Spay and neuter surgeries are common, but they are still operations. You’ve come to the right place if you’re concerned about how to pick up your cat after it’s been spayed (female cats) or neutered (male cats).
So, how can you pick up a cat after spaying?
Before picking up the cat you must make sure the cat feels safe and comfortable in your presence and then pick her up using the right technique.
Keep reading this article, to know how to pick up a cat after spaying.
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Can You Pick Up A Cat After Spay?
You should avoid picking up your cat after getting spayed unless it is absolutely necessary, as she can be aggressive.
Do not attempt to pet or play with your cat immediately following surgery.
While this may make you feel better, it may prevent your cat from feeling safe and rested.
The anesthesia that remains in your cat’s system after her surgery is usually the cause of aggression in newly spayed cats.
The duration of these anesthesia side effects can range from several hours to several days, depending on the amount and type of drugs used, as well as your cat’s sensitivity.
Consider your cat to be on a bad trip; she could be sensing and defending herself against threats that only exist in her drugged-up feline imagination.
This will eventually wear off. Meanwhile, keep her in a calm, safe place away from other pets and avoid picking her up unless absolutely necessary.
If your cat was in heat, pregnant, or lactating when she was spayed, her body will continue to produce mama cat hormones for several days or weeks after the procedure.
If she was in heat, her scent would still elicit courting behavior from males and territorial behavior from other females, both of which could result in a fight.
If she was pregnant, she will still have the nesting instinct and will defend her territory from your other pets for a while.
If she is lactating, she will continue to feed and defend her babies until they are fully grown, and spaying will have no effect on her aggression when protecting them, giving you another reason to not pick her up unless required.
Another reason that newly spayed cats may be aggressive is surgical pain. Your cat recently underwent major abdominal surgery and a total hysterectomy.
She will be in a lot of pain for the next couple of weeks. This pain may cause her to feel threatened by your other pets and lash out at them.
It is a good idea to use the pain relievers prescribed by your veterinarian, but keep in mind that these can also cause your pet to act strangely and trigger more aggression.
If this is a problem, keep your newly spayed cat away from other pets until her healing is complete.
Must Read: How To Tell If My Cat Is In Pain After Spay?
Do I Need To Stay With My Cat After Spaying?
Yes, it is better to stay with your cat after spaying, so as to look out for the following: –
1. Inspect Your Cat’s Incision Area
Looking at your cat’s incision can help you understand what it looks like and track its progress.
Before you take your cat home, ask your veterinarian to show you the incision.
On the first day, take a photograph of the site as a reference point.
Incisions will be made on the bellies of female cats and male cats with undescended testicles. The scrotum of most male cats will have two small incisions (under the tail).
2. Avoid Your Cat From Bothering The Incision Area
You can buy an “Elizabethan” collar. This collar can be provided by your veterinarian or purchased at a pet store.
This type of collar extends past your cat’s face, so it won’t irritate the incision. These collars are also known as “protective” “E-collars,” or “cone” collars.
Depending on your cat’s behavior, this may or may not be required. Try it with/without it, but keep an eye on your cat. Put it on if they start digging at the wound excessively.
Check that they are not licking the incision site, as this can lead to infection.
3. Offer The Cat Food And Water
As soon as you get home from the vet, give your cat a small amount of water in a shallow dish (or an ice cube).
Your veterinarian will most likely give you feeding instructions, which you should follow. Consider the following if you did not receive instructions:
- If your cat appears alert and responsive, you can feed it a quarter of its normal meal about 2-4 hours after you return home from surgery. However, do not force the cat to eat or drink.
- If your cat is still eating, feed it another small meal in 3-6 hours. Rep until the cat has consumed the entire portion of food, and then resume the cat’s normal feeding schedule.
- If your cat is under 16 weeks old, feed it a small meal (roughly half the normal amount) as soon as you get it home and settled after surgery.
- If your kitten refuses to eat after returning home, try rubbing a small amount of maple or corn syrup on a cotton ball or q-tip on your cat’s gums.
- After surgery, avoid giving your cat any “special” foods, treats, or junk food. Because your cat’s stomach may feel upset, keep his or her diet as consistent as possible. Give your cat no milk; cats cannot digest it.
Interesting Read: Cat Not Eating After Spay: Reasons & Solutions
4. Restrict Your Cat’s Movement
Make sure your cat doesn’t jump, play, or move around too much in the week following surgery. This can cause irritation or infection at the surgical site.
Remove any cat trees, perches, or other furniture that your cat might like to jump on.
When you are not able to supervise your cat, keep it in a small room, such as the laundry room or bathroom, or in a kennel or crate.
Consider transporting your cat up and down stairs. Although the cat is unlikely to harm the incision or operation site by going upstairs and downstairs, this is a prudent precaution.
