Spay/Neuter Clinic Information and Policies
1. Your cat will have been given dissolvable sutures which will go away within 30 days.
2. Be prepared to shelter the cats at least overnight. Do not release the cats the day of surgery!
3. After surgery, cats must be kept in a warm area indoors and monitored for bleeding, infection, illness and appetite. Leave the cats in the traps or carriers in which they were placed after surgery. The trap doors should be firmly closed and locked and the traps covered with a sheet or blanket.
4. Place the traps/carriers in a warm spare room, bathroom, or basement overnight.
5. Do not stick your fingers through the bars of a trap or otherwise attempt to touch or handle the cats. Stray or feral cats are not vicious but, even when apparently anesthetized, they may react to strange people, noises, and activity, and you could be injured.
6. Look in on the cats every hour to check their progress. The cats will be groggy as they recover from anesthesia.
• Be aware that anesthesia can have hallucinogenic effects that cause cats to overreact to normal stimulation or to become aggressive. (See item #5.) Anesthesia will wear off in 4 to 24 hours.
• There should be no signs of bleeding or undue distress. If a cat is bleeding, vomiting, breathing with difficulty, or not waking up, call your veterinarian or a 24-hour emergency veterinarian immediately. You can find a local emergency veterinarian by looking in the yellow pages under “veterinarian.”
• If a cat is vomiting, turn his/her head so liquid can come out. Do not place the cat back in vomit. Wear sturdy gloves when handling the cat. (See item #5.)
7. Immediately after surgery, feed only kittens that are four months old or younger. Do not feed adult cats until at least eight hours after surgery. A small amount of canned food can be placed on a plastic lid with a little water around it. The cat may not have any appetite. Be careful when opening a carrier or trap to be sure that the cat does not escape. Keep your hands out of the trap and relock the trap door. If you are at all unsure of how to safely open the trap without allowing the cat to escape, please ask Purrfect Pals staff to show you how.
8. Both males and females should be sheltered overnight. The morning after surgery, check that the cats are alert and clear-eyed, and do not display any signs of illness. If they appear healthy, they can be released the morning after surgery, barring inclement weather or extreme outdoor temperatures. If a female was pregnant, however, she should be held for an additional two days.
9. If you must keep the cats longer than one night, provide both food and water. Moist food is preferable because it is more easily digested. Feed small amounts of food at first.
10. Release the cats at the site where they were trapped. Provide fresh water and food. The cats may disappear for a few hours or days, but will return when they have calmed down.
Information on this page was adapted from materrial provided by Alley Cat Allies
Post-surgery Additional Pain Medication Policy
Purrfect Pals performs about 2,000 spay and neuter surgeries on cats every year, and has performed around 12,000 surgeries at our on-site Spay/Neuter clinic. Purrfect Pals also occasionally performs other surgical procedures on Purrfect Pals cats at the clinic. Purrfect Pals attempts to treat every single cat individually. All cats receive pain management medication for their surgical procedures. We have general policies that we apply to each cat, but we take into account many factors when deciding whether or not provide additional post-surgery pain medication. Typically we provide additional post-surgery pain medication for some, but not all of our cats. In certain instances, additional pain management will almost always be provided. For other circumstances, we will be less likely to offer additional pain management.
All cats are provided pain management medication for surgery and the immediate post-surgical period. Typically we provide an injectable drug combination for induction, and Isoflourane gas for maintenance . Individualized post-surgical pain management decisions are made by the on-duty veterinarian based on the policies outlined here. The selection post-surgical pain medications that Purrfect Pals makes available for use is supervised by the lead Purrfect Pals veterinarian, with the assumption that all Purrfect Pals veterinarians will have a variety of choices for administering pain management. These policies are established by Purrfect Pals with the assistance of Purrfect Pals veterinarians.
Purrfect Pals contracts with veterinarians and relies on their professional expertise to guide them in making the appropriate decisions concerning the care of our cats. We expect our veterinarians to be aware of current standard medical practices and follow emerging trends in veterinary medicine.
Factors Influencing Post-Surgery Pain Management Decisions
Pregnant Spays and Other More Involved Spay Surgeries
Pregnant cats and other cats with more involved surgeries will typically be provided post-surgery pain medication. Upon discharge, the animal guardian is left with clear instructions to ensure the security and health of the cat while on pain medication.
Cryptorchid and Other, More Involved Neuter Surgeries
Male cats requiring more involved or invasive surgeries will typically be provided post-surgery pain medication. Upon discharge, the animal guardian is left with clear instructions to ensure the security and health of the cat while on pain medication.
Senior cats undergoing a surgical procedure may be provided post-surgery medication. The veterinarian will weigh the potential age-related risks versus benefits of additional pain medication to the older cat. Upon discharge, the animal guardian is left with clear instructions to ensure the security and health of the cat while on pain medication.
Kittens aged less than 6 months may be provided additional post-surgery pain medication. Upon discharge, the animal guardian is left with clear instructions to provide for the security and health of the cat while on pain medication.
The Living Situation of the Cat
The Purrfect Pals on-site veterinarians and staff attempt to assess the living situation of the cat through direct and indirect means. Typically this is through conversations with the cat’s guardian, the release form, and through a physical examination of the cat. If the veterinarian is concerned that the cat may be released outdoors directly upon arriving home from the Purrfect Pals clinic, Purrfect Pals may weigh the relative factors of the risks associated with releasing an animal outdoors under the influence of pain medication against the benefits that the additional pain medication may provide to the cat when determining whether to offer additional post-surgery pain medication.
Unknown Health Status
Cats with an unknown health status may be may be provided additional post-surgery pain medication. The on-site Purrfect Pals veterinarian will weigh the relative risks of providing additional pain medication to a cat with unknown health status against the potential benefits. Upon discharge, the animal guardian is left with clear instructions to ensure the security and health of the cat while on pain medication.
Feral Cats and Barn Cats
Decisions to provide additional post-surgery pain medication to feral or barn cats are based on the same criteria as any other cat.
Expense of medications
The cost of pain medication is never a factor in our decision whether or not to offer additional pain medication to a cat.
Any non-alteration procedure deemed uncomfortable for the cat, such as tooth extraction, enucleation, amputation, etc, will typically be provided additional post-surgical pain management. Upon discharge, the animal guardian is left with clear instructions to ensure the security and health of the cat while on pain medication.