Feeding your cat after surgery to support recovery
If your cat has recently had an operation, it’s important to take care of them in the right way to give them the best chance of recovering quickly and effectively.
Surgery can be very difficult for your cat, both physically and mentally. Their body will be working hard to repair and maintain its strength, so the diet you feed your cat—and how you feed it—is crucial.
How should I feed my cat after surgery?Your cat’s body and digestive tract is unlikely to be able to cope with the same amount of food ingested as it was presurgery. Digestion and proper absorption of nutrients from food takes a lot of "work" from your cat’s system, and this energy may be being directed elsewhere to speed the healing process.
Ask your veterinarian for advice on how to feed your cat immediately after surgery. How much should you feed after you bring your cat home? Does your cat need a diet change? Most veterinarians will recommend feeding a smaller portion the night after discharge from the hospital, such as half of the normal portion, but it will depend on your cat and what type of procedure was undergone. Many cats don’t have their full appetite after they’ve had surgery, but ask your veterinarian about this if it persists.
If your cat vomits after eating their food on the same day as their surgery, ask your veterinarian to recommend the best way to progressively return your cat to their feeding plan.
Your cat may have to wear a protective collar to prevent it licking or scratching their wound; make sure this doesn’t interfere with eating and drinking, and if so remove it during mealtimes. Depending on the type of surgery your cat underwent, it may require assisted feeding through a feeding tube. If this is the case, talk to your veterinarian about the best way to do this.