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I am a bad kitty mommy!

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well tonight we got a really bad scare. I took Twig outside and everything was going well then we heard a twig snap and my Twig started going crazy. He was jumping around and squirming to get out of the harness. Well I tried to pick him up and he scratched me and bit me and ended getting out of the harness and running off. I was frantic! I was calling and calling not worrying about my hands trying to find him. Luckily my girlfriend was with us and she ran inside to get my s/o. I told him Twig got loose and ran off, well he told me Twig was inside. We didn't know how he got there. But unfortunately in trying to get his harness off, he broke off four toe nails. I didn't notice this until a few minutes later since my own hand was bleeding quite profusely. (battle wounds I call them)
So after wrapping up my hand I went in to check on him. His tooth was cut and bleeding a little bit,not to bad. But then I noticed there were little blood stains on the bed but they weren't from me.
So I called s/o into the bedroom and he held Twig while I gave him a through once over and well there they were two on each back paw, bleeding because he just got his nails clipped this afternoon when he went to the vet for the frontline scare(see the worry wart post in health and nutrition for that story.) and when he scratched to get out of the harness, he broke them down to where they bleed.
I feel like dirt! I am NEVER taking him outside again. He is an indoor cat only permanently!
So now he is in the bedroom with syptic on his paws, unhappy and hissing at everyone and everything. I feel so horrible! Is there anything I can do other then the syptic? He won't let me hold ice on them like the vet suggested. I got to clean them out really well though. HELP! BAD KITTY MOMMY!!!!!!!!
post #2 of 25
I don't have any advice on what you can do, because I have never had this happen. I don't think you are a bad cat mommy at all! You were just trying to do something nice for him, and he just didn't like it. Not your fault!!! He will be okay, I am sure...but just in case someone has any advice on what to do for him, I am moving this to health and nutrition. Hope that's okay!
post #3 of 25

don't really have any advice as to the nails, except to say that whenever I've managed to clip my dogs' nails too much (they have black nails) and they've started bleeding, it actually looks a lot worse than it is. The dogs, at least, don't seem to hurt, but the quick does bleed a lot. It has always stopped after a while, and the dogs have never seemed uncomfortable after that. I'm sure your kitty will be just fine. It's good you got them cleaned out properly, and just keep an eye on them from now on to make sure they heal nicely.

As to the whole incident, I had almost the same thing happen the first time I tried taking my older cat outside in a harness. All was going well, until she freaked as her leash got sort of twisted around a tree, which is when she freaked- sort of flying through the air, hissing and growling, scratching and biting me, so of course I got my fair share of cuts and bruises too when I grabbed her and took her inside. After this, I didn't take her outside for a long time, but I have tried again. It just seems this cat doesn't like going outside, isn't comfortable with it, so I've quit taking her. The whole idea was to take her outside if she enjoyed it, and since she doesn't, well, let her be a happy indoor kitty then. All I mean to say is that these things happen, they're not anyone's fault, and certainly don't make you a bad "mommy", there's no way you could have anticipated this was going to happen. I'm sure Twig just had a scare, which is why he's hissing at everyone, and that it'll pass.
post #4 of 25
Oh Barb! I'm so sorry I didn't see this earlier! I'm the other one who's a spaz with the harness. In my post about it, I glossed over what happened the first time we took out Lazlo, but I felt exactly like you did - like a bad kitty mommy.

What happened to you was an accident, while you were trying to do something nice for your kitty! That makes you a GOOD kitty mommy and something unfortunate happened.

What I did was not thoughtful, so I was a bad kitty mommy! We'd only just rescued our little Lazlo. We'd been taking care of his whole feral family. The kitties, we thought, were between 8 and 10 weeks old. The family disappeared - leaving Lazlo behind. After almost two days of crying, we decided to adopt him (we weren't cat people, neither of us ever having even considered owning a cat before). He was the sweetest, cutest, cuddliest thing, who got pretty happy pretty quick, and learned to use the litterbox within 24 hours.

