FAQsHeading

There is no question too big or too small for our veterinary team. Below are some answers to our most common questions.

We proudly serve the cats Pennington, NJ and beyond.

At Cats Only Veterinary Hospital & McSNIP, we get a ton of interesting questions from cat parents. Below are some FAQs that might help answer any questions or concerns. Please feel free to call us at 609-997-2287 & 640-214-7647 for any other concerns you might have about your cat.

Cats Only Veterinary Hospital FAQs

What type of pets do you see?

We see cats only.

How can I schedule an appointment for my cat?

Call us at (609) 997-2287 for an appointment.

What services do you provide?

We offer a range of services, including normal exam, dental services, vaccinations, preventative care, diagnostic services, specialized testing, geriatric care, behavioral consultations, surgery, hospitalization, and hospice and end-of-life care.

McSNIP FAQs

Where is McSNIP located?

McSNIP is located at the back of the building at 19 Brookside Avenue, Pennington, NJ, 08543. You must access the door from the parking lot on Green Ave.

When is McSNIP open?

Surgery is scheduled by appointment. Our current surgery days are Tuesday and Thursday. Check-in time is 8:30 am. Cats are picked up the same day at 2:45 pm unless otherwise noted.

The door remains locked until 8 am sharp, and will not be opened before 8 am for any reason. The door locks again promptly at 9 am, and we are unable to accept cats for drop off after 9 am. The door opens again at 2:45 pm, no sooner, and locks for the day at 4 pm on the dot. There is no staff at the clinic after 4 pm. If you arrive ahead of schedule, please remain in your vehicle until your appointment time.

Owners of cats that are not picked up by 4 pm will be subject to a $35 late fee. Unless special arrangements are made for late pick-up, cats not picked up by 4:15 pm will be held overnight at a boarding rate of an additional $60. Cats not picked up by noon the following business day will be surrendered to Animal Control, and owners will be charged with animal abandonment.

We will not perform any services on unaltered cats unless they are here to be spayed/neutered. We are primarily a spay/neuter clinic, and in order to follow through with our mission, we cannot provide vaccines, microchipping services, wellness visits, nail trims, or any other procedures on unaltered cats.

What do I need to know before my appointment?

Can cats eat before surgery?

The night before surgery, pick up your cat’s food dish before you go to bed. Do not feed your cat anything the morning of surgery. Water is fine. Kittens under 12 weeks of age can eat a normal breakfast.

How should I transport my cat to my appointment?

Bring your cat in a secure cat carrier designed for pet transport (or live trap if feral). Cardboard boxes, storage crates, Rubbermaid containers, Tupperware, hampers, etc. are not secure carriers. Any cat not in a secure cat carrier or trap will be turned away.

What if I have more than one cat?

Please bring each cat in a separate, secure carrier designed for pet transport. If you must bring more than one cat in a carrier or trap, please bring extra secure carriers designed for pet transport with you at the time of drop-off, so that each cat can be safely discharged in its own container. Cats recovering from anesthesia may be disoriented, dizzy, and even aggressive, and cannot recover safely with another cat, even if they are kittens or littermates. Additionally, cats not recovering safely put each other at risk for suffocation. There are no exceptions to the one cat per carrier rule.

What methods of payment does McSNIP accept?

We accept cash or credit card for payment.

When do I pay?

You may pay at check-in. We prefer cash payment at the time of check-in. Customers will be unable to pick up their cats until their balance is paid in full. Cats held after 4pm for non-payment are subject to a $35 late fee. Balances unpaid by 4:15 pm will result in cats being held overnight at an additional rate of $60. Cats not picked up by noon the following day will be turned over to Animal Control, and owners will be charged with animal abandonment.

Do I need to bring my cat’s medical records with me for my appointment? What if my cat has never been to a vet?

Feel free to bring in your cat’s past medical records for a better evaluation of your pet’s needs. However, there are no pre-surgical requirements. We welcome beloved pampered pets, ferals, new adoptions, and pets without vaccine records. Please be aware that New Jersey state law requires all cats to be vaccinated against rabies by six months of age. We offer both three year and PurVax rabies at $22 and $40, respectively. Unless proof of rabies is provided at the time of check in, a rabies vaccine will be administered at the time of surgery at an additional cost.

I am trying to catch a feral cat and can’t be sure when I’ll manage to trap it. What do I do?

