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View Full Version : Bring stray cat with a broken leg to Vet or let nature take it's course?


Phlosphr
05-14-2008, 08:40 AM
Let me preface this by saying I have not caught the cat yet, I only see him wandering the borders of my property.

Last winter a female cat had her kittens under a barn that borders the meadow behind my home. There were several kittens running about for a month or so then there were only two. Now 6 months later these two have been occasionally wandering through my backyard.

The all black one is very friendly, he comes right up to us when we are doing yard work, purrs like crazy and cozy's up to us whenever we are outside. About two or three weeks ago the black one went missing and I did not see him for a while. Usually they hunt birds and mice out in the meadow behind the house. He was no where to be seen. Now, I see him occasionally wandering further back in the meadow than usual and he has developed a severe limp. Finally, last night he came up to me when I was sitting on the porch and his limp has intensified. He looks like he is wincing every time he walks. I put my hand out and tried t touch his front right paw and he bolted on all three legs into the bush.

Should I catch this little guy and bring him to the vet? The problem is there are very few no-kill shelters around, and the humane society would probably euthanize. We do not want this cat for ourselves, I have two siamese attack cats that would be very sad if we let the interloper in. My wife does not want to risk bringing him to a shelter if they are just going to euthanize him, yet if we let him stay in the meadow the coyotes will get him evenutally - or a great horned owl might snag him - there are a lot of nasties in the woods that could get him. I think he is sleeping in a rock pile in the far back...but I am not sure.

What would you do? Bring him to the vet, or let nature take it's course?

chela
05-14-2008, 08:49 AM
Take him in! He's in pain, hungry and probably has other health issues being a stray. It is the humane thing to do rather than wait for mother nature to take her time with him.

sandra_nz
05-14-2008, 08:50 AM
I think euthanising would be kinder than letting him die slowly in pain.

Phlosphr
05-14-2008, 08:54 AM
We have been debating this all week, my wife and I. We picked several nickle size ticks off his face earlier in the week, so we know he's not grooming properly. But nature, is nature and quite literally 50% of me says let her take it's course.

DianaG
05-14-2008, 08:55 AM
I think the answer to this question can be found by asking yourself "Given the choice, would I rather die in my sleep, or be eaten by a coyote?"

calm kiwi
05-14-2008, 08:55 AM
I actually feel bad about saying this but I think you should let nature take it's course.

I have been critical about the whole American "indoor cat" thing but I have recently been watching a show that showed cat killing racoons, bears in dumpsters, badgers under the house etc. I now know why SOME American's insist on indoor pets (in New Zealand if the cat is outside it killls birds....nothing kills the cat!) if this cat has survived the Great Outdoors then it should be left to the Great Outdoors.

To even catch it to take it to the vet would be very traumatic.

Eureka
05-14-2008, 09:22 AM
I would seriously consider whether you could catch the cat, take it to the vet for treatment for the leg injury (and while it is there have it spayed or neutered) and then release the cat back into the "wild".

This may not be practical, but I'd think it would be worth a call to a vet to investigate.

Dung Beetle
05-14-2008, 09:30 AM
I think euthanising would be kinder than letting him die slowly in pain.
Agree 100%.

Philster
05-14-2008, 09:47 AM
We are part of nature. I say let nature takes it course: bring the cat in for care.

hotflungwok
05-14-2008, 09:50 AM
You obviously care at least a little for this cat. Is it possible for you to get him some help, and keep him in a spare room or something while he heals, and then let him go again?

On the other hand, if he isn't taking care of himself enough that he's got ticks on his face, then something is really wrong with him.

Dazzling White Diamonds
05-14-2008, 10:39 AM
We had a cat show up at our house with a bone sticking out of her leg.

People thought we were crazy for taking her to the vet to get her leg fixed and to get her spayed and vaccinated. Vet told us she'd likely never walk right again and would probably lose her leg. We told them to do it anyway, and we'd take care of her.

