Has your cat just had surgery? This guide to caring for her will help ensure she makes a successful recovery.
From dental extractions to cancer operations, chances are your cat may need surgery at some point in her life. In order to help ensure she makes a good recovery, you need to take a proactive part in her care, especially after she comes home. Read on for some hints and tips on what you can do to care for your kitty after surgery.
While your cat is convalescing in hospital
Rules and regulations vary at veterinary hospitals, but if you are allowed to, visit your cat as much as possible. These visits will be as beneficial for her as they are to you, even if she’s still anaesthetised or is ill. She may not seem able to respond to you, but talk to her softly and calmly, and stroke her if possible. This will soothe and reassure her, and a calm cat who knows her person is nearby has a much better chance of recovery than one who is stressed.
Preparing for your cat’s return home
If your cat has had major surgery, she will need some time to convalesce at home, so you need to plan for this in advance. Are there children or other animals in the household? If so, you need to find a quiet place for your cat to rest for the first few days or weeks. A room where she can be completely by herself is ideal. But if this is impossible, or if your cat hates being alone, invest in a large dog cage or pen, and keep her in that. Put the pen in a place where she can be undisturbed but won’t feel lonely, such as a corner of your living room.
Taking care of your cat after surgery
Your cat may need medication or other remedies on a regular basis; depending on the situation, she may also need physiotherapy. Your vet will tell you what needs to be done, so you’ll need to make a plan to fit your cat’s care into your schedule; and, if possible, let someone else in the household know what needs doing so they can take over if you are not around. One of my cats needed medication four times a day, along with regular physiotherapy, when she first came home after surgery. I quickly realised it would be impossible for me to go out for a whole day and still fit her care into my schedule. So I cancelled some outings, and arranged for someone else to help out when I couldn’t be there.
You need to also make time to just be with your cat and give her extra attention. Showing her love and affection at this time is very important.
You will probably need to take your cat back to the vet for regular check-ups, depending on the type of surgery she has had. But in between times, do keep a careful eye on her. If she doesn’t appear to be progressing the way you think she should, or if she seems to be in more pain than expected or refuses to eat, don’t hesitate to bring your next veterinary appointment forward. No vet is going to criticize you for being too careful, and complications are always possible. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Put the pen in a place where she can be undisturbed but won’t feel lonely, such as a corner of your living room.
Remember: recovery takes time
Most cats seem to bounce back amazingly fast after surgery, a fact which many of us envy! But bear in mind that they are also experts at hiding how they feel. So be watchful, don’t rush things, and be ready to give your cat extra love and attention for quite a while if necessary.
If you follow the suggestions in this article, your cat should make a complete recovery from her surgery!
Helen Krasner grew up on a farm in the south of England, and has had cats from childhood. She has been a freelance writer for many years, writing on many subjects, but specializing in cats. Her other interests include yoga, traveling, and holistic health. She lives in a small town in Derbyshire, in the center of the UK, along with her partner David and their five much-loved cats.