Especially Not From The Not-So-Feral-Anymore Cat We’ve Taken On…
But I had to, so I did…
We Managed To Get Ugg Spayed…
After missing her first appointment to be spayed due to a major difference in opinion (I wanted to get her in the cage, but she was having non of it and you don’t mess with a cat that was once totally feral), we did finally manage to get her into a crash cage and to the vets for the all important op (two weeks later).
The operation went well and I collected her a couple of hours later. The vet (not our regular one, but one that deals with feral cats) told me that it was okay to let her out later that same day. Something that I wasn’t happy about doing considering she had just been spayed (apparently it’s the done thing with feral cats, so as not to stress them).
I didn’t though, as she was quite dopey from the anesthetic I decided to keep her in the cage over night, which may not have been the wisest move as she must have thrown a hissy fit in the night and had caused herself some damage (luckily not to her wound).
The Next Morning…
When I opened the cage door, she was off like a shot and didn’t look back. There was no way I thought we’d see her again, even if her (fully weaned) kittens were still with us. To my amazement, that afternoon I peeped through the curtains to see her eating, but when I went outside she backed right off and started hissing. The trust we had built up with her was definitely broken. Once again she looked like the manky, feral cat she was when she first rocked up a few months earlier.
Over the next few days she continued to hang around, but always at a distance. Although I did manage to get her to take her antibiotics, which I hid in some tuna.
Why I Had To Remove The Stitches From The Cat…
The vet had used standard, removable stitches and not the type that dissolve over time. When I asked him about it he said it would be fine as he always used them on feral cats. Slightly strange I thought, but who was I to argue? And it was slightly too late.
Anyway to cut a long story short, I wasn’t happy leaving the stitches in. I was worried they would cause infection. But I also knew the likelihood of me getting the cat back into a cage was highly unlikely as she wasn’t coming near me or Catherine (the only people she trusted before her op).
I had two options; either to leave the stitches in and hope for the best or to try and remove them myself; I decided that I had to at least try to remove the stitches from the cat.
Slowly, slowly she started to trust us again. We stroked her tummy when she let us and after about four weeks I felt like we had earned enough trust for me to have a go at removing her stitches.
How I Removed The Stitches From The Cat…
Now I am in no way medically trained and would much rather have had a vet remove the stitches (so if you are in a similar position, but your cat is tame, please have a vet remove the stitches if possible), but I decided to have a go at removing one stitch a day over three days (luckily, she only had three stitches).
I sterilized a pair of tweezers and a pair of clippers in Milton sterilizing fluid.
She’d got used to me fiddling with her stitches; her kittens were still comfort suckling which I think helped, as she was used to having her belly pummeled.
Firstly I wiped over her stitches with saline solution, then I used the tweezers to pull on a stitch. The first few attempts she got up and walked a way, so I let her. It did take time before she allowed me to pull the stitch enough to carefully snip it on one side, allowing me to gently pull it through. I then dabbed the area with Betadine.
Over the next couple of days I repeated the process with the other stitches, which wasn’t so easy as those stitches were slightly tighter and having been in her for two weeks too long, were harder to pull clear of her skin, but I managed.
I was a little worried too that I may have caused her an infection or worse still left a piece of stitch inside, but I am pleased to say that her scar is neat and healthy and there has been no sign of infection or irritation in the weeks since I removed them.
What I Would Say Is…
If you are getting a feral or even a semi feral cat spayed, check that the vet doing the surgery uses soluble stitches as it could save problems later on.
Have you ever had to remove the stitches from one of your pets?
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