Cat Very Hungry After Anesthesia: How to deal with it?

A cat after anesthesia might wake up feel very hungry. It is uncommon for them to wake up feeling very hungry. It can leave cats groggy, disoriented, and with altered senses, affecting their appetite. This hunger can be concerning for cat owners.

In this article, we will explore the factors contributing to a cat’s hunger after anesthesia. You will also get to know the importance of proper nutrition and hydration during this period. Let’s slide down to the main details of the article.  


When and what to feed your hungry cat after surgery after anesthesia?

After your cat undergoes surgery with anesthesia, it is essential to know when and what to feed them to ensure a smooth recovery. Typically, you should wait until your cat is fully awake and alert before offering any food. This usually takes a few hours, but the exact duration can vary depending on the type of anesthesia used and your cat’s individual response.

Once your cat is alert, it is time to provide nourishment. Start with small, easily digestible meals. A bland diet, such as boiled chicken or rice, can be a good choice initially. These foods are gentle on the stomach and can help stimulate your cat’s appetite.

Consulting your veterinarian is crucial, as they can provide personalized guidance based on your cat’s specific needs. They may recommend a prescription diet or specific nutritional supplements to aid in recovery.

Ensure that your cat has access to fresh water at all times to stay hydrated. Hydration is especially important after anesthesia, as it helps flush the drugs from their system. Minimize stress and distractions during mealtime to encourage them to eat.

How much to feed your hungry cat after anesthesia?

Determine how much to feed your cat after anesthesia requires careful consideration of their specific needs and condition. It is essential to consult your veterinarian for personalized guidance. It is recommended to start with small, frequent meals rather than large portions.

This approach helps prevent overfeeding, especially if your cat’s appetite is still recovering. Monitor your cat’s response to each meal, as they may eat less than usual initially. Pay attention to any specific instructions provided by your veterinarian regarding feeding amounts and frequency.

They may recommend a specific diet or suggest adding nutritional supplements to support your cat’s recovery. It is essential to strike a balance between providing enough nourishment for healing and not overwhelming your cat’s digestive system. Overfeeding can lead to digestive upset, while underfeeding may slow down the recovery process.

Tips to feed your hungry cat after anesthesia?

Feeding a hungry cat after anesthesia can be a delicate process to ensure a smooth recovery. Allow your cat to fully wake up and regain alertness after anesthesia before offering any food. This may take a few hours.

Start with small, easily digestible meals. Offer these meals more frequently throughout the day instead of large portions. This helps prevent digestive discomfort and encourages eating. Consider feeding your cat a bland diet, such as boiled chicken or rice.

These are gentle on the stomach and can help stimulate your cat’s appetite. Always consult your veterinarian for specific feeding instructions tailored to your cat’s needs. They can recommend the right diet and any necessary supplements.

Ensure your cat has access to fresh water at all times. Proper hydration is crucial for recovery, especially after anesthesia. Create a calm and comfortable environment for feeding. Minimize stress and distractions to encourage your cat to eat.

Keep an eye on your cat’s eating habits and note any changes. If they continue to refuse food or show signs of discomfort, contact your veterinarian. In some cases, your vet may prescribe appetite stimulants to encourage eating.

If your cat requires medication, coordinate its administration with meal times as instructed by your veterinarian. Be patient and persistent. It may take some time for your cat’s appetite to fully return. Ensure a supportive and nurturing environment to aid in their recovery.

Proper rest and hunger connection after anesthesia

The connection between proper rest and hunger cries in a cat after anesthesia is crucial for their post-operative recovery. After undergoing surgery and anesthesia, cats need ample rest to heal and regain their strength.

Anesthesia can leave them groggy and disoriented. This period of rest is essential for the drugs to wear off and for their body to recover from the surgical procedure. During this time, it is common for cats to have a reduced appetite.

They may not feel like eating immediately after waking up due to the lingering effects of anesthesia and the stress of surgery. This can lead to what is often referred to as “hunger cries,” where the cat vocalizes its discomfort and hunger.

It is important for cat owners to understand that these hunger cries are often a natural response to the disruption anesthesia. But pushing a cat to eat too soon can lead to digestive upset.

The key is to offer food when the cat is more alert and responsive. During this time, their appetite is likely to return gradually. Patience is essential in this process, as forcing food on a disoriented and uninterested cat can be counterproductive.

Why hydration is important for hungry cat after anesthesia?

Hydration is of paramount importance for a hungry cat after anesthesia due to several critical reasons. When a cat undergoes surgery and is administered anesthesia, it can lead to a state of dehydration for various reasons.

Fluid Loss during Surgery: Surgical procedures can cause fluid loss in the form of blood and bodily fluids. Anesthesia can also lead to decreased fluid intake as the cat may not drink water immediately before or after surgery.

Inhibited Thirst and Appetite: Anesthesia can temporarily affect a cat’s sense of thirst and appetite. This means they may not feel inclined to drink water or eat immediately after waking up from anesthesia, even if they are dehydrated.

Metabolism and Healing: Hydration is essential for the body’s metabolic processes and plays a crucial role in the healing process. It aids in the transport of nutrients, removal of waste products, and overall cellular function.

Kidney Function: Adequate hydration is necessary to support proper kidney function. Anesthesia can affect kidney function, and dehydration can further stress these organs.

Temperature Regulation: Hydration helps regulate a cat’s body temperature. After anesthesia, cats may have difficulty maintaining their temperature, making proper hydration even more critical.

Why cats lose their appetite after anesthesia?

Cats can also experience a loss of appetite after undergoing anesthesia. This decline in their desire to eat can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, anesthesia drugs can leave cats feeling groggy and disoriented. These medications can have lingering effects, which in turn suppresses their hunger.

Additionally, anesthesia can temporarily alter a cat’s sense of smell and taste. This alteration can make food seem less appealing or even unrecognizable to them. As a result, they may not be interested in eating until their senses fully recover.

Furthermore, the stress and anxiety associated with undergoing surgery and anesthesia can contribute to a reduced appetite. Cats can become anxious or fearful in unfamiliar surroundings, and this emotional distress can further dampen their appetite.


A cat feeling very hungry after anesthesia is a common occurrence due to the grogginess, altered senses, and stress associated with the procedure. While it can be concerning, providing the right care and attention is essential for their recovery.

The key to helping your hungry cat after anesthesia lies in patience, proper timing, and the right nutrition. Wait until your cat is alert before offering small, easily digestible meals. Consult your veterinarian for personalized guidance, and ensure access to fresh water to support hydration.

Angela Young
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