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Cat feeding and litter box cleaning Post-Op

jeribelle

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Hello All!
I’m having my second hip replacement, sorting out what I will need to have on hand post op, and how I’m going to care for myself when discharged. Senior citizen, on oxygen. Moved here a year ago, but due to health issues, haven’t gotten out to meet people. Not religious, no club affiliations.
No family here to help, doc says no to rehab or home health, who wouldn’t care for kitties anyhow. Anterior approach planned, so hope to not be restricted as much as years ago when I had left hip done. I’ve been looking for somebody to hire to scoop litter boxes first couple weeks. No luck so far. Fixed income limits what I can pay.
I’m struggling with how I am going to care for kitties post-op, scoop litter box. I will have walker with seat for carrying their food dishes, but won’t be able to scoop litter boxes on floor, or place food and water dishes on floor for awhile. How do you guys handle your pet care, when nobody available to assist? Maybe purchase cheap wide patio benches to elevate litter boxes and food dishes temporarily?
Thank you!

Edit:
I simply cannot find where to post surgery date here. RTHR, Scheduled September 16, 2019. I had LTHR almost 25 years ago. Obviously surgical protocol changes, and thankfully so.
But why can’t I see these places to post surgery date? I’m using an IPad, if that helps.
 
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Layla

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Hi @jeribelle
Welcome to BoneSmart! Thanks for joining us.
Please leave your surgery dates below, both your upcoming and first surgery, including the appropriate hip for each date. The information will be applied as your signature.

Wondering if you experienced your first THR while living alone? If so, how did it go, and what if anything posed the greatest challenge for you?

I've never been a cat owner so I can't offer any hints in that area, but I'm sure that many cat lovers will stop by offering opinions and advice.
Wishing you comfort as you plan ahead an wait on your next surgery.
 

Celle

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Hello @jeribelle - and :welome:

Do you have a date for your hip replacement? If so, please will you tell us the full date and which hip it is, so we can make a signature for you? Thank you.:flwrysmile:

Although she had knee replacements, I'm going to tag @sistersinhim , because she has several cats and she managed on her own after surgery.

I've moved your post from the Hip Replacement Recovery Area, into the Pre-Op area, since you haven't yet had your surgery.

You may be able to pick up and put down the cats' plates if you use a grabber, like this:


You may find that you can bend down to the floor and still stay withing the 90-degree rule, if you put your non-operated leg forward and bend that, while keeping your operated leg straight behind you, as these images show. Ask the PT to show you this while you're in hospital.


Her are some article that will help you prepare for your surgery:
If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:
Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic hip?
Choosing a surgeon and a prosthesis
BMI Calculator - What to do if your surgeon says you're too heavy for joint replacement surgery
Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?

If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:
Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home
Recliner Chairs: Things you need to know if buying one for your recovery
Pre-Op Interviews: What's involved?

And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced hip, take a look at the posts and threads from other BoneSmarties provided in this link:
Stories of amazing hip recoveries
 

Jaycey

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@jeribelle I had 2 cats post LTHR and use the methods and devices suggested in Celle's post. Be sure you have plastic cat dishes and if they have a "cut-out" in the front part you can hook the grabber on it. I did have a few "spills" - but we all survived. See if you can purchase a long handled scoop to monitor the cat litter.
 

alexthecat

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I live in a university town, so I called the vet school and asked if they had any students that like to do pet sitting. They sent me a nice girl who came by every evening to scoop the litter boxes, sweep the floor, bring in my mail, water the plants, wash the dishes, and play with the cats. I think it cost $8 per visit.

Sent from my SM-S327VL using Tapatalk
 

djklaugh

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I moved my cats feeding place to the end of my dining room table - put a water proof cover over the table first. That way I did not have to bend down to feed them. I also used paper plates for their wet food for a while so there was less dish washing to do.

If you live in a city or urban area check to see if there is a website called NEXTDOOR for your area. Where I live it's organized by neighborhoods and there are lots of folks offering pet care or asking for same. Or if there is a community center near you call them and see if they know of a responsible teenager who'd like to earn a bit of extra $$ who could come and help you out. Or ask your vet if they have any recommendations or suggestions. The vet I took my girls to had vet assistants/techs who were very willing to swing by and help.
 

zauberflöte

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@jeribelle welcome! We are the same age.

As I read your question re cats, I was already calling to mind very funny anecdotes I'd heard around jn my first hip cohort. Someone was using a grabber, it flipped the bowl, and there was kibble raining down like cat-manna. Very happy cat.

For myself, I did what @djklaugh did-- led the cats to the table, where they happily jumped up to eat. Second hip I was very sneaky clever. For a whole year beforehand I fed the cats on the floor using the "golfer's reach", a version of which is illustrated in a previous post. So I was strong enough for that almost from day one. You don't have that time. I highly recommend the table or counter feedings.

All the best!!!
 

