Many of our cats have the run of the house. We are not used to restricting their activity or the areas they can access. Here are some helpful tips to follow when you bring your cat home after surgery or being treated at the hospital:
- Wearing an E-Collar: Cats are master contortionists and diligent groomers. It is imperative if your pet has a wound or sutures that you do not allow them to lick it. Make sure your cat has a proper-fitting e-collar. No more than two fingers should be able to fit between the collar and your cat’s neck or they will be able to slip it off. Also, their nose should NOT come past the edge of the collar.
- Confinement: If you have instructions to make sure your cat “rests” while he or she recovers, you will need to confine them. This works best by providing them with access to only one small room of your house. The bedroom or bathroom provide the most comfortable situation. Family rooms or kitchens are too open. Provide them with their favorite soft bedding, two litter boxes, food, water, and a window to look out when possible. Allow them access to the rest of the house only when you can monitor them closely for the entire time and then return them to their room when you cannot be right there with them.
- Solidarity: To properly recover your cat may need to be away from other housemates so they don’t run, jump, play, fight, or allow the other cats to groom their wounds. This means keeping other cats and pets out of the assigned room and only allow contact under very close supervision.
- Monitoring: It is important to make sure you can report back to your veterinarian about how much food and water your cat is consuming. You may also need to keep a very close eye on how much urine and/or stool your cat is producing. To do this, your cat must be the ONLY pet in the house to have access to the assigned litter boxes, food, and water bowls.
Remember, these situations are only for a short period of time—often about two weeks. If you follow your veterinarian’s instructions and the above guidelines closely your cat will be back to normal in no time!