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Need assistance for injured cat

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

This morning I took my injured stray to the vet. He has been shot in back leg and the vet cannot fix broken leg. He can how ever amputate. My problem is that I have had Tommy as a stray since last July. He lives in my garages as he does not get along with 2 of my 4 cats. He is a friendly big ole tomcat. One of my cats is terrified of him and the other one will fight with him (I think he initiates it). He is not yet neutered however I believe he was a house cat at one time as he knows how to use litter box and always wants in the house. I probably have a large vet bill already and will double with the additional surgery. I don't know what to do and have to decide to keep or have put down by tomorrow morning?? What would everyone do? Thanks for the advice.
post #2 of 12
If your concern is will he be okay with an amputated leg, the answer is yes. After some recovery time he should be fine. While he is having the surgery have him neutered at the same time and that will stop the fighting with the other cats. There are organizations out there that place special needs cats only. I will PM you the links when I can locate them
post #3 of 12
How sad for this poor cat. Probably all of his problems stem from not being neutered. I do hope you go on OK tomorrow.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
I unfortunately have a neighbor (rural area) who enjoys shooting all types of animals domestic or not. I can't mention how many of my cats he has shot over the years this is the 3rd of my 5 total cats that are living now that this has happened to. This is a topic for a whole different conversation.
post #5 of 12
I would have the surgery done, and I would have the cat neutered at the same time. I'd discuss a payment plan with the vet, many have "pay now" policies but are actually willing to help people who are helping stray animals.

Your Tommy should stop wandering so much once he's been neutered. This is true for all cats, and if you have them spayed and/or neutered, they may not wander onto your neighbor's property. If you would like to learn more about the health and behavior benefits of spaying and neutering, please click on the link in my signature line!

Also, in the future if you want to locate low-cost spay and neuter services, there may be one near you. There is also a link in my signature line that will help you search for low-cost spay/neuter services. If you are unable to locate any, you can contact SpayUSA (a link to their website is provided when you click on the Find Low Cost Spay-Neuter Services link in my signature line). They can contact your vet to see if they can negotiate something.

You are wonderful for caring for Tommy and other strays that come your way! You will all be happier, and they'll be healthier and safer if you find a way to have them sterilized.

Sending prayers for Tommy. I'm sure he'll be fine. We have a deaf kitty with one eye, and she's just great. I've "met" three-legged cats and dogs before, and they adjust supurbly. They're amazing creatures, and it sounds like he has a wonderful life worth living.
post #6 of 12
GailC..I wouldn't put this cat down...he will do fine with 3 legs as Hissy has pointed out. Here is a group that works with people who need funds:


Please let us know how it goes and yes...please have him neutered.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yesterday was a rough day!! My husband wants Tommy put down as well as my sister & mom. My co-workers said fix him. I was very torn and to top it off the vet called back and said the leg could only be saved by pins/screws & $$$-would be lame and could still need leg amputated. So this morning before work I decided to have him put down-I was so upset I threw up 6 times. I came to work still not happy with decision checked this website and everyone wanted him fixed up, I called my husband pleaded with him so THE GOOD NEWS-leg will be amputated tomorrow & neutered. Will be costly but I feel worth it. I however didn't tell my husband about the amputation (oops!!) I just said he will be lame-I didn't lie to him. But he wants me to confront my gun happy neighbor which will be tough. So thanks for the support and I will keep you appraised of his recovery.
post #8 of 12
That's great news. There are plenty of three-legged cats around who are perfectly happy. Please make sure he can't get out of your garages as he'll be at a disadvantage if he escaped outside. Maybe now that he's neutered and once he's fully recovered from his surgery, you could begin to slowly re-introduce him to your other cats. This thread is a great resource on introducing cats.
post #9 of 12

Way to go Gail! You obviously love this boy, and obviously we're a bit biased here at TCS, but it's so sad to needlessly end a life when both you and your boy will be happy! He'll hardly notice he's got three legs (after the surgery heals). He'll be a very special kitty and will always hold a special place in your heart. He obviously has a relationship with you where you're mommy and caregiver, and I'm so glad you decided not to put him down! He'll bring many smiles.

