After surgery, you need to know how to take good care of your beloved cat to help them get back to normal as soon as possible. The delicate process of spaying alters a cat’s life forever, but it doesn’t stop there.

Since aftercare is performed at home, it is critical to be equipped to handle any complications that may arise.

So, is it normal for a cat to not eat after getting spayed?

Yes, it is normal for a cat to avoid eating after getting spayed and it should not a reason to panic.

Keep reading this article to know about the reasons, why your cat is not eating after getting spayed and how you can fix it.

Cat Not Eating After Spay

Is It Normal For A Cat To Not Eat After Being Spayed?

Yes, it is normal for a cat to not eat after being spayed.

Is It Normal For A Cat To Not Eat After Being Spayed?

You and your feline companion will undoubtedly experience some anxiety or apprehension before and after your cat’s procedure.

To reduce some of the stress and assist your furry friend in returning to normal as soon as possible, it is important to go into the procedure knowing what to expect and how you have to care for your kitty after the operation.

Following the completion of your cat’s surgery, your veterinarian or veterinary surgeon will give you very specific instructions outlining how to care for your cat during its at-home recovery.

It’s crucial that you understand everything you must do, so don’t be afraid to ask your veterinarian for clarification if you are unsure about any of the directions or steps.

Call your vet and ask them to go over that instruction again if you forget about a part of your cat’s care.

Your cat may experience mild nausea and a decrease in appetite following surgery due to the effects of the general anesthetic.

Try to feed them something small and light after surgery, like chicken or fish.

You could also feed them what they usually eat, but make sure you only give them about a quarter of what they usually get.

Do not panic if your cat refuses to eat after surgery. After their procedure, your cat’s appetite should come back in about 24 hours.

Your pet can then gradually resume eating its regular food at that point.

Contact your veterinarian or veterinary surgeon if you notice that your pet’s appetite hasn’t returned after 48 hours. Appetite loss may indicate an infection or painful situation.

Interesting Read: Find out the reasons behind Cat Seems Hungry But Won’t Eat

Why Is My Cat Not Eating After Spay?

Here are some reasons why your cat might not be eating after getting spayed.

Why Is My Cat Not Eating After Spay?

1. General Anesthesia

Your cat will experience nausea as a result of the general anesthesia, which will take some time to go away.

The effects of the anesthetic drugs on her stomach and the changes in routine can both contribute to a period of decreased appetite.

How each cat handles nausea typically varies from cat to cat; some cats may need up to 36 hours to fully recover and resume eating.

2. Elisabeth Collar

The Elizabeth collar is used to keep animals from biting or scratching sensitive areas of their bodies, such as the incision left after surgery.

Cats are less likely than dogs to scratch their spaying incision, so a collar isn’t always necessary.

Cats are free spirits who dislike wearing collars or other accessories because they limit their vision and freedom of movement.

When cats feel bothered or ‘trapped,’ they may become depressed or irritated, and their appetite may suffer.

In this case, remove the e-collar and observe how your cat behaves and if their mood improves.

For the same reason, confining them in a cage when they aren’t used to it may cause depression and cause them to avoid food, water, and even their litter box.

Interesting Read: How Long Should A Cat Wear A Cone After Being Neutered?

3. Pain

Cats may refuse to eat as a result of the pain associated with surgery. After receiving a light anesthetic or receiving no further treatment, she might experience some pain.

If a cat is in pain after being spayed, it won’t eat. Surgery with insufficient anesthesia or without the administration of post-operative pain medication may result in pain.

On the other hand, sedation is a side effect of some medications.

4. Stomach Problems

Your cat’s stomach may be too upset to accept any food due to the anesthetics and fasting.

You should not force your cat to eat after surgery, and if possible, get a prescription diet from your veterinarian that you can follow during the recovery period.

Remember that your cat’s refusal to eat after spay is completely normal for the first 24 hours, but if she continues to refuse food for a couple of days, it’s time to call the veterinarian.

5. Each Cat Reacts To The Surgery Differently

Different cats have varying degrees of sensitivity. Some cats may refuse to eat until they feel secure again during the process of waking up from general anesthesia and regaining control of their voluntary functions.

In addition to the stress of surgery, underlying medical conditions or subclinical conditions, such as worms and viral infections, may make your cat feel exhausted and uninterested in food.

A cat suffering from respiratory infections may not be able to smell its food and thus lose its appetite.

If your cat refuses to eat after being spayed, a surgical infection or complication may be to blame. Usually, if the starvation lasts longer than two days, this is the case.

Must Read: Can I Feed My Cat After Neutering?

What Happens If A Cat Doesn’t Eat After Getting Spayed?

Your cat can develop Hepatic Lipidosis if she doesn’t eat after getting spayed.

What Happens If A Cat Doesn't Eat After Getting Spayed?

In the first 24 hours after the surgery, a cat’s behavior can vary significantly and be very different from how they typically behave.

While this can be unsettling to observe, it is not a cause for alarm.

Each cat responds to spaying differently.

Your cat should gradually resume its regular routine, which includes eating and drinking as it always has.

Depending on how long it takes, your cat should gradually get better.

Some cats, though, don’t seem to get any better, and their appetite doesn’t come back.

This can quickly escalate into a dangerous situation because cats cannot go for long periods of time without eating or they risk developing Hepatic Lipidosis.

