While many people think of their cat as a low-maintenance pet, the fact is that cats need regular vet care just like any other animal. This includes routine check-ups and vaccinations, as well as the occasional surgical procedure. In some cases, these surgeries are urgent that require cat owners to take them to an animal emergency hospital.
This post discusses a few of the most common cat surgeries you may encounter as a pet owner.
1. Spaying and Neutering
Most veterinarians recommend spaying or neutering cats between four to six months. Spaying is the surgical removal of a female cat’s ovaries and uterus. They are not capable of conceiving and giving birth due to this operation. The surgical removal of a male cat’s testicles prevents them from fathering kittens.
Spaying and neutering also have health advantages for cats. For example, spayed females have lower risks of mammary cancer, and neutered males are less likely to get testicular cancer.
These operations are generally done under general anesthesia and take about 15 to 45 minutes. The cat neuter procedure, for example, entails making a tiny incision in the scrotum to remove the testicles.
Cats generally go home on the same day after surgery. They may be drowsy from the medicine, but they usually recover fast and are back to normal in a few days.
While not a medical necessity, some cat owners opt to have their cats declawed. Declawing or onychectomy surgically removes the claws and toe bones on a cat’s front paws. It is done under general anesthesia and generally takes 30 minutes or less.
Some people declaw their cats for aesthetic reasons, while others do it to protect their furniture from scratches. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to know that declawing is a major surgery that can be painful for cats. In addition, note that declawed cats should never be let outdoors because they can’t defend themselves against predators or other animals.
Before undergoing any surgery, always consult with a reliable cat veterinarian to see if it’s right for your cat.
3. Neurotomy or Gastronomy
These are two types of surgeries to help cats with medical conditions causing chronic vomiting. Neurotomy is the surgical removal of a nerve that goes to the stomach. This nerve functions as a sender of signals to the brain that tell the stomach when to empty.
Gastronomy is the surgical creation of a hole in the stomach so that food can bypass the area where the nerve was removed. This helps prevent vomiting by allowing food to avoid the area entirely.
Vet surgeons use general anesthesia when performing these surgeries, which usually takes about an hour. Recovery time varies, but most cats are back to normal within a few days.
4. Dental Procedures
Cats require dental care just like humans do. Over time, their teeth can become stained, cracked, or even decay. If left untreated, dental issues can result in pain and infection.
The most common dental procedure performed on cats is tooth cleaning. This involves tartar and plaque removal from the teeth using special instruments. A tooth cleaning is typically performed under general anesthesia and takes about an hour.
Afterward, cats stay at the vet overnight for observation. Most can go home the next day. It’s important to note that dental procedures are major surgeries. Cats are typically put on pain medication and have their mouths wrapped in gauze for a few days after the procedure.
5. Fracture Repairs
Cats can break their bones just like humans can. If your cat has a broken bone, it will need to be treated by a veterinarian. The most common treatment is surgery.
Like other major surgeries, fracture repairs are typically performed under general anesthesia. After the procedure, cats stay at the vet overnight for observation.
The healing period for a broken bone is different for each fracture type and location. For instance, a fractured femur (thigh bone) will take longer to mend than a fractured toe. Cats must be kept from any activity for four to six weeks while the bone is healing.
6. Mast Removals
The surgical removal of mast cell tumors is known as mast removals, the most frequent type of cat skin tumor. They can be benign or malignant and may even spread to other body areas. After the surgery, they will send the removed tissue to a laboratory for examination.
If it’s determined that the tumor is benign, no further treatment is typically necessary. If it’s determined to be malignant, your cat may need to undergo additional treatment, such as radiation or chemotherapy.
Keep in Mind
No matter how independent they act, cats are vulnerable creatures that need our help to stay healthy and happy. When it comes to their health, it’s essential to be proactive and take them to the vet for regular check-ups and vaccinations.
Cats are also prone to various health conditions that can be painful and require surgery to survive. Find an experienced vet that you trust to perform any necessary procedures. If you don’t have one, consider looking online and searching “vet surgery near me” to find one within your location. This is especially helpful during emergencies.