Pre- and Post-Surgical Care for Your Cats

Though complications from spay/neuter surgery are rare, we want to take every precaution that your cat will respond to surgery well and to minimize any complications that may arise.

Cats should not be brought in for surgery if they are high-risk patients, including: geriatric cats (over 7 years of age); cats with a known heart murmur; cats who are known to have Feline Leukemia or FIV; and cats with signs of upper respiratory infections (discharge from the eyes or nose; sneezing; labored breathing). Kittens under 2.2 lbs, or 8 weeks of age, are too small for surgery, and must wait until they are big enough.

The night before surgery, cats should not have food after midnight (water is okay). Kittens that are under 4 months of age SHOULD NOT BE FASTED the night before surgery – food and water are fine for kittens under 4 months until they are brought into the clinic. Feral cats in traps, if they are trapped earlier than the morning before surgery, should be given food and water up until midnight the night before surgery. 

All cats must be brought in a secure carrier or humane trap.


Post-Operative Instructions:

  1. No running, jumping, playing or other strenuous activity for 7 to 10 days. Keep your pet quiet. Pets must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry and warm. No baths during the recovery period – please keep the incision site dry. Ferals should be released immediately (they do not need to be kept indoors).
  2. Check the incision site twice daily. There should be no drainage. Redness and swelling should be minimal. A small hard bump at the incision site on a female is normal; but monitor site to make sure bump does not get bigger or leak pus or blood. Do not allow your pet to lick or chew at the incision; if this occurs, an E- collar MUST be applied.
  3. Appetite should return gradually within 24 hours of surgery. Lethargy lasting for more than 24 hours post-op, diarrhea, or vomiting are not normal and your pet should be taken to your regular veterinarian.
  4. Do not change your cat’s diet at this time and do not give milk or any other people food during the recovery period. This could mask post-surgical complications. Do not give your cat any over-the-counter pain medications; these can be toxic to cats.
  5. We recommend your pet receive a post-operative examination with your regular veterinarian 7 to 10 days after surgery. Have the incision checked for complete healing, and to discuss additional needs, follow-up care and vaccination boosters.

If there are any questions or concerns directly related to the surgery during the recovery period, please call this office at 513-871-0185. If there is an emergency arising from surgery-related complications after hours, contact our emergency line at 513-543-0353.

Your pet received a green tattoo next to their incision. This tattoo is a scoring process in the skin; IT IS NOT AN EXTRA INCISION.


OAR Spay/Neuter Clinic will treat at our clinic, at minimal cost, any post-op complications resulting directly from the surgery, if the above post-op instructions are followed in full. Your regular veterinarian must address illnesses or injuries that are not a direct result of surgery. Please call for an appointment as soon as you see cause for concern. We cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from failure to follow post-op instructions, or for contagious diseases for which the animal was not previously properly vaccinated.