We do not send any of our patients home unless we are happy that they have recovered well from their sedation or general anaesthetic...
When it's time for your cat to come home
When it's time for your cat to come home
Our patients are monitored by registered nursing staff throughout their stay with us. The ward nurses will offer your cat water and a light meal, when they are sufficiently awake and give them access to their litter tray again. They will book a discharge appointment with you and go through specific advice, including any medication your cat will need and a special light meal cat food pouch. They will also book any further appointments that are necessary such as post-op wound checks, bandage care or removing stitches. After this is organised you will be reunited with your cat.
Caring for your cat
We are dedicated to providing the best care and attention your cat deserves, not only while hospitalised with us here at the practice but in the days that follow your cat's procedure.
Providing a warm comfortable quiet area, away from drafts and noise and providing as much TLC as they ask for, will help your cat rest and recover at their own pace.
If your cat has had an operation they will have been given pain relief and possibly sent home with further medication. Please follow the instructions as they are prescribed and complete courses in full. A cat's recovery time can be delayed if they are in pain and we want your cat to be as pain-free as possible. If you think your cat is in pain or discomfort please contact us.
We don't expect your cat to vomit and this is one of the reasons why we will send your cat home with a light convalescence meal. Initially, this should be given little and often, to help reduce the likelihood of any vomiting. If vomiting does occur, please call us.
It is important to follow all the medication dosages you have been given. Your cat's medication should be given at the same time every day or if having more than once a day, make sure it is evenly spread over the day, e.g. twice a day means every 12 hours. Again these should be given at the same time every day.
We do not use antibiotics routinely, but if your cat has been prescribed them you must ensure you follow the instructions and COMPLETE THE WHOLE COURSE PRESCRIBED. Failure to complete an antibiotic course can lead to antibiotic resistance and further complications for your cat.
Check your pet's wound twice a day. There is no need to bathe it unless advised. If the wound is bandaged you will need to keep the bandage clean and dry and follow any specific advice to care for the bandage.
Most cats will need some restriction to their exercise to aid healing and make sure they don't do too much too soon. Unless they are being cage rested for a specific problem, this means they will need to remain indoors when convalescing at home. You will be advised of any specific needs for your cat, but generally this will mean staying in for up to 10 days after their operation or longer if they are recovering from an orthopaedic procedure.
What should you check as your cat recovers?
We advise you to keep an eye on the following areas and keep a note of your pet's progress:
- Is your cat back to their normal drinking and feeding habits?
- Is your cat passing urine normally?
- Is your cat passing faeces normally
- Is your cat licking or looking at their wound?
- Is there any change to your cat's behaviour?
- Is your cat alert and responsive? **
- Is your cat vocal or unusually quiet?
- Is your cat able to enjoy normal actions - like stroking, cuddling or playing?
- Is your cat moving around freely?
- Is your cat able to groom themselves?
** Please note, no matter how comfortable we try to make your cat, travelling in the car and being hospitalised is stressful for your cat. A change in behaviour, for example not wanting to interact with you / being reactive when around you or being touched, is normal. If your cat wants to be on their own and rest, let them while quietly observing, as the list above is still relevant to a change in their behaviour.
What should you do if your cat is interfering with their wound?
Patient interference is one of the main causes of a wound to break down and become infected. If you notice your cat licking their wound, pulling at its stitches or scratching the affected area please contact us as they may have to wear a medical-t-shirt and/or a buster collar (We can fit these before your pet goes home). You may need to help them eat and be their groomer while they are wearing these.
Note: As standard, all our patient's who have been neutered will be sent home with their own buster collar, to use if necessary. Medical t-shirts can be more comfortable than buster collars, but their use depends on each situation - please ask for more information.
When should you call us for help?
Along with the specific advice given to you when you take your cat home, we would ask that you contact us if any of the following occurs or if you are in any way concerned.
- If your cat has not eaten or drank any water for 24-36 hours
- If your cat has had any vomiting and diarrhoea
- If your cat has not passed any urine for 24 hours after coming home (observation of this is very important and one of the reasons why keeping your cat indoors is advised)
- If your cat has not passed any faeces for 48 hours after coming home
- If your cat's wound is weeping, bleeding, opened up, inflamed, smells abnormal, has a discharge or they are visibly bothered by the area
- If your cat has not moved from the same position for more than 12 hours
- If your cat appears agitated or unable to rest
- If your cat's normal exercise regimes are not met after the period of treatment has finished
If you become at all concerned about your pet's health during the postoperative period do not hesitate to contact us 01376 325511