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sexual attack by feral male on male kitten

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Dear very knowledgable cat friends,
we have been visiting thecatsite.com for a while, looking for helpful advice as we have no vets in this area (north India) with cat experience. Dogs are kept as pets but cats are considered very unlucky. There are feral cats both in the city and out in the countryside where we are, but they are very cautious as they are routinely killed in the most horrible ways. However, nearly 3 years ago we managed to catch a starving kitten on our farm. We estimate she was about 10 weeks old, maybe a little older, but small. She was very fierce, and slashed the hell out of the two guys who caught her, but only a couple of hours later she was eating out of my hand (paneer, a type of soft cheese) and has since become a completely tame member of the household. I'll put up a pic or two of Molly soon, she is beautiful... tho I know all cats are gorgeous to their people.
Recently she had her first litter of kittens, while we are still trying to find someone who will spay her - as I say, no vet we have found is experienced at all with cats.
Only 2 of the 4 have survived, as they were all very small, and not strong. The two that survived are one tiger-striped boy, and one white girl with a striped tail and one striped spot on her back. They are now 2 months old. They have been kept inside almost all the time, with only occasional trips out, tho' their mum has a cat door downstairs and a well-trained human upstairs (one of our daughters) who lets her out and in on demand - and she is very demanding!
In the last few weeks they have become increasingly impatient to go out with mum, and Molly likewise has been keen to take them out.
Here I come to the scary part - last week, at about 6 in the morning when there are not many people about Molly and the kittens were playing on the upstairs verandah, running from the front of the house down the side verandah and round to the back verandah at the top of the stairs. Well, the little male kitten, Tigger, or Tiggly wiggly for short - was attacked. When our daughter heard the sounds of cats fighting, she rushed out of bed and to the door, and Molly arrived at the same time. The big male cat which had been crouched over one of the kittens rushed off, and when she picked up Tig, she found blood on him, which turned out to be from his anus. It was pretty obvious he had been raped, as his anus was bleeding and torn, and his abdomen was very tender and sore. He was distressed and trembling for some time afterwards - as indeed we all were.
Now we don't know what to do. How can we protect him and his sister?
Tig is about as far from an alpha male as could be - even his sister beats him up - but he is the sweetest kitten I've ever seen. Unfortunately he tends to get left behind when the kittens go outside with their mum. This afternoon he got lost while they were playing in the rice field, and he is just not quite alert enough to wander freely.
There are quite a few feral cats round here - at least 2 big males that we know of and one medium-sized. There is also another female who has a litter of 4 surviving kittens, now about 4 months old.
Help - who can give us some advice?
What can we do about spaying? We don't really want a vet to do his first ever job on our precious Molly - and no vet we have talked to is very keen either...
Is there some cat contraceptive we could get by internet? - Here the vet has prescribed human medicine (children's doses) on the one occasion when we needed medication for Molly as no cat medicine is available.
What about the feral cats? Because we don't throw stones at every cat we see, word has gone round that this is a safe farm for billae and billia (male and female cats) to hunt on - not something we want to encourage as they kill birds, squirrels, mongeese, and other animals as well as mice and rats.
Any advice gratefully received....
Felicity - and Molly, Tigger and Spotto (kittens still in temporary names stage)
post #2 of 11
Hi Felicity and welcome to the Cat Site. I'm sorry, I really can't help you with your main question. However, I did find some information about shelters and humane societies in India. I'm not sure if any are close to you, but perhaps you can contact them and they can help you find good healthcare and neutering/birth control for your cats. They're listed on this webpage:


I hope this helps, and I'm sure that others here will be able to help with your main question-if you've been around a while, you'll know we have some very experienced feral cat caretakers. Good luck!
post #3 of 11
Felicity, I'm so sorry to hear about your kitties, though it is so wonderful of you to want to help them despite the prejudices against cats.

I've never heard of a male cat being raped. Perhaps he was just simply being attacked (and it just looked like something else?) and received wounds there?

Feral males will, at times, try to kill kittens - though this is usually only when they're weaning. (If the litter is killed the female will be able to get pregnant again).

Un-neutered male cats are VERY territorial, however, and fighting between them is quite normal. It is very possible (and probable) he was hurt in an attack.

I don't know what advice to give about having the cats spayed or neutered with no vets that have experience.

Regarding the problem of the cats preying on the other animals on your property.... the only thing I can think of is to put food out for them. Cats are opportunistic feeders. They will hunt if fed, but they won't hunt as much, for the most part. Or at least not as many of them will. The BIG problem with that is that it attracts MORE cats! Then not only are you not chucking stones at them to get off your property, you're inviting them on - and believe me, they will come.

