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new to cats... concerned!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi all-
I would really appreciate any advice or help anyone can give me. I am pretty new to cats— my family has always been dog people and I got my first cat just a little under a year ago.
A little background, because I'm not sure what is important: Hendrix is an older (maybe 5 to 6?) male cat. I found him as a stray, he was neutered and declawed and severely underweight when I found him last winter (His normal, not fat, body weight is about 17 lbs. He weighed less than 11 lbs. when I found him). I put up signs but no one ever claimed him and now he is just part of the family.
He had been a strictly indoor cat until we moved in September, when he started sitting by the door and crying to be let out all the time. He now goes out twice a day. Once in the morning when I left the dog out (he comes back about two hours later when I leave forwork) and then for another couple hours in the evening. He is very good about coming back, even when called in the evenings so it's not been a problem to let him out. He's also very cautious about cars and other animals (though he does have a friend cat).
The problem: I just got home from a very long shift. Hendrix actually ended up outside for most of today because I got called into work earlier than normal (I am a reporter and this happens sometimes). As the weather wasn't too cold or wet, and he can get in the garage if he needs to, I left him out. My husband let him in this evening and then he stayed in.
I just noticed that he has a very large bump (about an inch in diameter) on his back, near his tail. It is noticeable when you pet him and if you are just looking at him, too a little. He had gotten an open sore near there (about half an inch away) last week that has been healing but now there is this really large bump and I have no idea what it could be. I am certain he has not always had it, but I have had an incredibly busy month with work and have not been home a lot, so while I am pretty certain this is a pretty new development, I couldn't swear it hasn't been there for a week or two.
His behavior is normal. His tail is sticking up, as it usually does. He is eating normally. The bump is slightly to the left of his spine and is flexible, that is, if I press it, it gives to my touch. He also is not at all bothered by my touching it and actually continued to purr while I was examining it and did not make any efforts at all to get away.
I'm happy to answer any other questions I can. I did a google search and came up with:
a broken tail: though his tail is still up
an abscess: I thought this could be a real possibility, but I treated his original wound per my vet's instructions and it has been healing well. He also doesn't exhibit any change in behavior and it is definitely not draining. It doesn't feel hot to touch and he is still eating and not running a fever and it definitely does not bother him if I touch it.
Tumor: Oh, God, i don't even want to think about this.
Hernia: Entirely possible.

I am of course planning to get Hendrix into the vet ASAP and will be keeping him inside but I am just freaking out about this and thought I would try seeing if anyone had any insight to offer. Again, thank you so much for any help!
post #2 of 4
Welcome to the world of cats! I definitely would take him in to the vet. It sounds like an abcess to me,since he had a wound there last week. He and his cat friend may have had a scuffle. Really, it could be anything from an abcess,to a bot fly larvae (since he was outside with an open wound) or many other things. Cats hide pain so well. They will purr just as much when they are hurting as they will when they are loving on us!

I understand you letting him outside...but please be aware that with him being declawed, he has one less way of defending himself against attacks by stray cats and other animals! He may not be able to scale a tree to get away from a predator! Please let us know what the vet says!
post #3 of 4
I would guess an abscess or bot fly as well. Unfortunately when a cat has a wound it heals over but the wound festers inside. He definitely needs to see a vet to lance the wound.

While he is healing at least, I would try to keep him inside.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your responses.
I called my vet today and he can't see us until next Tuesday because of the holiday. He told me what to look out for (he seems to suspect abscess) and I do have an emergency clinic number in case it gets worse. I am keeping Hendrix inside until we can get this cleared up.
I'm nervous about waiting so long but he seems to be in good spirits still (although I think he is getting a little sensitive about it. It happens to be in one of his favorite places to be petted, but he doesn't try to move my hand there the way he used to, if that makes any sense at all).
Anyway, thanks a lot, really.
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