In this article we will see how to behave after the cat’s neutering and cat castration interventions, that is how to manage post-surgery of these two interventions, how to make the post-sterilization convalescence comfortable and how to help the cat recover from the operation and from anesthesia .
Ovariectomy and orchiectomy interventions, which are commonly called sterilization and castration of female cat and male cat, respectively, are considered routine interventions. But although interventions are carried out frequently, they are still surgical interventions, which require an assessment by their reference veterinarian, through a clinical visit and the execution of any diagnostic tests, anesthesia, surgery , a post-operative period and a period of convalescence, during which the tissues that have suffered damage can repair and regenerate.
They are, inter alia, two very different interventions from each other. In the case of ovariectomy (sterilization of the cat) it is necessary to access the abdominal cavity, which is not necessary to do for orchiectomy (castration of the cat). Consequently, the postoperative period and the convalescence will also be different for the female cat and the male cat.
What is meant by post-operative
The post-operative period is generally understood as the period necessary for an animal, once an operation has ended, whatever it was, to return to a good state of physical balance.
Within this period we could identify two distinct moments:
- The first is that immediately behind the intervention, during which the animal must dispose of the effect of the drugs used during anesthesia and regain complete control from a neurological and functional point of view. This is the period that the cat still spends in the clinic. The veterinarian will in fact resign the cat only when this has regained full sensory and motor control, will be able to walk and perform their physiological needs in a completely autonomous way.
- A second moment is what the cat spends once he returns home, in his family environment. We could define the period of convalescence. During this period, the first days will have to be more attentive (how many these will actually depend on the type of intervention immediately) and gradually, with the passage of time, there will be a gradual recovery.
The recovery, understood as the time necessary for the cat to dispose of anesthesia, regain control of its functions and recover from surgical wounds is subjective and varies from cat to cat. Even the age in this has its weight: older cats have longer shooting times than young cats, as well as cats with clinical problems compared to cats in good health. It should however be said that this type of interventions is usually performed when the cat and the cat are young, in fact the sterilizations and the late defined castrations are not so common, ie those that occur in adulthood or senile age.
Cat sterilization: post-operative
The intervention of sterilization of the cat, which involves the removal of the gonads (ovaries,) requires that during surgery, it is accessed in the abdominal cavity. We have already said that this intervention is called ovariectomy. Sometimes it is necessary to perform the removal of the ovaries, including that of the uterus, in this case the operation is called ovariohysterectomy.
This second operation is a little longer than the first, with a consequent increase in the time of administration of anesthetic drugs and with the possibility of having to open a larger surgical breach, ie having to make a bigger cut at the level of the stomach to proceed. As said before, the cat will be discharged from the vet only when it will be “awakened”, that is when it will have full motor and sensory control. Taking into account the nature of the intervention, the veterinarian may advise to continue an analgesic therapy, for the newly sterilized cat, ie against pain, for one or even more days post-sterilization of the cat.
This kind of therapy is often accompanied by some side effects: a slight sedation and a feeling of nausea that can cause loss of appetite. Read also: Cat anesthesia: side effects and awakening At the time of discharge the veterinarian will take care to leave all the instructions to follow even on the diet, which is usually taken at a distance of a few hours to allow the cat to fully recover and not to risk problems such as vomiting.
Castration male cat: the post operation
Cat castration surgery usually results in more veilin terms of time compared to that of the cat, because the removal of the gonads (testicles) does not require access to the abdominal cavity. An exception is represented by a definite condition of cryptorchidism. In this case the testicles remain in the abdominal cavity and do not descend into the scrotal sac. In fact, as soon as the kittens are born, they do not have externalized testicles. Being faster, the recovery from anesthesia for boys is generally faster.
Also with regard to analgesic therapies, those to control pain, we can have differences compared to the prescriptions that are made for females. It will be the discretion of your veterinarian to advise you or not a therapy to be followed at home.
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Often the analgesic therapy carried out during the intervention is sufficient. Also in this case the indications about the resumption of feeding will follow the resignation, because although faster the recovery, the intake of anesthetic drugs can leave some aftermath for a few hours, although in the eyes of the owner the cat has returned the cat of always as soon as you cross the threshold of the house.
Are there any precautions that we can put in place to ensure that the convalescence at home is as calm as possible for our cat? First, after returning home, whether the cat has undergone an orchiectomy (castration) or the cat has undergone that of ovariectomy (sterilization), we place the carrier in a quiet and possibly isolated environment of the house, as a room not too crowded. Quiet because the cat will still have some train of anesthesia and not feel fully comfortable yet.
Managing confusing and chaotic situations could be a strong cause of discomfort for him. Isolated because if there are other animals in the house they could be intrigued by the smells they feel, the veterinary surgeon but also the disinfectants used and body fluids or pheromones emitted by the cat itself. Also in this case the reactions of the convalescent may not be so friendly, because they feel in difficulty, but also because it is not recognized by the cohabitants. Leave for a few hours, even a couple of hours, that the cat can spontaneously emerge from the open carriage in a quiet and well known environment will help to avert these dangers. It will also be easier to respect the indications left by your vet about the initial fast.
Post cat sterilization: what to do?
In the case of the female cat the first few days (up to the first week) it will be necessary to make sure that the operating wound is not licked. The risk is that you can remove the stitches at the level of the belly and that the wound opens again. To avoid all this, in this case also rely on the indications that the vet will leave you.
Cats do not particularly love the Elizabethan collars, those cones that are put around the neck to prevent them from licking or nibbling after surgery. Often with cats it is sufficient to apply a sticky gauze to cover the suture which usually involves the application of “little annoying” stitches because most of the times they are internal. It is usually not necessary to medicate the wound of the cat’s sterilization at home. At the same time, the application of local products facilitating the healing process may be recommended.
Male cat sterilization: convalescence
In the case of the male cat, in which the surgical wound is not at the level of the stomach, the management is much simpler. Care should be taken that it does not lick out with insistence but it tends to pay attention during the first day, during which the cat will be able to smell extraneous odors (disinfectants and medicines for example) and be more inclined to try to clean up.
If you have questions or doubts about the management of post-sterilization cat or cat after castration, of course you can contact the veterinarian who made the surgery, but write here in the comments, we will be happy to give an opinion. If you have already sterilized your cat, let us know in the comments how the convalescence went.