Right strategy for spay recovery?

WebDragon

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Hello all, nervous cat momma here. I want to ask you all if I'm taking a good approach to a recovery environment for my spayed kittens.

Background: I've just had my two kittens (estimated to be almost 5 and 4.5 months old) laser spayed today, and gotten them back from the vet a couple of hours ago. I had intended to keep them in their "safe room" for their two-week recovery, but because it has furniture they jump up on I was discouraged from that option by the vet tech. I was also warned that they might lick one anothers' incisions despite the ecollar, so I'd need to keep them separated. They recommended dog crates, which I ran out and got while they were under the knife. They are big enough for a little litter box, a place to lie down, and their food mat. I figured it would be a good way to keep them contained especially when I'm not in the room with them.

But for all the effort to keep them from strenuous activity, they are tearing the crates apart trying to either get out of their collars or escape :( They'll get exhausted and lie down for a bit, then get frenzied trying to shove their faces through the bars and rolling over and over to get out of the collar. When they do settle down they do not look relaxed at all. I haven't offered them food or water yet because I figure they'll just knock it over, but after almost 24 hours of fasting they need something, right?

I know probably 90% of this is me being super anxious and guilty about putting them through this. I know they'll likely adjust and be a little more calm tomorrow (hopefully!). But I want to know if I'm taking the right approach on the whole in their recovery. I was told to keep the cones on for 14 days, activity strictly limited for 14 days, but I can't imagine confining them to these crates for even half of that. Would they be calmer if I let them out into their room or would it just leave more opportunity for trouble? Is it problematic to have two cats in the same space recovering together?

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any advice!
 

Nebaug

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Get them recovery suits. It’s much better then cone or donut. Amazon has that
 

mrsgreenjeens

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Yes, the recovery suit is like a baby onesy only with a hole for the tail. You can actually use a baby onesy if you want. Most people don't crate their cats after spaying, nor do they use cones. Just keep an eye on them. If they are used to having access to the entire house, being caged up may cause more anxiety for them . If they are hurting themselves trying to get free, I'd let them out.
 
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WebDragon

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Thanks for the thoughts! I raised the idea of a onesie with the vet tech (the recovery suits seem like an even better option!), but was discouraged from using them in place of the cone. I should have mentioned the sutures are dissolving, and the tech didn't like the potential for the fabric to hold moisture against the wound in case it would either cause infection or the sutures to dissolve too early.

That said, it's awful tempting!
 

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Thanks for the thoughts! I raised the idea of a onesie with the vet tech (the recovery suits seem like an even better option!), but was discouraged from using them in place of the cone. I should have mentioned the sutures are dissolving, and the tech didn't like the potential for the fabric to hold moisture against the wound in case it would either cause infection or the sutures to dissolve too early.

That said, it's awful tempting!
Ok, this is how it works. You take recovery suit of couple times a day, just to give a chance to stretch and do their business without suit l let them bathe themselves for a while and after a period of time put it back on. The suit keeps them calm and there is no worry about getting to the stitches. The suit is cotton. I wonder if the vet tech ever seen one???
 

mrsgreenjeens

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I wonder the same thing. But if the recovery suit is off the table, there are also soft cones, (also on amazon, not sure where else) that look much more comfortable. Some of them just look like a big donut around their little necks.
 

Nebaug

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I wonder the same thing. But if the recovery suit is off the table, there are also soft cones, (also on amazon, not sure where else) that look much more comfortable. Some of them just look like a big donut around their little necks.
Question (if you don’t mind) how did you end up naming Darko? That name is very familiar to me.
 
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WebDragon

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The vet tech did specifically mention recovery suits as well as a modified baby onesie, but had the same concern that because the incision itself was covered by fabric, that it would retain moisture if licked and that could weaken the sutures. They repeated multiple times between the techs I spoke with and the instructions sent home for after care that the cone remain on for 14 days, same as the movement restriction.

I've used a donut collar before for a previous cat who had to have part of her ear removed. They sent her home with a cone that rubbed up against the ear and drove her crazy. The donut worked much better, although because the sides were soft she was able to figure out how to bend it and scratch her ear. By that time it had mostly healed anyway.

I'm thinking I'll get them recovery suits that they can wear starting maybe at the halfway point through their recovery period? The wound should have scabbed over pretty well by then. Maybe the cones on too when I'm not able to directly keep an eye on them? Maybe by that point they'll be more used to wearing them. I wish I could supervise them all day but work won't wait. The crates at least ensure they won't be running around and jumping on things, although they're the other half of the problem. I let them out into their safe room a couple of times today and they seemed so happy to be able to move around, although they did jump up on things several times, argh.
 

