Surgery for pets in general, cats in particular, has now become an essential activity if you want your little friends to be healthy and develop comprehensively. With the development of veterinary medicine, you can be assured of the effectiveness and safety of this remedy. But in my opinion, the success of the surgeries depends a lot on post-operative care and you are the “key player” of the process. The fact that you spend a lot of time observing the behavior of cats after surgery and having timely contact with the doctor is the way to help the cats recover faster.

But sometimes because of our anxiety or lack of knowledge, we either overlook or misjudge the unusual behavior of cats. That’s how cats express themselves, and I’ll help you understand that somewhat.


Cat surgeries usually begin with the veterinarian cleaning the area of ​​the incision and administering pain medication or anesthetic to the cat. Male cat neuter will take no more than 7 minutes, but the amount of anesthetic used can put your cat to sleep for 20 to 30 minutes.

Cats After Surgery
Cre: Asique Alam

An “overabundance” of anesthetic can cause your cat to function quite weakly after surgery. You may see your cat wobbling around because the cat’s nervous system has not yet stabilized.

For many cats, the only thing she/he can do is raise her head and wiggle a little. Do not worry too much, the fact that the cat can wake up after the surgery ensures that the doctors will not need to have further interventions. One dose of anti-inflammatory pain reliever and you can take your cat home.

Cats after surgery oversleep

The anesthetic drugs used during surgery on cats are often strong, so in addition to imbalance after a cat, lethargy is also considered one of the normal behaviors. Nerve suppression and the loss of a certain volume of blood are the main causes of this.

Cats have an amazing ability to sleep. And if you intend to compete with it for the throne of the “sleeping king”, please think again. Our furry friends will sleep between 14 and 16 hours a day divided into multiple naps. But under the effect of anesthetic, cats can sleep continuously for 12 to 24 hours, depending on the condition of each cat.

Cre: Milada Vigerova

However, in reality, a cat’s postoperative sleep can be interrupted by reasons such as thirst or the need to go to the bathroom. You can help by keeping water bowls and litter trays near where they sleep. But if this time is longer, you need to quickly contact your veterinarian for intervention.

Besides, prolonged sleep also helps cats limit movement and have more time for wounds to heal. And what you should do now is create a “Recovery Room” for the cat. You should choose quiet areas, separate from other pets, with an average temperature of between 23 and 26°C. Minimize contact with the cat’s body such as hugging, rubbing… because our little friend is really tired and doesn’t want to be disturbed.

Unusual changes in diet

One of the basic things you need to do before letting your cat in for surgery is to limit her/his food and water sources as much as possible. This makes the surgery go more smoothly.

Therefore, your four-legged friend will have to suffer from hunger and thirst for quite a long time. After a long sleep, your cat will meow quite loudly to ask for care services. So one piece of advice for you is to keep a bowl of water next to their nest. Cat foods should also be soft and easy to digest.

However, not all cats after surgery have an appetite. Nausea or skipping meals is also quite common. However, you also need to be aware of the time when these behaviors take place. If your cat vomits 2 or more times or skips meals for a long time (more than 12 hours for kittens and more than 24 hours for adult cats), you know who to call.


For cats who are surgically assisted to breathe with a tracheal tube system, it is natural to have neck discomfort. Your cat may cough or purr a little to get rid of nausea. This should subside a few days after surgery.

“Did someone reprogram my cat’s personality?”

You will probably notice certain changes in your cat’s personality. Let me simply explain this. An incision can cause certain frustrations in the psyche of cats because they can itch, can be painful… and that affects the outward appearance of furry friends. You may see them growling continuously with harsh sounds or constantly scratching. These expressions are a way for four-legged friends to express their pain or discomfort.

However, if these symptoms appear with increasing intensity, you need to contact your veterinarian for intervention. A painkiller will probably be just what she/he needs.

Besides, the side effects of anesthesia can cause your cat to become aggressive and make aggressive moves with other pets in the house. The irritation from the smell of antiseptics can also cause high levels of antisocial behavior. And the way to deal with this before you even consider picking up the phone and calling the vet is to isolate them from other animals or even family members.

Lick, lick, lick…

This is a common manifestation of cats after surgery when we are awake and able to control ourselves. A self-cleaning mechanism or a way to ease the pain of wounds, whichever you think. But as I said, this should be kept to a minimum to avoid further bacterial spread or open wounds causing deeper infection.

An “e-collar” would be a great option to remedy this situation.

Closing Thought

The manifestations of cats after surgery outlined in the article are highly common. However, things will become unusual when you realize that everything is beyond its limits. Take the time to observe your cat for a while because they need you more than ever!

Thanks for reading!


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