I'm so sorry I have no better thoughts on this matter for you. Unfortunately, the only way to stop the cats is to stop them from reproducing - and that is the problem you're trying to address. But without a vet willing to do it, and without you willing to risk any of your pets - unless you have the money to fly a vet up from Delhi or something for a few days, I can't think of a solution for you.
post #4 of 11
Wow! You are a woman of great courage. From the description that you give of how hard the life of a feral is in your country, it is no wonder they fight so hard when first captured. Without spaying or at least neutering, your colony will just continue to mate and the numbers will grow. I have heard rumors of an injectible contraceptive that they are testing out for feral cats. I do not know if it is rumor or fact, I suspect fact, but I also know it is brand new, therefore not available to the general public.

All I can hope is the links that Christy found for you are places that are accessible even with work. Your siblings will mate with each other at about 6 months of age, then when the boys turn one, the kittens will start to arrive. I wish so much I had the magic answer for you, I do not.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
first off, thanx for getting back to me so quickly - it made us feel good to get so much support immediately! As my daughter said in response to my surprise "Cat people are caring folk..."
I've emailed the organisations listed in your link, okeefecl, and hope to get some local vet contact through one of them.
Re the feral contraceptive you may have heard of, I've read about some lady who has come up with a possible solution to the feral cat problem which is now in testing. It's some kind of modified virus that is implanted in streptococcus bacteria infected bait, and any cat eating it gets the virus and it makes them sterile, without having any other effect. This is a pretty permanent solution... and of course, it's not ready for commercial release yet. Is there no cat version of the Pill?
I guess the sterilising virus is much more likely to be workable in the long run than any kind of trapping program, especially as wild cats are so smart - Molly is definitely the most intelligent cat we have ever had - and any cat that sees another one caught in a trap, even if it's a humane one, and they haven't been hurt, won't go anywhere near a trap themselves. And as you really need to trap about 100 cats in any area to have an effect on the birthrate, that just doesn't cut it. I'll be following the results of this testing with great interest, but in the meantime, I guess we will have to reverse our policy of not letting people throw stones at stray cats on the property!
I couldn't bear it if one of these little kittens were killed by one of the feral males, which is apparently not that uncommon in the struggle for food and survival, and even Molly is not a very big cat and tho she is a strong and brave fighter, she would be no match for the cat that attacked Tigger.
Even the mother and the four half-grown kittens that she got into a fight with the other night were enough to injure her and it was only because they made so much noise that half the household came running, that she got away with the little damage of a bitten neck and ear.. It was "big cats to the rescue"..
I've read some of your messages LDG and am very interested in how you managed to trap more than a dozen feral cats in the same area in a short time. Had you been feeding them before that? What kind of traps did you use? Assuming we can get someone capable and ready to do a spaying/neutering operation, it would be great to be able to make it a mass job... tho' I think it would be difficult to catch any of these feral cats... Did you let them go again immediately after the operation, or did you have to care for them for a few days? In the past when we have had cats spayed (always! but in NZ and Australia where cat vets are plentiful) the cats have been a bit groggy and also have been wearing collars to protect the stitches from immediate removal by cat teeth. I can't imagine you could let them go in that condition....
Regarding whether it was a rape or not, I have also never heard of this before, but the signs were pretty definite. I think because our daughter and Molly both got there so fast there was not other damage, which would probably have masked the sexual attack. But as there were no bites, not even the "normal" neck bite, careful checking for the reason for blood on his legs left no doubt that his torn anus was the source - and evenly all around, not just in one spot such as might have resulted from a slash or bite. I guess that as Tig would not have fought back at all he would not have been injured more severely... but maybe the attacker would have hurt him more afterwards if not interrupted... it just doesn't bear thinking about. He is totally recovered, and only seemed to be in pain for a day or so, and not too severely - he managed to use his sand box OK later the same day after a couple of abandoned attempts. Now he's a little more cautious outside... which is probably not a bad thing.
Thanx again all, your posts on this subject are really appreciated.
post #6 of 11
Gosh! That is a very difficult situation for u!! Kudos to u for trying to take care of all these cats..

The only thing I could think of to suggest about keeping ur cat/kittens safe would be to keep them inside so they won't have any contact with ferals.. I know the mom cat is used to it and will be upset but it's POSSIBLE to get them used to being "indoor" cats..

I don't know if that is a workable solution for u...

Another idea- again, I don't know if it's a realistic or workable idea but.. U know how some doctors volunteer to go overseas to work with poor people in rural areas where there aren't many doctors? Well, I wonder if there's any vets out there in other countries that might be interested in volunteering to fly out for a couple days/weeks to do spaying/shots/etc?? I dunno...

