What To Feed A Cat After A Surgery?

The majority of cats will require surgery at some point throughout their lives. Frequently, this is done for them to be spayed or neutered. Accidents, injuries, and various problems can arise and develop, and your veterinarian may need to handle these issues.

A healthy diet for your cat is one of the most important things you can do to enable them to get back on their feet after an illness. Feed your cat after surgery to help them recover and maintain their health.

If your cat has just undergone surgery, you must provide them with the proper care to have the best opportunity of healing as soon and efficiently as possible.

Surgery may be a highly stressful experience for your cat, both psychologically as well as physically. Their body will be working extremely hard to rebuild and maintain its strength, so the nutrition you feed your cat – as well as how you feed it – will be critical to its health.

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Preparing Your Cat for Surgery

Your veterinarian would be able to provide you with guidance on how to prepare your cat for surgery. There are certain things you have to be aware of, including the following:

  • Food: Make sure your cat hasn’t eaten for at least 12 hours before surgery to ensure a successful procedure. If your cat is young or has any health concerns, the amount of time may be different from the average. This is because your cat may vomit while under general anesthesia, which might result in more complications.
  • Keep them very close: Always keep an eye on them since, unless your cat is an indoor cat, he or she will most likely love wandering outside at night and exploring. In order to ensure that they don’t go out foraging for food before their surgery, keep them secure and indoors the night before. This will also ensure that they return in time for their procedure.
  • Water: Cats will also need to cut their water supply 2-3 hours before their procedure to recover appropriately. Don’t take it off the night before since it might lead them to get dehydrated, which can be pretty harmful.
  • Travel essentials: Prepare for travel by packing the following items: It’s acceptable if your cat isn’t quite himself after the operation. Remember to line your carrier in case of an accident and provide them with something familiar to make them feel more comfortable. Perhaps a piece of their regular bedding or a piece of clothes that has a scent of yours on it. You may also use Feliway Bedding Spray to help calm them down if necessary.
  • Consult with your veterinarian for guidance: Your veterinarian will be able to provide you with advice on how to care for your cat before and after surgery. This will contain instructions on delivering medicine and information on what and when to feed the cat or kitten. Keeping an eye on your cat after surgery is usually a good idea, as you can calm them and provide them with extra special care after they’ve had their operation.

After Surgery

When you and your cat arrive at your residence, you’ll want to make sure they have everything they require. Those who are caring for their cat after surgery might benefit from the following suggestions:

  • Prepare a warm, quiet room with food, drink, and litter nearby since the cat will get cold after the anesthesia and may become tired and confused during the recovery period.
  • Eat bland foods such as chicken and rice before the surgery since anesthetics might cause nausea and upset stomachs. Keep in mind that other cats aren’t necessarily cruel to your sick kitten since the smell of the vet’s office might bother them, causing them to hiss and snarl.

Feeding Your Cat After Surgery

You may notice that your cat is a little queasy after waking up from anesthesia, and it may not be up to eating a bowl of their normal food right away. When you feed your cat after surgery, make it something tiny and light. Most cats enjoy chicken and fish, and because they are also healthy, these are ideal post-operation meals.

If none of these choices are available to you, continue to feed them their regular fare while reducing the portion size to one-quarter of what they would typically consume. Your veterinarian may even recommend a specific type of cat food for you to feed your cat. Whatever meal you serve, make sure that they have plenty of freshwaters to drink alongside it.

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What Causes a Cat to Refuse to Eat After Surgery


Your cat may experience nausea as a result of the general anesthetic that was provided to her. This nausea will last for many hours. A time of decreased appetite may be related to the disruption of her routine and the impact of the anesthetic medications on her stomach during the procedure. It typically varies from cat to cat how they will manage with sickness; some cats may take up to 36 hours to recover entirely and resume eating, while others may take less time.


The Elizabeth collar, which is placed around the neck of your cat after it has been spayed, is designed to keep it from chewing the incision, which will annoy her and cause her to become depressed and lose her appetite. Cats that are not accustomed to being in a cage will likewise respond in the same manner.

Discomfort after surgery

Cats may refuse to eat due to the discomfort associated with surgery if it is a painful procedure. When given only a mild anesthetic or has no follow-up care, she may have some discomfort later.

Stomach issues

It’s possible that her stomach was still adapting due to the fasting she had done before the procedure.

What Should I Feed the Cat After Surgery?