That was 10 years ago. She's a loving, happy cat who can run, jump and play. And she still has that leg. (Vet did a great job, and she was a young cat)

If it were me, I'd do it. Just because I'm a big FREAKING softie.

Yorikke
05-14-2008, 10:40 AM
My wife and I had a really heartbreaking experience just like this, except it wasn't a broken leg, it was a stray with a respiratory thing. Long story short, after a couple hundred dollars spent, at least he died in our house, warm and relatively comfortable, and buried in the yard, not eaten by coyotes or something.

R.I.P. Roscoe...

Joe

chicken wire?
05-14-2008, 11:16 AM
You're constrained by all the things you don't want to do so you're making it harder than it should be. You have the 'let nature take it's course' thing going on but you are a player in the scheme of things, you have a connection with the cat.

I'd take it to a vet. Maybe ring around and sound out the local vets first. Then again, catching it might be crueller than letting it die on it's own. Damn.

BwanaBob
05-14-2008, 11:30 AM
The tick scenario has me thinking this cat is in a bad way. My wife took home a stray like that (despite our having two cats and a dog). We took her to the vet who did all the de-ticking and shots. He was sure that she was abandonned because she had already been spayed. But the streets messed with her head. She was awfully fearful of people. We let her out in the back yard and she would stay on our property. Sadly one time she darted out the front door and got hit by a car within seconds. I had to bring her to the vet and have her euthanized. I miss Pewter but I'm thankful for our brief time.

Sorry to ramble, but I'd say if you have the money have her looked at, and if it's too expensive for you to do the full medical repair, let the poor thing be put out of her misery rather than being a meal for some other predator.

Good luck and best wishes.

TroubleAgain
05-14-2008, 11:40 AM
Sorry to ramble, but I'd say if you have the money have her looked at, and if it's too expensive for you to do the full medical repair, let the poor thing be put out of her misery rather than being a meal for some other predator.

This. :(

Brynda
05-14-2008, 11:49 AM
First watching birds get eaten, now a cat?

Take him to the vet. How can you watch animals suffer and not do something? I don't get it.

KarlGrenze
05-14-2008, 12:00 PM
What BwanaBob said.

StGermain
05-14-2008, 12:14 PM
Take it to the vet and get it tended, or if you're unwilling, take it to the pound. Yes, he'll be euthanized at the pound. But he won't starve to death or be eaten alive be a coyote. I thought you had some feeling for this animal. To die a slow painful death isn't what I'd wish on any animal.

StG

Marconi & Schmeese
05-14-2008, 01:21 PM
Catch it and take it to the vet. It's the humane thing. Can you imagine spending your last few days with a broken leg and hungry? Can you imagine much worse? Take care of the kitty. I'll paypal $5 towards the euthanasia if you need it.

Phlosphr
05-14-2008, 03:54 PM
First watching birds get eaten, now a cat?

Take him to the vet. How can you watch animals suffer and not do something? I don't get it.
Sorry I'm late getting back my computer dies right after I posted - literally! That's another story.
Brynda - I think the cat eating sparrows is this cat's dad....

Anyway - I'm going to grab him tonight, if I can and bring him to the vet. His personality is great! I don't want to see any harm come to him.

TV time
05-14-2008, 04:21 PM
My wife and I had a really heartbreaking experience just like this, except it wasn't a broken leg, it was a stray with a respiratory thing. Long story short, after a couple hundred dollars spent, at least he died in our house, warm and relatively comfortable, and buried in the yard, not eaten by coyotes or something.Same thing happened but ours survived and she is lording (ladying?) it over the household as she rules. But she was as good as dead when she got to our house.

Rachael Rage
05-14-2008, 05:01 PM
But nature, is nature and quite literally 50% of me says let her take it's course. Yeah, but you forget that domestic cats are not, strictly speaking, a product of "nature," even if they are feral. They are bred to be looked after by humans, not to survive in nature. As such, you are serving him more by taking him to a vet or shelter or wherever you can to mitigate his suffering.

