Cat Parvo Treatment at Home (How My Cats Survived Parvo)

The parvovirus test kit showing positive is a dreadful result. The vet says there’s no cure. Antibiotics can only treat secondary infections.

I know this is a tough one. In the past, I was unaware of how important vaccinations were. My two (out of 4) cats became infected. One after the other.

Thankfully, both my parvo cats survived. All 4 cats in my home are now vaccinated.

This article compiles vet recommendations and my personal experience in helping my cats recover from parvovirus.

What we’ll cover are:

A few notes before we begin:

  • Cat parvo shows similar symptoms to other diseases (e.g. vomiting, poor appetite).

    Do not use this article’s recommendations to treat what you assume is parvo because of Googled info.

    The only way to diagnose parvo is via a test kit. Vets will use a Q-tip to take a sample of stool from your cat’s anus to confirm the presence of parvovirus.
  • This article assumes you have antibiotics on hand, as prescribed by your vet after the parvo diagnosis.

    Any complementary treatment methods suggested here are not substitutes for an actual vet visit.

Key Question: What is the survival rate of parvo in cats?

Answer from my vet: “Recovery is mostly a 50-50 chance. It all comes to the cat’s immune system. What we can do is give antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections, and ensure that the cat stays hydrated.

Owners can give glucose water to maintain the cat’s blood sugar levels. In severe cases where the cat can’t eat or drink, we’ll put them on IV fluids.”

Overall, it’s not a happy probability. But there’s still that 50% chance of recovery – and we’re going to take it.

Treating Cats with Parvo: Your Two Priorities

It’s human to be a worried mess when your cat is ill. To stay calm and level-headed, set 2 goals clearly in mind:

Goal #1: You’re here to help your cat get the nutrients and energy he/she needs.

While fighting parvo, your cat’s body still needs “supplies” to maintain blood sugar levels and perform basic vital functions. Your focus is to help them get this intake (food/glucose water), and boost their immune system in the process.

Goal #2: You’re here to make your cat feel as comfortable as possible, to the best of your abilities.

Parvo symptoms vary in severity, but if your cat can rest and sleep for a while, it will be a comfort despite such circumstances.

For example, think about the time you got terrible food poisoning … If someone can help you stop the vomiting urge and loosen your stiff muscles, you’d still feel terrible – but you can at least sit down, close your eyes and let your exhausted body rest and heal for a moment.

Parvovirus: Home Treatment Summary

Let’s first run through what home treatment involves so you have the overall idea:

1. Vet-prescribed medicine

After diagnosis, your vet will prescribe meds like antibiotics, etc. Most of these come in tablet form.

Here are 5 ways on how to give your cat the pill (all tried and tested on my cats).

2. Food to encourage appetite

Have your cat’s usual variety of kibble and canned wet food on hand.

You can also purchase some fresh chicken or fish meat and water sauté them. For cats, nothing beats the smell of freshly cooked meat!

3. Fresh water to encourage drinking

Water helps your cat stay hydrated after the vomiting and drooling.

Whenever possible, change your cat’s water to a completely fresh bowl after you noticed them drinking from it.

This fresh-of-the-freshest kind of water encourages them to drink more.

As tedious and silly as this sounds, it’s still far easier than syringe feeding when your cat doesn’t want to drink water on his/her own.

4. Ensure your cat’s environment is warm, dry and clean.

If there’s been vomiting or lots of drooling in the cage, remember to change your cat’s rug, cushion or bedding to fresh ones.

Also, when cats are very sick, they tend to hide in cold, dark or humid corners. It’s a survival instinct: hide when you’re weak, so you’re not targeted by predators.

Do not leave them be. Carry them out even if they protest a little. They’ll only feel even worse if they’re left there for hours.

5. Glucose water

More details will be provided in Case Study B.

6. Tellington TTouch bodywork

More details will be provided in Case Study B.

Cat Parvo Treatment at Home

Case Study A: Gabe (Less Severe Parvo Case)

Gabe’s profile

large orange male tabby cat parvo treatment at home survivor
Gabe
  • Male, 4 years old
  • Medium-sized cat. Weight: 5.6kg
  • An old hind paw injury left him with a constant limp. A physical disability. Otherwise, no prior health issues.

Parvo symptoms shown

  • Poor appetite. Rejected kibble and wet food but shows interest in fresh homecooked meat.
  • Diarrhea and vomit – only once. This happened a day before his parvo test confirmation
  • Drooling from both corners of the mouth, but no foam.
  • Tired. Resting most of the time but not sleeping.

