Kittens are some of the cutest animals on the planet. They have tiny little meows, fluffy fur, and perfect faces.
However, as cute as kittens are, it is very important that you get your kitten spayed or neutered when your veterinarian tells you to. Some shelters neuter and spay as early as 8 to 12 weeks, but typically, you want to spay or neuter your pet around the 6-month marker.
There are too many cats and kittens on the streets and in shelters because people do not spay or neuter their animals. Over 1.6 million cats are adopted out of shelters every year, according to the ASPCA, but over 2.7 million cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters.
For those of you who aren’t entirely sure what spaying and neutering are, it is when you get your pet “fixed” – meaning they can no longer reproduce.
A neuter is a more simple procedure performed on male animals. Neuter literally means to castrate. It is where the male’s testicles are removed during surgery.
The procedure can be done very fast. In fact, in some cases with male cats, a neuter can be done in under 2 minutes. Typically though, the surgery takes between 5 to 20 minutes to perform for a trained veterinarian.
A spay is a more complex and invasive procedure performed on female animals. A spay is the removal of the uterus and ovaries. Female cats will have a more pronounced and large scar from this surgery, but it will fade over time and quickly become covered up by her fur when it grows back.
Typically, cats are given the “cone of shame” after they are spayed or neutered. This is to prevent them from licking at their incisions. Cat mouths are very dirty (unlike a dog), so if they lick at their incision they can easily give themselves an infection.
Most cats do not like the “cone of shame,” but they need it… unless you’re able to create this adorable DIY sock onesie. Not only does this help keep a cat or kitten from licking themselves it can also be used to keep them warm!
The popular cat page, Cole and Marmalade, shared this little hack that will help keep your pet comfy after surgery.
According to them, JessiCAT, the cat owner of the adorable Jugg and ZigZag, went to the dollar store and picked up women’s knee-high socks. These might seem big for a little kitten, but since you have to cut the sock, these are ideal. Plus, they stretch out!
Here are Jessi’s instructions for making a DIY sock onesie:
- Lay the sock flat and then flip it so the fold in the sock is facing up!
- Pinch the bottom of the sock (the closed toe part) to cut a hole. By folding, you will only cut once but will have two holes. Make sure to leave ½ inch of space between the toe seam and the hole
- Do not cut the holes bigger than 1 inch, because they will stretch out!
- Then you will cut off the very tip of the sock next to the toe seam
- You will then measure the distance of the kitten/cat’s legs to determine where to cut the second set of holes. Once again, fold the sock (this time around the heel portion) to cut the two holes at once
- Then measure the distance between the animal’s neck and legs and cut off the remainder of the sock, this is to create the next hole
Since they are recovering from surgery, to keep your kitten as clean as possible, you should create a few different sock onesies, to keep the dirt away from their incision.
Reminder, cats who have been spayed or neutered need at least 7 to 10 days to recover from their surgery. This is what you should do to keep them comfortable during that time:
- Provide them with a comfortable space, as they might feel sick to their stomachs post-surgery. Clearing out a bedroom for them and keeping other cats out of their way would be advised
- Keep the lights low for the first few days, as they might be light sensitive after getting anesthesia
- Give them comfortable places to sleep, either by providing them with their cat bed and/or multiple fleece blankets
- They need a litter box with “yesterday’s news” – meaning keep them away from regular cat litter, as it can get in and irritate their incisions.
- Do not let them outside!
- Try to keep them from jumping onto high areas for the first few days
If your kitten seems to be licking obsessively at their incision or seems uncomfortable a few days after surgery, you will want to immediately call your vet to consult with them.
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Source: Cole & Marmalade/JessiCAT