What To Know When Cat Surgery Has Been Recommended

At Veterinary Village , our primary concern is for the health and well-being of your cat. Unfortunately, there may arise a circumstance when a surgical procedure is in the best interest of your feline friend, and in these times you will need to make that decision. We understand what that feels like, and our veterinarians and staff are here for you too.

If a cat surgery is being recommended, our veterinarian will have sound medical reasoning and it is important that you understand what surgical procedure is being recommended and why, how the procedure will be performed and when it should take place.

Feline surgical procedures fall into two categories where your cat is concerned, elective procedures and those that are urgently necessary.

Most common elective cat surgeries include:

Some common urgent cat surgeries include:

  • Skin lacerations or abscesses
  • Intestinal obstruction from a foreign body
  • Internal bleeding
  • Torn cruciate or ACL ruptures
  • Fracture repair
  • Malignant skin tumors
  • Bladder stones/urethral blockages
  • Mass or tumor removal

Most Cat Surgeries Are Considered To Be Low Risk

Elective surgeries are performed when your cat is generally considered healthy, thereby greatly reducing possible complications. However, today even urgent cat surgeries carry significantly lower risks due to improvements in modern medicine and vast improvements in the standards of veterinary care. Thanks to an extensive list of pre-surgical procedures such as exams, premedication, the introduction of fluids, pain control, and monitoring of vital signs; as well as improved protocols during surgery including high-level monitoring equipment of vital signs such as body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, CO2 levels, oxygen levels, and a knowledgeable anesthesiologist all serve to reduce the risks associated with cat surgeries.

We Follow The Highest Standards Of Veterinary Care

At Veterinary Village , we are committed to the highest standards of excellence in veterinary medicine. This commitment to excellent care is why we have procedures in place to make sure that we are always taking the best care of your cat:

  • Pre-surgical assessments. Prior to surgery, the veterinary team verifies the specifics of the procedure; completes a physical exam of the patient; and ensures blood tests have been completed, documented, and reviewed by the veterinarian. Among other things, these precautions help determine if your pet is at risk for complications while under general anesthesia.
    • Pre-op blood work. This includes a CBC (complete blood count), chemistry panel and on all abdominal surgeries, a protime, and PTT to assure the patient has normal blood clotting times. 
    • Pre-op EKG, reviewed by a cardiologist before anesthesia.
  • Dedicated surgical suites. To prevent post-surgical infections and cross-contamination, surgeries are performed in a room used only for sterile surgical procedures.
  • Surgical attire. Staff must wear disposable caps when entering the surgical suite. Anyone involved in the procedure itself must also wear a disposable mask, sterile gowns, and single-use gloves.
  • Sterile packs and equipment. Surgical instruments are carefully cleaned, sterilized, and wrapped prior to each procedure to help prevent infections and contamination between patients.

Making The Decision To Proceed With a Cat Surgery

The decision to do surgery involves a discussion with the owner about possible complications and all factors to be considered when deciding what is best for your cat. Factors to think about when considering cat surgery include:

  • Age and general health of the cat
  • Potential complications from the surgery
  • Potential outcome if surgery is not done
  • Recovery time and post-op care required by the owner

While the decision to have your cat undergo surgery is completely in your hands, our veterinary team will present you with all the facts and possible outcomes to help you make an informed, ethical and compassionate decision that is in the best interest of both you and your loyal canine friend.

Cat Pre-Surgical Instructions

Surgery PreperationCat pre-surgical instructions vary depending on the type of procedure being performed, and whether or not the cat surgery is emergency or planned. However, we will provide you with a set of cat pre-surgical instructions that can be used as a general guideline for preoperative preparations:

  • Follow your vet's recommendations for feeding and drinking the day before and/or morning of the surgery
    • Most surgeries are done on a fasted cat. In general, you will be asked to not feed your cat after 10 pm the night before the procedure
    • Most cats are allowed to drink until the morning of the surgery
  • Be on time for your cat surgery, as most veterinarians schedule surgeries very tightly, and delays potentially threaten the wellbeing of the tardy cat, as well as the other cat in line
  • Listen carefully to post-surgical instruction from your veterinary care team and call the hospital if you have any questions regarding the post-op care for your cat

Cat Anesthesia

Surgery SuiteAt Veterinary Village , we adhere to very stringent guidelines for administering cat anesthesia before, during, and if necessary, after surgery.

