Q: My cat is having surgery and will be hospitalized for a few days. Any suggestions to make him more comfortable?
A: What a great question. A hospital stay is tough on anyone and our wonderful kitties are no exception. To decrease stress, find a veterinary practice that separates recuperating cats from dogs — barking is tough for cat health recovery. Check for visiting hours so you can comfort your cat. Ask your cat vet if you can leave a piece of clothing or a small towel with your scent on it with your cat. A favorite cat toy would be nice as well. If he is not on a special diet, ask if you can also bring some of your cat’s food favorites.
I have a funny story that would not have been amusing if the cat owner hadn’t double-checked her cat carrier. One of my clients went to pick up her cat Daisy who had spent the night at the cat vet after being spayed — which I suggest for all cats (neutered for the boys). When my client received the cat carrier in the cat vet’s lobby, she opened it up to see Daisy. Instead of a calico cat, she saw a tuxedo cat looking up at her. It turns out the tuxedo cat was also named Daisy and had been spayed the night before as well. Please check your cat carriers before leaving the cat vet.
Ask your cat vet to explain all aftercare procedures and instructions. I cannot tell you how often my clients call me for cat health advice, which I am happy to give, but I am not a cat vet. Your cat might have to wear a special collar, sometimes called an Elizabethan collar, for a short time. If so, ask for a clear one and you might also check on the new “donut” collars. Your cat will not be in love with the collar but most adjust quickly. Once he is home, put your cat in a quiet place with food, water and litter. Talk to him in a reassuring voice, let him rest comfortably and keep small children away until he’s feeling better.
As always, a little common sense and TLC goes a long way. I welcome your stories and comments.