Many pet owners consider neutering their cats since it has many benefits to both the cat and the owner.
As with any procedure, you’re probably wondering about how your cat will feel after, and if there will be any pain experienced.
When a veterinarian completes a neutering procedure, they give the cat powerful medication that lasts after the surgery to reduce feelings of pain. However, 24 to 36 hours after the surgery, it’s common for a cat to experience some pain or discomfort, so the vet may prescribe additional medication.
Although your cat may experience some pain after being neutered, you can take solace in knowing that this pain doesn’t last forever.
When our own cats were neutered/spayed they didn’t show any signs of discomfort but slept for the few days after their procedures to recover, probably as a reason for feeling some slight discomfort.
There are also a couple of things that you can do to help your cat avoid any discomfort after the operation. We’ll talk about these tips and more below.
Will My Cat Be In Pain After Being Neutered?
While your vet will do everything in their power to ensure your cat will feel as little discomfort as possible, it is normal for some cats to feel a little pain following a neutering procedure, usually between 24 to 36 hours after.
In these cases, the vet will usually prescribe powerful medications for you to administer to your pet at home, designed to reduce pain and inflammation so your cat can heal in comfort.
As much as you would like to maybe give your cat some sort of painkiller before the neutering to avoid the pain to come, don’t!
Unless the veterinarian tells you otherwise, don’t give your cat any acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or other painkillers.
Cats need special medication that is for them only; your veterinarian will prescribe it if necessary. Typical medications that we take can cause severe problems for your cat.
Some side effects of those medications include:
- Stomach injuries
- Blood clots
- Kidney damage
- Organ tissue damage
If you want to help your cat, follow your vet’s pre-op instructions, and ensure that the night before the surgery that your cat doesn’t eat any food; they can drink water, but that’s it.
On the day of the procedure, your cat can’t have food or water. If the veterinarian gives different instructions, make sure to follow them exactly. These rules are in place to avoid complications that can lead to painful problems.
Since your cat will be experiencing an operative procedure, he will be under an anesthetic and be completely unconscious. Your cat won’t feel a thing during the actual procedure.
After the operation, the vet will inject a long-lasting medication that will help with discomfort or pain that your cat may experience after they wake up.
In addition, because your cat can’t have any human painkillers, the veterinarian will prescribe something for pain and inflammation—something that won’t hurt your cat the way acetaminophen or ibuprofen would!
Keep in mind that even though doctors prescribe these, you still have to be extremely careful, and you have to follow all of the instructions given. Otherwise, your cat could still receive some dangerous side effects.
After the procedure, the veterinarian will put a cone around your cat’s neck to keep your cat from licking the incision site. Make sure to leave it on at all times. It should not be taken off until the incision has healed or until sutures are removed.
This will prevent infection and the incision from opening up and will help avoid further discomfort for your cat.
The following are some things you can do to help your cat avoid pain and discomfort as he heals from his procedure:
- Right after the procedure, your cat can be very lethargic and tired. Don’t overwork them or push them to do any activities; this can cause unnecessary pain after the neutering.
- Be delicate and calm with your cat; they are most likely very sore.
- Don’t keep your cat in bright or loud rooms. This can disturb them, and they can get scared, causing the stress to affect the process of their incision healing. An incision opening up can be exceptionally painful.
- Keep your cat away from any other animals. Other animals can get rough with your cat when they are still in a sensitive state.
- Swap out your cat’s current litter for shredded paper or uncooked long-grain rice; regular litter can create dust which may infect the surgery site.
It may be hard to see your pet like this, but it will be over soon. Keeping the above tips in mind will ensure the healing process goes by smoothly. And after a few days, your cat should be back to his usual cheerful self!
In rare cases, cats can develop a few minor complications from the surgery, leading to discomfort. You’ll want to keep an eye out for the following after your cat’s procedure:
Keep an eye out for bladder infections; these can be extremely painful and uncomfortable for your cat. Bladder infection symptoms include:
- More frequent urination
- Blood in urine
- Cat positioning to urinate without anything passing
If you believe that your cat may be experiencing a bladder infection, call the veterinarian and inform them of any symptoms you notice.
Infection At Incision Site
Even though your cat will have a cone around its neck to keep them from licking the incision, there could still be a post-operative infection around the incision site. There could be redness, leaking, or you can see that the incision reopened. If you notice anything like this, call the veterinarian immediately.
Watch out for any weight gain. After a few days, if you notice that your cat is gaining some weight, make sure they walk around a little bit or simply play with them.
The healing from the operation can keep your cat from being as active as they used to be, but they should start being active again after a few days.
Contact the vet if you find that your cat still isn’t showing signs of activity after 36-48 hours.
On average, cats usually don’t experience any painful discomfort after being neutered.
It is normal for some discomfort to be visible, especially after 24 to 36 hours, but your cat will be okay!
Surgery is hard on the body in all cases, no matter how small it is, for animals and humans. That’s why the veterinarian will prescribe some medication to help your cat if they do experience any pain. And if it seems like nothing is helping and that there may be some visible complications, inform the veterinarian. They will assist the situation and help you with your lovely little cat.
In the long run, you will see that the procedure was worth it for both of you. A little pain or discomfort might have been hard to witness in your cat, but it will prevent future problems. Your cat will have fewer health issues and a smaller chance of straying away from home!
Their behavior will also be better, eliminating any quarreling with other animals, which means fewer scratches and bruises. All worth it!