Having a cat go through any kind of surgery can be nerve wracking for pet parents, but rest assured, your kitty is in good hands at the vet's office. When their care is complete at the vet's office, it's up to you to ensure that your cat has a safe and comfortable recovery at home. Keep these three tips in mind when you bring your kitty home from surgery.
When your cat comes home from the veterinary hospital, chances are they will be feeling a little under the weather. This is to be expected after surgery, but especially due to the anesthesia that was used on your cat. The anesthesia kept them under during the procedure so they wouldn't feel pain, but they may have some behavioral side effects until it wears off.
When your cat first comes home, they may be dizzy or loopy. Seeing a kitty fall over while coming off of anesthesia isn't entirely uncommon. Give your cat a safe place to rest with nothing to jump up to so that they don't potentially get injured or open up their stitches. If their dizziness and lethargy doesn't wear off after a day, contact your vet to find out more.
Depending on your cat's surgical procedure, you may need to take care of their incisions when they come home. Generally, if this is required, your vet will send you home with the necessary supplies.
Pet owners rarely have to do anything more than swab the incision with a pet-safe antibacterial agent. Again, depending on the procedure, your cat's incisions may be fully stitched closed or they could be sent home with a drainage tube to help get rid of blood and pus from inside the wound. If they have a tube, avoid touching it or moving it. Just wipe around the edges and over the face of the incision.
Finally, follow your vet's directions explicitly regarding your cat's feeding. Most cats are restricted from eating immediately following surgery. This is because anesthesia can sometimes cause nausea, and the last thing your cat needs right now is to vomit.
Typically, vets suggest offering small amounts of water until your cat can demonstrate that they're not going to throw up. Your vet will provide guidelines on how long you should do this and when your cat can go back to eating normally.
In the end, what your cat will need the most when they come home is rest and safety. Provide them with an area that's all their own, free of other pets and children. Don't play with them, and keep a close eye on their incision for any signs of infection, like redness or oozing. If you have any questions, always reach out to your vet first. There are no stupid questions when it comes to keeping your kitty safe, so don't hesitate. For more information, contact local veterinary surgical services.