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What To Expect After A Kidney Transplant For Your Cat

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Kidney transplants for cats are still a relatively rare procedure, but they do happen. This life-saving procedure can help to dramatically extend the life of a cat who would have otherwise died to kidney disease. If your cat is undergoing a kidney transplant, here's what you should expect and plan for.

Recovery Time

Having a kidney operated on is a big procedure and one that will take time to recover from. As a result, you should expect your cat to be kept at the animal hospital or veterinarian's office until they've recovered from their surgery.

Once they come home, you may still be responsible for wound care. Follow your vet's directions and be extremely gentle, using dabbing motions to clean the wounds so that you don't disturb the stitches.


Medication will be given to you to give to your cat for several important reasons. You must not skip giving this medication to your cat under any circumstances.

The first type of medication you'll get is antibiotics. This will help to ensure that your cat doesn't develop an infection in the surgical site. The second is pain relievers. This is to keep your cat comfortable and restful after they come home. The third is the most important, and it's one that the cat will need for the rest of its life. Cats—like people—who receive transplanted organs need to take immunosuppressants. This is to prevent the immune system from recognizing a transplanted organ as a foreign invader and attacking it. Forgetting to give this to your cat can allow the immune system to do just that, so make a special effort to not forget it.

Caring for a New Cat

Finally, consider that you may be asked to adopt the cat who is donating a kidney to your kitty. At this point, only living donors are used for kidney transplants, and shelter cats are often utilized by veterinarian's offices to do it. As a form of thanks, you may be asked to take the shelter cat into your home for the rest of its days. It's a sweet way to rescue a pet that's rescuing your pet!

Even though your cat might have one of its organs, that doesn't necessarily mean that they'll get along right off the bat. Make sure to give the two time to adjust to living together by giving them both private space that they can separately retreat to.

The majority of your cat's healing will be completed by the time they come home to you, so rest assured that they should recover fully and well while at home. With these tips, you can ensure that your cat—and potentially your new cat, too—live happy, lengthy lives after their operation.

Reach out to veterinary surgical services today for more information.