Author Topic: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....  (Read 8697 times)

Offline Oleander

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Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« on: July 17, 2012, 08:01:45 AM »
For the last 3ish months I have been working with and feeding a feral cat at our townhouse complex. Poor little guy had about half his tail missing, with exposed bone and everything. It looks terrible! I finally got him to the point where he would let me sit next to him when he eats, but he still would not let me touch him. I was hoping to get him comfortable enough with me so that I could take him to the vet... I have a little experience with ferals, our current kitty was feral and is now indoor only and doing great... sleeps on my head every night :) He still has some feral tendencies and can play really rough but he is a great little guy.

Well, anyways, as it's been over 100 degrees here daily, I was getting more and more worried about our little half tail feral cat. I finally found an organization that deals with ferals and the fabulous lady who runs it let me borrow a cage last night. I didn't think he would fall for it, but he did! We got him safety covered up in the trap in the kitchen and he is heading to the vet in just a few minutes! His poor little 1/2 tail looks horrible, it has a few inches of fury tail and about an inch of bloody bone. I know he has to be in so much pain! He is a little orange tabby and has actually be handling the whole trapped/indoor thing great through the night... no hissing or meows or anything.

The organization has amazingly offered to pay for his shots and neuter and we are paying for the tail surgery.  I am not sure if they will amputate it or not. Then he will be coming back here and likely be caged (inside, large dog crate) till he heals. We will be taking him with us when we move, which will be in a 6 weeks or so hopefully, as we will have plenty of safe space outdoors for him to be an outdoor kitty.... if he doesn't tame a bit. We would love for him to be an indoor kitty, but since he is an adult, i know this will be hard.

We are naming him Sullivan, after one of our rats who passed last year, who was also somewhat feral but became a big squishy lap rat after some health issues.

So, please keep the little guy in your thoughts! I know he is going to have a stressful day. Hopefully everything will go well with the vet!

& 17 Hermit Crabs + 3 Crazy Kitties: Jack, Sullivan, & Bennett  <3

Offline Marybelle

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 11:16:26 AM »
I hope everything goes well, and bless you for taking the little guy under your wing!  :)

Offline MiserySmith

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 11:53:17 AM »
Oh my gosh, poor little guy. That's gotta be painful
Thank you for caring about him, and yay for finally catching him!
I hope all goes well and keep us updated!
"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"-
Edgar Allan Poe

Offline nakedrats

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 10:06:16 PM »

Awww, that's such a sweet story.   

I used to do feral cat work, and it is so nice to see people taking care of the outside kitties.  They have such a hard life out there. 

I have a ~6yr old kitty that I found on the street as a 3 year old stray.  He's totally happy inside and is now afraid of the outdoors.  He'll go to the door and watch, but he gets really freaked out when I take him out to play in the snow.  He's an indoor cat and he knows it.   :yelcutelaugh:   Hopefully your boy will develop the same taste for the good life.

Good luck with your surgery, Sullivan.

Offline bit-bit

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2012, 09:03:52 AM »
How did it go yesterday?  Is the little guy home?

Offline Oleander

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 10:24:48 AM »
I just spoke with the vet, they wanted to keep him over night but he is ready to come home now so I will be picking him up in a little bit!

We got a dog crate yesterday plus everything else he needs. My only issue is how my cat is going to handle having another cat in the house! We are going to keep our cat away from that area though, so hopefully he won't freak out.

I will update when I get him home!

& 17 Hermit Crabs + 3 Crazy Kitties: Jack, Sullivan, & Bennett  <3

Offline applecavy

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 01:25:19 PM »
Yay for little half-tail! Just be careful to keep him inside for several weeks when you move. If you let him out too soon he will probably try and get "home".

Offline Oleander

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2012, 06:55:02 AM »
Well, he has been home since yesterday at noon and is doing good! He had no issue going from his carrier to the crate, which was so beautifully put together yesterday.... and now is a horrible mess of litter/water/torn fleece/etc.... lol. He had a busy night apparently.

They saved a few inches of his tail, removed the excess bone and sewed it up good with desolving stitches, it looks good, although pitiful because a good portion of it is shaved. I can't actually see is neuter site, but there is no blood anywhere so i am assuming it is fine. They checked him out before I picked him up yesterday and said everything looked like it was doing good.