Dazzling White Diamonds
05-14-2008, 05:18 PM
Anyway - I'm going to grab him tonight, if I can and bring him to the vet. His personality is great! I don't want to see any harm come to him.Man, this warms the cockles of my heart. Good on ya. :)

moonstarssun
05-14-2008, 11:05 PM
I'm so glad you're taking him in to be looked at. Even if he has to be put to sleep, at least he won't be in pain any longer.

On behalf of the mooncats, Pixel, Hazel and India, thank you.

Amblydoper
05-15-2008, 12:34 AM
I am glad you are taking him in. It is clear that this cat is attached to your family, and that you are attached to him. He may be a "stray cat," but he is your stray cat.

If this cat just wandered on to your property one day, I would say leave him to nature. Even though some Coyote or Owl would eat him, At least that animal gets a meal. Sounds cold, I know, but thats nature.

Mosier
05-15-2008, 02:49 AM
Enh, soft cuddly things don't touch my heart too much. I use the old-style neck crushing mouse traps and casually flick the carcasses into the trash. I might consider killing the cat myself if I was absolutely convinced it would otherwise die slowly and painfully, but I would probably just let the cat die on its own and forget about it the next day.

Besides, why should the cat go into some vet's dumpster instead of a great horned owl's belly?

kambuckta
05-15-2008, 08:47 AM
Enh, soft cuddly things don't touch my heart too much. I use the old-style neck crushing mouse traps and casually flick the carcasses into the trash. I might consider killing the cat myself if I was absolutely convinced it would otherwise die slowly and painfully, but I would probably just let the cat die on its own and forget about it the next day.

Besides, why should the cat go into some vet's dumpster instead of a great horned owl's belly?

Whilst I wouldn't have put it in quite such crude terms myself :D, I agree with this as a general principal. All animals (including us humans) are part of the food chain in some way shape or form, and if this kitty has come to grief via its wild life in the bush, then it should die there and provide some sustenance either to the owls, the coyotes or the worms IMHO.

Phlosphr
05-15-2008, 09:03 AM
Feral cats are sort of an enigma - they are not wild in terms of a raccoon or other such "wild" animal, but they were certainly born wild - meaning not nurtured by humans, though they do benefit from the birds coming to our feeders and the occasional mouse.

StGermain
05-15-2008, 11:45 AM
Phlosphr - Did you catch the cat? What did the vet say?

StG

TheLoadedDog
05-15-2008, 01:04 PM
I like cats. Indeed, I would call myself a cat person. I'd own one now if I could.

But this cat needs to die. All feral cats do. Better for the cat (especially this one that is in pain) and better for the local ecology.

GusNSpot
05-15-2008, 01:20 PM
What B Bob said. I dispatch the ones we can't save.
We are up to eight saved now.
I dispatch the ones we can't save.
They can be part of the food chain without the suffering.
We get a lot of dumped animal up here on the mountain.
I really try to catch those that dump animals because those cowardly sub human sub animal asshats need killin in the worst way.
They are the cause of the feral problem in domesticated type animals that we have now in this country.

Una Persson
05-15-2008, 01:37 PM
The all black one is very friendly, he comes right up to us when we are doing yard work, purrs like crazy and cozy's up to us whenever we are outside.

(snip)

Should I catch this little guy and bring him to the vet? The problem is there are very few no-kill shelters around, and the humane society would probably euthanize. We do not want this cat for ourselves, I have two siamese attack cats that would be very sad if we let the interloper in. My wife does not want to risk bringing him to a shelter if they are just going to euthanize him, yet if we let him stay in the meadow the coyotes will get him evenutally - or a great horned owl might snag him - there are a lot of nasties in the woods that could get him. I think he is sleeping in a rock pile in the far back...but I am not sure.

What would you do? Bring him to the vet, or let nature take it's course?
As someone said earlier, for better or worse he's clearly your stray cat, and considers himself part of your extended family. This isn't some random cat that was dumped off, he's been around for a while and clearly likes you and is from your description very personable.

