Any responsible cat owner will tell you that if you aren’t planning to breed your pet, the best thing you can do for their health is to have them neutered or spayed. If you plan to let your cat outside, it’s also essential to make sure they can’t get pregnant or impregnate another cat in the neighbourhood. Stray cat populations are a growing problem, made worse by owners letting unneutered cats roam outside.
Although it may seem like a serious operation, vets deal with many of this type every single day, so there’s no reason to be concerned. However, proper aftercare is essential to ensuring that your pet recovers quickly and without any complications. Cats can be neutered anytime between four to six months old, as this is before they have reached sexual maturity. Although this is a popular time to microchip and vaccinate your pets, your vet will likely neuter or spay your pet on this trip to the vet, so you will need to make another appointment for microchipping and vaccinations.
When you arrive at the vet, you will check in and hand your pet over to the vet or veterinary nurse. It can be difficult to leave them, but most vets schedule these procedures for the morning so that you can pick them up the same day, which makes it much easier. This is a good time to ask any questions and make sure you understand what is happening to your pet. When you pick up your pet, your vet will advise you on how the procedure went and how your cat responded after surgery.
What should I feed my cat after neutering?
Cats will have a delicate stomach following the procedure so it’s important to switch to a bland diet. Most vets will provide pouches of specialist food and advise you on how much to feed your pet and when. Vomiting is also normal after surgery, but it’s important to monitor this to make sure your cat doesn't become dehydrated. Make sure they have access to fresh drinking water in multiple locations, as they may be disorientated and struggle to find their usual water dish. Your pet will still be groggy as the anaesthesia wears off, so they probably won’t have an appetite for some time. Other cats bounce back immediately and you’ll hardly even notice a change in their behaviour.
Will my cat have to wear a cone?
While this used to be common practice, many vets now believe that cats are better off without a cone following the neutering procedure. They will instinctively lick their wounds, but it’s important to monitor this to make sure they don’t lick the area excessively. Some swelling and discharge are normal in the first 48 hours after surgery, but you should check with your vet if it isn’t improving after 2 days.
Is there anything I should avoid?
Your cat will likely want to curl up and fall into a deep sleep in the hours following their surgery, so you will need to make sure they have a quiet place to sleep with easy access to their litter box, food and water. It is not uncommon for cats to sleep so deeply they soil themselves, so you should check on your pet frequently. To avoid injury, try to avoid letting your pet jump on high surfaces – not only because jumping can cause hinder the healing process, but your pet will also be disorientated and more likely to fall.