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Sandy the Cat's Recovery after Neutering.

Updated on July 11, 2015
Sandy, fully recovered
Sandy, fully recovered

The Background

Sandy was rescued from a roadside in good condition. We guessed she was around six months old and maybe half grown.

After only 2 weeks with us, she suddely developed a taste for tom cats and yowling. If puberty hits teenagers hard it is a whirlwind in cats. Sandy went from home loving and reasonable to a ball of furious amour capable of jumping from a twelve foot roof terrace before running off into the night.

We wanted to keep her at home for at least a month to settle in but after her second escape in three days, we decided to bring the inevitable surgery forward.

Taking her home after the surgery, I think I was in minor shock. I have never seen such an unhappy cat! After just a few hours the anesthetic wore off and we had a quiet, apparently pain-free pet that was in need of plenty of reassurance but otherwise comfortable.

Seven days later the stitches were taken out and the incision wound was absolutely tiny with no sign of infection or inflammation,

She is back to be home loving and very playful.

A few Cat Neutering Facts

  • Cats that are sexually frustrated make lousy pets.
  • The surgery usually takes about 30 minutes under anesthesia. No food should be allowed after 9pm the night before, and no water or food in the morning. You should get your cat back the same day.
  • Jumping and running needs to be restricted as the cat recovers so that the stitches do not rip out.
  • Stitches come out after 7 days
  • After ten days (with no complications) most cats are fully recovered.
  • Not getting cats neutered is a bad idea. There are 60 million wild cats in the US alone, all from runaway or abandoned cats that go on to breed. That is a lot of dead wildlife (around a billion birds a year) and some pretty unhappy and malnourished lives in vacant lots and back alleys.
  • A single pair of breeding cats can start a dynasty that will produce 400,000 cats in 7 years.*


Sandy's Experience: The Events as they Unrolled

Day 1

We take her to the vets at 9 am. My wife holds her tight on the back on the motorcycle (this is Thailand, you can take a goat on your motorcycle if it will hold still).

The 200 yard journey is completely uneventful. Even so, Sandy looks stunned by the sheer size of the world.

The muscular nurse lady hauls her over the counter and swings her into a basket on the weighing machine like a sack of rice. It makes me wonder if we are really doing the right thing,

The poor cat is disappeared into a back room that smells of disinfectant and dog (I have been in there and it is full of very, very sharp stainless steel implements).

While we are waiting for the check over, we choose a carrier case/cage. It might be OK holding a healthy cat for a couple of hundred yards on the back of a motorcycle. It is another thing carrying a recent recipient of surgery. I don't want anything squeezing out of our cat!

The cat is healthy enough to operate, We pay a deposit and leave her.

At 1 o'clock we return to find her in her new mobile prison/carry case and wearing an Elizabeth collar.

That collar does not look comfortable but cats have been known to pull out the stitches with their teeth. If that happens, the stomach wall can tear and your cat will be in really bad shape.

The Elizabeth Collar, as worn by Sandy the Cat and Elizabeth the First.
The Elizabeth Collar, as worn by Sandy the Cat and Elizabeth the First.

When I check in the cage, Sandy looks as if she has fallen out of an aircraft, sort of crumpled and, frankly, dead. It is a relief when she opens a pair of drugged eyes and squints at me.

She probably thinks I am a monster. 'All I did was yowl and run after boys and this is what I get?'

The carrier makes it easy to get her home.

A very naked cat.
A very naked cat.

She still looks terrible from the anesthesia when we carefully lift her out of the carrier and lay her on a bed. Her bald pink stomach is genuinely shocking. Did they really need to shave off so much fur?

After careful examination, we are grateful to find that there is only a tiny plaster covering what must be a tiny incision.

Laying her on the bed was a mistake, though, she leaks!

Yes, cats can be incontinent after surgery but no one will warn you.

Who is going to Look after Her?

My daughter in law bursts into tears as soon as she sees the invalid and cries on and off for the rest of the day. She is not much help!

My wife declares that she has no idea what to do with a sick animal and looks a little panicky.

The problem my wife has is that she once looked after a pair of cows when she was kid and one of them managed to strangle itself on its rope. The dead cow's life time companion died of grief a week a later.

We are both thinking of that event.

So, now I am Mother Cat.

Read the Info

There is an info sheet from the vet which emphasizes restricting movement to protect the incision. So she is back in the carrier with plenty of soft bedding.

I try to give her water a few hours after the surgery as instructed but she really does not want it.

When a cat does not want water. It really does not want water.
When a cat does not want water. It really does not want water.

I tempt her with some tuna fish a couple of hours after this but she is sick ten minutes later.

In the end, I just let make her comfortable in her carrier (I am really scared she will jump and land badly with all those drugs still in her system and pull those stitches). She sleeps in our room that night and wakes me up every time she turns over.

Days 2-7

I work at home so it is easy to keep an eye on Sandy. For the first few days, she is modtly interested in sleep, If she starts to get too energetic, I put her back in the carrier. This may sound cruel but we have nowhere to leave her where she cannot jump on furniture or run up and down stairs and possibly hurt herself.

I have seen the results of a dog pulling out some stitches in a wound on its leg (he was bitten my another dog). The dog spent six months in a cage recovering, so I am not taking any chances.

She gets her medication twice a day before food. The plaster falls off by day three and some dilute betadine (supplied by the vet) is used to clean her wound

On day 3, I notice she has fleas . I reckon she got these on those night she managed to escape in search of 'love'. So it is back to the vets for some Frontline 'spot on'. At least twenty fleas fall off in the next 24 hours. Poor cat...

Day 7

The stitches come out and the incision is absolutely dry with no signs of infection.

Days 7-10

I still keep her exercise down to a minimum but by now it is getting to be hard work. The wound looks perfect so after day 10 I just let her fun around like crazy. And finally start training her not climb the furniture.

This might take a lifetime!

Ten days after surgery it is hard to stop her jumping and running (in this case on our aquarium) but she seems fine.
Ten days after surgery it is hard to stop her jumping and running (in this case on our aquarium) but she seems fine.


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    • Will Apse profile image

      Will Apse 11 months ago

      @FlourishAnyway Thanks. She is not really a sweet-tempered, easy-going kind of cat, but she is good company.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 11 months ago from USA

      Sandy is beautiful, and I'm so glad you got her spayed. I've had many rescue cats and cats of my own over the years, and everyone knows fixing is the first thing that happens in my house. Sandy is better in the long run for having the surgery.

    • Will Apse profile image

      Will Apse 5 years ago

      Thanks ktrap. It was sort of an emergency when we took Sandy to be neutered. You can't have cats (well she was a kitten really) jumping from high places and disappearing for hours at a time. That is very hard on the nerves.

      So we were unprepared for what was going to happen.

      In the end, things went very well and now she is still pretty feisty but manageable.

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      What a beautiful cat Sandy is and how lucky is she too have such a wonderful home and playground/terrace complete with fish. Being able to see Sandy's recovery from neutering is sure to ease the nerves of many cat-owners.

    • Will Apse profile image

      Will Apse 5 years ago

      This is my second cat and to be honest be she is downright mad compared to my first one. You can't fault her for entertainment value, I just hope she lives long enough to quiet down a little and get to be a grand dame!

      Thanks for your visit.

    • Pamspages profile image

      Pamspages 5 years ago from Virginia

      Great hub Will! I particularly love it as I have 2 cats myself and have been there with them! They are now grand dames of 12 and I love 'em to death! Voted up!