For those trapping ferals, we understand it can be a hit-or-miss situation. We will work with you to accommodate your successes and frustrations. Please call ahead to schedule a tentative trap date, and keep us posted on your progress the day of your appointment.

Can I have my cat declawed at McSNIP?

No. We do not declaw, and we do not condone de-clawing. Learn why declawing is inhumane. We are happy to apply Soft Paws at the time of surgery at no cost if you provide them. Soft Paws are available at most pet stores.

What do I need to know about the procedure and recovery?

Will my cat be sedated for the procedure?

Your pet will have major surgery with general anesthesia, which means they will be unconscious during the operation.

How does spaying work?

In female cats, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall. Read more on the procedure for spaying your cat.

How does neutering work?

In male cats, the scrotum is not removed, only the testicles. During the neutering procedure, there are two incisions made, one in each side of the scrotum. Male cats may appear as if they still have testicles. This is normal — the swelling should subside gradually through the recovery period. Male cats that are cryptorchid have one or both testicles which did not fully descend into the scrotum. They will have one or more additional incisions in an attempt to locate that testicle.

What do I do when I bring my pet cat home?

Keep your cat confined in a crate or small room the night following surgery. Make sure your cat has a comfortable spot to sleep in a confined, secure, and quiet place. Once settled, they will likely sleep through the night and be fine upon awakening.

How can I expect my cat to behave when I get home?

Your cat may be groggy when you get home, experiencing a “hangover” from the anesthesia. Your cat may also be a little agitated or aggressive due to the after-effects of anesthesia. Avoid handling your pet too much, as they may try to bite or scratch you. Your cat may have poor balance, which will make climbing stairs more difficult. Your cat may sleep more than normal for 18-24 hours following surgery.

How long will it take for my cat to get back to normal?

Your cat will typically require 18-24 hours to recover from the general anesthesia. Young cats tend to recover much more quickly than adults.

What do I do if I have children or other pets at home?

Isolate your cat from children and other pets. They may be more prone to scratching, hissing, or nipping at other pets and children due to the after-effects of anesthesia.

What do I need to know about the incision site?

Following the surgery, the incision site should look much like it did when you picked your cat up. It should not feel hot to the touch, and only be mildly pink along the suture line. It may weep a small amount of clear fluid (serum). If your cat allows, check the incision site once a day for one week. Abnormal signs include excessive redness, swelling, cloudy, colored or odiferous discharge, blood, or if the incision site appears open. If you see abnormal signs of healing, call us. Do not clean or apply any topical ointment to the incision site.

Will my cat have stitches? Do they need to be removed?

All sutures on female cats are dissolving sutures. You do not need to schedule a follow up visit to have them removed. They will dissolve on their own over the next month. Male cats do not have any sutures, unless they were cryptorchid.

My cat pulled out some of her sutures. What should I do?

Female cats have two layers of suture at their incision site. Some cats pull a stitch or two without affecting the healing process. If you have concerns, email a photo of your cat’s incision to mcsnipcats@gmail.com for follow up.

What is the green mark on my cat’s belly?

All female cats receive a small green tattoo above the incision line. This is a universally recognized tattoo that identifies your pet has been spayed. Tattoos are generally not placed on male cats.

When can I offer my cat food?

Offer a small amount of food and water as soon as you get your cat home.

What if my cat won’t eat?

Anesthesia tends to make animals nauseous, so your cat may not want to eat when they get home after surgery. Re-introduce food slowly. If vomiting occurs, wait four hours before offering more food.

Can I give my cat a special treat to whet his appetite?

Do not change your pet’s diet and do not give them junk food, table scraps, milk, or any other people food for a period of a week. This could mask post-surgical complications.

When will my cat’s appetite return?

Provide a normal amount of food and water to your pet the day after surgery. Your cat’s appetite should return gradually within 48 hours of surgery.

When can I let my cat go back to playing and interacting with my other pets?

The healing process takes 7-10 days. Any strenuous activity could disrupt the healing process. Some cats are active after surgery, while others are quiet. While it is difficult to limit a cat’s activity, do not encourage playing, running, or jumping. Do not allow your cat to rough and tousle with other pets in the household during the recovery period.

When can I let my indoor-outdoor cat back outside?

Cats must be kept indoors where they can stay clean, dry, and warm. Non-feral cats should be kept indoors for the next 10 days.

Should I be on the lookout for any complications?

Spaying and neutering are very safe surgeries; however, complications can occur. Minimal redness and swelling should resolve within several days.

What symptoms are cause for concern?

