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Black "gunk" on tail?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi all! I am new here, after someone on a gardening forum gave me a link to these forums. I will give you a little background about the cat I am concerned about before asking the question I am posting about.

We have been feeding an outdoor male orange tabby for a little under a year now - he kept coming up to our second story deck for food, as he had seen another feral cat doing that. That other cat was found dead by a neighbor in their yard last Fall, but this cat kept coming.

He is very friendly and we believe he must have belonged to someone originally because he loves attention and to be petted. About 2 weeks ago he went missing for 3 days, and came back to us very injured. He had a bad wound on his shoulder, and his ear was all torn up as it's been a few times before. Because we have 5 other indoor cats, we were not in the position to take him to the vet unfortunately, but very lucky to all concerned, I found a wonderful organization who agreed to take him on financially if we would foster him and hopefully keep him afterwards.

He was taken to the vet and neutered, and while there they found that he had such a bad urinary tract blockage that he would have been dead within 2 days from when they saw him - his bladder would have burst the vet said. They took care of that and we are now feeding him prescription food only and he is in a room next to our kitchen by himself, until he is totally wormed and a bit better.

All that is going well, but he also had some black "gunk" on the top of his tail near where the tail joins the body, when he came back to us outside. That same spot also looked flattened - I wondered if perhaps he had gotten run over by something? The vet told the people who are helping us, that it was secretions, and that that would stop after he is neutered. It's been a week since, and the black area is much larger than before.

Does anyone know if this is indeed secretions and will it stop after a while?
Or is this something else? I haven't seen him groom that area - though I am not in the room with him all the time. When he does groom in front of me it's been his front legs or the area that was stitched up on the wound. That area is pretty much all healed now thankfully.
post #2 of 8
What they're referring to is called "stud tail". Hopefully it will go away soon, but in the meantime you may want to wash the area with some dawn dish soap (rinse well!) because that will cut through the oiliness of it. If you leave it there's a possibility that it can get pretty nasty and even infected.


It's wonderful that you sought help for him instead of giving up or ignoring him when you couldn't afford the vet care yourself. Not everyone would do that.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info, strangs wings!
I'm so glad that I was given the link to this site - at least there is a name for his condition!

He's not quite secure enough for us to be able to wash him yet - he barely lets us pet him for more than a few seconds without swiping at us - I'm sure that's because this is all new to him and he's still terrified. He is getting better day by day though.

The women from the organization kept saying "it's a miracle the he came back to you injured, because that got the ball rolling and saved his life". We are very grateful for that too, and for all their help as well!

by they way... we named him Butterscotch for his pretty pale orange tabby coloring.
post #4 of 8
Hi, i'm the one who told you about the site, glad you joined! The section on "caring for strays and ferals" may also be a good place to post too in case you wondered about behavior aswell since if you adopt him you might want to know how to help him adjust better to living indoors being he was stray/feral. Hope Butterscotch feels better soon!
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynneNY View Post

He's not quite secure enough for us to be able to wash him yet - he barely lets us pet him for more than a few seconds without swiping at us - I'm sure that's because this is all new to him and he's still terrified. He is getting better day by day though.
That's not good. Keep an eye on it and if you can check the skin and make sure it doesn't get to looking very irritated. If so, it's back to the vet and they may have to shave the spot.

Butterscotch sounds like an adorable name for an orange kitty.

He'll get friendlier but be aware that he may remain a bit of a hands off cat. Some after being intact males for a while just get really iffy about where you can pet them, such as bellies, and won't tolerate being held for very long. You never know, though, so good luck with him.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi Keith! Yes you were that one who sent me here - thanks!

As for the petting, strange wings, - he lets me pet around his neck and then arches his back near me to pet it, but when I do, that's when he goes to swipe. My husband saw it for the first time tonight - he hadn't believed me before. Butterscotch lets him pet him much more and longer, but sometimes he goes to nip at him.

I will mention the "stud tail" to the woman next time she calls and we'll see if they can do anything - or if they will take him back to the vet. They also have very limited funds, and are doing their best to help us out with him.

Thanks again for all the advice. I will check out the section you have mentioned tomorrow Keith!


Oh, by the way - how does one get an avatar here? I tried but it doesn't seem like an option for me?
post #7 of 8
About stud tail - I'm told it often goes away after cats are neutered, but two of my boys still have it more than a year after their neuters. My vet told me it is occasionally something you just have to deal with forever, even in a neutered male.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynneNY View Post
As for the petting, strange wings, - he lets me pet around his neck and then arches his back near me to pet it, but when I do, that's when he goes to swipe. My husband saw it for the first time tonight - he hadn't believed me before. Butterscotch lets him pet him much more and longer, but sometimes he goes to nip at him.
That sounds about right. In stray intact males that fight, the butt is an area that gets targeted. Thus some males will be a bit defensive of that area.

I have one that was a couple years old when I took him in, and he didn't really seem to have a history of fighting (aside from the one that wounded him before I took off with him). He's very defensive about letting anyone touch his lower back, above his butt, and tail. He's also a bit of a "cheap shot" when he looses his temper playing with the other kitties and will try to bite at their butts.
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