Understand that cats in distress, such as those who have recently had surgery, may attempt to flee. Keep a close eye on your cat, especially in the first 24-48 hours after surgery.
Interesting Read: How To Keep Your Cat From Jumping After Surgery?
How To Pick Up A Cat That Has Just Been Spayed?
Here are a few steps by which you can pick up a cat that has just been spayed: –
1. Put Your Cat At Ease
A. Approach The Cat
If you want to pick up a cat, you should approach it in a way that notifies it of your presence.
This can include speaking softly to it, allowing it to see you, or simply making your presence known in some way.
If you pick up your cat from behind without first alerting it, it is likely to become scared, panicked, and unsafe.
Some experts advise approaching your cat from the left or right side because coming at your cat from the front may appear to be too much of a threat.
B. Introduce Yourself
Even cats that you own may take some time to warm up to you. When the cat realizes you’re approaching, be friendly and loving with it so it prepares to be held by you.
Most cats greet other cats by nuzzling their faces, so you should do the same, focusing on gently petting the cat’s cheeks, forehead, behind their ears, or even under their chins, if that is comfortable for you.
Gentle petting can make your cat feel secure, loved, and ready to be picked up.
If your cat is feeling agitated, this can also help to calm him or her down. It may take some time to put your cat at ease.
C. Make Sure She Wants To Be Picked Up
Most cats will give you a clear indication that they do not want to be picked up.
Though petting the heads of domestic cats can gradually calm them down and earn their trust, you should not attempt to pick up a cat who is either irritated or simply not in the mood to be picked up.
If the cat tries to flee, bites or scratches you, or simply starts swatting at you, it may be time to try to pick up the cat later.
It is especially important to teach these warning signs to children who want to pick up a cat.
You want them to pick up only cats who are calm and relaxed and who trust them. You don’t want a child scratched by a cat that doesn’t want to be held.
Interesting Read: How Long Should I Confine My Cat In An Enclosed Area After Spay?
2. Hold Your Cat Correctly
If you are certain that the cat is willing to be picked up, place one hand under its body, behind its front legs.
Gently move your hand under the cat’s body, just below its front legs, to provide the support you need when picking up the cat.
You should move along and use that second hand soon after because the cat may resist or dislike it right away.
It doesn’t really matter whether you use your dominant hand to support the cat beneath its front legs or beneath its hindquarters; whatever makes you feel more at ease is fine.
Put your other hand beneath the cat’s hindquarters. Place your second hand under the cat’s back legs, providing ample support to its legs and bottom.
This is similar to cradling the cat with one of your hands. You can begin picking up the cat once your hands are in position.
Lift the cat gently. Now that you have both hands on the cat, gently lift it up towards your chest.
When you lift it up, try to make contact with the rest of your body as soon as possible. This can make the cat feel more at ease early on in the process.
If the cat is too heavy to lift from the ground, you may be able to lift it from a table or an elevated platform.
Hold the cat up to your chest. After you’ve picked up the cat with both hands, you can place it against your chest so that the majority of its body is touching yours.
The cat’s head can also rest against your chest on the back or side.
Instead of sagging against your chest with its head and neck craned downward, the cat’s posture should be fairly straight.
This is distressing for the cat, and it may struggle and scratch you. Always pick up a cat with its head above the body. Never pick up a cat backward!
Of course, some cats prefer to be held in a different way, especially if it’s your cat and it feels more at ease around you.
Some enjoy being cradled like babies, while others enjoy resting their hind legs on your shoulders.
Check Out: How Long Should A Cat Wear A Cone After Being Neutered?
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I have my cat spayed?
Sterilization is recommended for all non-breeding cats. Spaying your cat has a number of health benefits. For starters, spaying reduces the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer. Second, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer found in unspayed female cats. If your cat is spayed before her first heat cycle, she has a 0.5 percent chance of developing breast cancer. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with each subsequent heat cycle. After about 2½ years of age, ovariohysterectomy provides no protection against breast cancer.
When should I have my cat spayed?
When determining the best time to spay a kitten, many factors must be considered, including health, behavioral, and environmental factors. Consult your veterinarian about the best time to spay your pet.
What does a spay surgery involve?
General anesthesia is required for this major surgical procedure. You must fast your cat the night before surgery. Most cats are able to return home within 48 hours of surgery. Your veterinarian will tell you how long your cat should go without food and water, as well as any other details specific to your cat.
You should avoid picking up your cat after being spayed at least for a few days unless it is absolutely necessary.
If you have any questions, ask us in the comments section.
Interesting Read: Can I Bathe My Cat After Neutering Or Spaying?
Must Read: How To Feed A Cat With A Cone?