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Laura Henderson
Laura Henderson,
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 153
Experience:  Veterinarian at Robb Veterinary Clinic
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My cat keeps trying to remove her collar after her surgery,

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My cat keeps trying to remove her collar after her surgery, which is supposed to prevent her licking the wound.
Is the any other way to prevent her licking the wound?

Good evening, I'm Laura, one of the UK vets.

Where is her wound? If you take of her collar, does she try to get at it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Near her back, it’s a neutering surgery she had today. She can reach and lick the wound
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Doctor please help me

A babygro sometimes is better tolerated than the collars, if you can find one that fits her (is the a late opening supermarket nearby?).

You can get pet suits that are designed to stop them getting at wounds and your local big pet store will probably have some in stock.

If she is throwing herself about trying to get the collar off, take it off for the moment and try and discourage her from licking until you can get an alternative.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is no pet store still opening at this time near my home, plus I live alone and if I leave she will definitely manage to get it off while I’m gone and start licking it
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I tried to take the collar off discourages her from licking but it doesn’t work, the moment I stop looking at her she will immediately start licking. I can’t do this all day

I have found this using an old tshirt or square of fabric:

DIY cat/dog surgical recovery suit: Using a child’s t-shirt: 1) Cut a vertical slit up the back of the shirt to 2 inches below collar. 2) Cut horizontal strips along back of shirt towards the sides. 3) Cut four holes in front of shirt in alignment with your pet’s legs 4) Pull shirt collar over pet’s head, place legs through four front openings, then tie strips together to secure onto pet. The bottom of the shirt is now an opening for pet to relieve itself.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I put the collar on I have to tie it quite tightly so it wouldn’t come off, and she just start to get stressed and anxious and trying to get it off, she has been trying to remove it for like 2 hours now and it just looks very painful

You can also get inflatable donut type collars and flexible collars which a lot of cats tolerate better than the rigid cone of shame.

I'd remove it, they can do more damage to the wound by throwing themselves about trying to get the collar off than by licking at it.

Could you try the method using the square of fabric?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That method won’t work, she is very skittish, costs me so many scratches to put the collar on already.
It’s just impossible to tie that many knots while she staying still.
Is there anything slightly easier to put on?

Short of wrapping her in a blanket for a bit until the urge to lick calms a little, I can't think of anything else we could use, sorry.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would you say it’s possible that she will just get used to the collar and accept it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It’s just painful watching her suffer like that trying to get it off.

They usually do, but it may take a day or so. Have you anything tasty you could smear on her paws to maybe distract her for a bit?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, that worked for a while for only about 2 minutes

Have you any tights or leggings that you could pull over her body? With 4 legs holes and loose bits at either end to fit it on her neck and under her tail?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was trying to do that but I think she is so scared and she just ran away when I tried to approach her
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Doctor is there any service or cat sitters that would help me to take care of cats recovering from a surgery. Because I’m freaking out right now as I have my final exam this week, I can’t spend all day watching my cat or trying to come up with ideas to stop her licking her wound.
I’m really sorry to bother you at this time of the day, thank you so much for your previous advice.

Would your vet board her for you? We sometimes hold pets for a while for their owners. Especially as you need to be able to concentrate.

Whereabouts are you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Northwest London, I didn’t ask for medical boarding today I thought it would not be this difficult.

It usually isn't. It may be that her wound is still sore and she may need extra painkillers to settle her. I would call your own vet tomorrow when they open and see if they can either change her collar or give her extra pain relief.

Sadly you're a bit far away for me to personally step in, I'm up in Scotland :(

Could you pop her back in her cat box for a bit to reduce how far she can move?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don’t think putting her back in her carrier is a good idea, she is very skittish and nervous in the carrier.
Maybe I will just give her some time to get used to the collar. If not I will just contact my vet tomorrow and see is there anything they can do.
Thank you so much for your help

I really hope she settles for you, I know how stressful finals week is.

Fingers crossed,


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