Take him in and get him fixed up. I also think you may be overestimating the odds on his dying from natural causes. While coyotes and other animals can kill cats, and outdoor cats have a tougher life certainly, that doesn't mean they're always on death's door. Farm cats can have long and happy lives outdoors, if the owners give them some little amount of shelter in the winter, and some occasional food when things get tough.

Phlosphr
05-15-2008, 02:34 PM
Phlosphr - Did you catch the cat? What did the vet say?

StG
Dislocated shoulder, terrible flea and tick infestation and malnourished. She's going to be spayed and we'll see from there. Like I said we cannot take this cat in the house. But she's so damn friendly, she'll be adopted very quickly. She doesn't have that :eek: OH MY GOD A HUMAN look some feral cats get. She's definitely a layed back kitty.

Hanna
05-15-2008, 02:41 PM
Thank you, Phlosphr. Poor kitty. Sounds like she may have been someone's pet at one time, and got dumped.

Dung Beetle
05-15-2008, 02:45 PM
Thank you.

Dazzling White Diamonds
05-15-2008, 04:14 PM
Phlosphr, don't know if you believe in this kind of thing, but dude, you just earned yourself some karma points right there. Thank you. Thank you so very much.

Contrapuntal
05-15-2008, 04:46 PM
I have been critical about the whole American "indoor cat" thing but I have recently been watching a show that showed cat killing racoons, bears in dumpsters, badgers under the house etc.That is one badass cat.



Philophsr, good job, man!

rocking chair
05-15-2008, 07:52 PM
thank you for taking her into the vet. they will give her some nice cat drugs to make her more comfy and she has a roof over her head and food for her tummy. all good things.

Amblydoper
05-15-2008, 08:01 PM
Thank you, Phlosphr. Poor kitty. Sounds like she may have been someone's pet at one time, and got dumped.
The cat was born on his property.
Last winter a female cat had her kittens under a barn that borders the meadow behind my home. There were several kittens running about for a month or so then there were only two. Now 6 months later these two have been occasionally wandering through my backyard.

j666
05-15-2008, 08:24 PM
We have been debating this all week, my wife and I. We picked several nickle size ticks off his face earlier in the week, so we know he's not grooming properly. But nature, is nature and quite literally 50% of me says let her take it's course.
Have you heard the phrase 'Nature red in tooth and claw'?

Scoop up kitty, and have him put down; why would you want to let him suffer?

If the vets try to discourage it, gently point out that kitty will probably suffer less if they kill him, rather than the coyotes do.

(My formerly feral cat was injured this Spring; the vet refused to put her down, because we refused to spend our mortgage payment on diagnostic tests. She's still with us, but I know she's overdue for a painful death if she doesn't turn into a lazy in-door cat before Fall.)

SomeUserName
05-16-2008, 05:20 AM
Dislocated shoulder, terrible flea and tick infestation and malnourished. She's going to be spayed and we'll see from there. Like I said we cannot take this cat in the house. But she's so damn friendly, she'll be adopted very quickly. She doesn't have that :eek: OH MY GOD A HUMAN look some feral cats get. She's definitely a layed back kitty.

Thank you for taking the cat to the vet. Are you leaving her there to get adopted?

Phlosphr
05-17-2008, 06:14 PM
Thought I'd send an Update with pictures.

Here he is:

He's definitely a Ham (http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/Phlosphr/2008_0517instrument0043.jpg). And a Noodle (http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/Phlosphr/stray4.jpg), and a begger (http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/Phlosphr/stray2.jpg) and I suppose happy (http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/Phlosphr/stray3.jpg)

You can see in some of the pics his right shoulder where "something" happened to it. But he's happy now, rolling around, and yes my wife is feeding him against my wishes. He should remain a part of nature, NOT IN PHLOSPHR'S HOME!

I WILL NOT LOSE THIS BATTLE.

