The Cat Hospital
Exclusively for Cats since 1977
Many people have questions about various aspects of their cat's surgery, and we hope this information will help. It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your cat's upcoming surgery.
Is the anesthetic safe?
Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. At The Cat Hospital, we do a thorough physical exam on your cat before administering anesthetics, to ensure that a fever or other illness won't be a problem. We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your cat.
Depending on your cat's age and condition, pre-anesthetic blood testing or x-rays may be indicated. This can be discussed prior to the surgery. In most major procedures patients will have an IV catheter and fluids during and after the surgery to help increase the cat's safety.
It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery. Water can be left down for your cat until the morning of surgery.
Will my cat have stitches?
Most surgeries do require skin stitches. You will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. Most cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem to watch for. If this is an issue, call The Cat Hospital. Your cat might need a soft Elizabethan collar to protect the suture line. Skin sutures will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. You will also need to limit your cat's activity level for a time, and no baths are allowed for the first 10 days after surgery.
Will my cat be in pain?
Cats do not demonstrate painful signs as readily as people do. While there appear to be differences in pain perception between cats and people, we do know that some conditions are painful in cats and that includes post-operative discomfort. The pain medication needed will depend on the type of surgery performed. Any cat that appears painful will receive additional medication. Pain medication is also frequently dispensed when your cat is discharged from the hospital. DO NOT give your cat pain medication intended for humans, as these can be toxic to your cat.
What other decisions do I need to make?
While your cat is under anesthesia, it could be a good time to perform other minor procedures you have discussed with the doctor. If appropriate, we can give you an estimate for these additional services.
When you bring your cat in for surgery, we will need to 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other options available. When you pick up your cat after surgery you should also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your cat's home care needs.
We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery appointment, to confirm the time you will be dropping your cat off and to answer any questions you might have. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to call us with any questions about your cat's health or surgery.