How To Lift Cat After Spay: 4 Tips + 4 Don’ts

If your cat has recently been spayed, you’re probably wondering what she’s allowed to do and what not.

The list of things to consider is pretty long and ranges from walks, car rides, playtime, getting up on the couch, jumping, running, and so on.

Of course, the less pressure you put on your cat’s incision, the faster she’ll recover and the less likely both of you have to deal with complications.

If you pick your cat up the wrong way, you might rip the incision open, cause them pain, and have behavioral issues in the future.

Generally speaking, you do not want to put pressure on any incision, especially around the abdomen area to avoid complications or infections.

Behavioral issues are a real thing to consider too.

Picking up your cat constantly when they’re in pain will just make them avoid being carried around.

Let’s dive into the topic of how to properly lift a spayed or neutered cat and when it’s necessary.

Oh, I’ll make sure to explain what’s different between small vs. large felines.

How To Lift Cat After Spay

Lift your spayed cat by wrapping one arm around the hind legs and one arm around the chest or in between the front legs and avoid putting pressure on the incision.

Naturally, you should avoid these 4 ways of lifting your cat if they’re spayed too.

The common mistakes of picking up a cat include the following:

  1. Don’t lift a cat by their collar
  2. Don’t lift a cat by their scruff
  3. Don’t lift a cat by their tail
  4. Don’t lift a cat by their underarms/legs

The first two ways unnecessarily stress their neck and air supply.

Most of the time, it’s a child grabbing a cat by their tail. You might be able to ignore a struggling small kitty but not when a large cat puts up a fight. It’s incredibly dangerous.

Being lifted by the underarms is simply uncomfortable and would, for a spayed cat, unnecessarily stretch the incision and leave the abdomen hanging.

However, in that article, I did recommend another way you can lift a large cat.

That way was by placing the hand around the hind legs (but more around the paws instead of the actual legs) and the other hand around the chest (not in front or between the front legs but behind the legs).

cat after spaying

For me personally, this is the safest way to lift my 10-pound Maine Coon as that’s where I can use the momentum and she doesn’t mind.

Lifting a very large cat by with your arms around the hind legs can cause them to slip away.

Similarly, as my cat is hanging like a wet sack of potatoes, it could really strain her throat when she slips in the front.

That being said, I do not recommend lifting your cat like this after being spayed.

Instead, lift a large spayed cat with one arm around the hind legs and one around the front legs, or carry your cat with two people.

Alternatively, you can use a catty ramp or even a stretcher.

Can I Carry My Cat After Being Neutered?

Yes, you can carry your cat after she’s neutered but should avoid it. If you do have to carry her , wrap the arms around the front and hind legs.

While the neutering procedure is easier on a cat’s body than a spay, it’s not wise to put pressure on any incision.

Consider how you can minimize the necessity to lift your cat after the procedure and follow the tips below.

How Do I Move My Cat After Being Spayed?

Avoid moving your cat after they’re spayed and if absolutely necessary, lift them carefully without pressure on the abdomen.

Except for getting home from the vet (4 hands are usually best to get that job done), there’s usually no reason to move your pet after that.

  1. No car rides if not essential
  2. No jumping (greetings, excitement, play)
  3. No getting up and down from a couch or bed
  4. No climbing of stairs

If you often get to walking spots by car, scratch that for the first couple of weeks and instead walk your cat in your neighborhood.

Excitement or greeting jumping should be discouraged. Instead, provide your cat with mental exercise and calm, controlled on-leash walks.

Now, what about the couch or stairs, especially if the cat’s sleeping spot is upstairs?

Where Should a Neutered or Spayed Cat Sleep?

A spayed cat should sleep on an orthopedic cat bed on the ground and if the bedroom is upstairs, they can be carried up once at the end of the day.

Cats who have been used to getting up and down from the couch can only do this if the comfy spot is low on the ground.

Similarly, restrict access to the bed if you have one that requires your cat to jump.

Instead, provide your cat with a cozy ground-level safe haven for the time being.

Stairs are not to be climbed (and not carried either) unless absolutely necessary.

If you live in a multi-level home, consider carrying your cat when you go to bed and consult your vet on when you can let them climb the stairs again.

Letting them sleep downstairs might not be the best solution as it can cause separation anxiety and general disruption of routine.