Bookmark and Share

Spay/Neuter Post-Surgery Care

Following surgery, cats need ample time to fully recover from the effects of general anesthesia, which may leave them woozy, disoriented, and sleepy.
All skin sutures are absorbable and do not need to be removed. Vets also use pain medicine. With pain management medication, pain may not be experienced at all.
It is a good idea to provide a diaper pad  and/or a small towel for the vet technician to place inside the trap for cat to be comfortable after surgery. 

Hold the cat safely overnight in the trap until it recovers.

Holding the cat in the trap will help to ensure that the cat is fully alert and physically coordinated for safe release.

It takes about 24 hours for the cat to fully recover from anesthesia and regain the ability to regulate their body temperature.

Male cats can be returned to the trapping site 12 to 24 hours following neutering, as long as they are fully awake and do not require further medical attention.

Females need 48 to 72 hours of recovery, depending on their specific circumstances. 

You may return a nursing Mom 24 hours following surgery, once she has completely regained consciousness, so she can get back to her kittens.


Feed and provide the cat with water after it has regained consciousness.

Wait about eight hours after surgery before feeding.

When feeding the cat, always have a trap divider or isolator firmly in place between you and the cat before opening the trap. This way you can safely put a small bowl of food and a small bowl of water inside the trap. And change the wet pad or towel if needed.  


Return the cat to where it was trapped. Never release the cat into a new area.  Abandonment is against the law.  

If the cat does not show signs of recovering, call your veterinary clinic as soon as possible for further instructions.

Make sure the cat is fully conscious, clear-eyed, and alert before opening the trap door.

It is best to return the cat at either dawn or dusk because the cat has more control of the area at theses times.

PO Box 257 •  Kilmarnock, VA 22482  •  (804) 480-2066 •  garfieldsrescue [ at ]