Female cat spaying: preparation for the procedure and postoperative care

 Spaying of cats, performed by a specialist is not a very difficult procedure. The risks are minimal, the negative effects are quite rare. Nevertheless, spaying is an abdominal surgery performed under general anesthesia, so the pet should be properly prepared for the procedure and provided with everything necessary during rehabilitation.


 Preparation for spaying surgery begins with the examination of the animal. Even if the cat is clinically well, it must pass urine and blood tests and be examined by a physician and cardiologist, undergo the abdominal ultrasound examination and the echocardiogram. All this makes the expenses a bit more and definitely takes time, but no vets can confidently state that the cat feels well and is absolutely ready for the operation. Spaying of a weak or diseased cat under general anesthesia may cause complications, like loss of appetite, long and painful recovery, cardiac rhythm and thermoregulation disturbance. That’s why the veterinarian should be aware of all the diseases of the four-legged patient in advance in order to avoid unpleasant consequences. If the results of laboratory examination are satisfactory, it’s high time the day of surgery was chose. If not, the vet will prescribe the necessary medication if it is needed immediately, or will select some alternative methods of anesthesia and spaying that are right for this particular cat.

Caring for a cat after spaying also includes suture treatment. It’s wise to ask your vet what remedy you should purchase for it. In addition, you will need two light blankets for you cat to be changed every day. 

Choosing the day of surgery, it is advisable to take into account the owner’s working hours: at least two days after the procedure, the cat must be supervised by an adult family member. One day before the operation the pet should be given a tablespoon of mineral oil for the bowel emptying. Sometimes purgatives and enemas are used, but only on the advice of a veterinarian. 12 hours before the operation take away the food, because the stomach should be empty during the procedure. 3 hours before the operation you can give your cat some water, and then take away the bowl and all containers, from which the cat can drink (plates from the sink, containers for flower watering etc.). It is especially important! If a cat would vomit during narcotic sleep, it can choke.

Day of surgery

Be sure to write down all the doctor’s recommendations: what to feed a cat with after the spaying, what the frequency of the suture treatment is, what symptoms are dangerous and when you should bring your cat to the clinic for examination. Do not try to remember all this information, put it down, because due to the excitement you may easily forget it all.


List of items needed:

  • Veterinary passport and the id card  (or passport) of the owner;
  • Carrying convertible or handy basket (the cat should lie flat on its side, it shouldn’t’ be curled up);
  • Sterile diaper you should spread on the bottom of the carrying just before the cat is carried home;
  • A blanket and some napkins (in case the pet wets itself or vomit);
  • A warmer, which may be put to the cat’s legs (but only if the vet says to do it). Typically, veterinary clinics provide patients with warmers, if necessary, but you have one – take it. 

Cat spaying usually lasts about half an hour. If everything is alright the cat can be taken home just after the surgery. If the animal is elderly or chronically sick and in case the clinic is far away from home, it is advisable to leave the pet in hospital until its full recovery from anesthesia.

How to help a cat after spaying?

 The first thing you should do at home is to put the cat on a flat surface. It should be a mattress put on the floor or something like that, in order not to let the cat fall off the bed. Do not put the cat near the heating appliances, as heat from the outside can cause internal bleeding.

You need to call your vet immediately or go to the clinic, if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Suture bleeding;
  • The cat is breathing heavily or there are wheezing or gurgling in the chest;
  • Temperature increased or decreased;
  • The heartbeat is disturbed;
  • The mucous is pale or reddened;
  • Rash is noticed, the eyelids, lips and / or tongue are swollen.


 Caring for a cat after spaying during narcotic sleep implies watching its condition. The cat may wake up in an hour or to have six hours of sleep, it depends on the individual reactions to anesthesia and medication, used by the anesthesiologist. At this time it is necessary to measure the temperature every hour, and gently turn the cat from side to side every 30 minutes (to prevent numb foot) and to check the reaction. You can touch the nose or tickle the ear, or gently pull the foot and touch the claw. Remember, if the cat reacts to touch – everything is fine, it will wake up soon.

 It takes a few hours for the cat to fully wake up from the narcotic sleep. Within this period the motor coordination is impaired and the reflexes are inhibited: the cat is reeling, barely keeps its head up, looks lost. To help the pet you need to bring it back to the mattress and make sure that it doesn’t try to climb somewhere. You should put an empty litter in the room, but make sure there are no bowls with food or water. Anyway the cat won’t eat anything because of the stress and drinking is allowed after its state becomes normal. To save the cat from being thirsty, you need to give it some water once in a while: a third of a tablespoon right in the mouth, without throwing back its head. You can feed the cat in 8 hours after its recovery from anesthesia: but keep in mind, the cat shouldn’t be forced to eat! Give it a small portion of mashed potatoes, some canned or soaked dry food. 

It is extremely important not to provoke constipation! If a recently operated cat will strain during defecation, the suture line can disrupt. Therefore during the first three days after the surgery feed the cat with light food and in small portions only.

 After spaying the suture should be treated with the medication prescribed by the veterinarian. The blanket should be changed daily. Typically after seven days there is no need to use the blanket anymore. Until the suture heals completely healing the cat’s litter must be empty (unfilled). If some sores, scabs, rashes or redness appear in the suture area you should consult your veterinarian. If the vet says that the sutures are to be removed, you need to visit the clinic on the appointed day. By this time, the sutures start to deliver inconvenience to your pet, and it may try to tear the thread with its teeth and claws, which can lead to unpleasant consequences.

 In rare cases, even after spaying female cats can be still attracted by opposite sex representatives. During the first two months after the procedure such behavior is absolutely normal. Hormone production changes gradually, not immediately. If it has been a long time after the operation and the cat still keeps on feeling attracted by the opposite sex, you need to consult a vet. Perhaps the pet is suffering from hormonal dysfunction, which is not a consequence of spaying, but usually occurs because of congenital predisposition or diseases of the endocrine system.

 In order to prevent your pet from becoming overweight, you should consult a vet and ask them to select a diet that meets the needs of this particular cat. It doesn’t matter, what to feed your cat with after spaying – with natural products or with special dry feed, it’s up to you. The main thing is that the food should be of high quality, and the menu should be balanced. After the spaying the portion is to be reduced by 10-20%.


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