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Surgery and your Cat


It is important to withhold food from your cat for 12 hours before the surgery. This is to ensure that there is no food in the stomach which will decrease the likelihood of any food being aspirated into the lungs should they vomit during the induction of general anaesthesia. We may sometimes make more specific recommendations; for example, very young or diabetic animals may need food to be withdrawn for a shorter time period before surgery.

There is no need to withdraw water at home as normally we will stop any water intake for the last few hours before surgery at Acorn hospital.

Normally, your cat should arrive early in the morning and will be admitted by the veterinarian. You will be asked to sign a consent form. This confirms that you are aware of the procedure and agree to it being performed. It also confirms that you are aware of any risks and complications that may develop. It is important that the consent form is signed by an adult and ideally by the registered owner.

You will be required to leave a contact phone number for us to use in the event of an emergency. It is essential that you are available throughout the day for us to be able to contact you immediately should the need arise.

We recommend that you call the hospital in the early afternoon on the day of surgery to confirm a suitable time for discharge. In cases of concern we will phone you upon recovery to let you know your loved pet is safe and well, and may advise keeping your cat in overnight for further observation, intravenous fluids and pain relief.


The discharge appointment after surgery will be with either a trained nurse or the veterinarian.

On the first evening, your cat may be a little quiet or sleepy. You should allow them to rest comfortably and the next day, they should be brighter.

We recommend that you offer some food and water when you get home. It is perfectly normal for them to have a reduced appetite. Occasionally, they may vomit that evening.

You should not bathe your pet until 2 days after the sutures have been removed. Try to keep the wound dry and clean. You can check the wound daily for any excessive signs of bruising, bleeding, discharge, swelling or redness.

It is normal for fur to have been shaved and commonly clipped areas are the site of the wound, the leg (where an IV catheter may have been placed) and the neck (for blood sampling). Don't worry, Tthe fur will grow back over the next couple of months!

Occasionally, your cat may cough for a few days following the anaesthetic due to any irritation by the endotracheal tube in the airway. This should resolve a few days after the surgery.

It is important that you stop licking or biting at the wound as this may damage the skin and pull out the sutures. Elizabethan collars will help to prevent this.

The stitches will normally be removed 10 days after surgery free of charge. Sometimes we may elected to place dissolving sutures that do not require removal, but you will be informed of this.

Please follow our instructions regarding any medication (e.g. pain relief) and when to come back to the hospital for a re-visit. At Acorn, we routinely administer pain relief to all animals undergoing surgery.

You should contact us immediately if:

1)    Your cat vomits repeatedly

2)     Becomes excessively lethargic or weak

3)    The gums appear a lot paler than normal

4)    There is excessive swelling or bleeding from the wound