Post surgery for cat

I have now dealt with treatment for cats after surgery in a number of cats and different circumstances. Overall, what I can say is every cat is different. What works with one may not work for another… The cat is driven to lick it’s wounds and their tongue is made for stripping food… They can cause a lot of damage to themselves very quickly. It will also be an obsession for them as well.

Donut like collar device thick enough to block reach

I like these the best in usage. While researching devices, I was worried about how the donut devices and cone devices had a cinch and tie rigging around the neck… In use, this actually is a great design.

The best device for all circumstances, in my opinion now, is the inflatable donut device. This can adapt to the cat very well. It is wide and thick enough to better prevent the cat from reaching their stitches. It is even easy to clean and store away!

Neck pillow collars for post surgery help

Neck pillow collars

The fabric pillow donut

This is the one that we have and appreciate… even looks like a donut (cute)

Inflatable donut

Fabric wrap around cone/skirt

The plastic cone with a tie around the neck is pretty standard for what the vet offers post surgery. I have not had luck with this type. For one cat, it was actually wearing off his fur with movement. I also created a device of my own out of a small silicone circular pan. This worked really great short term, but the weight of it was also hard on his neck.

There are fabric skirts that you put around your Christmas tree, and Velcro together. You may like this type of neck device for your cat, but it may be easier for them to remove. This may add well to the donut for additional assistance. I believe this could also be adapted like a skirt along with the donut as well, if that rigging will work for your cat and still allow cats to do their business fine.

Skirt design protector

This one seems better than the one I have… it is a little firmer construction while still soft. What I really appreciate with this one is that is it very adjustable on the range of size fit.

Pain management is a worthwhile, and to me an essential investment

I would rather air on the side of treating pain, then the cat toughing out the situation… even if it seems trivial. Pain treatment has never cost a lot for us at our vet. I have had pets that I know would have suffered quietly and I would not have been able to tell this. Also this helps to be make the whole recovery process easier and more gentle for both of you.

Vet can give medicine to calm your cat (anti-anxiety)

I think all cats obsess about cleaning the wound area… Some may have more trouble than others. This solution may make things easier and smoother for both of you for post-op healing. I had a cat that this really made a huge difference. Maybe all of these situations would be better with this aid too.

Long bodied cats – worst case

This is SO SO HARD to deal with. I have done this with 2 cats now. Those donuts and cones around the neck are not even a speed bump for keeping a limber, long bodied cat from reaching their suture area. Doubling up on a fabric cone and a donut together has worked well for us. We fabricated our own neck device. It all seemed like a long ordeal with that male cat.

Our second cat (female), we immediately realized none of the donut and cone devices were going to help at all. We improvised a stretch gauze wrap and a Velcro tab triangle cloth thing over that. This crazy, desperate rigging worked great to our shock! What I like about gauze is it breaths well. The cloth triangle was actually a bandana kind of rig for a toy sized dog.

Female cat with both gauze wrap and bandana

Female cat with both gauze wrap and bandana

Flexible gauze wrap was surprisingly good for female cat

With time, we came to realize the gauze wrap was enough. It was just the right width and tied around her waist, it covered that tiny incision exactly. It was flexible and comfortable. Maybe since we had it on her from the time she was still groggy, it did not feel wrong to her. She was fastidiously cleaning her whole body and did not seem to know or care that she was missing that tiny spot.

The gauze wrap we used was something we had on hand. It was the type that you can wrap a sprain with and sticks to itself. We also used one that had been washed and lost the adhesion. We simply tied it. Both worked great to our grateful amazement. Alternating bandana and gauze wrap made it easy to keep things clean and safe.

Extra outer suturing

Usually cats have an outer  rigging, where the vet had created an extra layer of stitches. Outside of the essential stitches, they did another set that was like a taco shell shape. When the cat succeeds at licking and tearing off stitches, they are now at the essential level and hopefully you have better protection by then.

Since these are not making skin actually contact to heal together, they come away on their own with time when not tampered with.

Your cat may need cleaning help

When you succeed at preventing access to their tail end… They will need help cleaning up after they do their business. Keep this in mind. Usually, you can not get the stitches wet. If your cat is in a cast, this also can not get wet. You can not give a bath, but you can do site specific cleaning under and around their tail.

Have your neck device ready before the day of surgery

I would suggest having several types of neck devices to protect your kitty’s surgery site. When one does not work, you have options to change to quickly. You will be shocked at quickly a cat can damage their stitches with one lick, and how bad the damage as well.

It is especially important to have many types available when you have a cat with a long body. My experience is that your vet will take you in and fix a mishap with stitches for you on an emergency basis and not charge for that. When the struggle to protect them from access is failing… they can mess things up badly in short order.

Broken leg experience

We had a barn cat that enjoyed sleeping on the warm, fluffy furred cows in the barn at night. The drawback was that one day the cow must have gotten up before the cat. She got stepped on and had a broken leg. I took her to the vet. He set the leg, put on a cast, handed her to me saying ‘don’t let her lick that’… which had me thinking, uh ???

I had her in the passenger seat where I could see her. Minutes after leaving, I looked to see the cast with no cat. She was behind it say what really sounded like ‘ow ow ow’. I turned back, they reset and recast. She understood the cast after that and left it alone for her healing. I recommend the anti-anxiety meds for this case if you are facing a situation like this one.

If you can not manage all this…

Life can throw a lot at us… If you can not manage this post surgery care… you can pay the vet to keep your cat and care for them post op. This is also an option. Longer time away from home and family may cause stress for the cat. You may want to visit and lift their spirits during recovery.

Valuable To Know