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What is Cesarean Section?

A Cesarean section – more commonly known as a C-section – is a surgical procedure that involves removing kittens from the uterus. This is usually performed as an emergency measure, particularly if complications occur during natural birth. The most common condition c-section is used to treat is dystocia, which is an umbrella term for abnormally prolonged or complicated birth.

Cesarean Section Procedure in Cats

Since this is often an emergency procedure, the exact procedure steps may vary depending on the cat’s needs. The general procedure steps for feline Cesarean section are outlined below.

  1. The cat will be anesthetized prior to surgery.
  2. The surgeon will make incisions into the skin and linea alba.
  3. The gravid uterus – or the pregnant uterus – will be exteriorized and incised so the kittens can be delivered.
  4. The surgeon will deliver the kittens, which may be placed into an incubator.
  5. The surgeon will flush the uterus with a saline solution prior to suturing it closed in two layers.
  6. The linea alba and the skin incisions will then be sutured respectively.
  7. The cat and her kittens may be hospitalized following surgery.
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Efficacy of Cesarean Section in Cats

The efficacy of C-section in cats will depend on how long the cat was in labor prior to surgery. If the cat spent several hours in labor prior to surgery, the recovery period will be longer. The efficacy of surgery may also vary based on the birth difficulty that affected the mother cat and warranted surgery. As long as the procedure is performed quickly, the mother cat is healthy at the time of surgery, and the mother has not been in labor for several hours, the mother cat and the kitten(s) can usually be saved. If all these conditions are met, the average likelihood of a kitten surviving the surgery is 80%.

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Cesarean Section Recovery in Cats

Owners should follow their surgeon’s postoperative care instructions carefully. Cats that have just given birth via C-section and their kittens should be carefully monitored following surgery. Owners may need to help the kittens nurse until the mother wakes up. Do not allow mother cats to be alone with the kittens until they have fully recovered from anesthesia, which typically takes four to six hours. Nutritional changes are required following surgery, which will be outlined by the veterinarian based on the cat’s specific needs.

Owners may observe vaginal discharge and vaginal blood for the first week following surgery. This only occurs in cats that were not spayed shortly after the surgery. If this discharge or blood is still present after one week, owners should consult their veterinarian immediately. If absorbable sutures were not used, a follow-up appointment will be scheduled within ten to fourteen days following surgery to remove them.

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Cost of Cesarean Section in Cats

The average cost of C-section may vary based on standards of living and additional costs incurred, including medications, hospitalization, and supportive care. The average cost of c-section ranges from $400 to $1,600.

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Cat Cesarean Section Considerations

As long as the mother cat is healthy prior to surgery, complications do not usually occur. There are complications with any surgical procedure, Cesarean section included. Complications of Csection include, but are not limited to:

  • Postoperative hemorrhaging
  • Infection
  • Mastitis: A specific type of bacterial infection which affects new mother cats
  • Pyometra: Uterine infection
  • Anesthetic death

Despite the best efforts of the surgeon, the kittens may be at risk of passing away before, during, or after surgery due to the severity of birth complications. The mother cat may also be at risk of passing away if the condition is severe or life-threatening.

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Cesarean Section Prevention in Cats

In many cases, it can be difficult to prevent birthing complications in cats. Pregnant cats should be routinely examined by a veterinarian.

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Cesarean Section Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Domestic short hair cat

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Post C Section And Spay Care

Pregnant stray needed C-section for a difficult birth and spayed during the surgery. Delivered 3 kittens. 4 days later incision ruptured and she was rushed for emergency surgery. Its four days past the second surgery I'm nervous it will happen again but when I put the soft e-collar on her she doesn't clean the kittens as often which is concerning because I need to make sure that they are eliminating properly. They are 8 days old today. I'm not sure what to do! I've seen her licking her belly and I do have a pet camera to watch her while I'm at work but I can't watch her twenty-four hours

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question, I'm sorry for the delay in answering. These emails are not set up to handle urgent matters. I hope that she is doing well in her recovery from surgery, some animals do need to have the e-collar taken off frequently to eat or to nurse or to clean the kittens. You can also help clean the kittens with a warm wet towel, I hope that all goes well.

Oct. 11, 2020

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DSH

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Unknown

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Restlessness, Panting, Meowing, Clear Vaginal Discharge.

When should I be concerned? She has been panting, crying, restless, having clear vaginal discharge, no contractions that Ive noticed for almost 24hrs.