Please contact McSNIP immediately if redness and swelling persists or if you notice any of the following:

  • Pale gums
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Discharge or bleeding from the incision
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Labored breathing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy lasting more than 24 hours
What do I do with a feral cat after surgery?

For the safety of you and your cat(s), we recommend that you carefully follow these post-operative instructions.

How long should I keep the feral cat in its trap or carrier?

Keep the cat in its carrier or trap until it can move around normally. The cat can injure itself, you, or your property if released too soon. Its coordination is hindered by anesthesia, so it will not be able to jump or climb normally until the anesthesia wears off completely.

What can I do to protect a feral cat from the elements while it recovers?

Prepare a warm, dry, draft-free, sheltered area for the cat after surgery. Cats recovering from anesthesia are unable to regulate their body temperature normally and are especially susceptible to hot and cold weather. If the cat becomes too hot or cold, they may have a prolonged recovery or even die. Keep the recovery area warm, ideally near 85 degrees. The cat’s normal temperature is around 100 degrees, so they can become chilled in a 70-degree room. Cover the traps loosely with towels or sheets to trap warm air and for security. Make sure there is ample ventilation in hot weather to avoid overheating. If the trap is on a cold floor (like a garage), place a thick towel or blanket under the trap to maintain warmth. Keep noise, activity, and bright light to a minimum.

How do I keep the trap clean while the cat recovers?

Place newspaper in the trap. Be sure to check frequently for soiling, and replace as needed. Place additional newspaper or plastic on the floor to catch urine, stool, and food that will fall from the trap.

Should I feed the cat or provide water?

If the cat is alert and you have safe access, provide water in a way that won’t spill and get the cat or bedding wet. For cats over 4 pounds, provide canned food when the cat is fully awake. For cats/kittens less than 4 pounds, provide a small amount (1 tbsp) of canned food as soon as the cat is awake enough to sit up. Provide additional canned food 2-3 hours later.

Will the feral cat need to come back to McSNIP to have stitches removed?

The sutures in the females’ incisions are dissolving sutures and do not require removal. Males do not have any sutures.

Can I give the cat medicine to help with pain?

Do NOT give aspirin, Tylenol, or ibuprofen to your cats for pain relief. These drugs are very toxic (even deadly) to cats.

When can I release the cat?

Unless otherwise instructed on the medical record, release the cat the day after surgery. Cats on medications may be kept longer if they can be kept safely. Stress may hinder recovery, so early release may be more important than treatment for many cats. If a cat is lactating (noted on medial record), it is frequently possible to find her kittens by listening for their meows near where the mother was trapped. If the kittens cannot be located, release the mother cat as soon as she is fully awake, moving around easily, and showing normal behavior. We recommend feeding her before releasing. Releasing females right away is not ideal, but the kittens may die if their mother is kept for 24 hours or longer.

What if I’m still trapping other cats in the area?

Please note that early release is important when trapping a small number of cats. However, if you are trapping a colony, the best way to assure that you are 100% efficient is to keep all already trapped (whether spayed/neutered previously or this go round) until the entire colony is trapped. This prevents you from re-capturing cats that have already been done, and entices remaining cats to enter the traps. Keep traps baited for three days after the last cat is trapped to ensure you have everybody in the colony.

What side effects can I expect to see?

Normal outcomes in the first 24 hours after anesthesia/surgery include head bobbing, wobbly movements, drooling, shivering, mild bleeding from ear tip, mild bleeding from scrotum of neutered males, and mild swelling of incisions of females. These behaviors should resolve within 24 hours. Do not release cats that are unable to stand or walk on their own!

What symptoms are cause for concern?

Abnormal outcomes after anesthesia/surgery include continued excessive bleeding from the surgical site, profuse bleeding from the tip of the left ear, pale gums, difficulty breathing, failure to stay awake, excessive swelling of the incision, or tissue hanging from the incision.

Call us immediately at (640) 214-7647 if you see any of these signs. Seek veterinary attention immediately if you do not reach us right away.

McSNIP reserves the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason, including those who are rude, confrontational, or disruptive to our veterinarian, staff and/or other customers. We are here to help, and our system is set up to benefit as cats and clients as possible in a tight time frame while keeping costs down for everyone. In order to continue to function safely and effectively, we request everyone’s cooperation and patience, while we address your cats medical needs.

How can I schedule an appointment for my pet?

To make an appointment, please call (640) 214-7647 or email us at mcsnipcats@gmail.com