Treatment given

  • Fed antibiotic tablets as prescribed using Pilling Method 1.
  • To encourage eating, we offered steamed fish and water sauté chicken. (A quick water sauté helps retain the sweetness of the meat, making it more enticing for cats.)
  • All food is given in small, frequent meals – every 3 hours or so, depending on his appetite. We were careful not to overfeed him. If he ate too much and ended up throwing up, the effort into food preparation would be in vain.

Record of Gabe’s recovery progress

           TreatmentBehavior
Day 1 (came back from vet visit)Fed medicine, freshly steamed fish and boiled chicken.

All food is given in small meals.
Only had appetite for ¼ of his normal amount. Willing to eat food when offered from palm, but not bowl.

Tired most of the time.
Day 2Same as Day 1.Same as Day 1.
Day 3Fed medicine, freshly cooked meat and reintroduced wet food.Shows significant interest in food.

Still some drooling. But overall behavior suddenly returned to normal.
Day 4Continued medicine.

Food given goes back to normal kibble and wet food.
Active and happy. Still some mild drooling every few hours.
Day 5 and onwardsComplete prescribed medication. Usual food is given.Behavior is all normal. Drooling fully stopped on Day 7.

The positive (but oddly sudden) change in behavior on Day 3 is described as the cat “breaking through” the virus. There’s a high chance of recovery from here on out.

A week after full recovery, Gabe was sent for his first vaccination appointment.

Case Study B: Quacky (Severe Parvo Case)

Quacky’s profile

black white male tabby cat parvo treatment at home survivor
Quacky
  • Male, 2 years old
  • Small-sized cat. Weight: 3.2kg
  • Has breathing issues since a kitten but can go about daily life without problems. The vet suspects it’s a physical problem related to his diaphragm.

Parvo symptoms shown

  • Vomiting at least once every hour during the night. This was a day before his parvo confirmation.
  • Drooling and foaming at his mouth, non-stop. Once it was wiped dry, the drool and foam were immediately produced again.
  • Zero appetite. All food smells, even just nearby, triggers his urge to vomit.
  • Tired and weak. He couldn’t lie down because he threw up every hour. Also unable to rest due to constant drooling and foaming.

Treatment given

Due to the severity of his case, Quacky’s treatment is much more complex. Each method is given its own sub-section, as follows:

1. Feeding pills

I gave the pills to Quacky using Method 5. I used a slip tip syringe.

luer lock tip and slip tip syringe differences

We tried using Method 1, like we did with Gabe. But Quacky bites our fingers and forces himself to throw up to cough the pill out from his throat.

The vet recommended crushing the pills and mixing it into food to syringe feed. However, this couldn’t work either. Whenever food neared Quacky’s nose, he starts gagging, drooling and foaming.

Attempting to force feed just led to a salivary mess on his chin, our clothes, hair, table and floor.

Method 5 isn’t ideal. I’ll be honest: he still spits out half of it in the process because of the taste.

But with water, it was an improvement from all the other ways. There was no gagging and foaming, just normal spitting. In that desperate situation, it was better than nothing.

2. Tellington TTouch bodywork

The Tellington TTouch is a gentle massage mainly comprising of small, circular movements. It’s an excellent way to help ill or special needs animals relax.

The bodywork stimulates acupressure points linked to the stomach intestines, respiration and other areas vital to recovery.

So, my initial intention was to help Quacky relax. What I didn’t expect was for the TTouch to stop his drooling and foaming.

At first, Quacky didn’t want anyone to touch him. But I gently persisted with the massage. I concentrated on applying TTouches on his ears, which is said to help with respiration and digestion. Within 10 to 15 minutes, the drooling and foaming slowly stopped – completely.

He lied down and closed his eyes. I also applied TTouches on his shoulders, front legs and mouth as he gradually relaxed. I continued for another 5 minutes before leaving the area for him to rest. After more than 12 hours of throwing up and drooling, he was finally able to get some sleep.

You can get the full TTouch instructions on House Rabbit Society’s website. (If the link isn’t working, email me and I’ll send you a PDF copy.)

The HRS article is the one I always come back to for the past 6 years. Yes, it’s a rabbit site, but the method is essentially the same across many furry species.

This is a video of the motions I use for Quacky’s ears (note: minus the chest/neck support, because Quacky was uncomfortable with physical contact when he was ill.)

After the TTouch, Quacky’s fur remained dry – no foaming – until 3 hours later.

I applied the TTouch again, for 15 minutes. The drooling and foaming stopped. Again.

This happened two more times. Same positive results.

With these observations, I developed a routine: I provided 5-minute TTouches every 1 to 1½ hours, before any gagging, drooling or foaming even started.

For several nights, I got a mattress out and slept next to his cage. I set an alarm and woke up every 1 to 2 hours to apply the TTouches.

