*Disclaimer: I am not a vet and don’t claim to be one. These are just things I’ve done through trial and error over the last few days that have had a modicum of success. If your cat has a severe medical issue, contact your vet or nearest animal hospital immediately.
Oh how tired I am today. And it’s Monday. Double whammy. For the last few days I’ve been in charge of seeing our oldest cat, CC, through care after her surgery on Friday for dental abscesses. It hasn’t been the easiest thing in the world, but necessary work to help her quality of life. So today I wanted to share some things I’ve done to help her heal.
1. On the day of surgery, don’t be surprised if they don’t eat or drink afterwards. Rest is the most important thing for them at that moment, and know that eating and drinking will come in time. And on that subject:
2. CC is on wet food only for a week. This has been a challenge since she’s used to only eating dry (off the subject….dental abscesses are seen in older cats, can be hereditary and also more evident in cats that only eat wet food, according to our vet. Wet food will stick more easily to their teeth, causing plaque build-up and decay. You can read more about it here). It’s also challenging since we have another cat that I don’t want on wet food because I don’t want her to develop the same issues.
3. If you have another cat that is on dry food, feeding time can be tricky. One thing I’ve done is wait until CC is asleep then take the dry food bowl off the shelf (it has to be put out of reach so CC doesn’t eat from it) and feed the youngest. This is difficult because CC can be a light sleeper. The other cat will let you know when they are hungry. If possible, feed both cats at the same time, so the one that is on the alternate diet doesn’t get jealous and confused as to why they are eating something different (Cats are smart. They know something is different from the normal routine.) If the other cat is hungry and the one recovering is up and alert, take the other cat and food into another room and shut the door so feeding can commence.
4. When you are preparing to feed your cat wet food, try to figure out what flavor they like best and keep giving them that flavor every day. New flavors can cause your cat to stop eating.
5. When introducing wet food for the first time, your cat may not automatically start eating. It’s sometimes helpful to put a bit of food on your finger and put it on or near their mouth. If you can’t get them to take it, put a bit of food on a place that they’ll groom later. This way they’ll at least get a taste of food and can figure out if they like it.
6. To facilitate an appetite, once they are feeling more energetic, reach for their favorite toy and let them play. This will tire them out a bit and help build up an appetite so they’ll want to drink some water and eat some food, even if it’s a new food.
7. This can be a hard time in your house hold. Seeking out other cat parents that understand–especially if this is your first go around with surgery–can be an invaluable resource. Some days you just need someone else that completely understands.
Caring for a cat after surgery has its challenges. I hope the list above helps you through this difficult time. Know that you are not alone.
Here we have CC resting after chasing after her favorite catnip toy yesterday. Healing is fun! 🙂