We thought it'd be nice for him to be outside, so just TWO DAYS after we rescued him, we put the teeny harness on him. He didn't mind the harness, so we thought - let's take him out. There's a Maine Coon stray who's adopted us. She's a big girl. We were out with Laz for about a minute when Rocki strolled up. We saw her coming, and didn't think about what was going to happen. BAD KITTY PARENTS. Rock strolled up, arched her back and HISSED. Little Lazlo FREAKED. He was a kangaroo on a short leash, leaping and bounding in a blinding flash of speed and fur and "screaming" - and the clasp broke. He BOLTED. Rocki was pleased with herself, and I was YOWLING I was crying so hard. Hubby, who had been holding the leash, was standing there open mouthed.

Unlike with your terrible experience with a harness, no one was physically hurt. But I was so scared that was the last we'd seen of Lazlo. I was hysterical.

In the end, he ran "home," which is a burrow just out back up in the woods. It took about 1/2 an hour or an hour before we saw him there. He was very angry. After many hours, he finally got hungry enough to come over. I lay on my belly crying, telling him how sorry we were and how much we loved him the whole time. But the chicken worked. And as soon as he took it from my hand - he didn't run away to eat it. I just calmly picked him up, and we came inside.

He never cried to go out again.

So - you're not a bad kitty mommy. I know I'm not either, but I felt like a real heel. I'm sure your kitty will recover just fine. Sending hugs to all, scritches to Twig, and prayers that all your wounds, physical and otherwise, will quickly heal.
post #5 of 25
Good point, Vikki! Thanks for reminding all of us.

post #6 of 25
LOL, Laurie. I had to laugh when you said you were a spaz with the harness thing. Just remember, you are not a harness spaz, you are harness challenged. The great thing is, this is not a permanent condition! See your furbaby for details. :LOL: :LOL:
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your wonderful replies!
Here's an update for you:
Twig is happily recovering from his ordeal. he was a bit sore and tender for the first couple of days. But now he is almost back to himself. No worse for wear. I check his claws every day to make sure that they aren't getting infected. They seem to be doing well.
I am doing fine also. the scratches and bites are healing very well. I have one small part that is infected but I can take care of that.
My emotional state is ok as well. I am never going to take him outside again though. I never want to see him do that again! That freaked me out beyond comparison!
LDG I saw that post on Lazlo, I understand what you went through.
I guess I just never thought that ANYTHING would freak out my calm laid back cat. He is always cool as a cucumber so to speak.
I appreciate all your replies and I am glad that everyone understands and never thinks I am a person who doesn't deserve cats because of things like this.
I tell you what, I learned ALOT from this experience!
post #8 of 25
I'm so glad to hear Twig is feeling much better!
post #9 of 25
Yup. We all just love our furbabies so much!!!!!

Glad to hear all is well, both with you and with Twig. Twig loves his home that much more now!!! HOORRAY!!! Everyone loves a happy ending. :tounge2:

Kumbulu - LOL!! And Barb and I are no longer even "harness challenged:" we're on a boycott!
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
LDG: I agree. strike! strike! strike! No more harnesses until they come up with one that is freaked out cat proof!
post #11 of 25

I wish I had come by earlier. jugen, I agree with everyone else, you're not a bad kitty mum. I take Russell out for walks on his harness. I don't really like the harness I use much and i'm currently on the market for a new one. I have seen a harness which seems more kitty friendly and can cope with freaked out kitty factor. I'll try to describe it and I guess if anyone has it could they please confirm the freak factor???

It has a loop for the neck and another for the body with a strap joining the two. And it looks less complicated to put on than the current one I have. The current harness has two straps which cross over Russell's chest and a loop for his body.

jugen, I'm glad to hear that Twig has recovered.
post #12 of 25
The two loops with the strap joining is the one that broke for us. The clasp, when a cat is panicking, becomes wiggly and EASILY comes undone. It is not the loop design that was the problem for us, it was the quality of the clasp, which was the style of a traditional belt buckle. I DO NOT recommend that type of clasp. OR if you use it, you have to "double clasp" it, where you loop the end back around through again.

We found a harness that is two long straps that come to a point at either end with an adjustable strap going vertically in the middle. If you lay it on the ground, you set the cat's paws on either side of the middle strap, pull up the sides (of the two long straps that come to a point at either end) up around the cat's legs and over the shoulder blades. Once you've adjusted all the straps to the right lenght, it is a snap to put on. It is on the cat before kitty knows it. There is just one clasp, on the cat's back. One side is a ball and the other side has two "holes." the ball slips into the big whole, turn the thin side facing the small hole and slip it in. It comes undone easily until you attach the clip from the leash, which then prevents the ball from coming out of the small hole altogether. It is a fabulous design, easy to put on. Unfortunately, I do not know the name of the brand. Next time I'm at the Pet Valu store I'll look for you.