A fatty liver syndrome is another name for hepatic lipidosis. One of the most prevalent liver diseases in cats, this illness is specific to cats.

A cat with hepatic lipidosis typically experienced a recent episode of anorexia (little to no eating) for three to four straight days.

Interesting Read: Why Does My Cat Have A Saggy Belly After Being Spayed?

If the cat was overweight or obese before the anorexia started, there is a higher chance that hepatic lipidosis will develop.

The rapid breakdown of fat to provide the anorectic cat with nutrients and energy can be too much for the liver to handle.

This fat accumulates in and around the liver cells, impairing liver function even more.

The cat typically develops icterus or jaundice, as shown by a yellow hue in the skin or the whites of the eyes. If the illness is not quickly as possible treated at this point, it will be fatal.

Until a normal appetite returns, aggressive nutritional support can be used to treat hepatic lipidosis.

It is necessary for the liver to resume functioning in order for it to be able to mobilize the excess fat stores.

It usually takes six to seven weeks to complete this. As a result, you must use a feeding technique that enables you to feed your cat at home.

The most crucial aspect of treatment is nutritional support, but many cats also receive medication to support liver function, ease nausea, and restore electrolyte balance.

During the first few days of treatment, cats may also be hospitalized for intravenous (IV) fluids to treat dehydration.

Interesting Read: Do Cats Get Nicer After Being Spayed?

How Do I Get My Cat To Eat After Being Neutered?

Here are some things you can do to get your cat to eat after being neutered: –

1. Follow The Prescribed Guide

Your pet should eat a healthy diet all year, but it is especially important when they are recovering from surgery and require more energy and nutrients.

To keep your cat healthy during this time, ask your veterinarian for a prescription diet or nutritional advice.

2. Small and Frequent Meals

It’s crucial to avoid forcing your cat into eating after neutering and to make sure she doesn’t fast for more than 48 hours.

It’s important to leave some food and water in the same room where your cat is resting after surgery so they can eat when they feel like it.

Many cats will begin feeling better as soon as they get home, so it’s important to do this.

It’s critical not to overwhelm your cat by forcing them to return to its regular diet right away.

If your cat has lost her appetite, feed her small meals several times a day to stimulate it.

Once your cat is feeling better, you can gradually increase the amount of food and the time between meals.

3. Try Feeding Her By Hand

Your cat may be a little traumatized or wary after the procedure, so feeding her from your hand may help her feel better and make her want to eat.

After washing your hands, put a little food on your fingers. To tempt them, you can also gently rub it against their mouth.

If not, put the food on her paws so that she will have to lick it off.

Interesting Read: How To Feed A Cat With A Cone?

4. Stay With Her

After such a frightening event, sometimes all a cat needs is your presence. Avoid leaving your cat alone after surgery, especially when she is eating.

Make sure to pet her to show your support and give her the sense of security she needs because many cats enjoy some cuddles while they eat.

5. Experiment

Many cats are very picky eaters and will only consume particular foods or brands.

After the surgery, they might be more receptive to trying something new, so you can experiment by combining different flavors or prepare simple homemade meals to whet their appetite.

6. Take The Help Of Medicines

Even if all else fails, you must still get your cat to eat if you want to keep him or her healthy.

If your cat won’t eat after being spayed, go back to your veterinarian to get an appetite stimulant. However, medications should only be used as a last resort.

Interesting Read: How To Force Feed A Cat?

Frequently Asked Questions

What precautions should I take before spaying my cat?

Although spaying is a common surgical procedure, anesthesia has inherent risks. I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to have a complete physical examination and go through the usual lab tests before surgery.

By doing this, the likelihood of complications during and following surgery will be reduced. You must take care of any existing medical issues the cat may have first because spaying is an elective procedure.

Before undergoing anesthesia and the procedure, it’s critical that she receive a clear medical report. After the patient leaves the operating table, the procedure is only halfway finished.

The other half is based on how well the patient is looked after following surgery.

How to diagnose hepatic lipidosis?

Blood tests that show impaired liver function and a liver biopsy or fine needle aspirate are used to diagnose hepatic lipidosis. The latter can be carried out either during an exploratory procedure or by poking a needle under the skin and into the liver.

A veterinary pathologist receives the liver sample for examination. Hepatic lipidosis in cats results in an abundance of fat within and between the liver cells.

To discover the reason the cat stopped eating in the first place, additional diagnostic tests might be carried out. The prognosis is largely favorable if the underlying cause of anorexia can be treated or eliminated.

What are the signs to watch for after neutering your cat?

While it is common for newly neutered cats to experience side effects like anorexia, nausea, lethargy, and vomiting, you should contact your veterinarian if these signs persist after 48 hours.

Additionally, your cat might not be able to urinate or defecate normally for the first 24-48 hours following the procedure. If your cat is still unable to relieve itself normally after 72 hours, it’s time to call your veterinarian.

Additionally, you must keep a close eye out for bleeding at the incision site on your cat.

Within the first 24 hours following the procedure, it’s normal to see some blood at the incision site; however, if you continue to see blood after this window of time, contact your veterinarian.

Final Words

Do not put off scheduling a medical visit for a cat that has stopped eating for too long. This is one of the biggest mistakes owners make.

The food that your cat consumes has a significant impact on her general health and wellbeing, rehabilitation, and well-being.

If you have any questions, ask us in the comments section.

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Must Read: Why Is My Cat Always Hungry After Being Spayed?

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