Cats are not known to be the most cooperative of creatures. Quite the opposite, in fact. So when it comes time to figure out how to care for your cat after a neuter or spaying, you want to make sure you know how to handle your beloved kitty.
Nobody likes going through surgery. Least of all cats. It’s a stressful situation for everyone involved, regardless of the issue at hand. Plus, after the surgery, some kitties are known to get a bit active. How long you keep a cat confined after they get spayed is up to you, but it has to be 24 hours minimum. Give kitty some room to recover.
Whether your cat’s broken a bone or gotten spayed/ neutered, it’s important to their recovery that they take it easy for awhile. If they keep up their normal shenanigans, the post- op recovery period could be much longer than anticipated.
How to Keep Your Cat From Jumping After Surgery
This is obvious, but still must be said. I have a few friends who let their cat get out of sight for just a few minutes only to be faced with some sort of calamity.
Depending on the operation, your cat may be on some sort of anesthetic. This means your furball’s usual grace and agility will be replaced with drowsy clumsiness. Like a toddler who’s only just learned to walk and is trying to evade nap time.
Keeping a close eye will better help you see what’s coming and avoid it. The best way to do this is keep your cat with you in an enclosed space that doesn’t have a lot of furniture to jump up and down on.
Remove all cat trees
Keeping your cat tree upright and visible is only going to cause problems. Either your cat sees it and get reminded that it hurts to jump; or she jumps anyway and before you know it you’re back in the car on the way to the vet.
Depending on how much room you have, you can fix it problem easily by just laying to tree on its side. Or, if the weather’s nice, you can keep it outside until your kitty is fully recovered.
Another option would be to just simply drape a blanket or tarp over the cat tree. It won’t be pretty but it’s only temporary.
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Keep your cat inside
Some cats have more independence than others. If your cat likes to visit with the neighbors during the day than this step will be a little tougher. Naturally, your feline will have become accustomed to doing what she wants, when she wants. And she may not be very pleased when you limit her freedoms.
But keeping your cat on ‘free roam’ mode just isn’t possible in the post- op. Who know what goes on while your not around?
For all you know, your cat participates in the neighborhood pole vault competition. If you want to keep your cat from jumping after surgery then keep them indoors.
Keep your cat away from other animals
Cat’s (and sometimes dogs) might be drawn to your cat’s incision. You can’t very well have another animal licking or biting at your cat’s fresh wound now can you?
If you have a multi- cat or multi- animal household, you’ll want to pay close attention here. Fights have been known to break out between pets, and your post- op kitty will undoubtedly get the worst of such an exchange. Cats will bite and jump and scratch if surprised or threatened, so avoid a fight at all costs.
It would be best to keep your pets in different rooms in the house for the duration of the recovery.
Get a cone
If you didn’t get a free one at the vet, make a stop at the store on the way home. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
A cone’s main purpose is to stop any biting, licking or scratching of the incision. Your cat is guaranteed to hate it, but it works wonders in that regard.
However, I’ve found that a cone will also deter any excess jumping or erratic movement in general. Your cat will feel awkward and off- balance. Combined with the anesthetic, the cone will make it less likely your cat seeks any high places.
Keep everyone calm
The more people and critters you have running around the house the harder this will get. Getting your kids to stop fighting or the birds to quit squawking isn’t easy, but your recovering cat will appreciate it.
Surgery is very stressful. You cat got torn from her natural element, sliced open and forced to spend the night in some strange place with loud neighbors. Could you blame her for wanting a little peace and quiet?
Without all the external stimulation, your cat will find it much easier to relax and sink into the tranquility of their anesthetic. She’s much less likely to get into any trouble or over- exert herself and cause more damage.
Use a crate
I put this one last because I generally like to minimize crate time. Keeping your cat confined for hours on end every day is just cruel and unnecessary.
With that being said, a post- op kitty is very fragile and this situation is an exception to the rule. If all else has failed and your cat is still jumping around like a madman, a crate is your best bet to isolate your cat after a spay. You can’t keep an eye on your cat all the time, either. If your cat has refused to settle down at this point, then it’s a good idea to use the crate whenever you’re not around.
Most owners don’t like to crate their pets but it’s only temporary! I like to try keeping my kitty close to me in a relatively small space first. This way there’s still a little freedom for your cat and peace of mind for you.
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Keeping all of these tips in mind is important to overseeing your lovely’s full and speedy recovery. Make sure you listen to your vet and follow their instructions closely. If your cat was sent home with medication, use it as instructed and don’t stop giving it unless specifically told to. You don’t want your cat experiencing pain or discomfort that could have been easily avoided.
Giving a cat its medication isn’t easy. If you’re having trouble doing so this video will help you out.
After you administer the medicine your cat may be too groggy to even think much about jumping. But that’s not always the case. Make sure they get plenty of rest and relaxation either way. Some cat’s get hungry and want their food right away and others need a little more time. Don’t worry if your feline doesn’t eat right away- that’s totally normal.
It’s also very important to handle your cat with care so as not to disturb the incision. Avoid picking them up if you can.
Last of all, give your little hairball extra love and attention! It may not help with physical recovery, but it will certainly ease the pain and confusion of the last 24 hours.
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