Cat anesthesia is extremely safe when the patients are stabilized before the procedure and all effort is made to have a good understanding of the cat's medical condition before surgery. There is always some risk to anesthesia, however, the risk is extremely low when being performed by a highly qualified veterinarian and surgical team.

Recovery from surgery depends upon the length of the surgery, the age of the cat, and the amount of pain medication required to keep your cat free from any post-operative pain. Some things to be aware of post anesthesia include:

  • It is normal for your cat to be groggy or disoriented for a few hours after receiving a general anesthetic
  • Your cat might sleep deeper or longer for 24 hours after receiving cat anesthesia
  • Your cat might be a quieter version of itself for 24 hours after anesthesia due to the dulling effects of anesthesia
  • You might need to help your cat balance while eating for the first 24 hours after surgery
    • Consult your veterinarian for any feeding and/or comfort tips they can provide depending on what kind of cat anesthesia was used, and what surgical procedure was performed

Always remember to call us if you have any questions about your cat's recovery

Post Surgical Care For Cats

Just like cat pre-surgery instructions, cat surgery recovery protocols and care vary depending on the type of procedure performed, and whether or not the surgery was an emergency. However, we will provide you with a set of cat surgery recovery instructions that can be used as a general guideline for postoperative care:

  • If you are leaving your cat during surgery, make sure you know when you should return for pickup
    • For routine procedures, most cats can go home a few hours after waking up from anesthesia
    • For advanced or emergency procedures, extended stays of 24 hours or longer may be necessary in order to monitor vital signs and deliver critical care
  • Make sure you have a good understanding of post-surgical instructions. Remember, all questions are good. Some things to review at pick up time include:
    • The administering of medication, food, and water
    • The changing of bandages, care of stitches, etc.
    • Assisted care tips
    • Follow up appointment scheduling
  • At home, allow your cat to recover in a warm, quiet space of its choosing (if possible) to increase comfort and reduce stress
  • For the first 24 hours, monitor your cat closely as it recovers. Always call if you have any concerns
  • Keep cat indoor for at least 24 hours to supervise
  • Suture care (stitches): Most surgeries will require some sutures. Your veterinary staff will review the after-care which will include keeping the cats from licking the incision.
    • Some cats will be sent home with an Elizabethan Collar to ensure they do not lick or bite out the sutures
    • Monitor the incision for possible signs of infection which will include redness or swelling
    • Most sutures are removed 10 to 14 days after your cat's surgery, but some procedures require a longer time before suture removal
  • Continue to follow your cat's recovery program until told to alter or discontinue it by your veterinarian

Scheduling Surgery For Your Cat

If you need to discuss surgical options or schedule surgery for your cat, please contact us today. Our veterinary staff is highly experienced and caring cat people who are happy to help ease the stress and fear associated with cat surgery for you and your feline friend alike.

Contact us to request surgery for your cat!

When your cat is seen for a surgical procedure, we go above and beyond to ensure they get the best and most comprehensive care possible. 

All of our cat dental and surgical procedures include the following: 

  • Pre-op blood work. This includes a CBC (complete blood count), chemistry panel and on all abdominal surgeries, a protime, and PTT to assure the patient has normal blood clotting times. 
  • Pre-op EKG, reviewed by a cardiologist before anesthesia. 

NOTE: Both of these can be done the morning of the procedure. 

  • IV catheter
  • Warmed IV fluids
  • A Certified Veterinary Technician during anesthesia and recovery
  • The shortest acting injectable anesthesia in the veterinary field. 
  • A NEW endotracheal tube to protect the patient’s airway during surgery. Most practices reuse the tube we put in the trachea - yuk. 
  • Gas anesthesia with Oxygen from an oxygen tank
  • 2 surgical monitors - one electronic to monitor EKG, blood pressure, sPO2, end-tidal CO2, respiratory and heart rate. One to hear the heart and respiration. 
  • Laser blade for less pain and bleeding
  • Post-op laser to improve wound healing and minimize pain
  • Intra-operative local anesthesia
  • Pre- and post-op pain management
  • Post-op sedatives if indicated. 
  • A warm towel during the procedure
  • A warmed heated bed during recovery.
  • A warmed surgical table with padding to protect the patient and keep them comfortable. 
  • Staples in the incision when appropriate to improve wound healing. 
  • The best suture material on the market.