Cat Post-Surgery Care

Cat post surgery care is critical for the full recovery of any cat that has undergone surgery. Rest, food, water and a clean environment will ensure that the cat will rebound from the surgery within a matter of days.

Anesthesia Needs To Wear Off

For the first 12 to 24 hours after cat surgery, your cat will not feel himself. Each animal responds differently: some vomit or get diarrhea, some stay groggy longer, some hallucinate and overreact to normal stimulation or react aggressively. Rest in a warm, quiet, solitary place where he cannot injure himself such as a cat carrier or small room is best. Food or drink should not be given until the full effects of anesthesia have worn off and then introduced slowly, with water first and then a small amount of food. A normal feeding schedule can resume the next day.

If the cat vomits, clean the mouth and nose to prevent inhalation of the material. Turn the cat's head so any liquid will drain out. Check the cat for any breathing or bleeding problems every hour for the first 12 hours. Typical behaviors include head bobbing, deep sleep, fast breathing, wobbly movements and shivering.

Keep The Incision Area Clean

Check the incision area daily for any excessive swelling, redness, discharge or bleeding. If your cat has a cast or bandage, check for any foul odors and ensure that it is dry and clean. Clean any dirty incision with hydrogen peroxide and a cotton ball. A cat's natural instinct is to lick, scratch or chew at the incision area since it is sore and itchy. Moderate licking is fine; however, excessive licking may be prevented with an Elizabethan collar acquired from a veterinarian.

Keep the cat's environment, including his bedding, clean and dry. Keep activity to a minimum since rambunctious play can open the incision or cause swelling and delay healing. Consult the veterinarian on any restrictions to activities as well as any other cat's health questions you may have.

Any bathing should be delayed for at least 10 days. Keep cats out of the dirt for at least a week to avoid possible infections.


Thoroughly read and follow all label instructions as well as any other instructions given by the veterinarian. Use the full prescription even if your cat seems better. Never hesitate to ask questions or call the veterinarian if you have any concerns, especially if your cat is having complications. Delaying may lead to more serious problems.