Recovering From Surgery

Any animal recovering from an operation requires lots of T.L.C. Make sure your cat recuperates in a safe and comfortable environment.

Looking after your cat

Generally, following an anaesthetic, cats will take up to 48 hours before they are back to normal. Most of this time will be spent sleeping so make sure your cat’s bed is placed in a warm, draught-free place where she won’t be disturbed.


Cats, like humans, can feel very nauseous after waking up from an anaesthetic. After an operation, give your cat a small evening meal of something light, such as cooked chicken or fish. Alternatively, feed her just a quarter of the food you would normally provide.


Ensure your cat stays indoors and avoids extreme physical exertion until all stitches have been removed. For example, try to prevent your pet from running up and down stairs and jumping up on furniture.


Check your cat's stitches daily and let your vet know if there is any swelling, persistent discharge or bleeding. Stitches are usually removed after about 10 days. This may vary according to the type of operation and the area where the stitches have been made. Some stitches are hidden under the skin and dissolve naturally on their own.


It is very important that you keep bandages dry or they may cause further damage. Tape a plastic bag or a drip bag from the vet over your cat’s bandage if she must go outside. Don’t leave the bag on your cat's foot for too long, as moisture can build up inside and cause rot. Remove the bag as soon as your cat comes back inside. Look out for unpleasant odours, discolouration, swelling above or below the bandage, limping or pain.

Plastic collars

Plastic collars in the shape of a funnel, known as Elizabethan or Buster collars, are designed to help prevent cats from licking, biting or scratching their wounds. Leave the collar on at all times, especially at night and whenever cats are left alone. Make sure the collar doesn’t hinder any eating or drinking, or you will need to remove it at meal times.



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