So your male cat has just completed his neutering procedure at the vet and you are on the way home. He looks out of sorts from the sedation and is starting to look uncomfortable.
As a concerned cat owner, we would want to give our cat the best recovery process. So what are the important dos and don’ts for a male cat neutering aftercare?
Read on to find out.
How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Recover From Being Neutered?
Most neuterings are minor procedures.
If the testicles have already descended into the ball sac, then the incision site will be at the ball sac.
However, if the testicles have not descended, then the surgical incision will be done via abdominal surgery.
On average, ball sac incisions take about a week to recover whereas neutering via abdominal surgery takes about two weeks.
How Long After Neutering Does Behavior Change In A Cat?
It might take anywhere up to 4-8 weeks for male cats to register the change in their hormonal levels. Hence during this period, neutered cats might still exhibit pre-neutering behaviors.
One thing to note is that adult cats (>1 year old), after being neutered, tend to retain some level of aggression.
If you are adopting a retired breeder cat or from an animal shelter, most of the time the cat is already sterilized. This saves you the trouble of having to go through the process.
Difference Between Neutering And Spaying
Many cat owners get confused over these two terms so let us clear up the air once and for all.
Neutering is for male cats and the process involves their testicles to prevent further reproduction.
Spaying is done on a female cat. Their ovaries and uterus are completely removed to prevent them from getting pregnant.
Dos And Don’ts Of Neutering Aftercare
Let us now take a look at the important dos and don’ts of looking after your cat after his surgical procedure.
1. Don’t Panic
I know how seeing our darling cats in pain or discomfort can send our heart rates and anxiety levels through the roof and beyond.
He probably isn’t in the best of moods and condition. Expect him to not be his usual self for a week or so.
The calmer you are, your cat will also know that he is in good hands as they feed off our energy.
Also also, give yourself a pat on the back for neutering your cat. This helps to prevent unnecessary aggressive mating behaviors and health issues.
2. Use An E-Collar Or Body Suit
Cats are natural groomers which mean they will lick every reachable part of the body to keep themselves clean.
The last thing we want is for our cat to be licking or biting the incision site. This can cause infections and prolong his recovery.
The Elizebeth collar or E-collar works best for cats that have just gone through surgery. Basically, it is a cone-shaped collar that is made from either plastic or fabric.
Its main job is to prevent cats from accessing areas that need to recover.
The bodysuit might be a better option for abdominal surgery as it can completely cover and protect the area and allow for your cat to recover without any complications.
Do note that cats aren’t big fans of the e-collar as it makes them feel insecure and uncomfortable. Don’t soften up and remove it thinking you’re helping your cat.
It will get used to it after a few days.
3. Keep Your Male Cats Indoors
If your cat has outside to the outdoors, it would be best to keep your cat indoors until he is fully recovered.
While outdoors, your cat has a higher chance of aggravating the wound or getting injured by other external forces out of your control.
So keep your kitty indoors for the time being.
4. Prepare A Comfortable Recovery Room Or Corner
After the neutering procedure, most male cats will be in some discomfort and confusion.
It would be best to prepare a quiet room or corner for your cat to recover. A room or corner with as little noise and foot traffic would be prefered.
All his essential items should be on the floor without needing to jump up or down.
Bring his litter tray close to his recovery area to prevent him from walking around too much.
Make sure to clean up and sanitize the area to keep his surroundings clean.
If you have a nice big cupboard box, that would work as a safe zone for the cat to hide.
Don’t let the cat jump up into it but flip the box onto its side for easy access.
5. Don’t Play With Your Cat
Now is not the ideal time to be playing fetch or chasing the laser.
For the next week or so, the poor kitty needs as much rest as possible to recover from his neutering.
Any form of excess movement can aggravate the incision site or the sutures to burst.
It’s best that your furry friend doesn’t move around much and let your cat rest as much as possible.
All his energy should be directed towards his recovery.
6. Feed Him Well
Like humans, a cat in recovery needs a lot of good nutrients for the body to repair itself.
There’s a good chance that he might not his usual appetite after the surgery for a day or two.
Try adding some of his favorite treats to his food to stimulate his appetite. Hand-feeding him can also make him eat more.
Adding some bone broth made from beef or chicken is good for his recovery.
If his appetite has not recovered after a few days, do give your vet a call to let him know. They might ask you to bring your cat back for a post-op check-up.
On a separate note, your cat’s diet is probably the one most important factor that will determine his overall health. If you would like to understand why a raw meat diet might be best for your cat, check out our guide here.
7. Don’t Forget About His Medications
After the procedure, the vet might prescribe medication for your cat to take throughout the course of his recovery.
The most common ones are:
- pain medications
- antibiotics to prevent any wound infection from occurring
- cleaning lotion to clean the incision site
Feeding medication to cats can be a tricky thing. Most cats hate it and it can be a nightmare when trying to do so.
An easier way is to crush up the tablet and stir it well into his food if pilling him is next to impossible.
Cats have a fantastic sense of smell and can smell the crushed pill in their food.
So in order to disguise the scent, you can add some fish broth made from bonito flakes or boiled fish bones.
8. Check For Any Abnormalities
It’s usual for the surgery site to be swollen a few hours after surgery. It should start to subside after a day or two.
If there is any sign of bleeding, a lump at the incision area, excessive swelling or pus around the surgical incision call the vet asap to see what needs to be done to prevent any serious complications.
Can I Hold My Cat After Neutering?
It would be best not to. After surgery, your cat will be in a bad mood and would prefer to be left alone.
Be trying to hold him, you will agitate him even further making him struggle and worsen the surgery site.
Just leave your cat alone to recover. When he is ready or wants affection, he will come to you.
Trap Neuter Release Program
Besides domesticated cats, it is also important to neuter as many strays and ferals cats as we can. A female cat can have up to 200 kittens in her lifetime.
The Trap Neuter and Release Program is designed to encourage cat lovers to trap and bring in such cats for neutering at their local vets. Many vets are registered with this program and can do the surgery for free or at a very subsidized cost.
Once the operation is successful. The cat is then released back to its colony.
As a cat owner myself, I understand how nerve-wracking it can be to see your cat in this state. But by following the above dos and don’ts, you will be giving your cat the best possible chance of a speedy recovery.