Spaying a stray cat. I'm so nervous.

Jasminelopeze

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
20
Purraise
22
Hi everyone,

So during the shut down last year maybe around May a little kitten turned up on my door with her mom. I fed the mom on occasion, she doesn't come by very often, she's very feral and hates my guts but allows me to feed her. The mom left as usual but the kitten stayed. After this encounter the kitten started showing up everyday alongside with the other cats I feed outside. The rest are male and she's the only female. She's gotten very comfortable with me and my family and stays nearby. I even build serval insulated cat homes for the winter and she stayed in there with other cats. They all get along very well and I'm constantly catching her play with them as well. Well about 3 weeks ago was her first time in heat and the male cats (all except her best friend) were pouncing on her. I think because of her small size no one was able to successfully mate with her but nonetheless I made arrangements to have her spayed.

while she was in heat I would sneak in her my house and have her relax in my bathroom. I had food, water, a bed and a little litter box. Just so she could have a moment to herself cause the male cats wouldn't even allow her to eat. And that was when I found out, SHE HATES BEING INDOORS. Absolutely hates it. I had never seen her so distressed before. I continued to do it for about 4 days for about an hour at a time cause I knew she would have to stay inside for little while after she gets spayed and she recovers. So I wanted her to get alittle used to it, and it got little easier but overall she does not like being inside.

So her appointment is this Wednesday and I am so nervous. even though I know its the right thing I am questioning myself. What if the procedure doesn't go well and her final moments she thinks I betrayed her and she's scared. What if she dies on the table and I shortened her life span cause I selfishly didn't want to deal with her having kittens. I know I sound crazy but I'm just so nervous. I have two indoor female cats of my own and have been through a spay but I've never done this for an outdoor cat.

Anyways for her recovery I purchased this big play pin and put in a bunch of blankets, food, water, a bed and a litter box. I purchased this because I have 3 indoor cats and while I have love for the kitten, I don't know if she has any underlying conditions or viruses that could effect my cats. So I figured the safest responsible thing to do would be to buy a play pin so she would have her own space to recover. I figured it may be better to introduce her to it early so that Wednesday isn't too overwhelming. I wouldn't want her to freak out while she's still recovering. I have her in it now and she hates it :( She's trying to claw her way out and I'm trying to calm her down and she does for a bit, but then goes back to clawing and meowing. :(

So a few questions I have

1. How soon can I put her back outside after the procedure. I remember the recovery time for my cats was about a week but how does this work for cats that are TNR and very feral? She isn't feral but I want to get her out as soon as possible.
2. Any tips on how I can make her more comfortable? Especially if you have experience spaying stray cats before.
 

minish

minish first..
Adult Cat
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
296
Purraise
623
How wonderful that you are doing this. She's one very lucky kitten. And isolating her from your cats during recovery is the best move.
Since she's not used to being indoors and the surgery is near, I don't think more can be done besides what you have already provided. In any case, she will freak out since she will feel sick, lethargic after the surgery.
Please be very careful not to let her sneak out. A stray we looked after ran away 3rd day even though she was used to staying indoors with us. She hid so well in the garden, we couldn't find her for a whole day. They can open their stitches and it's very dangerous.
Younger kittens recover faster and it also depends on the placement. Minish was 6 months old and her scar was to the side, very small incision with only 3 stitches on the outside. The wound totally closed up in 5 days and she was up and about on the second day. The vet will know best the healing stages and how long it will be absolutely necessary to protect the wound area.
I think it's best to ask the vet if you can help her with some kind of calming medication during recovery. If it's not suitable, you can dim the lights, play some calming music, speak softly to her. Good luck
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
3,733
Purraise
5,919
Location
Los Angeles
Don't reframe the idea of spaying her. Yes, it is surgery, but it is very safe and usually there are no complications. If you don't fix her, it won't just be one litter of kittens, but many. It will affect her health down the road. The one female I was never able to trap, including hiring a professional trapper, died having her last litter and all the kittens died with her.