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Twig update again:
he went to the vets today. his paws were swollen and really tender.
The vet said he never saw anything like what Twig had done to his paws ever! He told s/o that he's seen cats come in with one broken nail but never two on each paw and to that extereme. So now he's on anti inflamitorys and pain killers and antibiotics cause his feet had started to get infected. I"m glad I caught it when I did. Poor Twig. He's been so sore. I'm glad he will be alright now. He's my little puddin' toes. I am spoiling him rotten(more so then usual) tonight.
As for me, I am completely healed and only have scars on my hand from that night. But like I said before, No more going outside ever!
post #14 of 25
Poor little Twig! I hope his paws are all better real soon. Although, I bet he's eating up all the extra attention and loves you are lavishing on him.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
of course! LOL! That cat has barely walked anywhere since I've been home. I carry him so his little paws don't hurt him..
I am wrapped around his paws! LOL!
post #16 of 25


I'll send cuddles to Twig anyway. ^_^

post #17 of 25
I just got a new harness for Jorin, it's a figure-eight type, with a plastic/rubber cover where the two straps cross (to prevent the straps from digging into his back) and has a standard two pronged clip. I was rather impressed. Although we have only taken them outdoors once, just behind the apartment, they did OK. Tiger's a little nervous, but Jorin took to it immediately. The biggest reason we have harnesses, though, is we love to take them with us to Petco and such.
post #18 of 25
Glad to hear you're all healed up! Scritches to Twig - poor widdle guy.
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I have spoiled him as much as I can so far! He had a whole piece of chicken last night. tonight we will give him a little of supper(whatever that is). and he will be spoiled that much until his meds are done and he is completely healed.
post #20 of 25
I would like to take one of my kitties to Petco, but my husband won't let me. He says they could bring home fleas and ticks and diseases. How do you protect them from that?
post #21 of 25
I don't have the time to read all the replies on here, so incase this has already been said excuse me.

Did you pick your cat up and bring him outside?

I've found a better way, so that the cat adjust on his own time, and there's is less chance if him freaking out. Is to just open the door... and stand there with him (not in your arms) while he's wearing a harness. Be it a couple seconds or a half an hour, your cat will probably move on his own time and creep outdoors.

It's a very slow process, it's not like walking a dog.
What did you do when he tried to escape? Did you walk with him, so that he couldn't slip the harness, did you stand still, or did you pull on the leash to try and get him to come to you?
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
When Twig freaked, he was outside, a place he has snuck to many a time but since it was night time, something spooked him and he scratched the harness right off of himself and ran inside bleeding all the way. He is fine now but I haven't ever taken him outside since except to the vets to get his paws looked at after it happened.
I'm not a fan of the harnesses anymore just because of what happened that night. it spooked me almost as much as it spooked Twig.
SO Twig is a forever indoor only baby now just like the rest of the kitties. No more tempting fate thank you anyway. I like things JUST the way they are.
post #23 of 25
LOL. I fully understand after what happened with your poor babe. I guess I was just trying to figure out how you introduced him to the outdoors, as it might have been a big clue as to why he did what he did.

When you saw him outside before, with your or alone, did he always seem overly cautious, or was he freaked out when you found him (after escaping?)
My cats used to be calm on the harness 2 summers ago when I last took them out and we would hang out in our yard. But last summer when (thanks to my room mates) Isha and Asim got out a few times, they were scared out of their wits!! They didn't get too far, but they were scared enough to not really recognize me. Poor babes. Once I pick them up they are always much better, and then I bring them inside and they settle down nicely.
post #24 of 25
Now I know better than to try one of those on my cats.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Twig usually sneaks outside and runs straight for the tree thinking that he's going to climb it but he never gets very far up before mom or dad catches him and brings him back inside. He loves the outdoors, it was just something that night. I haven't ever figured it out. but like i said, I've never taken him out since.
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