After surgery, it can be difficult to prevent your cat from licking or chewing the incision line. One alternative is an Elizabethan collar. This apparatus looks like a lampshade, which is tied around the cat's head. A hard plastic cone surrounds the head, preventing the cat from licking or chewing her body, or pawing at her face. Most cats will be able to eat and drink with the collar but if your cat is not one of them, remove the collar and supervise your cat when eating. After the meal, place the collar back on.
For more information, read Elizabethan Collars.