Neutering Aftercare: Things You Should And Shouldn’t Do For Your Neutered Cat

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Most pet owners consider neutering their cats because it makes their pets healthier and more behaved creatures. While the procedure is both economical and beneficial to the pet, it’s highly important that you know how to effectively take care of your furry friend after undergoing the surgery. It’s prudent to know the dos and don’ts in properly caring for your newly neutered cat. Here are some of the things you should remember.

Care After Arriving Home

After bringing your cat home, he’ll most likely be feeling some anesthetic effects. Typically, vets apply some form of protective ointment on his eyes to ensure they don’t dry out. The ointment can cause the cat to have blurry vision.

Consequently, you need to place him in a dark, warm, and quiet indoor location to recover for twenty-four hours after the surgery. During this time, it’s important to keep other pets – even kids – away from the cat. Even the most affectionate and sweetest cat can become aggressive, biting or scratching anything when he feels frightened.

pexels-photo-209037The hangovers of anesthesia usually disappear within 24 hours. After this period, the personality of your cat usually goes back to normal. Vets recommend that you stay with your cat on the first night in order to observe his activity levels and carefully monitor your cat’s recovery.

What About Water And Food?

Once your cat gets home from the vet, you should give him water. The amount should be minimal to avoid vomiting. Only keep a small amount of water in a bowl and then top it off when necessary. When your cat is awake and alert, you should offer one-fourth to a half portion of his normal food intake. If he vomits, you need to take away the remainder of the food. Avoid offering food again until the following morning.

The day after surgery, give your cat regular amounts of water and food. Since the anesthetics can make your cat a bit nauseous, it’s normal if he does not eat right away. But if your feline friend isn’t drinking or eating normally 48 hours after surgery, you need to consult your vet immediately.

Medication

Twenty-four to 36 hours after surgery, it’s normal for your cat to experience some minor discomfort and soreness. As such, vets give pets a long-acting pain medicine in a form of an injection after surgery. Experts prohibit the use of most pain relievers, including those that contain acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen since they’re known to cause serious complications and in severe cases, death.

If you think that your cat needs pain-relieving medication, you need to contact your vet first. It’s highly important that you follow the instructions of your vet regarding the medicines he or she will prescribe.

Washroom Habits

As much as your cat chooses not to eat, he still needs to relieve himself. With that said, you should place a sparkling clean litter box close to your cat’s resting spot for his convenience. It’s not ideal to let your pet cat walk after the surgery.

Dirt or dust from kitty litter find their way into the incisions and may result in an infection. For this reason, you need to utilize a shredded paper litter for roughly seven days after the operation. The other thing you need to do is monitor his urine for blood. A tiny amount of blood may be evident within the first 24 hours post-surgery. But if you notice there is still blood the next day, it’s high time to call a vet.

The anesthetics given during surgery can cause diarrhea or constipation, which may last 24 to 48 hours after the operation. If you notice that your cat is unable to defecate or urinate normally within the first 72 hours post-surgery, you need to contact your vet immediately.

Levels of Activity

Within one or two days after the surgery, your cat may return to his normal self. However, you need to keep him indoors for seven days to make sure it has fully recovered. Letting the cat stay inside the house also gives you the opportunity to monitor your pet closely in terms of activity levels and healing process.

pexels-photo-65006-2You shouldn’t allow him to climb stairs, run, jump, or even play during the first-week post-operation. Letting the newly neutered/spayed cats move too much can slow down the cut’s healing process. To be on the safe side, it’s important to keep your cat inside a small room, in a crate or inside a carrier. Don’t rush his recovery. It is much better to let your cat rest throughout the week.

 

[For more on feline spaying and neutering, check out the story of Miss Meowly Cyrus in a two-part article]

To remember when you got your cat neutered and never forget his medication you need reminders from the PETABLE app: 

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Comments(66)

  • Livia
    August 2, 2018, 2:21 am  Reply

    If my kitten has ringworm, can she and/or may she get neutered?

    • August 10, 2018, 6:00 pm

      Hi Livia. Talk to your veterinarian about that. Ringworm is a fungal disease that may take some time to eliminate. Depending on the type of treatment you’re doing to treat the ringworm, she may or may not be subject to surgery. During the surgery she will be given anesthetic, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drugs and that may be a lot to handle and metabolise if she’s doing and anti-fungal treatment on top of that. There may even be unwanted drug interactions due to it. Talk to your vet but our guess is he’ll want you to wait until you get the ringworm problem definitively solved before getting her neutered.

