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I've just adopted a 6-month old female spayed cat and she has stitches on her belly.

The previous owner did not mention anything about having to remove the stitches but they don't look like they're meant to be there forever for me. Should I take her to a vet or there is no need for it?

Picture of her belly:

picture of the suture

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If you're able to contact the previous owner, they would probably be the best person to tell you when and if they need removed.

There are stitches that dissolve over time, so they might not need to come out and that's why the previous owner forgot to mention it. But, I don't know of any way to tell whether or not they're the kind that dissolves.

If you have the vet records that say when she was spayed, the stitches will need to be taken out a week after that date. If they're left in too long, you could start to see the body react negatively since the wound is healed and now there's a foreign substance in the skin.

I personally would take her to the vet to have them take out the stitches, just because I'm not sure I could take them out in a way that wouldn't be painful. I've also never had a vet charge me for taking stitches out. Especially if you can't be sure what time that the stitches were put in, I'd be nervous about taking the stitches out too early.

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  • Spidercat's response is accurate. It happened to our cat when she was spayed, a bit of the stitches was coming off her skin after approximately a week, so we got the vet to remove them, while her sister's stitches disappeared without a problem. – D. Tunus Jun 15 '16 at 7:47
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It is generally a good idea to take a new cat to your veterinarian for a general health and wellness exam within a week or two of getting them. This ensures that if you later have a sudden illness, your vet is already familiar with your cat and has a baseline for what she looks like when she is well.

During this initial exam, you should bring any records you have from the previous owner (like date/certificate of rabies vaccinations, feline leukemia/FIV tests, microchip information, and spay date/certificate).

This intial exam is a good time to ask any questions you may have about your new family member, such as if the stitches should be removed. Removal of stitches is usually a quick procedure that should not induce any additional charges.

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