Cat Not Eating After Spay? Why Is That & What Can You Do?

cat not eating after spay

Can we just get one thing out of the way?

Your cat not eating after being spayed is freaking you out, isn't it?

I mean, c'mon, you're probably in full-on panic mode.

Your furry friend feels like your own flesh and blood, and seeing them reject food after surgery is like a punch in the gut.

I hear you, I really do.

But here's the thing:

In this I Care for Cats guide, I'll reveal the reasons behind this post-operative appetite slump and how you can fix it. 😺

Hang in there, and let's solve this together!

Reasons Why Your Cat May Not Be Eating After Being Spayed

If your cat doesn't eat after being spayed, there could be a few reasons:

  1. Their sense of smell might be affected.
  2. Anesthesia can temporarily change their sense of smell.
  3. They might have nausea or a sore throat from the anesthesia.
  4. After surgery, they may feel discomfort and lose their appetite.
  5. Changes in their routine can make them less interested in food.
  6. The stress from the spaying procedure can affect their appetite.
  7. Being confined might make them eat less.
  8. Post-surgery pain can make it difficult for them to eat.
  9. An upset stomach can also impact their eating habits.
  10. They might feel nauseous or disoriented because of the anesthesia.

Just PLEASE keep in mind that it's common for cats to have a reduced appetite and discomfort shortly after being spayed.

Reasons Why Your Cat May Not Be Eating After Being Spayed
Your cat, after being spayed, might not be chowing down because they're going through some changes and feeling a tad uncomfortable from the surgery. The anesthesia could also be playing a part in it.

However, if your cat refuses to eat for a long time or shows worrisome symptoms, it's best to consult your vet for further advice.

Make sure you create a quiet and comfy recovery space for your cat, feed them small and easy-to-digest meals, and closely observe their behavior and eating habits during this important post-surgery period. 😺

Main points I'll expand upon further down this article:

  1. Temporary changes in behavior, such as decreased appetite, are normal after cat surgery.
  2. Wait until the cat's stomach returns to normal before offering food and water.
  3. Decreased appetite can be caused by pain, discomfort, and anesthesia effects.
  4. Soft tissue surgery recovery time is 2-3 weeks, orthopedic surgery may take longer.
  5. Cat's diet plays a crucial role in recovery and well-being after surgery.
  6. Provide tasty and easily digestible foods, introduce enticing aromas to encourage eating.
  7. Limit treats and consistently offer food; monitor the cat's eating closely.
  8. Comfort and support the cat by being present, gentle petting, and feeding by hand.
  9. Create a secure and comforting environment by laying cat trees on their side or covering them.
  10. Seek veterinary assistance if the cat doesn't eat after 48 hours or shows signs of infection or illness.

Understanding the Impact of Spaying on Your Cat's Appetite

Yessiree, spaying affects your cat's hormones and can mess with her appetite.

When you spay a cat, you remove those reproductive organs, which can cause some ups and downs in the hunger department.

No need to fret though, my friend. It's totally normal for your feline to have a decreased appetite after surgery.

Keep in mind, there might be temporary behavior changes like eating less and feeling sluggish or sleepy.

Could last about 48 hours till that anesthesia wears off and hormone levels regulate.

Listen up, partner.

During this recovery time, it's critical not to force-feed your kitty. You gotta wait until her stomach settles before offering any grub or water.


Well, it's to avoid a dangerous condition called Hepatic Lipidosis that could harm or even kill your cat.

And trust me, we wanna stay far away from that nightmare!

So, why is she refusing to chow down?

There are a few possible reasons, bud.

First off, pain and discomfort.

Understanding the Impact of Spaying on Your Cat's Appetite
Spaying your cat might mess with her appetite. It's normal, don't fret. Give her space, let her recover. Like us, cats can lose their appetite after surgery.


No one wants to eat when they're hurting, right?

Plus, that anesthesia can also put a damper on her appetite. Different cats respond differently to it, just like how you may not feel like eating right after being under.

You see, compadre, spaying isn't a breeze.

Expect your fur buddy to take around two to three weeks to fully recover from soft tissue surgeries like this.

But if it's an orthopedic procedure, it could take up to six months or even longer for a complete bounce-back.

Your cat's diet really matters, especially during recovery.

Don't forget, my amigo, that spaying brings a mountain of health benefits.

By preventing reproduction, it helps keep your feline friend in tip-top shape and adds more years to her life.

So, it's not only about birth control, but about her all in all well-being too!

But here's the real question:

What can you do to help your cat regain her appetite and start eating again?

Well, I've got some solutions up my sleeve that are guaranteed to get those taste buds tingling.

Keep reading to find out!

Potential Solutions for Encouraging Your Cat to Eat After Being Spayed

Adjusting the feeding routine

After your cat has been spayed, you should change their meal plan to help them eat better. Instead of large meals, try giving them smaller and more frequent portions throughout the day.

This way, your cat will be tempted to eat and it will boost their appetite. Keep an eye on their eating habits while reducing the number of treats you give them.

Creating a comfortable environment

To make your cat feel relaxed during mealtime, create a cozy space for them.