It was certainly exhausting. But if he gagged and foamed non-stop, I had to wake up to dry his fur anyway. Might as well wake up on time, ensure he was comfortable and calm, and go back to sleep knowing he’s resting calmly until the next session.

3. Glucose water

This is a vet recommendation. Glucose water helps maintain your cat’s blood sugar levels, hydrate them and provide a source of energy.

glucolin glucose powder from pharmacy
The glucose I bought for Quacky

This is extremely helpful and important for cats who have zero appetite and stopped eating. You can purchase glucose powder from human pharmacies.

A sick cat probably isn’t a fan of anything orange or grape-flavored, so I chose the “original” flavor one for Quacky. It tastes like very bland sugar.

Glucose/water ratio for cats: Mix 1 flat teaspoon of glucose in 1 cup of water.

How much glucose water to feed: Since Quacky was drinking plain water on his own, I gave two 3ml syringes of glucose water, 3 to 4 times a day. You can ask your vet to confirm how much your cat needs.

Those syringes of glucose solution were a lifesaver for Quacky. Although the TTouches stopped the drooling, he was getting weaker because he couldn’t eat anything.

The glucose water was crucial in giving him energy, and he was able to walk around and stretch himself more.

4. Reintroducing food

For cats with no appetite, the common recommendation is to offer strong, scented food like tuna.

It didn’t work in Quacky’s case. On Day 3, we placed freshly cooked chicken and broth in a far corner of the isolation room. He walked towards the food, bent his head over the bowl and immediately gagged. Like a pregnant lady having smelled something nauseous.

Since heavily scented food didn’t work, I tried offering kibble instead. Kibble was dry and I didn’t have to worry about flies or it suddenly going bad.

natural core bene m70 for cats
Bene M70 (Salmon+Chicken+Duck)

I took the chicken meat away and placed some kibble on a rug. I tried between different flavors – what I had on hand was Natural Core Multi-Protein Organic 95% and Bene M70.

He sniffed them multiple times. No gagging, which was good. It was the evening when he finally started eating the Bene M70 kibble, one at a time.

Record of Quacky’s recovery progress

 TreatmentQuacky’s behavior
Day 1 (came back from vet visit)Fed medicine. Started giving TTouches around 3.30pm.

Increased TTouch frequency to every 1 to 1½ hours night time onwards.
No appetite, but drinks water.

Stopped throwing up after receiving injection at the vet’s, but still endless drooling and foaming. Drooling only stopped after receiving TTouch.
Day 2Daytime & Nighttime TTouch – every 1 to 2 hours.

Bought Glucolin – began syringe feeding glucose water.
Still no appetite. Gags at all food smell.

Does not drool and foam as long as TTouches are applied consistently every hour or so.  

Shows slightly more energy after consuming glucose water.
Day 3Daytime TTouch – every 2 hours.  

Nighttime TTouch – every 4 hours.  

Glucose water – 6ml per session, 3 to 4 times a day.

Offered kibble.
No appetite. Gags at wet food and freshly cooked meat. Does not gag at kibble. Began eating around 4pm.

Total kibble quantity ate: 10 (Yes, 10 kibble. Not 10 grams.)
Day 4Daytime TTouch – every 3 hours.  

Nighttime TTouch – every 4 to 5 hours.

Increased kibble amount.  
Meows at meal hours. Shows clear signs of interest at kibble but easily full after eating. Still rejects wet food.

Total kibble ate: 8g, split into 4 meals.
Day 5Daytime TTouch – every 4 hours.

Nighttime TTouch – once at 1am.  

Increased kibble amount.
Meows at meal hours. Shows appetite but still rejects all wet food.  

Total kibble ate: 12g, split into 4 meals.  

Healthy poop produced before human’s bedtime – finally!
Day 6Daytime TTouch – every 5 hours.

Increased kibble amount.
Total kibble eaten: 15g, split into 4 meals.

Began eating wet food (tuna): 40g.  
Normal poop.
Day 7Daytime TTouch – every 5 hours.  

Increased food amount.
Kibble – 20g.

Wet food (tuna) – 45g. Also ate small portion of freshly steamed fish.  

Normal poop.
Day 7 onwardsDaytime TTouch – every 5 hours.

Slowly increase food back to normal amount.
Condition stable. Shows appetite in all food. Meows loudly and excitedly whenever it’s mealtime.  

Poop – all normal.

When Quacky was first confirmed to have parvo, his prognosis wasn’t good, given that he couldn’t eat anything and threw up at any scent of food.

Through a combination of these treatment methods, he survived and pulled through successfully.

Like Gabe, we arranged for Quacky’s vaccination a week after his full recovery.