Tania - please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you mean to confine him to the garage until the surgery has healed. This I would certainly do.

And confronting your neighbor probably won't be easy, and I don't envy you. Many of us at TCS have had to confront nasty neighbors and have had to deal with cat-haters, and I'm sending you lots of "HAVE STRENGTH!!!!" vibes!

I don't know if you have a legal leg to stand on - it depends upon whether or not Tommy is licensed (if your town has licensing laws - many rural areas do not require licenses for cats), and if "pet" cats are allowed to live outside (many urban/suburban areas require pet cats to be contained inside or if outside they must be in a fenced area or on a leash - but many rural areas allow pet cats to roam outside). BUT - if you look into these things before you confront your neighbor, if Tommy's licensed or doesn't require a license, and if he's allowed to roam outside, then you may be able to ask your neighbor to pay his vet bill (or settle on helping to pay the bill). That may be pushing things - but perhaps it'll help him settle on not shooting your cats anymore. Just a thought.

post #10 of 12
Originally Posted by GailC
But he wants me to confront my gun happy neighbor which will be tough. So thanks for the support and I will keep you appraised of his recovery.
Gail, you are doing really well, you're doing what I think any compassionate person would say is the RIGHT thing.

I realize how difficult what I am going to suggest will be, because, well, for one thing, you are already emotionally committed to the cat, not to your relationship with the neighbor. But, what I am suggesting is actually for the sake of the kitty.

Be very calm and as friendly and neutral as you can, when you start to talk with the neighbor. Mostly, such people have never found anyone who actually took time to LISTEN. So if you will let this person vent and just do your very best to listen and not judge right away, you can learn why they are being nasty. You mustn't talk down to them, and yet, at the same time, they are often very much like small children. They are often very afraid and they feel powerless.

I've had encounters like this, where, once I let the guy talk, he actually (without ANY prompting) said, "It's not the cats, it is really the neighbors that I am so upset with." (He was upset because the cats were coming and spraying on his front door). This guy was not harming the cats, but, if it had escalated, he might have decided his ONLY hope was to shoot them -- if nobody human would listen to him and help him.

So try to be there to help with the situation. The cat doesn't WANT to create a problem for the guy.

Don't lead him to think that you can singlehandedly swoop in and solve all of his problems. Try to get him to just agree on how to identify it, first. Then, propose that you both think about how it might be solved, come up with all of the options.

This is one of the most difficult aspects of helping cats, is working with people who often don't have a real clue why the cats are there, how to stop them doing objectionable things, how to get other people to respect individual rights, and all that.

So, try to listen well. If the guy does not mind, keep yourself calm by jotting notes on what he mentions. ("Cats jump on car hood" or "smell of urine around garden in back," that kind of thing -- that will help you to show him you really DID hear him.) You may be really shocked at how reasonable someone can become, once you say, "here's what I think you are saying, you can't stand the smell of the urine, you want the cats to stay off your car, and you wish you didn't keep seeing the same cats lying on the road all the time." It's very powerful to feel that you are HEARD.

And, of course, he might be a plain jerk or you might not be able to keep your cool, but, I'm betting that you can do this!

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just an update. Stopped at vet's office today-Tommy was "standing" and eating (his favorite activity) and then flopped down and went into pet me mode!!! The vet who did surgery was very pleased with results. It is shocking however to see that big shaved area, all the stiches, bruises and weight loss and of course the missing limb.
I can take him home tomorrow!!! Thanks for all the advice. I'll also be formulating my talk with the neighbor.
post #12 of 12
Depending on where you live there are vets who work with various pet rescue organizations and will give you reduced rates. Try to find a vet orthopedist and see if leg can be set. Also have him neutered. I just rescued a 4 or 5 year old uneutered outside cat, had him neutered and he is a very well behaved indoor cat now. My cats and he may not yet be friends but they respect each other and no fur has flown yet.

Also, three legged cats get along just fine.
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