So.. my issue is that the poor baby has one of those hard plastic cones around his neck... boy does he HATE at that thing. The vet didn't say when i could take it off, the vet tech said it was just a precaution,  and i REALLY want to remove it because i think it is distressing him. As far as I can tell, he did not eat a thing since being home, almost 20 hours, and i can't tell with the water as the water bowl was dumped and then stacked on top of the food bowl.... lol. I would just take it off now, but I will be gone for 7 hours today and if he rips a stitch open I won't be here to know....

Oh, and this vet was awesome... total bill.. $60, plus I bought 3 months of Revolution. $60! I was expecting 10 times that AT LEAST! I do have to take him back in 2 weeks for the rest of his shots and deworming pill. He is currently sleeping in the kitty bed in the crate... looking adorable.  I have certainly not tried to touch him... but man do I wanna give him some cuddles!

Our other cat has introduced himself... he just pulls back the fleece around the cage and sits and watches... new kitty seems to like the cat company, but really has not paid him a bit of attention. There are other ferals outside I have seen him hang around with, so I know he is a bit used to other cats... plus our little guy, Jack, is one tiny cat... even for a full grown, very well fed guy, he is older kitten sized, so not very frightening to say the least.

Any advice about the cone? I feel so bad for him. I know he must be hungry. He tore the crate apart last night.... litter EVERYWHERE soaked in water, all fleece pulled down, everything turned upside down. I know he was trying to get that cone off, as I saw him trying to do it before I went to bed...

And... before I leave I need to change the towel in the cage (we used a puppy pade under it so hopefully that soaked up some of the mess) and the litter... we got a really soft kind... but I have regular litter and yesterday's news... wondering if the YN would be better because it won't fly everywhere? I'm going to try to zip tie the water bowl on to the cage this time...

& 17 Hermit Crabs + 3 Crazy Kitties: Jack, Sullivan, & Bennett  <3

Offline Oleander

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2012, 06:57:58 AM »

& 17 Hermit Crabs + 3 Crazy Kitties: Jack, Sullivan, & Bennett  <3

Offline MiserySmith

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2012, 07:36:44 AM »
What a cutie! I would hate a collar too. I however, have never had to use one so I'm not sure when you'd be able to take it off.
I personally like YN type stuff just for that, I use it for my small animals so they don't get litter everywhere, might be worth a shot..

If he had more white he'd look like my Waffle cat :)
Did the vet say how old they think he is? 60 bucks is amazing!
"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"-
Edgar Allan Poe

Offline Marybelle

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2012, 10:30:05 AM »
Oh, he looks so pathetic!

In my experience, cats are less likely to bother sutures, so you're probably okay to go ahead and remove the dreaded cone, especially if it's causing him a lot of difficulty and he's not eating.

Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2012, 06:46:22 PM »
We haven't used any cones with our kitty surgeries, but I say if he isn't TRYING to get at the stitches, you should be fine taking it off. Especially if he isn't eating.

He's adorable!

Offline Oleander

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2012, 10:21:36 PM »
Cone is off! He hissed at me while I did it, but I was happy to hear him make any noise at all, since he had yet to.

He had clawed the heck out of that thing... I mean... deep, nearly all the way through... 100's of claw marks... Poor baby probably fought it all night.

After I took it off, I left the room for awhile and he drank some water and ate half his food :)

I changed the litter out for YN and he seems to like that better, it isn't sticking to him.

I will update again tomorrow or so. He seems to be doing well... he just won't come out of his kitty cube (now that he fits in it without the cone) which is in the far back corner of the crate. That's ok though, I know it will take time.

& 17 Hermit Crabs + 3 Crazy Kitties: Jack, Sullivan, & Bennett  <3

Offline Marybelle

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2012, 10:32:18 PM »
Hopefully, since you helped him with the cone, he'll start to view you as his rescuer!  Poor bub.