How to Prevent Cat Parvo Spreading at Home

Parvovirus is transmitted via direct contact with faeces, or indirectly through contaminated surfaces. It is a highly contagious disease among cats.

To prevent spreading, practice these SOPs in your home when you’re caring for your parvo cat:

1. Isolate your parvo cat completely if you have multiple cats in your home.

2. Ideally, arrange to have another person care for your healthy cats, while you care for the parvo one.

3. Use the same food and water bowl and for the sick cat. The same goes for bedding, blankets, etc. Do not rotate these items among other healthy cats.

4. Get your healthy cats vaccinated as soon as possible, if they aren’t.

Additional to-dos If you’re the sole caretaker:

1. Spritz your hand, arms and legs (exposed parts) with a 1:32 bleach solution before handling your healthy cats. Soap, Dettol, or any other common disinfectant, doesn’t work.

2. Prepare a set of clothing to wear when you handle your parvo cat, and change to another set when you handle the other healthy ones.

3. Wear a pair of slippers when you enter the parvo isolation room. Parvo is transmitted primarily via faeces and well, cats naturally sit on their butts … Your bare feet walking around has the chance of transmitting the virus from the isolation room to elsewhere in your house.

FAQs on Cat Parvovirus

1. Can humans get parvo from cats?

No, feline parvovirus is contagious among cats only. You won’t get infected. You can be in close contact with your cat as usual to take care of him/her.

2. Upon recovery, how long before I can let my cat join the group again?

one orange tabby, two black white tabby cats looking up
Left to right: Gracy, Quacky and Little Sister.

In a multi-cat household, ensure that all your cats have completed their vaccination fully, and that protection has been fully activated, before allowing them to interact with each other again.

3. How to kill parvovirus?

Once your parvo cat moves out from the isolation room, use a 1:32 ratio bleach to water to clean the living area, your cat’s cage, everything that your parvo cat used during that period completely.

4. Bleach smells. Can I use Dettol or any other cleaning agent to kill parvo? Aren’t they powerful disinfectants, too?

clorox bleach solution to kill parvovirus
Clorox, bleach solution

From one cat owner to another … No, it can’t work. This was probably what caused the initial spread in my home. We did not disinfect our hands and the first parvo cat’s living area with bleach.

Do not repeat my mistake. Do not take this virus lightly.

After Quacky was diagnosed with parvo, the vets wouldn’t let any other cats into the consultation room until they disinfected it thoroughly, even though his entire body didn’t even touch the examination table. He was in the pet carrier the whole time. Goes to show how concerning the virus is.

5. Can cats get parvo after recovery?

Unlikely, because they would have developed antibodies. But it’s not a guarantee.

Caring for a parvo cat is a chaotic, stressful process that costs you money, time and suffering for both you and your cat.

Just vaccinate. Vaccination saves all these worries and prevents your cat from facing the same problem again.

Treating Cat Parvo At Home Successfully

If you’ve made it this far, I hope these tips help your cat with his/her fight against parvovirus.

Remember your priorities. Help your cat get a source of energy intake – whether it’s food or glucose water. Also, help them feel as comfortable as possible.

Take a deep breath. Do the best you can.

A 50% recovery. Let’s take that chance. Every effort you put in is a positive factor to turn things around.

I’ve been there and that was what I did. I wish you and your cat the best of luck. Sending healing vibes your cat’s way!


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5 Useful Ways to Give Your Cat A Pill (Even Difficult Cats)

Perhaps your cat had just been spayed, or just came home from the vet visit after feeling under the weather.

Now, you have a pill on your hand, which your cat needs to eat.

For each of my 4 cats (and their various levels of resistance), I’ve had to use different methods to pill them successfully.

Let’s look at the 5 tried and tested ways to give a cat a pill!

Note: All videos in this article are embedded at a specific timestamp, so you can skip all intros and see how the cat is actually handled straight away.

Method 1: Open cat’s mouth, place inside (The vet way.)

This is the most direct method that ensures your cat eats the pill completely. It’s also commonly used by vets.

pill popper to give cat a pill
Pill popper

Vets often manage to give the cat the pill within the blink of an eye. No assistance is needed. But if you’re still inexperienced, the process will be easier with two people.

One secures the cat, the other opens the mouth to place the pill.

If your cat tends to bite your fingers, you can also use a pill popper (or pill gun) instead.

Pill poppers are often sold at vet clinics and pet supplies retailers.

how to give a difficult cat a pill
Gabe, the pill hider. Only the pill popper and extra treats can guarantee that he swallows the tablet.

