Complete TNR Guides, Kitten Care Guides, PCHS application and instructions
Newborn - 4 weeks
Neonatal kittens require extra care to keep alive, so if you’ve already read “HELP, I FOUND A KITTEN“ and have inconspicuously waited for Mom’s Return as long as safely possible, read on!
Thank you for spaying/neutering your cat/dog. You have just helped to decrease the number of homeless animals! Although spays and neuters are common procedures, please remember that your pet has just gone through surgery and needs appropriate care to properly recover, including a clean, warm, and dry place indoors to rest. The surgical procedure for a cat/dog neuter (5-15 minutes) or a cat/dog spay (20-45 minutes) is minimal risk, but you will need to keep the incision site clean to prevent infection. Monitor your pet for signs of abnormal recovery from anesthesia and/or surgery. These may include:
• Bleeding, vomiting, labored breathing, or excessive diarrhea
• Loss of appetite/decreased water intake
• Shivering/ Increased or decreased body temperature (cool or warm to the touch)
• Unsteady on their feet without improvement or pale gums instead of their usual pink.
Your pet was given long-acting pain medication in conjunction with the spay/neuter surgery. DO NOT GIVE HUMAN MEDICATION TO YOUR PET. It is dangerous and can be fatal. If you were given medication to administer to the animal at home, give as directed.
There are no stitches on the outside of the surgery site. All stitches are underneath the skin. These stitches dissolve, so there is no need to return to the Spay/Neuter Clinic for removal. The two sides of the incision are also adhered with medical grade glue. The surgery site on a male cat is so small that it does not need to be closed with stitches or medical grade glue. It is normal to see one or two small openings on the scrotum. If your animal easily allows, check the surgery site daily to make sure that it is healing. If the surgery site is very red, has green/yellow or reddish discharge, has a bad odor, has something sticking out from it, is warm to the touch, or has bruising or a bump that seems to be growing, contact your vet’s office for additional instruction.
Licking the surgery site at the incision may cause it to become infected. If you’re unable to provide your pet with an E-collar and you feel it necessary, contact your local shelter. They often have E-collars from previous surgeries or donations.
Food and Water:
Keep in mind that many pets will not eat on the night they return home from surgery. Approximately half your pet’s normal serving of food and water should be offered about two hours after returning home from surgery. If your pet is under 16 weeks of age, feed him/her approximately half the normal amount of food and water as soon as you return home. If your puppy or kitten will not eat when he/she returns home and you can do the following without risk of being bitten or scratched, rub maple syrup (pancake syrup), Karo syrup, or honey on the pet’s gums. To do this, put a small amount of syrup on a cotton-tipped applicator and rub it on the animal’s upper gums. Feed and water your animal as you normally would the next day.
If your pet received vaccinations, monitor the site of vaccination (shoulder/hind leg) and check for the following additional signs: swelling of face, hives, limping, drooling, itchiness, or pain or swelling at vaccination site (shoulder/hind leg).
If any of these signs occur, inform your veterinarian or access the Pet Resource Database.
If your pet received a microchip, do not brush, groom, bathe, or pet him/her excessively in the area of the microchip implant (near shoulders) for the first 24 hours after he/she arrives back home.
Animals who have had surgery receive a small green tattoo. For female dogs and cats as well as male dogs, the tattoo is placed alongside the surgical incision. For male cats, the tattoo is placed on the lower part of the abdomen near where the spay incision would be on a female cat.
Neutered males can get an unspayed female pregnant for up to 30 days after spay/neuter surgery. Keep spayed females away from unneutered males for seven days.
Restrict excessive strenuous activity if able. Refrain from bathing your pet until a minimum of 10 days post surgery.
Your Pet’s Health and Lifespan increases. According to the Humane Society of the United States, The average lifespan of spayed and neutered cats and dogs is demonstrably longer than the lifespan of those not. A University of Georgia study, based on the medical records of more than 70,000 animal patients, found that the life expectancy of neutered male dogs was 13.8% longer and that of spayed female dogs was 26.3% longer. The average age of death of intact dogs was 7.9 years versus a significantly older 9.4 years for altered dogs.
Another study, conducted by Banfield Pet Hospitals on a database of 2.2 million dogs and 460,000 cats reflected similar findings, concluding that neutered male dogs lived 18% longer and spayed female dogs lived 23% longer. Spayed female cats in the study lived 39% longer and neutered male cats lived 62% longer.
A contributor to the increased longevity of altered pets is their reduced risk of certain types of cancers. Intact female cats and dogs have a greater chance of developing pyometra (a potentially fatal uterine infection) and uterine, mammary gland and other cancers of the reproductive system. Neutering male pets eliminates their risk of testicular cancer and eliminates the possibility of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia which can affect the ability to defecate.
I’m unconvinced. Tell me more.
Kittens begin their heat cycles between 4 to 5 months of age, so the basic guideline for cats is “FIX BY FIVE”. These are the best general recommendations that can be drawn from a thorough analysis of research currently available:
First and foremost, Mom will have to be spayed as soon as possible to prevent another litter, especially since we now know she can become pregnant again just 1 to 6 weeks after birth. Learn how to help get Mom spayed here.
If the kittens are newborn or neonatal (0-4 weeks) click here.
Lastly, if the kittens are still relatively young- ideally under 10-12 weeks- you can help develop their socialization skills to prep for adoption by clicking the PDF titled “How To Socialize Feral Kittens.”
If the kittens look more like teenagers and you determine them to be unadoptable, click the PDF file titled “Neighborhood Cats: The Complete TNR Guide followed by the section “Where Can I Get A Humane Animal Trap.”
First, confirm with your vet or local rescue organization that your cat is actually pregnant. Many often serious and sometimes fatal illnesses in cats mimic the bloating associated with pregnancy. Next, determine if you’re currently able to care for the kittens and the cost associated with proper vetting, food, medications, surgical costs for their own spay/neuters (because you’re a responsible pet owner now, remember?) and supplies.
Like humans, veterinarians can also terminate the pregnancy at any time during the gestation cycle with minimal risk. For more information, click here.
For information on how to care for your cat during pregnancy, behavior expectations, and how to prep for the birthing process to ensure kittens’ and Mom’s healt, touch your finger to here.
Yes. Cats have an estrus period (active heat cycle) 1-6 weeks after giving birth, so a female may be nursing one litter while pregnant with
another. A female cat to become pregnant again anytime during this period if her owner is not careful.
First and foremost, this is 2022. FeLV and FIV diagnoses are no longer the death sentence they once were for around 4% of all cats worldwide. As you’ll soon learn by following the links above, the majority of cats infected with either FIV (spread through deep bite wounds- most commonly found in a small portion of unneutered males due to their testosterone-fueled tendency to fight other males) or FeLV (transmissible from FeLV+ mom to 1/3 or ¼ of her kittens, or about 1-2 out of every 6 kittens she has) can frequently live perfectly normal lives, as some cats readily fight off the virus without lingering health effects.
For more information on FeLV vs. FIV, click the links above.