like its household so other pets will not recognize them. Your cat should stay in a secluded room once they can come out of their carriers, they may still be disoriented from the anesthesia. Some cats will wake up and be easily provoked, they should not be around small children or other animals for the night.

  • Until tomorrow, keep your pet quiet and confined in a warm environment, off furniture and elevated places that may be a fall risk.

  • If your pet has an appetite once they go home day of surgery, you may feed them a small portion of food to help their GI tract start to move again after they have been home 3-4 hours. Do not be alarmed if your pet does not eat until tomorrow.

The pain medication and anesthesia may cause inappetence.

  • Appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery. Do not change the Animal’s diet at this time, and do not give them junk food, table scraps, milk, or any other people food during the recovery period. Feeding them their regular diet will help avoid gastro-intestinal upset.

  • You may notice some vocalization after getting home. This can be a side effect from the medication given preoperatively for sedation and pain. This is NOT a pain response. This can be normal in some patients and may last for 6-8 hours.



  • Cats should stay indoors during their full recovery process.

  • You must restrict the Animal’s activity for the next ten days to allow the tissue time to heal & avoid causing the incision to open.

  • No bathing or grooming for 14 days



  • Full recovery is 10-14 days.

  • Keep the incision site dry; do not bathe, do not apply topical ointment, do not apply bandages over incision during the recovery period.

  • Recovery Cone (E-Collar): An e-collar is recommended to protect the incision site from licking and chewing. Please leave the e-collar on for 10-14 days while your pet is recovery. E-collars are available at pick-up for $14.

  • Keep males away from unspayed females for 30 days, they are still fertile during this period. Keep females away from unneutered males for 7 days. Be prepared to keep pets separate during the full recovery period.

  • Check the incision site at least twice daily.

  • Females should have no drainage; redness & swelling should be minimal. Internal suture is used and will self-dissolve over 3 months. Surgical glue is applied on the outside and cannot get wet. Too much activity can cause drainage, so activity restriction is very important.

  • The incision for male cats is directly on the scrotum & is left open to allow for drainage. Small amounts of drainage/discharge is normal for up to three days. Too much activity causes increased drainage, so activity restriction is very important.

  • Do not allow the Animal to lick or chew at the incision. If this occurs, a post-operative cone (E-collar) MUST be applied to prevent additional licking/chewing that could cause infection and the incision to open.

  • Minimal redness & swelling of the surgery site should resolve within several days, but if they persist longer, please call our office at 336-723-7550. After office hours, please call 336-851-1990. You should also contact them immediately if you notice any of the following: pale gums; depression; unsteady gait; loss of appetite or decreased water intake; vomiting; diarrhea; discharge or bleeding from the incision; difficulty urinating or defecating; labored breathing. Do not give human medication to the Animal. It is dangerous & can be fatal.

  • Your pet will go home with a green tattoo marking sterilization. This tattoo is made by scoring the first dermal layer and inserting tattoo ink into it. It is closed with surgical glue and will heal as their incision does. This is usually located near their umbilicus.

  • Follow-up appointments are not necessary unless otherwise stated at pick up or concerns arise.

Incisions should heal on their own, and if your pet received internal suture will self-dissolve over 3 months.

We will make every reasonable effort to treat at OUR CLINIC, at minimal cost, any post-operative complications resulting directly from the surgery, if the above post-operative instructions are followed in full. Your regular veterinarian must address illnesses or injuries that are not a direct result of surgery. Please call for an appointment as soon as you see any cause for concern at 336-723-7550. After office hours, please call 336-851-1990.

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