Lastly, to ensure that your cat isn’t secretly hiding the pill in their mouths, you can quickly give them some treats right after so they’ll be sure to eat and swallow everything.

Opening a cat’s mouth and placing the pill inside.
Situate yourself behind your cat to prevent escape.
The pill popper shown here has a soft silicone tip. But mine (pictured above video) doesn’t come with the tip – careful not to prod too far into your cat’s mouth with those.

Method 2: Hide pill in some meat or treats (For greedy eaters!)

If your cat is an enthusiastic eater, you can do away with Method 1 and simply adopt the peaceful process of giving your cat his/her favorite food.

This method works for tiny-sized pills.

Simply wrap the pill in a small piece of cooked chicken meat, or a bite-sized soft treat.

Your cat will be none the wiser and everyone’s happy. 🙂

Method 3: Crush pill, mix with wet food in cat’s bowl (Again, for the greedy ones.)

Some pills are too large to hide in a treat, so an alternative is crushing and mixing it into wet food.

black white tabby cat resting on grey blanket
Little Sister does not differentiate between tuna and crushed pills as long as the food is delicious enough.

You can use a wooden dough roller, or any other solid object.

Ensure that the object is dry to prevent the powdered pill from adhering to it, which causes wastage.

Then, simply hide the powder on a small section of your cat’s wet food!

Method 4: Crush pill, mix with paste-like food to syringe feed.

If your cat is ill and has a poor appetite, you probably need to syringe feeding food – might as well include the medicine in one of the syringes (no needles, of course.)

  1. Crush the pill into powder with a dry, solid object.
  2. Mix it with just a ½ teaspoon of paste food.
  3. You can draw the mixture up with the syringe. OR separate the plunger and the barrel completely, then scoop the food carefully into it. I use a 3ml syringe.
how to place food and pill into syringe to feed sick pet

I recommend preparing 2 syringes: 1 for solely food feeding, 1 for this food-pill mixture. This way, you can be sure that your cat has eaten most of the pill.

How to syringe feed your cat.

Method 5: Crush pill, mix with water to syringe feed.

black white tabby cat in pirate scratcher parvo survivor
Example of an extremely difficult cat: Quacky. The water method was the only way that worked when he had parvo.

Often, very sick cats have zero appetite. For example, cats with parvo may even gag and spit if we get food into their mouths.

If all methods above are not working for you, replace the food with water to syringe feed.

It’s not the most ideal, given the pill likely tastes awful. But at the very least, it minimizes the mess should your cat start gagging and spitting out anything.

  1. Crush the pill into powder with a dry, solid object.
  2. Mix the powder with 1 to 2ml of water. Using as little water as possible allows you to feed your cat with just 1 syringe, instead of multiple syringes where your unwilling cat might end up resisting more and more.
  3. Draw the mixture up with the syringe.

Again, remember to go slow when syringe feeding. Aim at the side corner of your cat’s mouth.

How to syringe feed liquids.

Which Type of Syringe to Use for Cats?

The usual syringe sizes I use for my cats are 3ml and 1ml. Two common tip types are the Luer lock and slip tip.

3ml vs. 1 ml – Which size is better?

syringe sizes to pill a cat
3ml syringe (top) and 1ml syringe (bottom)

To syringe feed food, the 3ml one is more feasible. It’s difficult to draw or place food into the 1ml syringe.

For liquids, both 3ml and 1ml works fine. However, if you’re worried about accidentally pumping too much into your cat’s mouth at once, you can start with the 1ml syringe until you’re comfortable with the hang of it.

Luer lock vs. Slip tip – Which type is better?

syringe types to pill a cat luer lock and slip tip

If you’re presented with both types, I’d recommend the slip tip over the Luer lock one.

My cat, Quacky, resists by shutting his mouth tightly and even pursing his lips to make sure it was 100% syringe-proof.

Combine this cunning move with his fluffy white fur, it was very difficult for me to locate and insert the bulky Luer lock tip into the corner of his mouth properly.

Once I bought a slip tip syringe, I’m able to get the job done faster. Convenient for both cat and human.

Where to buy syringes for cats?

The 3ml syringes can be bought from pharmacies. But so far, I only found 1ml syringes from vet places, or pet supplies retailers that provide vet services.

Best Ways to Give Your Cat A Pill

Besides the 5 methods described above, one extra piece of advice is to carefully observe how your vet handles your cat.

Look at how your vet overcomes your cat’s typical resistance style. Replicate those movements when you get home.

Still, no one becomes a trained professional overnight. Getting your cat to take the pill is always a challenging task.

Remember to be patient with not only your cat but yourself as well. You’ll get better at handling your cat and giving them the pill with each successive session.

Take a deep breath. Steady yourself to tackle that little furball. You can do it!