To help your cat recover from their procedure, your veterinarian may recommend that you transition them to a particular recovery food. Recovery diets are intended to provide your cat with all of the nutrients he or she requires to return to total health while reducing the amount of effort the digestive system has to do. These meals have higher levels of protein, fat, and calories, making them more energy-dense. As a result, your cat may consume fewer portions while still receiving the energy and nutrition it needs. The protein in the recovery diet assists in the growth and repair of cells, and it should be highly digestible so that the body quickly absorbs it after an injury.

A reduced appetite is common in many cats, so any recovery diet should be pleasant and appetizing to your cat, with kibble or pieces that are suitably sized to encourage them to consume the food.

How Should I Feed the Cat After Surgery?

Following surgery, your cat’s body and digestive tract are unlikely to be able to handle the same amount of food that it was accustomed to consuming before surgery. When it comes to digestion and appropriate absorption of nutrients from food, your cat’s system must put in much effort, and this energy may be diverted elsewhere to accelerate the healing process.

Ask your veterinarian for guidance if you want to know how to feed your cat just after surgery. It is necessary to modify your cat’s diet. Most veterinarians will advise giving a lesser quantity the night following being discharged from the hospital, such as half of the typical meal, although this may vary depending on your cat and the treatment they have undergone that day. Many cats do not have their full appetite after having surgery, but if this is a persistent problem, speak with your veterinarian about your concerns.

If your cat vomits after eating its food on the same day as its operation, consult with your veterinarian about the most effective approach to gradually restore your cat to its regular feeding schedule following the surgery.

To keep your cat from licking or scratching its wound, you may need to put a protective collar on him. Make sure the collar does not interfere with feeding or drinking, and if it does, take it off when your cat is eating or drinking. Assisted feeding with a feeding tube may be required depending on the sort of surgery that your cat has undergone in the past. In this case, consult with your veterinarian about the most effective approach to proceed.

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A Few Further Suggestions for Eating and Drinking

  1. Dietary Requirements

A healthy diet is especially vital for a cat that has just had surgery. At this point, they are still having difficulties acquiring enough energy. For specific recommendations on the proper selection of cat meals, consult your veterinarian. Look for foods that are simple to digest, high in energy, extra-rich in protein, vital fats, vitamins, and minerals.

In addition, you might try feeding her a vitamin paste such as Vetoquinol that is rich in nutrients yet simple to consume.

  1. Feed little amounts of food often

During her recuperation time, your cat may lose her appetite. Distribute her food in tiny portions at regular intervals, splitting her daily food allowance into two to four servings of fresh food. This must be kept in mind, and we must actively urge them to do so. Large quantities of food should not be served to old or ill cats or animals in general.

  1. Hand-feeding

Feed her by hand, or put a tiny quantity of food on your finger and touch it to her lips. She should respond positively. If your cat is still recuperating from dental surgery, hand feeding or spoon feeding are excellent options for you. Sometimes the perfect dish is formed by your hand.

  1. Company while eating

Try to ensure that your cat is comfortable and safe. Sometimes they want someone to sit with them and listen to them talk. Many cats, in contrast to dogs, like being caressed or touched while they are eating. However, it is always beneficial to do so in moderation so that kids do not acquire an aversion to eating alone in the future.

  1. Appetite Stimulants

If none of these techniques work and you still can’t get your cat to eat, your veterinarian will prescribe an appetite stimulant to help you encourage your cat to eat. Stimulants such as mirtazapine, diazepam, and steroids are among the most commonly given medications. Adding something new to your cat’s diet might benefit his or her health in some situations.

  1. Experiment with a variety of foods’ textures.

If your cat is suffering from dental discomfort, she may refuse to eat the pieces of food that she used to enjoy. The two textures can be mixed in the same bowl, or you can add heated broth by mixing in a small amount of water. Once they have recovered, they may attempt to consume foods with a range of various textures once more.

When Should I Get My Cat Back to the Veterinarian Following Surgery?

Hopefully, your cat will be restored to full health within a few weeks of the procedure if you provide her with the proper care and food. However, if you observe any of the following signs, you must immediately contact your veterinarian:

  • Bleeding
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation are all possible symptoms.
  • Loss of appetite or reduced water consumption consistently
  • Feelings of depression, weakness, or limp
  • Shivering or a rise or fall in core body temperature
  • Unsteadiness when walking or standing.
  • Breathing that is difficult or uncomfortable

Taking additional care of your cat after a surgical operation increases the likelihood that they will heal more quickly and return to their usual selves sooner than otherwise. If you’re not sure how to provide the best care for them, see your veterinarian for guidance.

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