The Lovely Margo Lane
05-17-2008, 06:19 PM
I WILL NOT LOSE THIS BATTLE.
I don't know... I first started lurking here back around the time your wife fell in love with a certain Siamese kitten, and look where you are today. :p

Black kitties are the bestest, and I'm glad this one got through OK. Cats have amazing joints- I had one who was hit by a car (low speed), and a week in confinement had his hip joint back in working order after he'd been dragging it along as dead weight.

Contrapuntal
05-17-2008, 06:20 PM
Dude. You have been chosen. He flopped over on your foot. Relish your fate.


You are one of the good ones, man. If there is ever anything I can do for you ...

Seriously. Thanks for caring for an animal friend.

Tamerlane
05-17-2008, 06:26 PM
I WILL NOT LOSE THIS BATTLE.

Uhuh. Sure.


He's definitely a Ham (http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/Phlosphr/2008_0517instrument0043.jpg). And a Noodle (http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/Phlosphr/stray4.jpg), and a begger (http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/Phlosphr/stray2.jpg) and I suppose happy (http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/Phlosphr/stray3.jpg)

For some reason, he (http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff114/Timur_photo/IMG_1860.jpg) looks (http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff114/Timur_photo/IMG_3376.jpg) vaguely (http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff114/Timur_photo/IMG_3996Large.jpg) familiar (http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff114/Timur_photo/IMG_4181.jpg) :p.

moonstarssun
05-17-2008, 06:27 PM
I WILL NOT LOSE THIS BATTLE.

Already lost, honey. Look at that face, and how happy he is hanging out with you. He knows you saved him.

But whichever way you go, good for you. I'm so glad you took him to the vet and got him fixed up. He looks like a sweet guy. Good kitty karma points for you.

Phlosphr
05-17-2008, 06:37 PM
As soon as he flopped on Mrs.P's foot I knEw it was over. He will remain an outside kitty, because it would be a culture shock for our two siamese attack cats if we let him in and they couldn't go out and play too. They hang out with each other from behind our screen porch. Tamerlane that cat looks identical to this little one. WOW!

moonstarssun
05-17-2008, 06:46 PM
As soon as he flopped on Mrs.P's foot I knEw it was over. He will remain an outside kitty, because it would be a culture shock for our two siamese attack cats if we let him in and they couldn't go out and play too. They hang out with each other from behind our screen porch. Tamerlane that cat looks identical to this little one. WOW!

So what's his name gonna be?

Is there a way for him to be an outdoor kitty and stay safe from critters and the elements and such? I'm not trying to start the indoor/outdoor argument, just thinking that he's already had a close call or two.

Tamerlane
05-17-2008, 07:11 PM
Tamerlane that cat looks identical to this little one. WOW!

Heh. Yeah, it's actually a reasonably common combination. Black and piebald white are both dominant color genes among domestic cats, hence the ubiquity of "tuxedo" and "hitler" cats. For some odd reason when the piebald gene only barely expresses itself, the chest seems to be one of the most common place to end with up with a tiny splash of white. Hence the "white medallion" look. Also eye color is dependant on the coat color genes in some complex fashion, so a particular color cat usually has a fairly predictable range of eye colors as well. Black cats overwhelmingly have green or gold eyes.

So my Ollie ( aka "Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth", aka "Bitey" ) and your little fellow end up virtually dopplegangers. I've seen several others like them at various times. Of course Ollie also has a little, usually hidden, additional identifying mark - a white "flying v" (http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff114/Timur_photo/IMG_1765.jpg) on his belly.

Phlosphr
05-17-2008, 07:26 PM
That's very interesting, I never knew that about their gene pool...not being a born-and-raised "cat person" I am learning as I go. :)

As for a name: Nico
He's got a spot under the back porch he can go to get out of the elements. A few months ago another cat got a big surprise under there when a large Opossum decided to wander under the porch at 3:30 in the morning. I don't know if it was the cat or the possum but they made a helluva racket!

Marconi & Schmeese
05-17-2008, 08:49 PM
Thank you for saving his little soul.... Anything I can do to thank you (kitty toys anyone?), let me know.

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