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Cat Spay Recovery Guide (with Incision Healing Photo Timeline)

First time having your female cat spayed? Worrying about the recovery process ahead?

Fretting over our cat’s health is all part of being a committed cat parent. I was an anxious wreck with my first female cat, too.

To help you provide the best recovery care for your cat, this article covers:

  • Aftercare instructions for a cat spay.
  • What a healing spay incision looks like, day by day.
  • DIY and store-bought alternatives, if the plastic pet cone doesn’t work for your cat.

Let’s get started!

Aftercare Guide for Cat Spay Recovery

You’ve made a vet appointment and sent your cat for her spay. What are some housing changes to be made?

What to prepare:

1. An isolation area

If you have multiple cats, it’s best to separate the spayed cat from the group during her recovery.

Spaying is, after all, an invasive surgery. Your cat’s immune system will be weakened and she may be more susceptible to diseases. Isolating her in another room is most ideal.

2. Pellet cat litter

Pellet-type cat litter is safest for post-op cats. Other types like sand litter may stick to (and contaminate) the incision site, affecting the healing process.

Paper cat litter brand: Green Kat
Green Kat’s paper litter is my long-time fav. Safe for cats with respiratory issues as well.

After the surgery, your vet calls and it’s time to pick up your cat! What should you give your cat when she arrives home?

What to do:

1. Lots of cage rest

Settle your cat in her cage. There’s no need to let her walk around and explore because actions like running and jumping risk opening up the incision.

As long as there is ample room in the cage for your cat to do her feline stretches and use her litter box, it’s perfectly fine.

Your spayed cat should have cage rest for 7 days.

2. Provide food in small, frequent meals

An hour after your cat comes home, you can give ¼ of your cat’s normal food portion. I usually wait another 1 to 2 hours before giving them another ¼.

Provide small, frequent meals over the next 7 days. Avoid changing your cat’s food abruptly during this period.

  • Tip #1: If your cat has a sensitive stomach (like mine does), I’d recommend that you cut their daily food intake by 25% for the first 3 days before going back to the normal amount.
  • Tip #2: I find that homecooked chicken broth helps boosts my cats’ energy. I simply boil some deboned chicken in water, then tear them into bite-sized pieces for cats. A bland recipe for humans, but cats love freshly cooked food!

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3. Pain medication

Your vet will likely give you either liquid or tablet painkillers, so remember to feed this accordingly.

4. Keep the cat cone on

Your vet will put on a cone (or e-collar) to prevent your cat from licking and chewing the sutures at the incision site. Instead of just clasping the cone around the neck, they may also use ribbons to secure it around your cat’s shoulder, backpack-style.

Same as cage rest, keep the cone on your cat for a week.

If your cat slips out of the pet cone, or is in distress from wearing it, the later section also covers store-bought alternatives and DIY recovery suits.

What to observe:

1. Appetite

Your cat may have decreased appetite right after her surgery. Instead of kibble, you can try offering canned food or freshly boiled chicken meat to encourage her to eat.

However, if your cat still refuses to eat the next day, you should call your vet for further instructions.

Personally, my cats wolfed down all their food portions happily. In such cases, the most important thing is to never give more than you should. Remember: small, frequent meals. Reduce the daily amount during the first few days, if needed.

2. Litter box use

The old saying, “What goes in, must come out”. Nothing indicates a well-functioning cat like normal urine and stools.

Your cat’s poop schedule may take some time to return to normal though. For example, all 3 cats of mine only pooped 3 days after their surgery.

3. Behavior

In the first 12 hours, your cat will likely be woozy, slow and quiet due to anesthetic effects. Her pupils may also be in a slightly dilated state. (The expression is a little like Sokka after drinking cactus juice in that one Avatar episode.)

Your cat should slowly go back to her normal, cheeky self over the next few days.

Cat Spay Incision Healing Process (7 Days, Photo Timeline)

Here is a day-by-day timeline, showing Gracy’s incision healing.

Day 1 to Day 3 – Freshly stitched, the incision looks like a wrinkly line. Some redness. The skin looks soft and fragile.

Day 4 to Day 5 – The skin regains a little firmness as it recovers. The incision is much less wrinkly and fragile-looking. Redness slowly darkens as scabs start to form.

Day 6 – Some scabs start to fall off, leaving smooth, new skin.

Day 7 – Any remaining redness is dry and scab-like. Also, a lump … has formed.

Note: We joke that Gracy has Wolverine genes. She heals much faster than my first spayed female, Little Sister. For instance, Gracy’s Day 3 incision appearance was Little Sister’s Day 5.