  • CatLOver44
    August 31, 2018, 12:07 pm  Reply

    Hey what if your cat is vomiting? Is it something to be worried bout?

    • September 12, 2018, 4:29 pm

      Hi Ramsey. Vomiting is never a good sign, but it can be self-limiting and only occur 1 or 2 times right after surgery, meaning it’s more likely due to some nausea from the anesthesia and hence nothing to worry about. But if it goes on for longer it may be worrying and imply a visit to the vet. Hope she feels better now. #BePetable

  • Lexi
    September 13, 2018, 5:14 am  Reply

    It’s been 36 hrs post surgery of my cat’s spaying. She has urinated 3 times so far since surgery but has not eaten anything. She has her regular dry food with her and also wet food to try, but is still refusing to eat. We opted out of giving pain meds due to the risks, but she got the 24 hr pain management injection. Would it be safe to give her catnip to try to perk her up? She loves it. Thx

    • October 19, 2018, 12:17 pm

      Hi Lexi. We would recommend staying off the catnip on the first day post-surgery. Just let the anesthetic wear off and let her get back to her usual self. Normally she will just need time before regaining her normal appetite and bathroom habits.

  • Fran
    September 24, 2018, 10:58 pm  Reply

    Cat was neutered today. Acting very hyperactive now not calm at all. Cone irritating him and he is fighting it. Any suggestions?

    • October 19, 2018, 10:03 am

      Hi Fran. You can take the cone off as long as you are supervising him and keep him away from the surgical location. That normally helps to calm them down.

  • Regina
    October 10, 2018, 2:02 pm  Reply

    Hi,
    I recently had three feral cats spayed/neutered and we are keeping them in small kennels with bed/food/water/paper litter. All seem to be doing well except one male who refuses to eat. It has been 48 hours. The little guy has put himself to the back of the kennel. He seems alert and scared. Is it time to take him to the vet or is this normal with a feral?

    • October 19, 2018, 11:28 am

      It could just be behavioural and have nothing to do with the surgery. Were they confined before the surgery or did their environment change after? If that’s the case, then it could just be stress from the confinement and normally with some patience and a lot of calm (maybe some feromone sprays to calm them down) he’ll come around.

  • Aidan O’Connor
    October 16, 2018, 9:11 pm  Reply

    My cat just got home from the vet and he is restless. We have him in a dark room but he won’t stay still. What do you recommend doing?

    • October 19, 2018, 11:39 am

      Hi Aidan. A dark room is ok but your cat might either be on the effect of the anesthetic, still. Or he is stressing out because his routine changed and cats don’t like changes in their lives, for the most part. The best advice we can offer at this time is to use some calming feline feromones if you can find them at your local veterinarian or pet shop (it’s a spray or electrical diffuser to send chemical signals into the air that tell your cat “it’s ok”). Other than that you can go into the room with him and wait it out. Just talk in a calm, soothing voice and don’t make any attempts to catch or stop him, just let him come to you in his own time. Every cat is different.

  • Donna
    October 21, 2018, 2:59 pm  Reply

    Is there still viable sperm in a cat that’s just been castrated and could he still bred for for a time?

    • leonor
      October 23, 2018, 7:43 am

      Hello Donna,

      Yes! For up to 2 months it is still possible for the cat to have sperm and he could still breed.

      Thanks for your question,

      Petable

  • James Bowman
    October 22, 2018, 5:15 pm  Reply

    Its been 5 days since my 14 week old boy has been neutered. He rarely goes in his paper shred filled litter box, its most of the time on his blanket,but got out yesterday and went in my other cats box with litter (i use Worlds Best which is corn kernals) is that ok? And can i add a small scoop of it to the shredded paper?

    • October 24, 2018, 10:44 am

      Hi James. After 5 days the risk of infection is low and if he ends up using the other litter anyway, you might as well add some to a corner of his own litter with the shredded paper so he can feel more inclined to use it.

  • Kay
    October 31, 2018, 4:19 pm  Reply

    I am having two kittens neutered at the same time with only one room to put them in. Is it ok if they are both in there freely roaming or should they be kept in their carriers in the room?

