How to care for a cat after he has been neutered

Written by sadie may
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How to care for a cat after he has been neutered
Proper post-operative care of a neutered cat will ensure his recovery. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Neutering your cat is not only a responsible measure to prevent pet overpopulation, but it also has numerous health and behavioural benefits. The removal of a male cat's testicles is a simple surgical procedure that renders him unable to reproduce. There is a chance of infection after the surgery, so it is important to provide proper care for your cat after he's been neutered.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Follow your veterinarian's instructions on post-operative care. Most of the time, neutered cats will not need pain medication beyond what was given immediately after surgery. You will need to set up an appointment to have the stitches removed, if stitches were used, and a follow-up exam. The veterinarian will also give detailed instructions on what to look for if there are complications.

  2. 2

    Provide a calm environment for your cat. Keep your cat in his carrier until the anaesthesia wears off after the surgery. Rambunctious children and other pets should be kept away from him while he is recuperating. An outdoor cat should be kept inside where it is warm and dry for a few days after the surgery.

  3. 3

    Offer small amounts of food after the surgery. Just one or two tablespoons of soft food and a little water are adequate. Remove what the cat does not eat. Keep offering small amounts of food and water every two hours. Once the cat is eating everything, and you are not having to remove any extra, you can begin giving him normal portions of food.

  4. 4

    Restrict your cat's activity as much as possible. You should keep him confined for about 36 hours and then hold off on playtime for a few days. It is difficult to keep a cat from being active, but for a few days be mindful that he needs to take it easy. Pick him up if he wants to be on the couch or in bed with you.

  5. 5

    Keep your cat from chewing or licking on his incision. This could remove the skin glue, if that's what your veterinarian used, and the incision could reopen. If the veterinarian used stitches, your cat may chew on them also causing the incision to open. An open incision could lead to an infection. A Elizabethan collar -- a large plastic funnel placed around the cat's neck -- or a bitter-tasting spray can prevent the cat from licking the wound.

  6. 6

    Watch your cat's behaviour and incision site closely. Call the vet if your cat has diarrhoea, severe pain, vomiting more than 24 hours after the surgery, and excessive redness, swelling or drainage around the surgical site. Also call if he refuses to drink water for more than a day or does not eat for two days.

Tips and warnings

  • Think about not using dusty cat litter until your cat heals. Instead, line the cat box with shredded newspapers. Dust can aggravate the incision and cause infection.
  • A male cat can be neutered as early as eight weeks old, or when he reaches 0.907kg. He will reach sexual maturity around five months and bad habits, such as spraying, could start.
  • Do not bathe your cat for 10 days after surgery to prevent incision problems.
  • Keep your male cat inside for at least three to four weeks after surgery if he has already reached sexual maturity. Male cats are still virile for up to a month after being neutered.

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