Therefore, use the photos above as a reference only. It’s okay if your cat heals a little slower – what’s most important is progress. As long as there is no redness or inflamed swelling, your cat’s body will do its thing.

Now … the lump.

Why A Lump Forms After Your Cat’s Spay?

lump at incision after cat spay
Little Sister’s lump started on Day 5.

In most cases, the lump forming after a cat spay is a harmless event. Before panicking (and jumping right into PetMd’s doomsday prediction), make a quick call to your vet for direct confirmation.

Here’s the answer from my vet. In layman’s terms, she explains: It’s simply the reaction of your cat’s body after those layers of skin (tissue and fat) were stitched together. As long as your cat shows:

  • No incision redness
  • No signs of pain
  • Healthy appetite
  • Normal urine and poop

The lump will flatten and disappear after 1 to 2 weeks. In the meantime, ensure that your cat continues to get lots of rest. The lump takes longer to go away if your cat jumps and zooms around the house.

Since the initial 7-day period has passed, what I did was restrict my cat to one room, where there were no cat trees, sofas or anything tall for her to leap from one point to the next. I also removed toys for the time being, so she can only lounge and walk around.

Including the lump recovery period, it takes at least 14 days for a cat to completely heal after being spayed.

Alternatives to Cat Cones

Ah yes, the infamous cone of shame.

After we got back home, Little Sister wriggled her way out of it within 10 minutes. It was the same with Gracy. Well, cats are flexible creatures.

We tried putting it back, but they were very stressed out about it. They also had difficulty drinking and eating food, even if it was on our palms.

Honestly, I have no idea how anyone keeps the plastic cone on their cat for 7 – whole – days.

Time for alternatives.

#1: Soft cone (Buy from pet stores)

cat soft cone after spay surgery
Soft cone. Your cat will probably feel disgusted by the designs but it’s for her safety.

The soft cone feels plush-like. It’s big enough to stop your cat from licking the incision, but small and flexible enough to be pressed against bowls so she can reach her food easier.

However, if your local pet shop doesn’t sell that and you need an immediate solution within the next hour*, here’s a DIY cat onesie tutorial.

*Me. I was in this situation.

#2: DIY Cat Post-Op Onesie (Tutorial)

diy cat onesie tutorial for cat spay recovery

What you need:

  • Old T-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Needle and thread

Slip your cat into the onesie. Use the T-shirt yarn to tie ribbon knots around her back. There you go!

diy cat recovery onesie
diy cat post op recovery onesie
Little Sister agrees with this onesie.

These are the overall measurements I use for Little Sister’s onesie:

how to diy cat recovery suit measurements

Caring for Your Cat After Spaying

To sum up, the 3 keys to smooth recovery are small meals, lots of rest and making sure your cat’s incision isn’t disturbed while it heals.

As we end this article, let’s address some common concerns after a cat spay.

1. Will my cat’s personality change after spaying?

Some say that cats become more affectionate or calmer after being spayed. Personally, my cats’ personality never changed at all. Their individual quirks are 100% the same.

The only difference is that they lose their “on heat” behaviors. They don’t meow loudly as though they’re using a megaphone. Or roll around the floor, low-crawling with their tails to the side *ahem*.

So don’t worry, your cat will be the same feline you know even after her spay.

2. How long does it take for my cat’s fur to grow back?

Gracy’s white tummy tuft regrows perfectly after her spay.

After spaying, a thin layer of fur will start to grow within 1 to 2 weeks. To achieve full fluff, it takes around 6 weeks.

If your cat has a special marking on her abdomen area, don’t worry – it’ll grow back at the exact same spot, too!

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Best Cat Litter for Cats with Respiratory Problems (Chronic Cases, Asthma, Allergies)

Searching for the best cat litter is one of the biggest challenges for cat parents. You’re probably here because your cat has chronic respiratory issues. It could be asthma, a persistent allergy, or other chronic conditions that remain even after disease recovery.

Don’t worry, you’re not an over-thinking Cat Momma or Papa. It’s great that you’re looking into safe cat litter for your special needs cat!

For cats with respiratory problems, you’ll need the safest, dust-free cat litter you can find. That’s what this blog post is all about: the best types of cat litter for cats with sensitive respiratory systems.

Best Cat Litter for Cats with Chronic Respiratory Issues

How do I choose a suitable cat litter?

From top to bottom, the pet shop’s aisle is packed with bags of cat litter from different brands, made of different materials, different textures …

Where should you start? For cats and kittens with respiratory issues, you should choose cat litter that is:

  • Unscented. Don’t be swayed by fancy marketing like “Natural Lavender Scent” or get tempted by deodorizing beads and pods.
  • In pellet form, rather than sand or fine granules. Pellet cat litter has fewer smaller particles and dust.
  • Made of gentle, natural materials. Nopity nope to traditional clay and silica crystal litter.