  • Krimm
    November 9, 2018, 1:13 am  Reply

    Our cat finally went pee after about 24 hours from the surgery but he also got pee all over himself. Is that normal?

  • Sarah Fay
    November 12, 2018, 1:43 am  Reply

    My kitten is affectionate right after I got him from the vets when he was neutered. It’s been days and hes still purring and cuddling everything in sight, is this normal?

  • Adriana
    November 16, 2018, 3:12 am  Reply

    Hey I just got my cat neutered yesterday Wednesday and I picked him up at 2:30 PM in the afternoon it is now today Thursday 10:11 PM and he still hasn’t use the bathroom but is eating normally and drinking plenty of water he is peeing but not pooping is this something I should be worried about ?

  • Bhanu
    November 19, 2018, 5:41 pm  Reply

    My cat got neutered today… But she is very hyperactive and her behavior is not proper…. I have kept her in a pet carrier.. What should I do

  • Richell Fontana
    November 19, 2018, 10:04 pm  Reply

    I have to mail five month old kittens that were neutered last Wednesday and one of the two is barely eating his behavior is normal his gums are pink but I’m having a hard time getting him to eat it does that have anything to do with the neutering

  • tejaswani
    November 21, 2018, 11:48 am  Reply

    8mont’s cat done with neutered after surgery she is ok roaming outside after 1 week not taking food properly vomting she poop on bed while sitting we take her to near by vet he gave some injection and all still again on the same day evening we took her to the same dr. again gave some injections he told us to keep some milk she slept that night.2day morning she died.surgery failed ???

  • Iris
    November 21, 2018, 1:43 pm  Reply

    My 7 month old kitten has just been neutered 48 hours ago and he keeps on going to the litter box peeing little amounts only. Is this normal?

  • Shannon
    November 28, 2018, 8:45 am  Reply

    We just had our cat spayed about 36 hours ago. Today she was much more alert but she hasn’t eaten much, still not drinking, is purring more than usual, one eye is squinty, and she was mouthing/nipping me tonight which was different. Thoughts?

  • November 29, 2018, 12:48 pm  Reply

    My husband and I took in a stray, uncared for male cat. Yesterday, we had him neutered. Today, he is sitting at the door and crying to get out. We know he can’t. What can help sooth him?

  • Hareem Naveed
    December 7, 2018, 4:59 am  Reply

    Hi. Got my 5yr old cat spayed 3days back. She has liquidy dirrea today. She did bite on the scar once but thr vet says it looks fine. Should i be worried?

  • Andrea DONITTA G
    December 10, 2018, 2:09 am  Reply

    I neutered my 2 male cats a week before n their diet completely changed aft tat.. they are not eating at all.. what can b done 4 it..

  • Geraldine miranda
    December 14, 2018, 4:07 pm  Reply

    Hi. My cat just had spayed six hours ago. When we got home, she vomitted two times, what should we do? Thank you.

  • Jeanna
    December 16, 2018, 1:45 am  Reply

    Hi! I had my cat fixed Tuesday and everything’s been good. Eating, potty all good but Thursday she started throwing up and she is still throwing up it’s Saturday now. She has dry heaves if she hasn’t eaten anything. What is going on?

  • SaraH
    December 18, 2018, 3:53 pm  Reply

    My cat has jumped a few times after 3/4 days of spaying. Will that effect her health? Or her stitches?

  • December 20, 2018, 2:03 am  Reply

    my female cat ate a lot of canned when she came back from her spay . and is restless is that normal and was it ok to let her eat what she wanted my male is passed out on my bed he got a little annoyed at her walking below him now hes sleeping

    • January 4, 2019, 6:28 pm

      Hi Lorre,
      Restlessness and hunger are normal signs. You shouldn’t let her eat ALL she wants because it’s not really hunger. Just keep to her regular quantities.
      It’s also normal for other cats to get annoyed at other pets once they come from surgery. Their smell changes at the vet due to medication and other cats may not recognize them. After a few days everything tends to go back to normal.
      If your cat was spayed recently you should try the Petable app (it’s free for iOS and Android) to keep all her records and life events, plus receive reminders for medication and appointments: http://bit.ly/2yX7aQm

  • Trang
    January 5, 2019, 8:52 pm  Reply

    My female cat had sterilization for more than 48 hours. But she has been always look very tired and sleepy. She just wants to sleep all day and does nothing else. When I call her name, normally she would always answer but now she doesn’t. I wonder if this is a sign for something and we should call a vet? Thank you

  • chesna
    January 14, 2019, 8:12 pm  Reply

    my cat is getting neutered tomorrow he is an outside cat and I was reading all the things you had listed on your page and it was a little overwhelming so what are the most important things to do ?

