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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Cat question

Odd question about cats; primarily outside ones. Several of the strays and feral cats that I feed on a regular basis have had abcesses that ruptured on the base of their tails or on their tails. Its been both males and females. Any ideas why? I'm thinking figthing but why are they getting bit on that area so regularly?

Its very odd. They all seem to be OK once it ruptures and drains, although it looks nasty!

Why can't people neuter or spay their cats? Jeez...............
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 10:02 PM
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As the "owner" of a formerly feral cat, I know exactly what you're talking about!

From what I understand from our experiences, injuries in that area typically indicate that the "injured" was fleeing from the fight. However, I've seen my guy in some pretty nasty fights where the cats looked like whirling cartoons - during one of these he was actually bitten on the abdomen!

The abscess you see can be the result of bacteria entering through a swipe where the nail punctures the skin. Apparently their skin heals over very quickly, trapping the bacteria beneath the puncture where it festers and eventually ruptures.

It makes me wonder if there is a larger cat you haven't seen yet who's the source of many of the injuries.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hubbub View Post
As the "owner" of a formerly feral cat, I know exactly what you're talking about!

From what I understand from our experiences, injuries in that area typically indicate that the "injured" was fleeing from the fight. However, I've seen my guy in some pretty nasty fights where the cats looked like whirling cartoons - during one of these he was actually bitten on the abdomen!

The abscess you see can be the result of bacteria entering through a swipe where the nail punctures the skin. Apparently their skin heals over very quickly, trapping the bacteria beneath the puncture where it festers and eventually ruptures.

It makes me wonder if there is a larger cat you haven't seen yet who's the source of many of the injuries.
This is exactly what the vet told us when our outdoor cat was younger and roamed. He was treated several times from an abcess due to a bite.

http://pdgf.pitapata.com/80BAm4.png


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 10:12 PM
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Are the ferals/strays you are feeding spayed/neutered? If not, you need to consider getting involved with TNR.
A neutered male is less likely to fight after the testosterone wears off (usually a month), which usually means they will be injured less often.
There are resources available in most areas - rescue groups, vets offering low cost spay/neutering.
Thank you for caring about the cats.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 04:43 PM
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That is frequently the area that is bitten once the loser decides to leave.

If these cats are too feral to touch (and I've "taken care of" some that were), you can put amoxicillin in some canned food to help with the abcesses. Those can leave massive scars at times.
Amoxicillin is available at most feed and seed stores as fish medication. Once capsule 2X a day for an adult cat will help speed the healing.

My neighbor has only one animal now that the others have moved in with me and it is an unneutered male. If I can ever catch him at a time when I the low cost spay/neuter is scheduled he won't be so male any more, but for now I keep amoxicillin on hand for him.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 04:52 PM
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OT kinda but THANKS for taking care of them. I do some of the same on a small scale and I know the work. There is a National Feral Cat Project that may be able to help you with meds and care including spay and neuter clinics. Feral Cat Project - A Compassionate Solution to End Feline Homelessness is a non-profit.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 07:11 PM
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Cats with feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia are prone to diseases and infection.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information. The cats at the warehouse near my work and touchable, but feral. I've taken one of the girls into the vet for surgery when she had a major issue and the Vet checked and believes she is already fixed. She came up with that decision based on the exam and that she is FAT! The other female there isn't fixed yet, that I know, but in the three years I have been feeding them she hasn't had kittens that I have ever seen. I have made appts to have her spayed but then she does the disappearing trick for days after. Its like she "knows!". A kitten just showed up there, but I checked and netiher female has been nursing her nor will they let her close so I figure either a cat I haven't seen or someone dumped her. I've been getting her used to being fed in the crate that I keep there so I can catch her and get her fixed ASAP. She's probably a little over 8 weeks. I started feeding them 3 years ago when the people at the warehouse left and the cats remained. They were sitting in the parking lot every morning waiting for food and after about a week I decided to "adopt" them. There used to be 3 girls, but one disappeared - eaten by coyotes I think.

Now, the outside cats at the house. One, a friend left at the house and he's neutered and I get his shots yearly. There are three litter mates that are coming for meals: 2 males and 1 female probably about 1 year old. I think they belong to someone else, but think one day the girl will make a trip to the Vet on my dime. I can pet them but not pick them up too well. And that doesn't even include the other assorted felines that stop by for free food in the garage or back yard that I may see but certainly can't catch. For the most part I can't even get close enough to see if they have an abcess.

Thanks for the information aboout amoxicillin. I didn't know I could get it without a prescription. I have to take Darby for an ear check to the Vet Friday anyway and might ask for a prescript, just to have when I see a problem. Great idea: thanks!

I did contact the local TNR group, but interestingly enough they haven't been very receptive. The cat vet I typically use is involved in them and she's been giving us a good rate with the strays when we take them in and I have my own live trap, but the group has yet to trap, fix and return the warehouse cats. Odd!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 07:36 PM
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You can also buy "fish" antibiotics through Revival Animal Health (online or catalog)
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