There may be a time when your cat will require a procedure or surgery for his or her continued health. At the time of surgery, your cat will require anesthesia, which will be carefully administered and monitored by our veterinary staff. Knowing the basics about how anesthesia is used in cat surgery and the recovery basics will help to ease your mind while your kitty is under our care.
Cat anesthesia may be deemed necessary when a procedure needs to be performed in which your cat will be immobilized or if the procedure would otherwise cause pain or distress that is beyond what your cat could comfortably tolerate. We want you to feel absolutely comfortable with our hospital, staff, and recommendations. Any time a cat sedative is recommended, we want to reassure you that our veterinary staff is here to answer any questions and provide any assistance that will make the procedure easier for you and your cat.
Because cats have specific needs, it is important to make sure that veterinary anesthesia protocols are followed properly to prepare your cat for surgery. We make it our priority to ensure that your cat is in optimal health before any cat surgery is performed. Therefore, our veterinarian will always recommend some diagnostic testing before the procedure to ensure that we have a complete picture of your cat’s physical health.
Why Would Your Cat Need Anesthesia?
Cat anesthesia is used in association with any type of procedure for which the cat needs to be immobilized or during any type of surgery where the cat would otherwise feel pain. Cat sedatives allow us to keep your cat perfectly still and free of pain during the surgery. During anesthesia, your cat will be in an unconscious state and will not feel any discomfort.
Risks Associated With Giving Cats Anesthesia
There are always risks that come with any surgery, but the risks are very low thanks to the experienced veterinary team here at La Jolla Veterinary Hospital. However, with proper care and supervision, there are virtually no risks of complications due to the use of a cat sedative. Our veterinary staff ensures the risks are minimized by performing careful and consistent monitoring throughout the entire time our feline patients are under cat anesthesia.
What to Expect the Day Your Cat Receives Veterinary Anesthesia
You will receive a specific set of instructions from your veterinarian before your cat receives cat anesthesia or undergoes any surgical procedure. We will discuss with you any risks of veterinary anesthesia. Here are some things to keep in mind as you arrive with your cat for the surgery:
- Fasting is recommended the night before any cat sedatives are administered
- Follow any specific directions given to you by your veterinarian
- Depending on the type of procedure and your cat’s condition, our veterinarian may recommend additional prescription pain medications while your cat recovers
- Ask any questions you may have and our veterinary staff will provide answers and help to ease your mind before or after the cat surgery is performed
Monitoring Anesthetized Cats
The veterinary surgical team will monitor your cat very carefully during and after the cat surgery is performed and throughout the time that they are under the influence of a cat sedative. After your cat comes out of surgery, our veterinary staff will:
- Monitor your cat’s heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and carbon dioxide output levels
- Keep an IV catheter in place to provide fluid support should there be any fluctuations in blood pressure
- Make sure your cat is breathing well and resting comfortably
*The risks of cat anesthesia are very low with proper monitoring.
Our veterinary team will continue to monitor your cat’s vital signs, heart rate, and blood pressure as he or she comes out of surgery, awakens from any cat sedatives used, and until he or she is ready to return home. Your cat may feel sedated for a period of time after coming home with you.
Our staff will talk to you about your cat’s pain management plan. Your cat may need pain medication for several days and you will receive specific instructions before your cat is released.
Some cats may not regain their appetite until the next day. Always follow all instructions given to you by your veterinary team to aid in your cat’s full recovery.
We know putting your cat under anesthesia can be a bit anxiety-provoking, but we are happy to answer any questions you have about ensuring the safety of your precious cat.