What to Expect When Your Cat has Ocular Melanoma Surgery

When I first saw a brown spot that looked like a freckle in our cat Rory’s eye I never imagined it being cancer…but it was. Finding out the only solution to give him a good shot at a long life was actually removing his eye absolutely broke our hearts but we knew it was the right decision. The day we dreaded for the past several month finally came this week and I can say it went much better than we expected.

r1Taking him to the surgery center was really tough. He sat on my lap and I got in as many kisses and pets as I could. When we handed him over to the nurse I felt like it was the ultimate betrayal and I cried my eyes out. When we got the call that he was out of surgery and was wide awake we were incredibly relieved but also tremendously nervous to see him. From drop off to pick up it was about 5 hours. Everyone at the surgery center was very kind to us and Dr. Holmberg did a great job stitching him up. As sad as it was seeing him with only one eye I was actually surprised at how great he looked. 

I had NO idea how we were going to get him home with the cone (e collar) on so I brought blankets and even a cat leash but he fit into his carrier with his cone comfortably. The first day home was tough. Rory would let out little cries and was so out of it from the anesthesia and drugs that he could barely function. It was so tough seeing him like that. Thankfull he was really attached to me and spent most of the afternoon and night napping on my lap.

Ocular Melanoma Surgery


Three days post op and he has been improving significantly every day. He doesn’t seem like he is in pain at all and is jumping up and down on our bed and couches to hang out in all his favorite spots. The most challenging thing for him at this point aside from wearing the e collar is taking his medicine. Two of the three are no problem but the one that we have to shoot with a syringe into his mouth has been a major struggle so we wrap him up in a towel which has been working. He has been sleeping really well throughout the night and is extra cuddly.  He even made a triumphant return to his favorite window to do a little bird watching yesterday to celebrate his fifth birthday.


Overall this experience has of course been sad but seeing him bounce back each day has made it much easier. His stitches will dissolve over time and he has to wear the e collar for a little over two weeks. The last step in this journey is getting the pathology report back to see how aggressive the cancer was. I am praying the doctor got everything out.

Is your pet going through a similar experience? If you have a story to share or any question please feel free to leave a comment.

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