CricketHip

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@djklaugh great suggestions! I wouldn't have thought to inquire at the vet's office. the vet school idea was good too @alexthecat.
I hope you find some help for at least the first week @jeribelle . I think it would be nice to have the company of someone checking in, too.
good luck and glad to see you here on the forum!
 

sistersinhim

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Hello, @jeribelle. I am a cat rescuer and at the time of my tkr, I had 13, inside/outside cats. I bought a long handled pooper-scooper from Amazon that I used for the litter boxes. I bent with my one leg, holding on to the walker, for the food and water dishes. I also had the large capacity dry food and water feeder in case I didn't feel like messing with the can food or water. It wasn't easy, but they gave me the will to get better without overdoing it! Having cat doors to the inside/outside was a huge help and cuts down on the litter box cleaning. If you have any questions be sure and tag me. I'm normally on the knee recovery side, but I will see your @ in front of my user name.
 

Mersada

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I have the same concerns with caring for my dogs. I have them wee wee pad trained. That site nextdoor.com is great. There is a lady on there in my area that charges 10 a visit. Other than that, I bought the grabber, some aluminum dishes and a pooper scooper...I'm hoping that will help. Since you are having anterior done, you probably will be allowed to bend over. I don't think the 90 degree rule applies to anterior...they won't do that procedure for me, so you're lucky in that respect. Good luck. Will look forward to reading about your recovery.
 

QHElly

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On Amazon you can get a long handle scooper. You can put litter in a trash bag and then place in litter box. Hook handles of trash bag up to something so you donty have to lean over. Just take up litter when it's ready to be discarded, fill a new trash bag...maybe use cheap litter. Walmart has litter for $1.25.
 

gertie

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@jeribelle I live alone and have a cat. I did hire someone to come in periodically to give the boxes a good cleaning but in between her visits I used a long-handled scoop I found on Amazon. For feeding I found something called a "kitty caddy"--2 dishes in a plastic frame with a long handle so you don't need to bend down.
 

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Mersada

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@jeribelle I live alone and have a cat. I did hire someone to come in periodically to give the boxes a good cleaning but in between her visits I used a long-handled scoop I found on Amazon. For feeding I found something called a "kitty caddy"--2 dishes in a plastic frame with a long handle so you don't need to bend down.

Thank you for this tip....they have for dogs too but, I think I like the kitty one better it has stainless steel bowls. The dog one is plastic.
 

julesglass

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Morning @jeribelle, lots of good suggestions. I had help with my cat early in recovery, however I like the idea of giving the vet a call for some assistance until you are comfortable managing the litter. I like your idea of setting food dishes and litter box up off the floor. I also have a dog so kitty's dishes are up anyway. If I was to consider raising the litter box I would look for a small table at a second handstore. Even a board raised on a couple of totes or boxes. Let us know what you come up with, it's always helpful to see how creative we can be. :kittymilk:
 

ChrissyW

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My hubby took charge up to week 6 re the litter tray, after which, using the golfers reach to pick it up and pop on a surface, allowed me to take over. Feeding wasn't a problem as Luna my cat has always enjoyed jumping on to a unit in the kitchen to be fed , which has more or less become her personal dining table now! All the best and it's amazing how much innovation can be found on this site, we seem to be able to come up with solutions to everything and anything!
 
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jeribelle

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Thank you all for the helpful links and ideas. Surgery is scheduled September 16, 2019. If it can go forward. I have some medical issues needing resolved/clearance. Possibly won’t know for sure until a week or so prior to surgical date. Frustrating, but not unheard of.

I’ll probably order a long handle scooper for the deed here. And, Tidy cats buckets could be the base for a makeshift bench for the boxes. I didn’t have cats when I had surgery years ago. My sons were teenagers, but teen boys aren’t the best caretakers, I found. Wasn’t totally alone, but they weren’t helpful like a sibling or some spouses might be.

I agree, on trying to not bend too much initially, for the pain. I recently had a bad pain medication reaction, so I may not be able to receive much pain control post-op. I see the doctor has orders for general anesthesia for me, and I really want to have a block, spinal or epidural, with sedation, as I have lung disease, plus the anesthesia makes me so sick. Especially after this latest medication reaction. I’ve only seen the orthopod’s PA, don’t see him until a week before surgery. And I didn’t get to meet with anesthesia at the Pre-op last week, as I had hoped. I need adequate time to discuss the anesthesia with the person who will be performing it, as I woke up fully in the middle of my LTHR, to a surgeon and anesthesiologist with their backs turned to me. The machine was banging the stem into my femur, I could watch my body recoil with each strike. And the doctors were discussing the surgeon’s Canadian walleye fishing trip, while I was laying there, intubated, trying to tell them, hey, guys, I’m awake here. It was very traumatic for me. Shouldn’t have happened, doctors should never be turning their backs on a patient during surgery. So, I have anxiety over that happening again.
 

Mersada

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omg...I would have anxiety over that, too. What a traumatic experience. I hope it doesn't happen again. Best wishes to you. Will look forward to hearing about your recovery. Hope it's uneventful and easy, what I wish for all of us.
 

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