Cats think that you have betrayed them if you take them to the vet. My Jamie thinks that I have betrayed him if I apply Revolution to his neck and spends days angry at me and DH. Don't go there either. She will figure it out once she is back home and safe. Spaying might also change her behavior a great deal and she might become pet material.
 

tnl

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
115
Purraise
281
Location
Southeastern Wisconsin
Maybe you could plug in a Comfort Zone diffuser, or something like it, to calm her down?! I use them for my cats during stressful times and they seem to work.
 

kittychick

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jul 2, 2013
Messages
1,495
Purraise
1,654
Location
Ohio
First I want to say thanks on behalf of this little one - - - having someone like you who obviously not only cares deeply for her, but is willing to DO SOMETHING to help her - well, it makes my heart sing when I hear someone like you. Most people walk on by, or feed but don't fix - and while feeding her and giving her shelter is fantastic (and no small feat - so I'm not belittling that at all!), getting this little girl spayed is probably the most important thing you can do for her. Cats that are outside and not fixed - feral or not - - have FAR shorter life spans, and the females have it really rough because cats will come from as far as a mile away to "have a go with her" when she's in heat. You've obviously seen that unfixed male kitties are relentless - the hormones in their bodies are screaming one thing: "I need to breed!" And she can easily get pregnant at least 3x a year, and most kittens born outside have a low survival rate. So spaying her now - even if you do have to release her post-spay - is by far the kindest thing you can do for this little girl. She'll be

There are lots of us on this site who've gone through what you're going through - - - and we'll be there to help you out, so don't hesitate to ask questions! Is there any possibility that you might want to try socializing her and keeping her? She's still fairly young, and - particularly after she's spayed, she may become a little calmer (although it would still take work - I wouldn't want to lie to you that it'll be a walk in the park to socialize her - but when it works - it's beyond rewarding!!!! Even if it ends up that she'll only come in for meals/when it's really cold/etc. - having the ability to get her inside if she's hurt, etc. is really useful (for both her AND your mental state of mind - worrying about a sick kitty you can't even get near is rough, as MANY of us on here can tell you from experience!).

There are also a lot of good articles on this site in the "articles" section. Two you might find really helpful are in the links below. The first one offers lots of suggestions on how to deal with a feral/less socialized stray, etc - and while it's geared toward how to handle having her in the house and how to start socializing, it's got great tips for how to confine her that's the safest, least frightening way for her (and you!) pre- and post-spay. The second one is obviously more about the TNR process - but it too offers lots of helpful tidbits.

Handling Feral Cats article
Trap/Neuter/Release (TNR)

If you do decide to release her post-spay, if she can be kept inside for a week, that's great. Most spay/neuter clinics say at LEAST 48 hours inside for females if possible (spaying is way more invasive then neutering a male). As many days past that as you can keep her, the better.

And yes - keep her separate from your indoor girls. Can she be put in a spare room you can close off - like a second bedroom, office, etc.? If she's out in the open, the sight of your guys will just get everyone upset and make life rougher for all. And she will be able to get out of a playpen. Even if it has a mesh top that zips shut, I've seen many a cat (and many kittens!) claw through them and get right out. Putting her in it is great - - - but it's definitely best if she can be in a room away from everyone. And a place inside it - like a carrier - with the door off - that she can use as a "den" to hide. I always play soft music or the tv (on something like HGTV that's relatively quiet - no "Real Housewives" :lol:).

Hope that we've all gotten you started a bit - and made you feel a bit more comfortable that you can do this! And while she likely will be more wary for a bit post-spay - that's very normal. She'll come back to the level of comfort she had with you - - - just remember that she doesn't know what's going on - - and when she gets back she'll hurt and be frightened (that fear is what's kept her alive out there!). But it's absolutely worth it - you'll be making her life MUCH more pleasant, and likely much longer (and the world DEFINITELY doesn't need more kittens!).