Find a quiet spot where they can rest without disturbances.

If needed, cover cat trees or lay them on their side to prevent jumping.

It's also important to keep outdoor cats indoors during their recovery.

Give them an isolated area away from children and other pets to aid in their healing process.

Additional solutions to consider

If adjusting the feeding routine and creating a comfortable environment doesn't work, there are other steps you can take.

Introduce tasty and easily digestible foods that your cat likes.

Potential Solutions for Encouraging Your Cat to Eat After Being Spayed
Cats like being up high, it makes 'em feel safe. It's how they're wired to keep an eye on things.

You can warm up their favorite food or mix it with water or broth to enhance its smell and appeal.

However, be careful not to force-feed them if they have restricted movement.

If your cat continues to refuse food for a long time, seek veterinary attention as it could indicate surgical complications or infection.

As a last resort, your vet may suggest using appetite stimulants.

Make sure you follow your veterinarian's instructions regarding pain management and medication after the surgery. Proper administration of antibiotics and pain medications will prevent infections and provide relief, ultimately helping your cat have a smoother recovery.

And finally, if you're still concerned about your cat's appetite after being spayed, I have written a helpful guide for you.

In my article, you can find valuable information on how long a cat can live without eating and discover potential reasons behind their lack of appetite.

So, if you're wondering about your fur baby's situation, I highly recommend checking out How Long Does It Take for a Cat to Die if It Stops Eating.

You'll find the answers you're looking for.

Tips for Monitoring Your Cat's Food Intake After Being Spayed

To monitor your cat's food intake after being spayed, here are 10 helpful tips:

  1. Track their food consumption closely.
  2. Look for any significant changes in appetite.
  3. Follow postoperative care instructions.
  4. Observe their behavior and hydration levels.
  5. Watch out for signs of dehydration.
  6. Offer food slowly while the cat is lying down.
  7. Keep food and water available at all times.
  8. Provide small portions of food multiple times a day.
  9. Contact a vet if your cat doesn't eat for days.
  10. Promote healing and prevent re-injury.

And a few more things to keep in mind...

  1. Limit your cat's movement during recovery.
  2. Separate them from other feline companions.
  3. Supervise outdoor activities closely.
  4. Ensure bandages stay dry when outdoors.

Looking after your cat's food intake after spaying is essential for their well-being.

By following these tips, you can ensure their road to recovery is as smooth as possible.

And now, I'll share with you an enticing option to tempt your cat's taste buds and restore their appetite...

Alternative Food Options to Entice Your Cat After Being Spayed

Adding wet food to your cat's dry kibble is a genius move.

Dry kibble is great, but it can lack moisture and flavor that some cats crave.

By adding wet food, you're giving your feline friend the best of both worlds - hydration and deliciousness.

And here's a pro tip:

After being spayed, some cats become bolder with their taste buds.

It could be the perfect time to do some culinary exploration. Expand their palate with new types of cat food or even homemade recipes. Get creative!

So go ahead and pamper your kitty by tantalizing their senses and keeping them happy and healthy.

You won't regret it.

Consulting with Your Veterinarian for Professional Advice

If your cat's appetite is not returning within 48 hours, it could indicate an infection or painful condition.

So contacting your veterinarian is recommended.

They can provide professional advice and guidance based on your cat's specific needs.

Here are some important considerations for consulting with your veterinarian:

  1. Schedule a complete physical examination and lab tests if necessary before considering any surgical options.
  2. If your cat has not eaten for an extended period of time, schedule a medical visit to address the issue promptly.
  3. Look out for other symptoms such as severe vomiting, swollen and painful abdomen. These signs may indicate an underlying illness or infection that requires veterinary attention.
  4. Follow the instructions provided by your vet carefully during the post-operative care period. Seek clarification if needed in order to ensure the best possible recovery for your cat.
  5. Join online communities and seek advice from fellow cat lovers who have experienced similar situations. Their shared experiences and knowledge can be beneficial in understanding what steps to take next.
  6. Don't forget to schedule follow-up appointments with your veterinarian. Regular monitoring of recovery, checking for infection, and changing bandages is essential for your cat's wellbeing.
  7. If your cat continues to refuse food despite your efforts, it is highly recommended to contact your veterinarian for further advice and assistance.

Your veterinarian is there to help you navigate through these challenging circumstances and provide the best care for your beloved feline companion. 👩

And that wraps up today's article.

If you wish to read more of my useful articles, I recommend you check out some of these: Why Wont My Cat Drink Water From Her Bowl, How Long Can a Cat Survive Locked in a Shed, How Long Can a Cat Go Without Water, Why Does My Cat Have a Dry Nose, and How to Deal With Regret and Grief After Putting Cat to Sleep

Talk soon,

-Sarah Davis

Sarah Davis

Howdy howdy, I'm Sarah Davis, and I'm all about cats – that's right, those mysterious, independent furballs we adore. So welcome to my blog "I Care for Cats", where I dish out the real talk on cat food, health, training, behavior, and so much more. My goal? To help your feline friends live their best nine lives.