Hang in there and keep us posted!
post #7 of 11
It is possible to trap en mass feral cats. The traps that I know Laurie uses are the same ones that I use, called Hav-A-Heart trap. Once the cat is inside the trap, the trap is covered with a dark cloth and the cat is taken to the vet, neutered or spayed, vaccinated. If they are males, they are released after 24 hours, the females stay a bit longer. I have a large cage I put the cat in, but I have been known to keep them in the trap for as long as 48 hours then let them go. Catnip is a good bait to use on feral cats, but you only need a tiny amount, a larger amount will sometimes cause the cat to really bounce around the inside of the trap, but is does make them lose a little bit of the fear they carry.
post #8 of 11
Felicity, we trapped them in one trap over a several month period. We have a vet very close to us that we worked with, and we work from home, so it was very easy to monitor the trap. The hard to trap cats my husband actually tied a thick string to a stick to prop open the trap door so the cats wouldn't have to "spring" the trap (so it worked kind of like a drop trap, though they did have to go in the trap). He was about 20 feet or so away from the trap, and when they went in there he pulled the string.

In foul weather the vet would board the cats until the weather was nice. Males otherwise spent the night and were released the next day. The vet used stitches that did not have to be removed. The females stayed at least two days, usually three to five (again, depending upon weather). We always let the vet decide how long they needed to stay.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just a quick note to say thanks again for response and just for general caring - it was very much appreciated at a traumatic time....
The kitten who was attacked is fine, and he and his sister have been having heavily supervised visits to the downstairs world - we are on a farm at the end of an road to nowhere so they are comparatively safe.
Right after the attack, their mum started training them in "run for your lives kittens" and after they'd spent a couple of days tearing up and down the stairs from the rice patch to our daughter's bedroom where they live, she seemed to relax a bit, and so did we. She still gives them the signal every now and then, and they drop what they are doing - mostly chasing butterflies or 'titlia' as they are called here - and sprint upstairs like bats out of hell.
A couple of times it's been a real event rather than a drill, such as tonite... but the kittens went straight upstairs, Molly was able to leave them there and set off to attack the male intruder - who didn't wait around for a scrap though he was twice her size... and one of us big cats came thundering out with a torch - being as we are "handicapped cats" - in our cat's mind anyway, as we can't see in the dark! But we still gave her some support. She always finds it easier to be brave if there is someone behind her saying "Who is it, Molly? Need some help sweetie?"
She is such a good mum at only two years old, and it is amazing how much she has matured over the last 3 months, tho she still has her kittenish moments, rolling in the sand pile when the guys are preparing to make cement... showing the kittens cute tricks such as walking on the top of the balcony railings - 2 inches wide metal strip, two and three stories from the ground.... I can't look...
Anyway, we have all done what we can to scare off any ferals, particularly the big males, and Molly has been able to substantially 'retake her territory' which had got a bit invaded while she had been spending so much time inside with her kittens.
I've managed to get a few pix of them into jpg format so there will be some 'family shots' of Molly, and the kittens, Tigger and Blizzard at the Lounge in the near future - depending on our email service.
We live in a state where there is terrorist fighting going on - just near the border with Pakistan - and from time to time, last time for 6 months solid, the state govt decides that the Internet service is a security risk and stops it.
As there has only been internet locally for 4 years, they have got away with this, but there are now a growing number of cyber cafes and that should make the situation a bit more reliable....
Anyway, thanks again to the people who responded and those who sent us emails with sympathetic comments... you guys are great!
post #10 of 11
Hi Felicity! It's nice to "see" you again. I'm glad to read that your problem with the male cat has been reduced. It seems like Molly has the spirit of a lioness in a little cat body.

If you've visited the Lounge, you know we love to see pictures. I hope you get the chance to introduce yourself and your cats to everyone here soon.

I hope everything remains well with you and your family (furry and not) and look forward to hearing more from you.
post #11 of 11
Felicity, it's so nice to hear from you! Christy (okeefecl) really said what I was thinking:

It seems like Molly has the spirit of a lioness in a little cat body.
I'm SO GLAD she's such a good kitty mommy, and the thought of you guys being huge "handicapped kitties" was too cute.

I'm so sorry about the problems where you live. Gary and I pay attention to these things, and I've wondered about you in your absence. I'm just glad you have Internet service from time to time. I'm so glad you took advantage of it while it was up to share with us.

I, too, hope all goes well with you and your family. Headbumps to the people, and scritches to the kitties!

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