Your purring pal will probably be a little disoriented after his neutering surgery. He'll need a quiet place to recover away from other animals, plus a little extra care. After a few days, your mischievous feline will be good as new, pouncing and playing like his old self.
Set aside a dim, quiet space for Toby while he is recovering. Put everything in your bedroom, close the door, and hang out with him for a while to ensure he knows where everything is. He'll need all of his necessities, such as a litter box, food, water and a low-lying bed or floor pillow to rest on. Even though his feline family members will probably want to check on him, keep them out of the room for a day or two until Toby starts to act like he's feeling better.
Many types of cat litters are dusty, which can lead to an infection at Toby's incision site, according to the ASPCA. Pick up newspaper-based cat litter from the pet store, or fill his litter box with shredded newspaper. These alternatives aren't dusty and they won't stick to his open wound.
Some felines are picky about the type of litter in their box, so it might help to transition to the new litter ahead of time. Start mixing shredded newspaper or newspaper pellets in with his usual litter a couple weeks before the surgery. This way he'll have time to adjust so that it won't be a big surprise when he gets home after the neutering.
By the time your furry family member gets home he'll probably just want to rest, and he'll seem disinterested in food and water. Put a small bowl of food and a bowl of water in his designated area, just in case his appetite comes back.
Your veterinarian will give you feeding instructions when you pick Toby up after his procedure. Following the doctor's instructions is important; otherwise poor Toby could become very ill. If you put out an entire meal and he eats the whole thing, he could wind up vomiting and losing everything he just ate.
You'll have to keep close watch on Toby to ensure that he doesn't pick at his incision site. Pulling out sutures or licking the wound increase his risk of infection. If you catch him in the act, put an Elizabethan collar on him. This special collar, which looks like a lampshade, keeps your fuzzy companion from being able to reach his sore spot. It'll feel awkward for him at first, but he'll get used to it. He'll still be able to eat, drink and use the litter box while he has the E-collar on his neck.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.