  • Michelle Alexander
    January 17, 2019, 5:22 am  Reply

    My boy cat came home and wanted to play. He wants to do his normal things, like jump in my son bed. I tried confining him but then he crys and fights his cage.

  • Holly
    January 24, 2019, 1:37 am  Reply

    Hi our tomcat is usually out and about and never uses a litter tray, as we have decided to have him castrated where do I put a litter box and would he use it? He seems so desperate to go out bless him

  • danish
    January 26, 2019, 10:54 am  Reply

    hlw sir my cat neut-rate today now tell me what food should i feed hm

  • January 29, 2019, 4:45 pm  Reply

    Got our cat Boo neutered and picked him up this morning. He was a stray when we found him months ago and he still spends most of his time outside. He has my room and a spare bedroom to recover in for the next 7 days. He is doing ok with the e-cone but is very anxious to get out of my room and go out. As far as play goes after surgery, what can i do to distract him?

  • Bev Richardson
    February 1, 2019, 3:16 pm  Reply

    IN in morrocco and just had a male cat neutered the vet has given me some tablets but reading up on them Ronaxan 20 mg it say it’s for dogs only an and for respiratory tract infections I would ring my vets but he is morrocan and a little problem explaining. Any advice would be great

    • May 7, 2019, 2:48 pm

      Doxycycline may be used in cats as well. It’s not the first line of antibiotics (normally a broad-spectrum one) a veterinarian would choose after neutering but in countries where a lot of flea-borne sicknesses are prevalent, it may be used. If your veterinarian did a Complete Blood Count before the surgery and saw slight anemia, for example – it would make sense to give him this type of antibiotic that would both prevent infection from surgery and treat some underlying hemoparasitic disease.

  • Gianna Pantaleon
    February 1, 2019, 11:29 pm  Reply

    I am having my two boy cats neutered soon, after surgery should they be separated??

    • May 7, 2019, 1:53 pm

      Until they’re both awake and fully in control of movement, yes. It’s probably more comfortable to let them wake up separately, at each own’s pace.

  • Carmen Rosa
    February 2, 2019, 6:08 pm  Reply

    I spayed our three cats on Monday and their doing well. When can we remove the cones this seems to irritate them. It’s been 6 days all together.

  • C Murphy
    February 8, 2019, 11:18 am  Reply

    Thank you for the helpful information! I will be keeping a few notes on our little guys recovery today. I had purchased the Nature’s miracle calming spray. He responds well to it. I am familiar with the Feliway pheromone spray. Is it ok to use the Nature’s calming spray sparingly after surgery? I didn’t purchase the Feliway spray, diffuser to keep my cost down. Thanks : )

  • Clarissa Alvarado
    February 9, 2019, 11:04 pm  Reply

    Hello, thank you so much for this article! I got my boy spayed two days ago; (he is an outdoor cat, but I leave him indoors quite often). He has been inside since the neutering, but I noticed that he isn’t nearly as hyper as he usually is. He has been sleeping A LOT He has gone potty very regularly, and has been eating and drinking just as he always does. Should I be concerned?

  • Clarissa Alvarado
    February 9, 2019, 11:04 pm  Reply

    Oops, I meant neutered sorry!

  • Ilovecats45
    February 17, 2019, 4:49 am  Reply

    My got neutered 16 days ago and hes been inside with very little activity or no activity at all for all 16 days. Would it be ok to let him outisde now or no?

  • Sara
    February 17, 2019, 7:20 am  Reply

    Hi I just got my two boys neutered Today they seem to be eating and going to the litter box normally. I have one in a kennel and one out side I have been switching them back and forth because they told me they needed to be separated but they can still see each other and one is hissing at the other and acting aggressive is that normal what should I do

  • Crystal
    February 18, 2019, 9:43 pm  Reply

    Is it okay for my cat to not be sleeping at all so far? It’s been 7 hours since her surgery, and she seems to be struggling to sleep, although she wants to. Her eyes look very tired yet she seems restless. She is fighting with her cone a lot and has taken it off 2 times, even though the vet adjusted the size. We have put it back on but she hates it and we think it’s preventing her from sleeping.