Keep us posted!!
 

smokey03

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
4
Purraise
0
Hi everyone,

So during the shut down last year maybe around May a little kitten turned up on my door with her mom. I fed the mom on occasion, she doesn't come by very often, she's very feral and hates my guts but allows me to feed her. The mom left as usual but the kitten stayed. After this encounter the kitten started showing up everyday alongside with the other cats I feed outside. The rest are male and she's the only female. She's gotten very comfortable with me and my family and stays nearby. I even build serval insulated cat homes for the winter and she stayed in there with other cats. They all get along very well and I'm constantly catching her play with them as well. Well about 3 weeks ago was her first time in heat and the male cats (all except her best friend) were pouncing on her. I think because of her small size no one was able to successfully mate with her but nonetheless I made arrangements to have her spayed.

while she was in heat I would sneak in her my house and have her relax in my bathroom. I had food, water, a bed and a little litter box. Just so she could have a moment to herself cause the male cats wouldn't even allow her to eat. And that was when I found out, SHE HATES BEING INDOORS. Absolutely hates it. I had never seen her so distressed before. I continued to do it for about 4 days for about an hour at a time cause I knew she would have to stay inside for little while after she gets spayed and she recovers. So I wanted her to get alittle used to it, and it got little easier but overall she does not like being inside.

So her appointment is this Wednesday and I am so nervous. even though I know its the right thing I am questioning myself. What if the procedure doesn't go well and her final moments she thinks I betrayed her and she's scared. What if she dies on the table and I shortened her life span cause I selfishly didn't want to deal with her having kittens. I know I sound crazy but I'm just so nervous. I have two indoor female cats of my own and have been through a spay but I've never done this for an outdoor cat.

Anyways for her recovery I purchased this big play pin and put in a bunch of blankets, food, water, a bed and a litter box. I purchased this because I have 3 indoor cats and while I have love for the kitten, I don't know if she has any underlying conditions or viruses that could effect my cats. So I figured the safest responsible thing to do would be to buy a play pin so she would have her own space to recover. I figured it may be better to introduce her to it early so that Wednesday isn't too overwhelming. I wouldn't want her to freak out while she's still recovering. I have her in it now and she hates it :( She's trying to claw her way out and I'm trying to calm her down and she does for a bit, but then goes back to clawing and meowing. :(

So a few questions I have

1. How soon can I put her back outside after the procedure. I remember the recovery time for my cats was about a week but how does this work for cats that are TNR and very feral? She isn't feral but I want to get her out as soon as possible.
2. Any tips on how I can make her more comfortable? Especially if you have experience spaying stray cats before.
Hi Jasminelopeze!
We went through a TNR first time this year. I use organic essential oils (reputable company well established) and followed their directions on using as calming spritzer. When he was trapped, sprayed the blankets and surrounding area with this eo spray.
he was Very relaxed and calmer afterwards. also used spray again, after bringing him home from clinic. If you have a Diffuser, allow it
to mist in her area, where she's being kept inside. The eo should last about 4-6 hours. I've also spritzed in the bedding. feeding area
where our outdoor (feral), stays. He even lets me pick him up, for a couple of minutes. Hope that helps!
Blessings :)
 

smokey03

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
4
Purraise
0
Hi Everyone!
My apologizes if "reply" posting was done incorrectly! Don't often go onto forums but, glad to have found this one :)
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

Jasminelopeze

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
20
Purraise
22
Hey everyone,

thank you so much for your kind words and tips. She has been spayed and it resting back at home. Turns out she was actually already pregnant in the first trimester so the pregnancy was terminated and as a result her incision is slightly longer than the average spay. But she’s doing well. She a lot calmer than I thought she’d be. Just a concern I have is that I have not seen her poop.

When I brought her inside on Tuesday night I did not see her use the restroom. I had a little little box in her play pin and she did not use it at all that night. The morning of the surgery I dropped her off at the clinic and she didn’t come home until 4ish. The doctors advised to wait on feeding her cause she was still loopy on the Anastasia so she didn’t eat until 6 ish. I gave her half a can of fancy feast and mixed in some water for extra hydration and she ate everything. Then when I woke up the morning I noticed she had peed in the little box (a lot) but still no poop. She just used it again just to pee alittle but still no poop. Should I be worried???
I asked the clinic staff if she had pooped there and the person helping me didn’t know.
I don’t have any water in her play pin cause she’s either sleeping or try to claw her way out and I don’t want her to spill the water and get herself wet. That’s why I’ve been mixing it with her wet food. Am I doing something wrong???
 

