Sterilization of the cat is performed both at the request of the owners and for medical reasons due to various diseases. The main purpose of the operation is to stop the production of female sex hormones and to prevent the appearance of unwanted offspring.
Usually sterilization is carried out in one of two ways: ovaryectomy (removal of ovaries) or ovaryohysterectomy (removal of ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes). The second option is preferable for cat health as it allows to prevent such diseases as purulent inflammation of uterus (Piometer), inflammation of uterine mucosa (acute or chronic endometritis) and others.
Another method, ligation of fallopian tubes, is used much less frequently, as it does not solve problems with the behavior of the animal and often leads to unwanted complications.
Sterilization can now be done in a clinical setting or at home. The success of the operation and the absence of subsequent complications depends not only on the professionalism of the surgeon performing the operation, but also on the properly organized postoperative care.
At the same time, the rehabilitation period of the animal can take place both in the hospital and at home.
Postoperative hospital care: advantages and disadvantages
Many vet clinics offer to leave the cat in the hospital until she is fully recovered and the sutures healed. This service costs extra, but has several advantages:
- The cat is not transported immediately after surgery, which reduces the risk of infection or colds.
- All care procedures are carried out by experienced specialists in strict accordance with the schedule and with the use of proven medications.
- The cat’s condition is constantly monitored. In the event of possible complications or allergic reactions to the medication, the pet will be treated immediately.
- The owner saves his own time, energy and nerves. The possibility of mistakes in the selection of drugs or necessary procedures is reduced, and the responsibility for the health of the animal is completely transferred to the veterinarian.
At the same time, the rehabilitation of the animal in hospital has its disadvantages:
- The animal is already in a state of stress after surgery, and the absence of a host and unfamiliar environment only aggravate it. In such a situation, the affectionate word and the presence of a loved one can have a significant impact on the cat’s behaviour after sterilization.
- There is not always absolute confidence in the integrity and responsibility of the clinic staff, not all owners can entrust their cat into the wrong hands.
- A cat can remember the offence for a long time and it will take a long time to restore trust between the cat and the owner.
- There is a risk of infection with various diseases from other animals kept in the hospital.
- Among other things, the host will incur additional costs.
Cat care after home sterilization
Despite all the advantages of in-patient care, most owners still prefer to take care of their cats independently during the postoperative period. After the operation, the veterinarian is required to provide detailed advice on cat care (many clinics provide owners with a leaflet describing the necessary procedures) and to compile a list of necessary painkillers and other medications.
After the operation, the animal is handed over to the owners in a state of anesthesia or waking up under the influence of painkillers. To protect the sutures from spraying, a postoperative collar or blanket is put on the cat.
It is advisable not to leave the clinic immediately after giving the animal away, but to stay for 30-40 minutes to check the condition of the animal after anesthesia and make sure there is no bleeding. How much time a cat gets away from anesthesia after sterilization depends on both individual features of the animal’s body and the type of anesthetic used.
The transport of the cat home is weatherproof and should never be allowed to overcool the cat, so a warm carrier should be used in the cold season and a warm water heater is recommended to maintain a constant temperature inside. Also, to avoid infection, it is not advisable to transport your pet on public transport.
Once the cat arrives home, it is important to ensure comfort and maximum peace of mind. Cozy, soft bedding should be placed in a quiet, warm place, but should be avoided direct sunlight. In the first few days, avoid contact with other pets and children.
Cats have one interesting feature – they do not close their eyes during anesthesia, which leads to the drying up of the cornea. A small amount of saline or contact lens fluid should be buried in the eyes to rid the animal of discomfort.
The owners should be prepared to allow the cat to give up food within 24 hours or sometimes two or three days. When the pet has an appetite, it should be given only light food that does not cause constipation.
The sutures should be cared for according to the veterinarian’s recommendations, as the sutures and the nature of the sutures may vary from case to case.
For example, if absorbable sutures are used, there is no need for special treatment of the sutures, but hosts should perform a daily inspection for pushes or inflammations.
If, however, a normal thread has been used for stitching, the seam should be treated twice a day with disinfectants and dehydrators, and an ointment for healing recommended by a physician.
It is recommended to invite a vet to your home 3-4 days after the operation to inspect your cat’s sutures and check her general health. If healing is normal and no other complications are observed, the sutures will be removed for 7-14 days after the operation.
After the sutures have been removed, the cat will return to her normal life and does not require any special care. However, owners should take into account that the animal will not be as mobile in the first few weeks, and a decrease in activity may lead to the appearance of fatty deposits.
In order to prevent obesity it is recommended to reduce the size of portions by 10-20% and pay more attention to active games with your pet.