Feral Cat Care & After Surgery Instructions

To ensure the cat(s)’ safety and quick recovery time, please read these instructions carefully.

It is essential to properly care for the cats so they don’t harm themselves or you.

It is very important that the cats be kept indoors overnight (in their traps or carriers) at a tempera-
ture of 70° or warmer (80° is ideal) as they cannot regulate their body temperatures after surgery.

Step 1: Prepare the holding space

Lay a tarp on the ground or table with a piece of cardboard on top to absorb any urine, water, or food spills. Cover each trap with a sheet—if cats are friendly towards each other, you can cover them as a group so they can see each other. Holding room should be dry and warm (at least 70°) away from people or other animals. A bathroom or basement or (heated) garage will do. The cats need to be kept very warm after surgery.

Step 2: Caring for the cats in traps

Use a trap divider to secure the cat on one end of the trap (we can loan you trap dividers, contact us at 574-300- 3353 or info@themeowmission.org). Open the door and give the cat one can of food and water. Secure door. Then use the divider to push the cat to the end with the food & water. Open the door and put a folded towel and/or puppy pad down for the cat to rest on. Cover the trap. They should be fed at least one can of food after surgery and again the following morning. You may want to line the traps with newspaper.

If the cat is vomiting, bleeding, having difficulty breathing, or not waking up, get veterinary assistance immediately. Ask the clinic before surgery how to reach them, or if after hours, an emergency clinic if there are any complication. If a cat is vomiting while still unconscious, her head should be turned to avoid choking.

Step 3: Holding time

Keep the cats overnight and release the next afternoon. You should return nursing mothers as soon as possible, once they completely regain consciousness so they can get back to their kittens. Make sure all cats are fully conscious, clear-eyed and alert before releasing. Do not hold cats longer than necessary in order to  reduce their stress level.

Step 4: Releasing

Release the cat in the same place you trapped her. Make sure trap is facing away from the street. It is not uncommon for a cat to “disappear” for a few days after she is returned. Resume the feeding schedule and continue to provide food and water—she may eat when you are not around.

Animal Emergency Clinic (24-hr), 2324 Grape Rd., Mishawaka, IN 46545, (574) 259-8387

Thank you for caring for your feral cats!