How can I keep my cat calm after surgery?
After neutering, removal of a tumor or any other surgical procedure, your cat needs proper aftercare. This includes, above all, rest, safety and warmth.
But what is the best way to keep your cat calm if he wants to jump and climb again right after surgery? Simply locking your cat away only leads to more stress and an increased urge to move.
We’ll show you what to watch out for and what tools are available to you so that you don’t risk falls or tearing the wound suture.
In this article you will learn how and for how long you should keep your cat still after surgery, why it is so important and what simple means you can use to help yourself. We also give you tips on how to prepare for aftercare and important questions about surgical procedures.
How can I keep my cat calm after surgery?
For the first time after the operation you can leave your cat in the transport box. However, as soon as she shows restlessness, scratches at the box from the inside and tries to escape, you must find another solution.
This is because the stress involved is detrimental to recovery and can aggravate the side effects and after-effects of anesthesia.
However, letting the cat, which is still under the influence of the anesthesia, run around freely in the apartment is also not an option. There are too many dangers lurking here.
So how is it possible to keep your cat calm without stress and avoid risky movements?
In the following sections you will find potential solutions and what is strongly discouraged.
How long can I leave my cat in the box after surgery?
Quite simply: as long as she allows it. Most cats already want to escape on the way home. At the latest in their own four walls there is no stopping them.
Therefore it is all the more important that you prepare the sick bed for your cat accordingly.
Only a few cats feel so comfortable in their transport box that they sleep in it voluntarily and relaxed.
Are you one of the lucky owners of such a velvet paw? Then leave her in the box until she wants to leave it of her own accord.
Can a cat be put in a playpen after surgery?
Playpen, playpen or the children’s travel bed seem to be good alternatives to the small transport box.
However, they all have one major disadvantage: they are open at the top.
So your cat will try to climb out of them and may fall badly or strain himself just trying.
Therefore, they are not suitable as aids.
Lattice boxes and kennels for restraining the cat
Another option, and not unlike the playpen, are cages, kennels and indoor cages for dogs and cats.
Maybe you already know them from exhibitions or the recovery room at the vet.
Kennels are enclosed all around and have a waterproof bottom tray. This provides more security and protection for your floor. At the same time they are bigger than a normal transport box for cats.
Unfortunately, they also have one problem: if your cat doesn’t relax and rest in them, it can overexert itself.
If you place the kennel in such a way that you have your animal in view, you can talk to it soothingly and you cover a part of the cage with a blanket, this usually helps.
In addition, the cage is a good alternative if you are not able to make a room cat-proof.
Cat-proofing the room
This measure is often shown to be most effective in keeping a cat calm after surgery – but requires some effort.
The following factors are important:
No loud noises or bustle
opportunities for hiding, climbing or jumping
no disturbances by other pets or children
no indoor plants or leftover food
In a sleeping den, your cat is allowed to retreat, of course. This would even be ideal. However, if she hides under the couch or behind a cupboard and you have no access in case of emergency, this is risky.
Therefore, offer her quiet, soft, warm and clean places to sleep.
Provide a clean litter box with fresh bedding and keep cleaning supplies and pulp on hand.
Especially after major surgery or with sensitive animals, bladder and bowel control may be temporarily limited.
Also, clear out of the room anything that might tempt your cat to jump or climb. Access to the cat tree must therefore not exist.
Calming through body contact
Is your cat cuddly, affectionate and enjoys being petted?
Then you should offer your cat physical contact after surgery. Just being close to you has a relaxing and calming effect.
Ideally, you can take the day off from surgery and sit comfortably on the couch with your cat, let him lie in contact and pet him.
Additional trick: Many cats enjoy it if you imitate the cleaning movements of their mother and wipe the weight off their nose and mouth, for example, with a rough, slightly damp washcloth.
This helps them calm down and sleep off their “frenzy”.
How can I prepare for my cat’s surgery?
If it is a planned surgical procedure, you can make some preparations in advance.
- Prepare a room or area for after surgery so you can be with your pet with all your attention afterwards.
- Your cat may suffer from nausea and vomit for up to 24 hours after surgery. Therefore, have necessary grooming utensils ready.
- Ask your veterinarian about the necessary wound protection. A plastic collar is rarely used anymore because of the significant restrictions. Soft collars or surgical bodysuits are better.
- Find out about any necessary aftercare. For example, do stitches need to be removed or will they dissolve on their own? When is the next checkup for a checkup?
- Take time off. You should not leave a newly operated cat alone. This applies at least for the day of the operation and the following day.
- Get soft food, painkillers and wound care products.
- Have blankets and towels ready. Cats have difficulty regulating their own body temperature after anesthesia, so they get cold more quickly. Low temperature can be a reason why your pet becomes restless and wants to move. Snuggled up warm, on the other hand, it can relax.
- Be prepared to stagger. When anesthesia is still lingering, cats stagger as if drunk. This condition should only last a few hours after the procedure – but is difficult for many owners to watch at first. In this context, practice how to safely lift your cat after neutering or other surgery.
Once all these preparations have been made, there is one more question:
When is a cat allowed to go out and play again after surgery?
If your cat has been an outdoor cat and was allowed to go outside at any time, the healing period after surgery is more difficult and stressful.
Often, animals don’t understand why they are suddenly confined to the house or apartment. So be prepared for vocal complaints from your cat.
Also, inform all roommates that the velvet paw is not allowed outdoors under any circumstances.
Going outside is only possible when the suture has healed completely and the stitches have dissolved or have been removed.
Playing inside is possible before that, as long as the wound is not infected. Cuddling and resting are nevertheless the better choice in the beginning.
Keeping the cat calm after surgery
How long and whether you need to keep your cat calm after surgery varies greatly from individual to individual.
Some animals will naturally seek an undisturbed place to sleep or your proximity and relax until they are safely back on their feet.
Others are very restless and therefore run the risk of injuring themselves without your help and control.
In addition, each anesthetic can have a different effect. Some subside within a very short time. Stronger agents or higher doses still show their effects the next day.
You must therefore always decide individually how long you need to keep your cat under close supervision and separate care to ensure its safety.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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