Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about your cat’s upcoming surgery?

Many people have questions about various aspects of their cat’s surgery.  Scroll down to find the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.


Q: Is the anesthesia safe?

A: Modern anesthesia is very safe: less than 1% of cats die under anesthesia.  Procedures such as spays, neuters, dental cleanings, and other routine surgeries pose very little risk to your cat. Additionally, we use the safest and most advanced anesthetic protocols available to further reduce the risks associated with anesthesia.

Q: What monitoring techniques do you use?

A:  A trained, dedicated veterinary technician constantly monitors every patient under anesthesia.  Your cat’s blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood oxygen levels are carefully monitored at every point of the process.

Q: Is pre-anesthetic blood work run?

A: Before undergoing anesthesia, every cat receives basic pre-anesthetic blood work to ensure their body will be able to properly handle and process anesthesia. Older cats,  or those with known medical problems, may require more extensive pre-anesthetic blood work before undergoing a surgical procedure.

Q: Will my cat receive intravenous fluids while under anesthesia?

A:Every cat receive intravenous (IV) fluids during the entirety of the procedure.  This helps maintain your cat’s blood pressure during surgery. Additionally, the intravenous catheter gives us the ability to administer fast-acting medication if your cat has an adverse reaction to anesthesia.

Q: How is my cat’s body  temperature maintained during and after anesthesia?

A: Cats lose a lot of body heat under anesthesia, and the resulting hypothermia can slow anesthetic recovery. At Affectionately Cats, we monitor temperature before, during, and after the procedure; use warm-water and air blankets, warm IV fluids, and small socks to keep anesthetized cats warm; and provide heating disks during recovery.

Q: What kind of anesthesia is used?  Will my cat be intubated?

A: Intubation (placing a small tube down the trachea) is the safest way to administer anesthesia, as it gives our doctors access to the cat’s airway. We generally use isoflurane gas because it is safe for cats with kidney insufficiency, but there are several other anesthesia agents we can choose from depending on each cat’s needs.

Q: Will my cat receive pain control?

A: Our patients may not be able to tell us so, but we know that surgery hurts. We use preemptive pain control such as bupivacaine to block pain during surgery and will often send home post-op pain control such as buprenorphine to keep your cat comfortable during recovery.

Q: Will my cat have sutures?

A: For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin. These will dissolve on their own, and do not need to be removed later. Some surgeries, especially tumor removals, do require skin stitches. With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. Most cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will need to watch for. If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. You will also need to limit your cat’s activity for a time and no baths are allowed for the first 10 days after surgery.

Q: Will my cat be in pain?

A: Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals. Cats may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don’t cry, but you can be sure they feel it. Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed. Major procedures require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations.

Because cats do not tolerate standard pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol, we are limited in what we can give them. Recent advances in pain medications have allowed for better pain control in cats than ever before. We administer a pain injection 10 minutes prior to surgery. After surgery, pain medication is given on a case by case basis. Any patient that appears painful will receive additional pain medication.

Q: What other decisions do I need to make?

A: While your cat is under anesthesia, it can be the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as dentistry, grooming, ear cleaning, or implanting an identification microchip. If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please ask when admitting your cat.

When you bring your cat in for surgery plan on spending 10-15 minutes to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other available options. When you pick up your cat after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your cat’s home care needs.

Q: What is the Buddy Fund?

A: The Buddy Fund is a collection of donations that provide financial help for those who cannot afford to take care of their cat, but have made good efforts to be responsible pet owners. The fund was started by a client in honor of her cat “Buddy”.

Most donations come from individuals who love cats and want to help those who are in need. We also try to find creative ways to help add to the donations. Recently we collected cat hair for money which was added to the fund.

Recipients of the fund are carefully chosen, ensuring proper use and distribution of the resources.

If you would like to donate to the fund please contact us here at Affectionately Cats either by email, by phone 802-860-CATS(2287), or just stop by the veterinary office anytime. Donations at the moment are not tax deductible , but all donations even small ones are welcome. Every dollar helps.