What Should a Healing Cat Spay Incision Look Like?

Your cat recently came home after having surgery. It is now up to you to make sure the incision heals properly. But how can you tell if the redness and swelling are part of a normal healing process or signs of trouble?

Signs of trouble include excessive drainage, such as dripping when your cat is standing, bleeding from the wound, or missing sutures. This is usually caused by an overactive immune system in response to excess movement and activity by the cat.

When should I be concerned about my cat spay incision?

If an incision appears to be gaping open and/or tissue is protruding through it, call your vet. You also need to monitor your cat’s general demeanor. If he or she is groggy or has a poor appetite immediately after returning home, it is probably nothing to worry about.

What does a healing spay incision look like?

A recent spay incision should be a clean, straight wound and the edges should be sealed with glue, stitches or staples. The skin will be slightly swollen and a slight reddish-pink color around the edges. As the incision heals, you will want to check the area for redness, swelling or discharge.

Is it normal for a cat spay incision to scab?

There may be some scabbing at the site. Some incisions will be closed with visible external sutures or staples while others are closed internally using sutures just under the skin. External sutures and skin staples require removal by veterinary teams, often 10 to 14 days after the surgery date.

What should I watch after my cat is spayed?

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, here’s what a healing cat spay incision should look: The edges of the incision should be touching each other, and the skin should be its usual color or “slightly reddish-pink.” It may be redder the first few days after the procedure.

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A healing cat spay incision should look like it is completely closed, with no open flesh exposed. There should also be no inflammation or bumps around the incision. If you notice your cat is scratching at the spay incision, there is a good chance it is infected. Here are some pictures of what you cat spay incision should look like:

It is important that your cat takes it easy for a couple days following surgery. If your cats spay incision looks like one of these two photos, you should contact your vet immediately.

If you suspect that your cats spay incision is not healing correctly, I would recommend Skin and Wound Gel . A great cream for a healing cat spay incision is the Skin and Wound gel.

You have picked up your cat on the same day as surgery. For the next 24-48 hours your cat may experience: lethargy (sleepiness), appetite loss, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, meowing, or minor personality changes (aggressiveness, sensitivity, crankiness). If these symptoms last more than 24-48 hours after surgery please call our clinic and leave a message.

If there are any questions or concerns related to the surgery, please call our clinic at 860-620-0325 and leave a message or email info@hopect.org . New HOPE Clinic cannot be held responsible for complications resulting from a clients failure to follow these instructions or for contagious diseases for which your cat was not previously vaccinated.

The Healing Process

Any breakdown of the skin, including wounds, lacerations, and incisions, stimulates the body’s immune system. From the moment the skin is affected, the body attempts to close the wound and heal the break in the skin. This immune response results in the mobilization of white blood cells, inflammatory cells, and protein to the site of injury. Initially, the skin swells and reddens and may even show signs of bruising. Over time, the repair cells and proteins diminish and a scar is formed. In a normal, healthy cat, properly healing, non-infected incisions typically heal within 10 – 14 days and a permanent scar forms within about 14 – 21 days.During the healing phase, it is imperative that you do not allow your cat to lick or chew at the incision. Tongues and mouths are full of bacteria and will only result in slowing healing and may even cause an infection.Infections, excess inflammation, an overwhelming immune system response to the incision, or a poorly functioning immune system can all result in poor healing or incision breakdown. Knowing how to detect a problem early is crucial in helping your cat heal.

How the Incision Heals After Surgery

Within the first few days following surgery, the edges of the incision will normally swell and become red. The wound may look bruised and may have minor blood-tinged fluid seepage. The edges of the wound will not be healed together and a slight gap between the edges is acceptable and to be expected. Signs of trouble include excessive drainage, such as dripping when your cat is standing, bleeding from the wound, or missing sutures. A wide gap, usually over ¼ inch, can indicate trouble. Any tissue that is protruding is a sign to contact your veterinarian right away.After the first few days, the redness and bruising associated with an incision will diminish. Scabs may form over the incision site and around the sutures (stitches), but the incision should not be painful to the touch. Active cats may develop a large, firm swelling around the incision. This is usually caused by an overactive immune system in response to excess movement and activity by the cat. These firm swellings are not painful. If you notice excess redness, bleeding, pain when the incision is touched, sutures missing, wide gaps in the incision, or any tissue protruding, contact your veterinarian. Any foul odor or discharge should also alert you to contact your veterinarian. Infection is one of the most common complications associated with incisions. Early detection and treatment will usually solve the problem before it worsens.

Cat Spay Healing Photos

Here are some pictures of spay incision healing pictures. The key to a healing cat spay is that there shouldn’t be any swelling or inflammation in or around the incision.

Pictures of normal spay incisions

The first two are pictures of a normal spay incision for a cat. Both incisions are closed up and there is no inflammation or bumps around the wound.

Healing Cat Spay Infection

If your cat’s spay scar looks like one of these pictures below, you should consult your vet immediately. Signs of an infected scar include bumps on or below the skin, or a reopening of the scar.In the first picture, you can notice a large swelling underneath the incision. In the second picture, the incision is beginning to open up. There could be many reasons for this, but one of the main causes is too much activity after surgery. It is important that your cat takes it easy for a couple days following surgery. If your cats spay incision looks like one of these two photos, you should contact your vet immediately.If you want to save money at the next pet visit, you should consider getting pet insurance for your cat. You can get a free quote below.

Cat Spay Incision Cream

If you suspect that your cat’s spay incision is not healing correctly, I would recommend Skin and Wound Gel.A great cream for a healing cat spay incision is the Skin and Wound gel. It is very effective because it hydrates the surface of your cat’s skin where it received the stiches. This promotes growth of skin tissue around the wound, which helps prevent infection and soothes the wound so your cat won’t scratch at it. It also is non burn and non sting. You can buy it here on Chewy.We recommend everyone get this Skin and Wound Gel or any other cream before the incision surgery, so that if there is any complication you can quickly put it on the wound. You can also use it whenever your cat gets a scratch.