After spay/neuter surgery, feral cats should be kept in a safe location and monitored for approximately 24 hours until they are ready to be returned to their habitats. The holding period may be longer if any complications were encountered during surgery.
Do not let the cat loose in your house or attempt to transfer her to another cage. Transferring is difficult and if the cat gets loose, you cannot properly monitor her recovery. If you expect an especially lengthy holding period due to medical complications, call us for advice.
Prepare the holding area ahead of time. A garage, extra room, bathroom, basement, or laundry room can work well. The area should be quiet, sheltered, and off–limits to any other animals. It must also be warm and dry.
Following are guidelines for post–surgery care:
Males generally need 24 hours to recover, while females may need a little longer. You want to be sure that the cat is eating and drinking, and that there are no signs of infection (discharge from surgery site, bleeding, or swelling).
If the cat seems lethargic beyond the first day, or if you notice any of the above signs, the cat should be brought back to clinic to be rechecked.
The cat might not urinate or defecate during the first day or two of the holding period. This is normal.
Once the cat is eating, is alert, and has clear eyes, he can be returned to his colony habitat. Try to release the cat as close as possible to where you trapped him, and choose a time of day when fewer people will be in the area.