Aug. 6, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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Hello I am assuming she is pregnant even though you don't specifically say. Panting and crying and being restless is definitely concerning. I recommend that you take her to a veterinarian for an exam. They may want to take an x-ray and check her temperature. Good luck.

Aug. 6, 2020

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persian

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1.5 years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Weak, Vomit, Withdrawal, Unborn Dead Kitten In Womb

my cat deliver one kitten and i thought it was only one kitten. After three weeks and a half, she had foul vaginal discharge, underweight, weak and abandoned the kitten. Asked a freshmen vet and he said spaying should be done. She didnt survive.. what could have gone wrong so the same thing would not happen again? should we wait and feed her so until she is strong enough to have surgery? what is the requirement and how can we know she already good candidate or surgery?

July 10, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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Hello Your cat should be spayed as soon as possible so that she does not have any more kittens and there is no worry about this happening again. She should be stabilized prior to any type of surgery. Good luck.

July 10, 2020

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Babou

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Bengal

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1 Year

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Larger , Eating More

About 2 months ago my cat had a C section and none of the kittens survived. We kept the mother away from the father while she was recovering but somehow they seemed to sneak in with each other and she has fallen pregnant again. What I’d like to know is since she already had a C section not too long ago, is it possible to give birth naturally this time around or will she need another C section?

Aug. 27, 2018

Babou's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Generally a cat which had a caesarean section already is at a greater risk of complications in future pregnancies and may require another caesarean section this time; you should monitor her closely and discuss with your Veterinarian near to the expected queening date. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 28, 2018

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Boshka

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DOMESTIC

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1 Year

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Catatonic, Cold At Touch

My cat just had a c section 5 hours ago what should I expect she is still catatonic, she only shifts positions from time to time she is cold at touch so I'm afraid she won't make it I should probably mention that she fall from our balcony the night before she started labouring and hasn't eaten or drank since

July 18, 2018

Boshka's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Boshka may need to be hospitalized until she is recovered from her surgery, on IV fluids, and pain medications. She has had a tremendous amount of trauma in the last 2 days, and she may not recover without more intensive care. If you are unable to have her hospitalized, the only thing that you can do at home is to keep her warm and try to get her to eat and drink.

July 18, 2018

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Owlie

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Persian

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4 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Soggy Stitches

My cat just had a c-section. She was in labour for 36 hours. Her first 3 babies came out during day 1 of her labour. Another the next day but she kept having convulsions. Finally got her operated. How do I keep her stitches dry tho when her babies are suckling on her teats every hour? It's been 6 days since the surgery.

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monster

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tabby

dog-age-icon

4 Years

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Not Moving
Sleeping
Hasnt Eaten

my cat had a c section about 15 hours ago and all 5 kittens made it and we kept the kittens away from her most of that time because the doctor told us too but we had the kittens in a big box in the same pin as her so she could see them and feed them when she was ready but as of right now and really this whole time she has not been intrested in seeing or feeding them and really just growls at them when we put them next too her also im not sure if she has eaten or drank any water. when do you think she will want to feed her babies and when should she start eating and drinking water ? she was only in labor for about a little less than an 1 hour 30 minutes before the c section

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Aby

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Abyssinian

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8 Months

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None

My kitten is exactly 8 months old and 3th time in a heat already. I also have a tom cat and during her heat cycles I keep them apart only when im not present, if I'm there the tom cat wouldn't dare to do anything. But it happened that I fall asleep behind the TV and woke up from the scream of the cat while they were mating. The cat is very small in size 2,4 kilos, still very young, so this makes me very concerned. What are my safest options. I want litter in the future, but I'm very afraid at this time, because also the tom cat is quite big and could possibly produce big kittens. What I should go for abortion or cs? Thanks

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Em

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Siamese

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10 Months

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Lost Of Appepite

My siamese cat had cs operation last decemeber 6. I took her home after 3 days then went back to the vet clinic after 3 days bec her wound reopened. During the wound recovery procedure vet called me and told me she had to remove her uterus because of infection cause by miscarraige. 11 days after the procedure they told me they had to do the wound recovery again bec the wound reopened. Im worried about my cat as she had gone 2 operations in 1 month. She still drinks water does not look dehydrated but she lost her appetite and looks thin. When i asked why the vet didnt see if her uterus was already during the cs operation she told me that it was not yet infected at that time. What is the chance of survival of my cat?

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