  • Francis
    February 20, 2019, 1:18 am  Reply

    Hi,
    My male cat will be nurtured next week and will put him on the neck cone after surgery, I am very sure he would run/jump frantically to get it off , should we insist and if his struggle would tear or worse the wound ? If in case he has very soft/wet stool or diarrhea which may stain or dirty the rear hair near the wound,should we clean his ass and rear hair as afraid infection? Thx your advis

  • Sierra
    February 20, 2019, 8:47 pm  Reply

    Hey, its been 48 hours and my female cat has not once used the bathroom since surgery what do you recommend?

  • Jasmine
    February 21, 2019, 3:37 am  Reply

    My cat just got spayed and came home the same day.she is resless and rolls around in her carrier.Should I take her out and confine her to a room,leave her in or can I just put her in a crate with a blanket?

  • Caitlyn McLean
    February 21, 2019, 10:49 pm  Reply

    Hello. I just got a cat from the pound and she was neutered yesterday. Today she wants to explore the rest of the house, as I have been keeping her in the bathroom, and I’m scared she’ll hurt herself if I let her out. She hasn’t been aggressive at all, quite the opposite actually. I’m not sure what to do.

  • Christine
    February 22, 2019, 10:16 pm  Reply

    Hi

    Is it possible that just neutered cats will avoid soiling in the litter box?

  • Michael
    March 2, 2019, 8:34 am  Reply

    its been 2 weeks and 2 days and sparta had not pooped the first couple until i gave him vasiline in his wet food then he wouldnt eat or drink and finally he started that hes going to be 2 in april i know how he acts and he still isnt acting like himself. hes always been vocal but its consistant he has now started to limp and cant even go down the steps or want to leave the loft where my bedroom is

  • Stefanie
    March 4, 2019, 12:42 am  Reply

    Hi, my cat got spayed 5 days ago. She’s been to the litter box once. She seems to feel a bit awkward with the cone on and keeping to herself. What can I do? I even brought her to her litter box and didn’t need to go. She’s been eating.

  • March 5, 2019, 5:06 pm  Reply

    I got my cat to get spayed and Umm my cat only pooped once and that was the day after the surgery… should I be considered???

  • March 6, 2019, 10:34 am  Reply

    My cat came home from getting neutered and was moving around alot and I couldn’t stop him (hates that cone thing) and also I gave him like a whole can of paté cat food.He went poop once and now he seems like not himself,I think he’s in pain and I don’t know what to give him for it and can’t stand watching him thinking he might be in pain.What should I do? &how 2 can itell f somethin wrong w/wound?

  • Arleth Armenta
    March 12, 2019, 4:56 am  Reply

    Cat was spayed today, not sure if she is able to sleep in bed with me? She is wearing an E collar and I don’t plan on taking it off. I’m just scared she’ll try to get of the bed (which is pretty high) while I’m sleep and open her stitches. Any help?

  • Isaias
    March 23, 2019, 1:08 pm  Reply

    My cat can barely see and he walks off the bed and falls on his face. He also looked like he was almost dead after getting the procedure done (neutering). It’s 2 days later now he is walking around the house but he isn’t his normal self and he walks into things/walls.

  • Sam
    March 29, 2019, 1:43 am  Reply

    My cat was spayed 24hrs ago but I haven’t been able to get her to drink any water. She ate a little last night and she didnt throw up which was nice but I’m worried with her not drinking fluids. Is there anything I can do to help her?

  • Dina
    April 14, 2019, 11:03 am  Reply

    My cat was neutered two days ago. He is a feral. Won’t eat but does drink water. He just sleeps and other family ferals won’t go near him. He looks sick. He doesn’t feel like he has a fever

  • Jessica
    April 19, 2019, 1:05 am  Reply

    Hi,

    My cat was neutered yesterday morning and hasnt used the bathroom that i know of yet because his box has nothing in it. Is this normal? What should i do??

  • alexandra
    May 6, 2019, 8:16 pm  Reply

    Hi, My 8 month old male cat has been neutered, today would be day 6 since the surgery. i been keeping eye on him over the time, and i never used the E collar due to him freaking out the first day, but today i checked it and the “right testicle” is a little red and swollen, could it be that its healing and getting itchy? there is NO blood or pus….

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