Offline Rzrwyre

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2012, 05:24:44 AM »
Oh, what a lucky boy!  I know when my boy (skinny with a REALLY floppy tummy) got his abdominal ultrasound...oh I felt so bad for him being nearly all the way shaved!  (It REALLY looked rediculous!)   There IS a reason why (most) cats are supposed to have hair!  ::)

I've known ONE cat who bothered (in a bad way) her stitches, and had one who had to wear a cone, but if he seems to be leaving it alone, I'd hardly worry!  I chimed in late so I'm sure his male parts are probably fine by now, just keep an eye on that tail!

Update us on how the socialization is going!

Best,
Raaz.

Offline MiserySmith

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2012, 07:40:41 AM »
Yes, how's the little guy doing today?
"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"-
Edgar Allan Poe

Offline Rzrwyre

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2012, 12:54:24 PM »
Yes, how's the little guy doing today?
1+!

Offline Rzrwyre

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2012, 10:56:52 AM »
You know, if you wanted, (yes, I'm mostly kidding) you could just tell people that he's a very fancy and rare type of Manx.   ::)

I am so glad he found you and that somehow it wasn't worse!

- Raaz.

Offline Oleander

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2012, 02:09:43 AM »
Just a quick update...

Sullivan is doing very well! He is starting to trust me, likes to sniff my hands, starts eating his food before I am even done pouring it in the bowl, and occasionally runs out in front of the couch in the living room and then darts back after realizing I am sitting here, lol. He really likes classical music (no, seriously!) and if I play it on TV he will climb around the entertainment center and stare at the speakers!

His tail healed really nicely and now he has this little fury stubby thing, it's freaking adorable! He gets along well with our other cats and usually in the morning I catch him napping on the couch all stretched out and relaxed. I just ordered a huge cat tree http://www.overstock.com/Pet-Supplies/Go-Pet-Club-Jungle-Gym-Cat-Tree-Pet-Furniture/5215729/product.html

and I hope that it will help him gain some confidence (being able to be up high and "bigger' than us) we will see.... It should be her next week, I am super excited!

& 17 Hermit Crabs + 3 Crazy Kitties: Jack, Sullivan, & Bennett  <3

Offline MiserySmith

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2012, 08:32:59 AM »
Yay! :) thats great
"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"-
Edgar Allan Poe

Offline Been to the Mountaintop

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2012, 08:48:39 AM »
Sounds like his temperament is awesome for a feral. So amazing how well he is doing and how well your other cat is tolerating it. Maybe he was a pet tossed out somewhere along the line. Bless you!
--Best, Mountaintop--

Offline Dragonfly

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2012, 09:00:37 AM »
It would be awesome to see some updated pictures!
Love the Creatures. Love the baby. Love the life.

Offline Oleander

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2012, 06:40:01 PM »
Sounds like his temperament is awesome for a feral. So amazing how well he is doing and how well your other cat is tolerating it. Maybe he was a pet tossed out somewhere along the line. Bless you!


He is very feral, BUT, he does have an amazing temperament! I think he is just naturally a very sweet cat. He is still horrified of us most of the time, but he is making faster progress than I expected. I am just looking forward to the day I can touch him! I have a cute little collar and tag for him :) Maybe one day! Here are some updated pics (he is hiding behind some storage bins in the living room)





He would be so embarrassed if he knew I was posting this one for the world to see, lol, but you can see his tail good. The last inch or so is just hair.




& 17 Hermit Crabs + 3 Crazy Kitties: Jack, Sullivan, & Bennett  <3

Offline *Kat*

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2012, 02:05:30 AM »
Some cats do have shorter tails, pixiebobs can have 3/4 tails and such.   So unless you know for a fact he had his whole tail it is possible that is all the tail he was born with.   He's a handsome boy!

Offline Oleander

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Re: Feral Kitty... half his tail cut off....
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2012, 11:05:13 AM »
Some cats do have shorter tails, pixiebobs can have 3/4 tails and such.   So unless you know for a fact he had his whole tail it is possible that is all the tail he was born with.   He's a handsome boy!


He lost the rest of it in a fight of some kind, he had a lot of exposed bone which our vet amputated. I am assuming it was a full tail before, since we have lots of ferals around here and they all have regular tails.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 11:07:02 AM by Oleander »

& 17 Hermit Crabs + 3 Crazy Kitties: Jack, Sullivan, & Bennett  <3