kittychick

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jul 2, 2013
Messages
1,495
Purraise
1,654
Location
Ohio
S smokey03 - we're glad you found this one too! (Tons o' info and shoulders to lean on :) ) You did just fine - you don't have to include the original poster's info - but it's fine if you do. Usually people reply as you did (with the clip) if they want to refer to a very specific portion of what someone's asking/saying - - but it truly is fine to do it as you did. If you want to do it without the "quote" - - just simply type into the window that comes up when you go to a thread, type in your answer, and just hit the "post reply" button. But it truly is fine the way you did it too! Glad you're here!

And J Jasminelopeze - meant to note that another way to help calm her while you're keeping her inside recovering is to cover the pen with a lightweight sheet on all but one side. It'll make her feel more secure if she feels like she can't be "attacked" from all sides (not that she'll be attacked - but she doesn't know that). And we too use Feliway (or an equivalent) plug-in (they also have calming sprays). It replicates cat hormones and helps calm them (you won't be able to smell it, but she will). It won't turn her from "I'd really like out!" to "I dig it here - pass the kibble!" in one day, and it doesn't work with every cat. We find it to be about a 50/50 shot when socializing fosters & ferals that we've TNR'd, regardless of whether we hope to socialize them and hopefully get them to the point of being fully indoor kitties. But we always use one or two in the room we put them in, bc we feel like every shot we have at reducing their anxiety level is worth the try.

It'd also be a good idea to put one out in the area your current indoor guys hang out in - bc they'll know she's there, and other animals in the house often sense the other kitty's anxiety. So anything to keep everyone as calm as possible (short of kitty margaritas) we try to do.
 

kittychick

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jul 2, 2013
Messages
1,495
Purraise
1,654
Location
Ohio
Ack - just saw you'd posted about bringing her home as I hit "post" - sorry about that!

And I was going to tell you not to worry about no poop yet - between the fact that she hadn't eaten in awhile so she wouldn't have much in her system, and add in that anesthesia often causes a little constipation that almost always resolves itself. Which it obviously did - woohoo!!!! But it's definitely good to keep an eye on everything - again - great job!!! She's lucky to have someone who cares so much about her. (I really needed a bright spot today - and reading about how much you're doing for her truly IS my bright spot today!)

You're not doing anything wrong. Virtually every single kitty I've TNR'd (which is quite a few) flips their water bc they try so hard to get out (we use a very large - Great Dane size - wire dog crate with a kitty carrier inside w/the door removed - for post surgery recovery, so we often use dishes that can clip on the sides & are harder to flip). With what you've got her in - I'd try a heavy small dish. We use little ramekins or creme brûlée dishes (in case you're not someone who cooks alot, I put a pic in below as an example of what we use). The squatty-er and heavier the better. And don't put a ton of water in, so if (when) she does flip it, the mess is smaller. We use a plant watering can that, for us, fits through the crate bars to refill the water dish so that we're opening the enclosure as little as possible (less chance of an escape!). I know she's not in a crate - so don't know if that is even an option for you. And absolutely add extra water to her soft food - - - every bit of water she can get is good.

So glad you were able to get her spayed before she did have the kittens. I know that's a decision that weighs heavily on many of us who do this - - but depending on the person's situation, often it's the best/only option. If you'd put her back outside with kittens, they likely wouldn't have all survived. And she sounds so small that it's possible she would have had trouble having them. I'm glad for her health that she's now fixed!!!!!

Keeps us posted - - -you're doing great!

creme brulee dish example.jpg

ramekin example.jpg
 

smokey03

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
4
Purraise
0
Hey everyone,

thank you so much for your kind words and tips. She has been spayed and it resting back at home. Turns out she was actually already pregnant in the first trimester so the pregnancy was terminated and as a result her incision is slightly longer than the average spay. But she’s doing well. She a lot calmer than I thought she’d be. Just a concern I have is that I have not seen her poop.
Hey everyone,

thank you so much for your kind words and tips. She has been spayed and it resting back at home. Turns out she was actually already pregnant in the first trimester so the pregnancy was terminated and as a result her incision is slightly longer than the average spay. But she’s doing well. She a lot calmer than I thought she’d be. Just a concern I have is that I have not seen her poop.

