Post Operative Care Instructions for Feral Cats

Pet Community Center requires that all community cats be housed overnight in their traps in a safe, indoor location for the night following surgery. Certain circumstances may dictate a female needs to be retained for a longer period, as directed by your veterinarian and/or community cat coordinator. If there are still cats to trap, you can keep fixed cats in the trap in the temperature-controlled location for up to 72 hours after surgery.

  • Keep the cat in the trap in which they were placed after surgery, and keep the back trap door locked at all times. Place the trap in a quiet, well-ventilated, temperature-controlled (60 to 80 degrees), enclosed area.
  • Keep the trap covered with a sheet or light blanket during the recovery period (but not too heavy; you don’t want the cat to get too hot). Do not handle the cat or put your fingers in the trap. Community cats are not vicious, but they are scared of people, strange noises, and activity.
  • When feeding the cat, place canned food on a plastic lid with a little water around it. Be careful when opening the carrier or trap so that the cat does not escape. You can also pour food and water through the wire cage if there are already bowls inside the trap or place trap on paper plate of canned food (food will squish up through the bars). Not all feral cats will eat overnight due to stress.
  • Check in on the cat periodically. If it is bleeding, vomiting, having difficulty breathing, or not waking up, call Pet Community Center immediately. Do not give human medications.
  • The cat does not need to return to Pet Community Center for suture removal because dissolvable sutures were used. All animals receive a green tattoo next to their incision. This tattoo is a scoring process in the skin; IT IS NOT AN EXTRA INCISION.
  • Make sure to release the cats at the same site they were trapped during a time when there is little traffic. Relocating cats is dangerous and can be deadly to the cat if not done properly. Place the trap with one end uncovered and facing toward the direction they should travel, and let them orient for a few minutes, then open the door. Some cats will come out quickly, and others will take a bit longer.
  • Provide fresh food, water, and shelter (especially important in the winter months). The cats may disappear for a few hours or days, but they will return after they have calmed down.
  • Please clean the traps before returning with any household cleaner except bleach.


If you have any questions after surgery, including incision questions, call:

Monday – Friday 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM – 615-512-5001

Emergency Afterhours and Saturday/Sunday– 615-802-8387