Recovering from a spay

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

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Purred: Thu Jan 11, '07 6:03pm PST 
Stella, my kitty, was just spayed yesterday. She spent the night at the clinic and she is home this evening. She is acting very sleepy, and moving very slowly. Is there anything I can do to make her more comfortable? (I've been trying to let her sleep and will help her into the bed/couch if she looks like she wants to jump.)

She has about three stitches made from a clear, plastic thread. I caught her picking and licking it once. The vet didn't get me a cone for her neck and didn't tell me anything about the stitches. What should I be concerned about? Should I go buy her a cone for her neck? How long should I keep an eye on the incision? Do you think I'll need to go and get the stitches removed, or will they fall out on their own?

This is my first pet as an adult, and my parent's cat is male so this is my first spay. I'm very protective. I'm upset that the clinic didn't spend any time telling me what to expect or how to care for her.

Shady - In Beloved- Memory

We are NOT- amused.
Purred: Thu Jan 11, '07 6:16pm PST 
Molly here, Shady's mom - I was very protective of Shady when she had her spay done - at only 4 months old (she went into heat REALLY early). The vet told us to make sure the incision was kept clean, and to watch for infection (redness, soreness, raw-looking). He also said that if she started licking it a lot, then it would be time for a cone for a few days - but for the most part, it's instinctive to lick a few times, and then stop - the saliva apparently has some healing properties in it that help things along, as long as it's not being licked to death.

Remember - if you feel uncomfortable about the situation, it doesn't cost anything to call the vet and ask - and a lot of time it can relieve your mind quite a bit.


Here's cheering for both you and your baby, and hope for the best!



Purred: Thu Jan 11, '07 6:38pm PST 
It is common for cats to act sleepy, be less active, or even move slowly after a spay procedure. This is most likely a lingering effect of the anesthesia, however, spay procedures, although very common, are still considered a major abdominal surgery. Stella should regain her strength and return to normal behavior within 48 hours. If you do not feel she has resumed normal activity within this time period, you should contact your veterinarian.

The external stitches are normal. (I recently had the little girl in my family spayed and she too had three external stitches.) These will need to be removed in 10 - 14 days. (Stella also has internal stitches, however, these will not need to be removed.) I'm surprised that the clinic did not discuss this with you when you picked her up. (I would suggest that you contact them to discuss Stella's stitches, when they will need to be removed, and if you will need an appointment.)

You should discourage Stella from licking or scratching at the incision site as constant licking can irritate the area and delay healing, but I see no need to buy a cone at this point in time. Most cats will more or less 'ignore' the area. You should check the incision daily. A little swelling is normal, but if the swelling becomes excessive, feels hot to the touch, or if Stella manages to pull out any of the stitches, you should contact your veterinarian.

I hope this helps. If you are still concerned, a call to your veterinary clinic/office can't hurt. In my opinion, that's what they are there for.

Congratulations on your spay!



Lazy, Lazy, Lazy
Purred: Thu Jan 11, '07 8:25pm PST 
As Booger said, you are likely sleepy from the anesthetic. If you haven't returned to normal tomorrow, then give a call to the vet. Your stiches should stay clean and dry. Get them removed in 10-14 days. If you lick or chew at the incision area, then you should be wearing an e-collar. You can infect the incision or pull out stitches, which require anesthesia to be placed again.


Stella- Felinis--Queen- of All Kitties!
Purred: Thu Jan 11, '07 8:38pm PST 
Stella, it's Stella! Hope you are feeling better by tomorrow. I didn't have any visible stiches from my spay; they said they were all inside. I did lick at the spot but didn't cause any infection. By the time I came back from the vet, I was raring to go. But there is a lot of individual difference between cats. They told me that I would feel dopey afterwards and want to sleep a lot and that I might feel sore and not want to jump up on anything afterwards. They told my person to keep me from jumping up on anything for two weeks. Hah, like anyone could stop me from doing anything.

Do you have to go back to have the stitches removed?

I hope you feel better soon and that your person is not too worried about your behavior which is not all that unusual for the day after a spay.applause

Athena (In- Memory)

Purrs and Love

Purred: Thu Jan 11, '07 11:35pm PST 
I felt icky and weak for a couple of days afterward. Mom would watch me closely so I wouldn't pull out my stitches, but each night I would pull out one stitch. Mom called the vet about it and he said to just watch that the stitches weren't becoming infected (they never did). By the time I had to go back to have my external stitches removed, only 2 were left !! But everything healed up just fine. big grin

Beatrice- (Miss You!- '94-'12)

The very Beast- of all

Purred: Thu Jan 11, '07 11:56pm PST 
Congratulations on your spay, Stella!! You're a real, grown-up housecat now!! big grin

I was back to normal within a couple of days, too. I didn't have any external stitches at all, so I didn't have to go back to the vet. I did lick a little bit but not too bad.

My foster brother, Ben, had to have an undescended testicle removed through an abdominal incision and the little rascal wanted to run and play the same night.

Don't worry, you'll be back to 100% before you know it!

Tabby (Tabitha)

Attention hog!
Purred: Fri Jan 12, '07 1:37am PST 
I had a bad time after my spay, but that's because I don't listen to Mommy. The vet told her not to let me jump up on things, but I wanted to run and jump and play. Mommy kept me in the carrier with the door open and a towel in it, right by the heater, and I was in there for a few days most of the time (when I wasn't trying to get into trouble). The thing that really worried Mommy and Daddy was that I ate my stitches out (yes, all of them) so I went to the emergency clinic and got them put back in and was a conehead for a while. *giggles* Just watch and be sure your little girl gets an extra-warm place to curl up in.


Purred: Fri Jan 12, '07 6:41am PST 

Edited by author Fri Jan 12, '07 7:00am PST



Purred: Fri Jan 12, '07 6:41am PST 
I'm really annoyed that I went to the shelter clinic and not a vet. I called the clinic because I was concerned that I didn't get any care instructions.

The person at the clinic actually argued with me, saying that I did! I got a reciept but no instructions! Now the clinic is telling me that I have to bring her back on the 22nd but it should all be on the instructions. I tried to ask questions and they kept referring me to the instructions...but I didn't get any. In fact, as I picked her up I said, are you going to give me anything? Is this it? They said to go ahead, and that was that.

AHHH! I'm so annoyed. Maybe I will call back.

Edited by author Fri Jan 12, '07 6:49am PST


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