Your cat will probably have at least one anesthetic procedure during the course of his life. This might be during kittenhood, as part of a spaying, neutering or declawing operation. Or it might occur later in life when he undergoes a teeth cleaning procedure. Anesthesia is designed to relax your cat and provide pain relief and a state of total unconsciousness so that surgical procedures are possible.
At City Kitty, we recommend that all cats have blood testing done before any operations. This will allow us to make sure that there are no obvious reasons not to go forward with the surgery or anesthesia. Anesthesia is provided by a carefully-calculated dose of medications given to your cat prior to the actual anesthetic itself. During anesthesia, your cat will have a breathing tube placed that allows the doctors to maintain proper anesthetic gas and oxygen flow. His vital signs are monitored during the entire procedure through the use of sophisticated equipment that an anesthetic technician oversees, making adjustments as needed.
Your cat needs to have an empty stomach prior to being anesthetized, so it is important that food is withheld after midnight the day before the procedure is scheduled.
There are specific aftercare instructions that we will review with you that correlate with the surgical or dental procedure that your cat has received. He might need to eat special foods for a period of time, or use a different, dust-free litter. He might have stitches that need to be removed, or even wear a special cone that will prevent him from licking at those stitches.
Frequent surgical and anesthetic procedures:
SPAYING and NEUTERING
All kittens should be spayed, which is the removal of the female reproductive tract, or neutered, which is a similar procedure for males. This surgery will help prevent common behavior and physical problems which can result from testosterone or estrogen surges. Spaying cats at a young age has also been found to dramatically reduce the incidence of breast cancers as those cats become older. Neutering male cats can also effectively eliminate urine spraying, which is a particularly nasty side effect of male sex hormones. We recommend that these surgeries be done between four and five months of age. Your Kitten's 1st Year
Most cats need to have their teeth cleaned after they reach age 3-4 years. Your cat will be anesthetized and each of his teeth will be cleaned and examined for problems such as cavities. If any teeth are diseased to the extent that they cannot be repaired, they will be removed. Many cats have significant problems with their teeth—we think there is some inherited tendency toward mouth disease and the exposure to some common viral infections during kittenhood can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. It is not unusual to see relatively young cats who have lost most of their teeth; invariably they are more comfortable with a clean and healthy mouth, and lose no ability to eat normally.
At City Kitty, we recommend that only cats who stay strictly indoors be declawed, since a major source of defense against dogs and other cats is claws. Not every indoor cat needs to be declawed to be an acceptable pet, though, and scratching posts can be useful to encourage healthy marking behavior. If your cat is determined to make the leather sofa his scratching post, and all your efforts to persuade him otherwise fail, the surgery is a safe option. We do this procedure on cats older than 12 weeks of age. They need to stay overnight at the clinic with bandages on their feet and will go home the following day with medications designed to control any post-surgical discomfort.