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Question (if you don’t mind) how did you end up naming Darko? That name is very familiar to me.
A long time ago there was a TV show called Amazing Grace and the main character's last name was Hannadarko. We thought her name was Hannah Darko for the longest time :rolleyes2:, and when we were thinking of names for black cats, that one just popped into one of our minds and stuck.
 

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A long time ago there was a TV show called Amazing Grace and the main character's last name was Hannadarko. We thought her name was Hannah Darko for the longest time :rolleyes2:, and when we were thinking of names for black cats, that one just popped into one of our minds and stuck.
It means gift from above.
 

silent meowlook

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I didn’t read the replies. Let the cats be together, but keep an eye on them if you can. I wouldn’t use the cones if they are freaking out with them on. Try them both in the same crate if you really want to. They may go to sleep or they may carry on like hyper squirrels on crack.
Do you know what pain meds they gave them? If it was a long acting injection it can make the young cats hyper.
If your vet is still open, ask about Gabapentin to take the edge off.
if you have not fed them yet, please do. It will help them to calm down.
 
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WebDragon

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I didn’t read the replies. Let the cats be together, but keep an eye on them if you can. I wouldn’t use the cones if they are freaking out with them on. Try them both in the same crate if you really want to. They may go to sleep or they may carry on like hyper squirrels on crack.
Do you know what pain meds they gave them? If it was a long acting injection it can make the young cats hyper.
If your vet is still open, ask about Gabapentin to take the edge off.
if you have not fed them yet, please do. It will help them to calm down.
They're on Buprenex, every 12 hours, for 10 doses total in their prescription.

I've let them out of the crates several times today to be together, and they played quite a bit, mostly with their toys but some with each other too. Their crates are right next to one another, so they can also interact when confined.

They've eaten several times already (coming to the end of day 1 of the 14 day recovery), and seem to be eating normally. Wet food, with more water mixed in than usual, and the nightly treat of some cat milk also thinned with water. They've both urinated a few times, one has defecated once and I'm waiting on the other to poop. Tried to clean their messy bums - one's medium haired and her behind is already quite bedraggled.

Although they're calmer than yesterday, they still go through episodes where they'll tear up their crates and cry a lot. I'm a little concerned because they end up getting the blankets in their water, litter in their food, etc. It's one thing when I can be there to clean up ASAP but another when I'm out of the house.

I've ordered them recovery suits, and will hold out until they get here! I figure I can use them to give the kitties a temporary break from the cones when they're out of the crates and I can supervise them closely.
 

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Just curious. Did the veterinarian tell you to keep them in crates, or was it only the vet tech? I ask this because when feral cats are spayed they are released the next day. No cone, no restrictions. I am not saying to go against what the vet said, I am just wondering if that is actually what they want you to do.
 
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WebDragon

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Just curious. Did the veterinarian tell you to keep them in crates, or was it only the vet tech? I ask this because when feral cats are spayed they are released the next day. No cone, no restrictions. I am not saying to go against what the vet said, I am just wondering if that is actually what they want you to do.
This advice was from the vet tech when I dropped them off for the surgery. I will say that I like my vet's office a lot, I've gone there for almost a decade now and their staff are great, so I try to take them at their word. It seems unreasonable to me to keep them crated 24/7, so I let them out a few times yesterday to roam around their safe room and play a little, but it did result in them jumping up on things before I could stop them. So, there's that. I don't doubt that if I left them in a room without the crates they'd be leaping around all the time, and tussling with each other, so I see the value in using the crate even if it's frustrating to have to keep them cooped up for so much of the day. I'm hoping they adjust over the next few days - I have to spend big chunks of time out of the house over the weekend and I'm already worried that they'll be even more upset when I'm gone.

I've read elsewhere too that feral cats get turned loose with little post-surgical recovery time, and I've read around on the forum that there's a wide range to how indoor cats are treated post-spaying. But I suppose that shelter kittens would be confined to a kennel for the majority of their recovery, so something similar to the crate, right?

I wish the rescue agency I adopted them through had them spayed before they were put up for adoption! It's been a stressful and expensive process - definitely the right thing to do but still an ordeal, hah.
 
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WebDragon

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Also to add on I was given a pretty thorough post-recovery sheet with instructions in addition to a talk-through with the vet techs when dropping off and picking up, detailing no running or jumping for 14 days and wearing the cone for 14 days.

I'm sure they give these instructions knowing that not everyone is going to be able to follow them, or the cats will get out of their collars, etc. etc. Maybe they're making their recommendations pretty strict as a result!

I'm due to speak to the staff again today by phone today for a follow-up, so I can ask again that they clarify for my specific situation. But I suspect they'll tell me just to keep doing what I'm doing. Never hurts to ask...
 
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