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How to Prepare for a Cat's Surgery

Posted by Dr. Roth on March 18, 2022

Medical Advice
Wellness Care
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When a cat needs surgery, there are things a pet parent will need to do ahead of time. Taking the time to learn how to prepare for a cat’s surgery is vital. Not only will it help ensure a successful procedure (and recovery) for the cat, but it can also help prepare the pet parents. 

Scheduling the Procedure

The first thing pet parents need to do is schedule their cat’s procedure. If possible, they should aim for a day where they’ll have some time off for a few days after, such as a Friday. That way, they can stay at home with their cat and make sure they are comfortable and don’t accidentally hurt themselves.

Practice With the Cat Carrier Ahead of Time

Not all cats enjoy getting into their carriers, but pet parents can help alleviate some of the stress associated with crates. Pet parents can work with their cats to help get them accustomed to their carriers and comfortable with the idea of getting inside. 

Remove Access to Food and Water

Many surgical procedures require a cat to fast for at least 12 hours before surgery. Pet parents should remove food and water by around 10 p.m. to reduce the risk of complications such as nausea and vomiting from the anesthesia. 

Continue Giving Medications

If a cat takes any daily medications, pet parents should continue providing them, even on the morning of surgery. However, in some situations, general cat health advice recommends not taking medications. Pet parents should consult with their vets for the best advice regarding prescriptions. 

Have a Cone Ready, Just In Case

A cone (or e-collar) is an essential pet first aid kit component. If pet parents don’t already have one, it may come in handy following their cat’s surgery. The cone can keep the cat from licking or scratching their surgical wounds, helping to prevent injury and infection. 

Create a Safe Recovery Space

A cat should have a quiet, comfortable, and safe place to recover after surgery. Pet parents can create a “recovery room” that’s away from the main action of the house, and it should also be inaccessible to other pets so the cat can recover without disruption. 

Treat the Days Before Surgery as Usual

In the days leading up to the cat’s procedure (including the day of), pet parents should continue to act normally. Even if they’re anxious, they should avoid letting their fear show. Cats are intuitive creatures, and they can pick up on the emotions of their pet parents. If a pet parent is nervous, the cat may act the same way. 

Staying calm will help keep the cat calm on the way to the vet and ensure a smoother process from their arrival at the office through recovery.

Successfully Prepare Cats for Surgery

Preparing for a cat’s surgery is crucial, and these steps help ensure a successful procedure and a quick recovery. If pet parents have any questions or concerns about their cat’s surgery or recovery period, they should reach out to their vet. They can get expert cat advice from Fuzzy’s 24 Hour Vet Chat, for ‘round the clock care.

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