Cat Sounds Congested After Being Spayed: What You Need To Know

Cat Sounds Congested After Being Spayed

As cat owners, I am sure that most of us can agree that a slight change in our cat’s routine or behavior can bring about a great deal of anxiety in us.

This is particularly true when it comes to surgical procedures such as spaying your female cat.

Throw in a neurotic pet owner like myself into the mix and I’m fussing all over my cat 23 hours a day. There would be times when my cat is hiding not because of sickness but to get away from me.

It is normal for cats to experience some discomfort after being sterilized. But what if your female cat sounds congested after being spayed?

The congestion sound in your cat could be caused by the tubing which delivers the anesthetic agent into your cat. Any unusual sounds can also be caused by pneumonia or an upper respiratory infection.

I will be discussing the possible reasons that could be causing the congestion sounds from your cat and how to keep your cat comfortable after surgery.

What Is Spaying And Is It Necessary?

cat being spayed by vet

When you get your cat spayed, it is a surgical procedure where the vet will completely remove your cat’s uterus and ovaries. The medical term for it is known as an ovariohysterectomy.

The vet will make a slit a couple of inches long in your cat’s belly and proceed from there. Most spay procedures can be done in an hour.

For male cats, the process is called neutering and the vet will make an incision in the ball sack and remove both testicles.

All this is done when the cat is under general anesthesia.

The main purpose of spaying a cat is to prevent it from getting pregnant and fill the streets and shelters with more unwanted cats. It also helps to prevent against certain diseases and give your cat a better quality of life.

How Do Female Cats Act After Being Spayed?

Although a spaying procedure isn’t as complicated as it sounds, the entire ordeal can still take a lot out of your cat.

The two main factors to consider post-op is that your cat was under anesthesia for quite a while and it is an intrusive surgical procedure.

This means that your cat will be drowsy and in pain.

The job of the anesthetic agent is to make sure your cat is asleep throughout the entire procedure and not in pain.

Your cat won’t be in the best of shape when it is back home. All it will do is sleep the day away from feeling groggy. This will last until your cat’s body totally flushes out the anesthesia from its system.

Given that being spayed is an intrusive procedure, your cat will be experiencing some degree of pain and discomfort internally and at the incision site.

A cat in pain will want to go into hiding until it feels better. Cats are both preyed on and predators in the wild. To openly show weakness is as good as telling a bigger predator that the cat is an easy meal.

Let your cat be by itself for the next few days even though you are concerned about it.

It will feel better once the wound starts to heal and with the pain relief medications.

What To Watch For After A Cat Gets Spayed?

cat after sterlization

Most cats will be able to handle the spaying process without any issues. However, there can be times when some complications might arise.

Infection At The Incision

Your cat’s incision on its belly would be looking rather raw for the first week. You can expect some bleeding and a clear watery discharge.

However, if there are signs of a thick colored discharge, a lump forming, bad odor or heavy bleeding, these could mean that your cat is having an infection at the surgical site.

This can be caused by a bacterial infection or by your cat’s constant licking and biting of the wound.

To prevent your cat from having access to the surgical site, you need to let your cat use an Elizabethan collar.

Stitches Have Come Apart

Once the procedure is completed, the vet will perform several layers of suturing to close up the wound properly.

When your cat is back from the vet, you should not allow it to move around too much. Do not let your cat go up and down the stairs or jump around.

Many kittens can start to get active even before the wound has healed properly.

This can cause the stitches to break and once that happens, the wound can’t close and heal. There might also be heavy bleeding.

Your cat’s curious mouth can start pulling at the suturing if it’s not wearing a cone.

Eating Very Little

cat eating from food bowl

Your cat will be in pain, discomfort and feeling a good amount of stress after being spayed. All these factors can affect his usual appetite.

It is normal for your cat to not eat well for the first few days but you should start to see a gradual increase in its appetite.

If your cat is still not eating well after a few days you need to let the vet know to see if there’s a need to bring it back for a follow-up.

A cat’s appetite is a barometer of its well-being and the lack of an appetite over a period of time can lead to health problems.

Why Is My Cat Making Congested Sounds?

When your cat is under general anesthesia, a rather long tube will be inserted down its throat. This is called the endotracheal tube which helps to keep your cat’s throat open and supply oxygen to its lungs.

Your cat’s windpipe is very delicate and it is easy for the tube to cause some irritation and abrasion to the throat’s tissue membrane.

This can cause your cat’s throat to become dry and sore which can affect the vocalization of your cat making it sound coarse or congested.

Or as some cat owners could put it, a coffee percolator.

If your cat is eating, drinking and breathing fine, she should be fine in a couple of days.

Another reason that could be causing the congested sound is aspiration pneumonia. This happens when occurs when food or liquid has entered the airways or lungs, instead of being swallowed.

The clinic will usually ask you to fast your cat for 6-8 hours before the spaying procedure. This is lower the risk of your cat vomiting and causing aspiration pneumonia while it’s sedated.

Other symptoms of aspiration pneumonia in cats include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lack of appetite
  • Fever Coughing
  • Nasal discharge

Aspiration pneumonia is a much more serious medical condition and requires medical attention. Your cat will be given supportive care and antibiotics to aid in its recovery.

Why Isn’t your Cat Sleeping After Surgery?

It might sound out of this world to hear of cats that have been awake for more than 24 hours. But it has happened and I have even heard of a cat not being able to sleep for 72 hours straight.

Your cat isn’t trying to set a world record as the longest-awake cat.

Feline insomnia could be caused by Buprenorphine which is an opioid that is used as a pain relief medication. It can be administered to your cat via injection or orally.

One downside of Buprenorphine is that it can mess up your cat’s sleep pattern and cause unnecessary wakefulness.

If your cat is unable to sleep, please let your cat know about it. The vet will either ask you to lower the dosage or change to another pain med altogether.

How To Care For Your Cat After Being Spayed?

There are a couple of ways to make your cat feel more comfortable after its spay surgery.

Since its throat has been agitated because of the tube, dry food or kibbles isn’t the best type of food for your cat at this moment.

Giving your cat more wet food or even raw food will make it easier on your cat’s throat. If dry food is the only thing that your cat will eat, try adding some tuna water or broth to your cat’s food for 20-30 minutes to soften it up.

I understand that you will be very concerned for your cat if it isn’t eating well and hiding most of the time. But giving your cat the privacy it needs to recuperate and de-stress will be more helpful than fussing over your cat 24/7.

Once your cat is starting to feel better, it will come looking to you for attention. You can then give your cat all the TLC that it wants.