We felt relief when finally the ordeal of neutering our cat was over. The process was a difficult experience for all of us.
Neutering a cat is advisable for many good reasons, however, the process has its difficulty not only for the pet but for the owners as well.
Last Monday, my cat was castrated. He´s nine months old. In order to prepare him for the big day, we were told by the vet not to give him food at least twelve hours before the surgery. From six in the evening of Sunday, we were not to feed him. Early the next day, my husband dropped him at the vet´s clinic on his way to work.
Cat Neutering Process
It was a long and agonizing fourteen hours for us. After six o´clock that Sunday, our Cat, Orange, was hungry and asked for food like he normally does. He would face my husband and make a soft meow then run to the door heading to the kitchen. That signals that he wants my husband to go with him and give him food. Noticing that nobody was tailing behind him, he would stop at the door, look at my husband, then look at me, with that confused eyes wondering why we´re not giving him his meal.
He would then sit on the floor close to the wall behind the living room´s door, an area where he rarely stayed, waiting for us to head to the kitchen. Upon the next kick of hunger, he would approach me, touch my legs and meow, then run to the kitchen door, only to stop and look behind, I´m not following him. He would comeback and sit at the living room´s door, waiting for us. It´s a very painful sight to see. Knowing that your beloved pet is hungry but you can´t give him food, and that even if it´s for his own good he doesn´t understand, is difficult.
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At seven o´clock, I and my husband were in the kitchen preparing for dinner. Orange was there too, asking and waiting for his own dinner. Watching him sit on his scratching pad with that hungry look on his face, I couldn´t keep my tears. It hurts to see him very hungry.
After my husband saved him from the streets and we decided to adopt him, we promised to always take care of him and to never let him go hungry. And yet, for the very first time since he joined our household, we had to keep him from food. My husband, in spite of himself not feeling good of the situation, tried to comfort me with the thought that our cat will survive just as he survived the streets.
Understanding that he won´t get any food no matter what he´ll do, Orange tried to forget his hunger by playing with himself. Once bored, he moved to the window perch and watched outside. And yet by midnight, hunger might have been already unbearable that he asked for food once again. I pitied my cat so much I decided to give a couple of tiny biscuits.
Spoiled with food, Orange grew into a choosy cat. There are biscuits that he doesn´t like and if he doesn´t like, he doesn´t eat. I gave him exactly the biscuits which he snobs on normal days. He forgot his chosy-ness, he devoured the biscuits in a snap. I seriously prayed that this won´t affect his surgery the next day.
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He sleeps in his tree bed in the living room and it is his conditioning routine to jump off his bed and run to our bedroom door once he hears the alarm clock at seven in the morning. That Monday morning, husband opened the bedroom door to see Orange already at the door, as usual. Alarm clock means breakfast to him. Feeling sad, my husband picked him up and told him he still cannot have food. Hubby then headed to the bathroom while the boy jumped on the bed and tried to wake me up. I told him the same thing, “I´m sorry baby but I can´t give you food.”
He understood and instead of insisting for food, he wanted to play. He was biting my feet, jumping on top of me, scratching the side of my blanket to catch my hand … he was being playful, momentarily forgetting about food.
And then it was time for my boys to leave. Daddy put Orange in his basket and they bade me goodbye. Whole day, my thoughts were filled with Orange. I was very worried of him. I was praying that everything would go fine.
I couldn´t wait for the evening. At five thirty, my husband fetched our cat from the clinic and they´re home by six. I was excited to see him!
Male Cat Behavior After Neutering
Finally my boys were back. My husband opened the basket so Orange could go out. He was still a little groggy. He looked like he wasn´t a bit sure where he was. Slowly he wandered out the basket, down from the sofa, and to the kitchen. But his hind legs were still weak. His rear and legs were wet. To my further sadness, Hubby told me that we still can´t give Orange food until the next morning at six.
He still asked for food but not as insistent as he was last night. We had to make sure that he wasn´t jumping or running. He went to sleep early. To our relief, he preferred to sleep in his basket which was on the sofa instead of his cat tree bed which would require him to exert effort to jump on and off. He spent most of the night sleeping.
The next day, my husband got up earlier than usual so he could give Orange food. We fed him little but often throughout the day. I was surprised to see him recover quite quickly. The day after the surgery, he was back to his normal playful self and he even asked to visit grandma who lives on the second floor, which of course I said “No” because it´s still not good for him to climb stairs.
On the second day there was almost no more sign that Orange had surgery. He was fit, happy, and very active. He was also back to having normal meals. I and my husband were relieved that this neutering plight is over. Seeing our cat happy also makes us happy.
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I learned that it´s important to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself if your tomcat is scheduled to be neutered by regularly reminding yourself that even if it´s going to be hard on your cat, having no food for 24 hours, he is strong enough to handle it. Also, your cat will quickly recover from the surgery. Once the process is over, you would look back with a smile knowing that you don´t have to do it all over again and that now, your cat is safer than if he was left intact.
What are your thoughts? How did you handle the challenges of having your cat neutered?