Best Cat Litter Recommendations (Only the safest, I promise.)

Personal Pick: Green Kat Cat Litter (6L/14L/24L)

best cat litter safe paper cat litter green kat
Green Kat Cat Litter
  • Made from recycled newspaper.
  • Non-toxic even if ingested by cats.
  • Relatively dust free. 99% is actual litter. Only the bottom 1% has some flaky bits and paper dust.
  • Smells like newspaper. Does not irritate your cat when he/she sniffs the litter.

The one disadvantage of Green Kat: it doesn’t clump. To make the bag last, you need to manually separate the soiled litter from clean ones.

Remove the litter once a day, so your cat’s whisk-like paws won’t end up mixing the used and unused bits thoroughly together.

A Green Kat 24L bag lasts around 3 weeks for my 3 cats. We get the cheapest deal from Perromart.

My special needs cat, Quacky, has used Green Kat litter since he was a kitten. It’s more than a year now. Although his breathing condition can’t be permanently cured, he’s grown so much stronger and is now the most handsome tom. He’s been doing great with Green Kat!

If Green Kat isn’t available in your local area, check out a similar paper cat litter below.

Similar: Purina Yesterday’s News Paper Cat Litter

best cat litter paper litter yesterday's news
Purina’s Yesterday’s News Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (based on 5000+ reviews, at time of writing)
  • Chewy Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (based on 700+ reviews, at time of writing)

While I have not used Purina’s paper cat litter, there is no shortage of feedback from committed cat parents.

The few negative reviews for Yesterday’s News cat litter tend to center around “poor odor control”. Yet many positive reviewers are happy with how “the odor is absorbed and doesn’t linger”. This conflicting experience is the same for Green Kat cat litter users.

A word from personal experience: odor control is very subjective. The smell of your cat’s urine and poop greatly depends on your cat’s diet, and how often you clean the litter box.

You’d be surprised how a slightly pricier, but healthier, cat kibble can greatly reduce urine odor. Cleaning out your cat’s litter box once a day is good practice, too!

Choosing the Best Cat Litter for Your Cat

The right cat litter ensures your cat’s comfort and in the long term, saves you hundreds of dollars in vet bills. This is especially important for cats with asthma, sensitive respiratory systems or cats prone to allergies. Double that importance if your cat’s litter box is in his/her cage day and night.

I hope this blog post gave you a more complete idea of the best and safest cat litter for your special needs cat! Tried paper cat litter? Tell me how it went in the comments.

If you have personal recommendations on the best cat litter, I’d love to hear your take too!


Behind the Blog Post: Quacky’s Background

Quacky is my special needs cat. He was terribly sick when we rescued him. Pale and weak, he couldn’t really eat. He couldn’t even sleep. In his cage, we would place rolled-up towels and clothes to support his chest, to help with his breathing.

best cat litter for cats with respiratory problems
Little Sister (top) and Quacky (bottom). During grooming sessions, Little Sister makes sure the receiving cat stays put by squashing them, as demonstrated.

Quacky used Green Kat cat litter over his many months of recovery. Having safe cat litter in his cage at least prevented yet another worry. (P.S: Quack, at the rate I’m going, you can be Green Kat’s ambassador already. 😂)

He can now take good ol’ cat naps whenever he wants. He loves exploring the outdoors (we supervise) and enjoys mutual grooming sessions with his companions. Behold, he’s ten times fluffier!

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What Do Rabbits Eat? The Complete Guide on How to Feed Your Rabbit

If you’re a first time rabbit owner, learning what foods to feed your rabbit requires an entire mind reset. A lot of stuff we know about rabbits come from cartoons. And sadly, 99% of those facts are false.

Here’s a quick rundown.

Contrary to popular opinion …

  • Rabbits do not have carrots as their main food. Why? It’s like giving a kid 20 Chupa-Chups lollipops.
  • Those colorful “green for vegetables, orange for carrots” pellets? Unhealthy, bad and completely imbalanced. These unethical manufacturers are trying to rip off your money.
  • Rabbits eat vegetables – yes. Any vegetable under the sun? NO. Some vegetables are not suitable for rabbits. If they eat too much, it may cause digestive upset or worse, diarrhoea.

Many severe health problems of rabbits are caused by owners lacking the knowledge on what to feed them. As a result, they provide the wrong types of foods.

Rabbits have delicate digestive systems. It’s very important that you provide the correct foods in the correct amounts.

Continue reading “What Do Rabbits Eat? The Complete Guide on How to Feed Your Rabbit”