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Post-op Care Home > Patient Support > Post-op Care

Your cat has had a surgical procedure, a cat desex operation, under a general anaesthetic. We expect him to make a rapid recovery to normal behaviour within a day or two. To help you care for him and understand what has been done we have prepared some notes for you.

What has been done, what will I see?

We will clip a small area of fur from the front leg in order to inject the anaesthetic. If he was put on a drip, this area will be larger. We will cover this with a tape bandage which you can remove after an hour or two at home. You may see some bruising but this will fade quickly and the fur will grow back over 1-2 months.

We give your cat some sedative and painkiller before the operation. He may still be a bit sleepy from this, but should be able to walk. You can expect this to wear off over the next 24hrs.

During the anaesthetic we place a rubber tube in his windpipe to protect his airway and help his breathing. Sometimes this means your cat will cough a little in the next few days but it should soon stop.

We will clip some fur off in the under the tail and clean the skin. He will have two small vertical cuts in the skin of the scrotum.

What shall I do?

On the first evening do not be worried if he is a little quiet or sleepy. Allow him to rest comfortably. He should be much brighter by the next morning.

Offer him some food and water in the evening. Do not worry if he does not want it or eats less than normal. His appetite should improve by the next day.

Try not to let him run and jump around too much for the first few days.

Check the wound daily. Look for signs of redness swelling, bleeding or any discharge. It should not be painful. You should not see any large red fleshy material come out of the wounds.

Is my pet in pain?

Every animal and every procedure is different. Animals have an instinct in the wild to hide any signs of pain and injury. This means it is difficult to tell just by looking if an animal is in pain. If we would expect a procedure to cause pain then it is best to assume the animal will be at risk of feeling pain. We should then dispense a course of painkillers. It is best to complete this course even if the animal appears normal. More about pain relief here.

What to watch out for?

Do not allow him to lick the wound excessively or continually as he may remove the sutures or damage the surrounding skin. If he keeps licking we can get a collar to prevent this.

If the wound is red or swollen, or fleshy material comes out of the wound, or you see some discharge or bleeding (after the first day) then contact us for advice.

If he vomits repeatedly, becomes excessively dull or lethargic, or appears to be becoming ill in the next few days, contact us immediately.

The scrotum should not swell. It should look like an empty bag of skin. If it fills up and is as large as before the operation, contact us.


Stitches are not normally needed for this operation. If they have been used for any reason, please contact the clinic in order to make an appointment for these to be removed after 10 days. We will also then give him a post op check to make sure all has healed well. This is done free of charge, however please remember that if you raise other matters at this time our normal consultation fees will apply!

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