When I brought her inside on Tuesday night I did not see her use the restroom. I had a little little box in her play pin and she did not use it at all that night. The morning of the surgery I dropped her off at the clinic and she didn’t come home until 4ish. The doctors advised to wait on feeding her cause she was still loopy on the Anastasia so she didn’t eat until 6 ish. I gave her half a can of fancy feast and mixed in some water for extra hydration and she ate everything. Then when I woke up the morning I noticed she had peed in the little box (a lot) but still no poop. She just used it again just to pee alittle but still no poop. Should I be worried???
I asked the clinic staff if she had pooped there and the person helping me didn’t know.
I don’t have any water in her play pin cause she’s either sleeping or try to claw her way out and I don’t want her to spill the water and get herself wet. That’s why I’ve been mixing it with her wet food. Am I doing something wrong???


When I brought her inside on Tuesday night I did not see her use the restroom. I had a little little box in her play pin and she did not use it at all that night. The morning of the surgery I dropped her off at the clinic and she didn’t come home until 4ish. The doctors advised to wait on feeding her cause she was still loopy on the Anastasia so she didn’t eat until 6 ish. I gave her half a can of fancy feast and mixed in some water for extra hydration and she ate everything. Then when I woke up the morning I noticed she had peed in the little box (a lot) but still no poop. She just used it again just to pee alittle but still no poop. Should I be worried???
I asked the clinic staff if she had pooped there and the person helping me didn’t know.
I don’t have any water in her play pin cause she’s either sleeping or try to claw her way out and I don’t want her to spill the water and get herself wet. That’s why I’ve been mixing it with her wet food. Am I doing something wrong???
 

smokey03

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
4
Purraise
0
I'm not any kind of expert but, I (we) did the same thing as adding water to the wet/dry food. Same concern for dehydration issue. I did read an article about taking a soft tissue or cloth and rub by the "bottom" area gently, so as to "help" with eliminating. Would also ask Veterinarian if it's safe , at this time. So glad to know that she’s (kitty) home and in a safe place!
Blessings :)
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14

Jasminelopeze

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
20
Purraise
22
Hi everyone. It’s now day 2 of Kisa’s recovery. She’a doing very well. She’s her usual affectionate self and really wants to back outside (obviously not gonna happen until she’s fully recovered). As the usual worry wort that I am I have a few concerns and questions 😓😓

1. She is not showing any interest in drinking water on her own. I have been mixing water into her wet food (1/2 can of fancy feast) and that’s all the water she’ll take. I’ve been feeding her a can a day but i might increase it to two because of my second concern.

2. she isn’t showing much interest in dry food anymore. She’ll take a few nibbles but she isn’t eating it before like she used to (pre-spay I mean) Should I be worried? She’s very enthusiastic whenever I bring out the wet food. Maybe that’s all she wants since I wouldn’t give her wet food too often before her spay

3. she hasn’t pooped today :/ she pooped a lot yesterday once. Could this be because she isn’t drinking any water? Should I put more in her wet food?

I’ve included a few photos. Just to put a face to the post lol. I named her Kisa (like the tiger character from the anime Fruits Basket 😅😅)
86FD6A1E-0844-4AA2-B3A4-C3A69EFC01F6.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16

Jasminelopeze

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
20
Purraise
22
Oh side note I forgot to mention! I also have been mixing her pain medication with her wet food (as direct by the clinic I took her to) could that be the cause of the no pooping? I’m sorry I’m so stuck on her bowel movements. I just want to make sure she’s okay.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17

Jasminelopeze

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
20
Purraise
22
Okay she just pooped. I’m sorry I’m so crazy y’all 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ My 3 indoor cats all poop atleast once a day so I just freaked out. I guess it’s fine if she doesn’t poop everyday?
Could it also be that I’m not feeding her enough??
 
Top