After your kitten's neutering surgery, he'll need rest and relaxation as he recovers from the procedure. The incisions made during neutering don't require stitches, so your little guy should feel better within a few days, although it will take him up to 10 days to fully heal.
Most male kitties will come home on the same day their neutering procedure is performed. You may notice that your furry buddy is a bit uncoordinated and loopy from the anesthesia. This is completely normal; it should wear off within 24 hours of the procedure, according to the KittiCo Cat Rescue Spay Neuter Clinic. Your little one shouldn't be allowed to jump onto high surfaces like furniture during this time, and you want to ensure he doesn't have to wander around too much to find his food or litter -- especially if there are stairs involved. Instead, set up a temporary room or space for him that contains his litter box, food and water dishes, along with a soft bed for him to recuperate on. Your vet may recommend withholding food for at least a few hours after surgery to prevent your little guy from vomiting it right back up.
Once your furbaby is home and settled in, check his incisions regularly for signs of swelling, discharge, redness or infection. Your vet makes two tiny incisions in your little one's scrotum to remove the testicles, but these incisions are so small that they don't normally require any stitches. If you notice your furry friend incessantly licking his genital area, you may want to use an Elizabethan collar to prevent him from doing this for seven to 10 days so that the area doesn't become irritated and infected. Your vet can usually provide one of these soft or hard cone-shaped collars for you or you can purchase one in a pet supply store. If you are caring for more than one neutered kitten after surgery, you may need to separate them so that they don't accidentally irritate their incisions during any rough play.
The Recovery Period
Your little guy will need from seven to 10 days to fully heal from his surgery, according to the San Francisco SPCA. During this time he shouldn't be played with roughly or be encouraged to jump excessively. For the first 24 hours he's home, you may want to replace his usual kitty litter with newspaper instead so the small litter granules don't get stuck in his incision. He'll need plenty of rest in a comfortable, warm spot. A heated cat bed makes an excellent place for your little one to recuperate. Watch him for any signs that he's not feeling good, like frequent vomiting or a lack of appetite the day after surgery; consult with your vet about these symptoms.
Keep your kitten indoors during his recovery period of 10 days and don't bathe him during this time, recommends the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Getting the surgery site wet can cause the incisions to open. Monitor your little one's bathroom habits to ensure he's going potty normally and there is no blood in the urine. Your little buddy shouldn't require pain medications after surgery, but if he does, give him only medication provided by your vet; over-the-counter medications can be toxic to him. Bring your furry friend back to your vet for a recheck of the incision site 10 days after surgery to make sure everything has healed correctly. Young kitties usually bounce back quickly after surgery, especially when neutered prior to reaching sexual maturity.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- North Shore Animal League America's SpayUSA: The Pet Owners FAQ
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Spay-Neuter
- East Bay SPCA: Spay and Neuter Post‐Operative Care Instructions
- Feline Advisory Bureau: Neutering Your Cat
- VetInfo: Caring For Your Kitten Post Neuter Surgery
- San Francisco: Post-Surgery Care
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Caring for Your Cat or Dog After Surgery
- Seattle Animal Shelter: Post-Surgery Instructions
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.