image1 640w Lifting a cat after neutering: the right way to do it

Lifting a cat after neutering: the right way to do it

It is often not recommended to lift a cat after neutering. Nevertheless, in some cases it is impossible to avoid lifting an animal to prevent danger.

However, there are risks associated with the procedure. If pressure or traction is applied to the surgical suture, the sutures may come loose or the tissue may be damaged.

Our guide shows you how to lift your cat if it is urgently necessary and what you have to pay attention to.

In this article you will learn how and when you can lift a cat after neutering and what preventive measures you should take. Because the operation is usually small, but still requires some caution in the first weeks.

Can I lift a cat after neutering?

It is better if you avoid lifting as much as possible for the first two weeks after surgery.

This is because traction or pressure on the surgical sutures or wounds can be detrimental to healing and can even cause the stitches to rupture.

In practice, however, it is not always possible to avoid putting the cat on your arm. Therefore, you should urgently know how to do the lifting gently and safely.

Here we explain it to you.
When does a cat need to be lifted?

Immediately after surgery, your cat must be lifted from the operating table into a cage in the recovery room or into a transport box.

Since the cat is still unconscious at this time, this is comparatively easy. It is important to support the entire body.

This can be achieved, for example, by placing one arm lengthwise under the body and carrying the cat like a baby.

As soon as the animal is conscious again, other situations may arise in which lifting is essential.

Anesthesia and its after-effects turn out differently for each cat. Some are stable on their feet again within a very short time. Others walk unsteadily and carefully for several hours or prefer to lie down.

If your cat is quickly back on its feet, you must also expect that the animal takes over and jumps as usual on the couch, the scratching post or a table – or at least tries to do so.

In doing so, it can cause itself significant injuries. This is especially true for female cats and male cats with an abdominal incision.

Jumping or climbing puts forces on the stitches that can create too much tension. The skin may tear and the stitches may open.

It also increases the risk for inflammation, bleeding and pain.

How can I lift a cat after neutering?

It is important that you do not touch the surgical suture or the incisions directly and that you do not pull on them.

So, for a male cat with two small cuts on the scrotum, you can support the chest with one hand and the abdomen with the other.

On the other hand, if it is a cut on the abdomen, reach under the rib cage with one hand and under your cat’s butt with the other.

Be careful when doing this, but make sure you have a firm grip. If your cat should fall or try to wriggle out of your arms, the fall and the catching are much more risky than the carrying itself.

To prevent this danger, you should carry your cat:

  • carry close to your body
  • always hold with two hands
  • Avoid moments of shock

As an alternative to lifting with your hands, you can also secure your pet in a transport box.

The prerequisite for this is that the cat or cat goes voluntarily into the box and does not resist vehemently or even panic.
How can lifting be prevented?

For the first days after neutering, you should reserve a room that serves as an infirmary – if this is possible.

Do not use any furniture that your cat could jump or climb on. Cat tree, table, cupboards, couch and Co. should be taboo at first.

But since you can’t watch and control your pet 24 hours a day, and cats don’t always follow the rules, caution is better.

At least for sleeping and when you are not present, a “quiet room” is a good choice.

This is especially true if there are other animals or small children in the same household.
What are the risks associated with lifting the cat after surgery?

You have already been informed about the risk of injuries. However, these are not the only risks that may be associated with lifting.

If your cat feels pain while being lifted, it may associate it with you and thus avoid you in the future or even become aggressive out of fear.

This does not only apply to lifting. If she feels pain when defecating due to the surgery, she may avoid the litter box in the future or refuse to defecate. (Link to cat no defecation)

The cause is found in the fact that many veterinarians still administer too little or too short painkillers.

Especially in case of an abdominal incision, it is important that your pet does not only receive painkillers on the day of the procedure. Tablets should be given for at least two days afterwards.

This will prevent any unfavorable associations due to the pain.

The medications also often contain active ingredients that prevent inflammation and thus promote healing as well as reduce risks.

It is best to find out how pain medication will be handled afterward before the surgery appointment.

Veterinarians who claim that continued administration is not necessary because cats can handle the pain are unfortunately not up to date.

Cats just hide the pain better. Therefore, they should not have to suffer.
Check surgical sutures

Not only is it important to be careful when lifting, but it is also important to check the incisions or sutures daily.

The area should be dry and free of irritation. If you notice bleeding or leaking wound fluid or pus, you need to see a veterinarian immediately.

Antibiotics may be necessary.

If your cat keeps licking the area of the stitches or cuts, the rough tongue can irritate the shaved skin considerably and delay healing.

Therefore, when in doubt, it is better to keep your pet from doing so by wearing a protective collar.

Keep in mind that other pets can still get at the stitches and a bodysuit may be necessary as well or as an alternative to the protective collar.
Lifting the cat after neutering

Not only after neutering, but after any surgery in general, you should be careful when lifting.

As soon as the suture is completely healed and fused, lifting and playing are possible again without any problems.

Until then, you must treat your cat as a patient who is cared for with sensitivity.

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