So, how much have you been mutilated by your cat(s)?

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Tubby tabby- love!
Purred: Sat Feb 14, '09 7:26am PST 
Yes, I know this is a strange topic, and I know I'm dominating this Forum; I'm on vacation, recovering from a cold, and at loose ends.

This question is NOT meant to be disturbing or offensive...But I would guess that most of us who have cats have, at one time or another, been scratched by them.

My story: I was on an airplane from Tokyo to Detroit, and a lovely young military man was sitting next to me. We got to talking, and really hit it off. (Drat, I didn't get any contact information from him; he was obviously interested in me, but too polite to ask for MY address. Ah, the vicissitudes of life...) Anyway, it's a LONG flight from Tokyo to Detroit--ten or eleven hours--and at one point he said to me, in all seriousness, "I hope I'm not being rude, but are all those scars on your hands the result of suicide attempts?" (He was such a nice person that I think he wouldn't have minded much if I had said yes.)

Hell's bells, they were/are all scars from cat scratches! I do scar rather easily, but I should explain that I don't have a lot of cat scratch scars because I abuse my cats, but just because...cats do that sometimes. Spike, the former feral, is the sweetest cat you can imagine. But occasionally, he will get spooked out, especially when I'm trying to lug his twenty pound body somewhere, and he's been known to give me a few permanent "love marks."

Now I have the kittens, and I'm still training them to accept having their nails trimmed. Meanwhile, one of their favorite activities is playing "King of the Mountain" on my hips and legs as I lie on my side in bed. Now, if you know cats, you know that they use their nails--extended--for balance. I wasn't really paying much attention to all this until one day I looked at my legs and saw that they were covered with scabbed-over scratches. Yikes! I now look like I am involved in some peculiar fetishistic activity! Thank goodness that it's still winter and I can wear opaque black tights!

I've always been diligent about clipping my cats' nails. However, the truth is that while those teeny tiny needle-like kitten nails can really hurt and draw real blood, clipped nails are blunter, and just end up leaving broader, deeper wounds.

Same thing for cats and furniture. My late, great brother/sister duo were perfectly mannered kitties who NEVER scratched on anything but a scratching post or scratching board. BUT...I had a leather sofa, and the back was just the right size for them to sleep on. When they wanted to shift position, they'd put out their nails to balance/stabilize themselves, and in around ten years, the sofa was totally torn apart--and yet the cats had never used it as a scratching post!

I think that we can see from this why cats shouldn't be declawed. They use their claws to keep their balance, just as you might splay out your toes when walking on the beach.

Anyway, after years of living with cats, now that I think of it, I am covered with scars--mostly on my hands and arms, some on my legs. I don't regret a single scar--only a very, very few were the result of a cat who was angry or afraid; most were just random. (And I've never, ever scolded a cat for scratching me--what would be the point?)

I'm sure there must be some Country and Western song that would address the topic of "love" leaving "scars," but anyway, how about the rest of you? How have you been faring with Fluffy's nails? (You can talk about bites as well, but I'm just focussing on cat scratches here.)

Hey, this is a weird topic, but I don't mean it to be depressing. Cats and humans have different body languages, and it's actually a miracle when we all get along. Suffering some scars along the way is, to my mind, just part of sharing one's life with a cat.

Well, Catsters?


I'm cute and I- know how to use- that :)
Purred: Sat Feb 14, '09 8:38am PST 
Like you said, my two get nothing but love, but they will react strongly to stuff here and there.

I learned the hard way that Boris really doesn't like being picked up to be taken to another room if a vacuum is on by his scratching at my boobs that left permanent scarring. I also learned that dangling my legs from the couch is an invitation for Gracie to use them as stepping stools to get on top of the couch, and that always results in scraped legs (ask me how long it's been since my feet have been off the couch while I sit there). Also, if Boris feels that you have stopped petting him too early, he says it by wildly swiping at your face (see: swipings mean "hey, why did you stop?" and nips mean "thank you, I'm done. Let me be, please!"), and sometimes he does forget to retract claws.

My husband learned that jokingly trying to put Boris in the tub while water is on is a no-no for him. Also, that the kitten will let you take her just about whenever you want her, but she will dig her claws into you if you try to take her too close to strangers.

In general, though, they are less rough with him. I wonder what's up with that. I mean, I get that Gracie worships the ground he walks on (such a daddy's girl), but Boris? Boris is supposed to be my cat. shh

Edited by author Sat Feb 14, '09 8:41am PST



Has been COTD!
Purred: Sat Feb 14, '09 9:26am PST 
Sometimes...love hurts.


Whatever it is,- I can break it!
Purred: Sat Feb 14, '09 12:51pm PST 
It's Fluff. My person has a couple of good ones on her wrists right now from trying to get me in the cat carrier on Thursday. They probably won't permanently scar though.

She has one mark from an animal but not a cat: She had a pet bunny when she was a kid and the bunny bit her hand and left a deep wedge shaped scar that is more than 40 years old so I guess it's not going away.

The worst thing a cat did to her doesn't show, but it caused damage. Peri, the cat she had before Delyte, was getting a shot at the vets and he must have hit a nerve because she screamed, jumped forward, and bit our person very hard at the base of her thumb. The pain was so intense that our person fainted and ended up having to sit on the sofa in the vet's office for a while. The mark on the skin healed up, but the tooth must have done some deeper damage because it still hurts there and now she is starting to get severe osteoarthritis pains there. But she knows that Peri didn't mean it, she was hurt and scared. She was devoted to her person, having been separated from her mother way too early in her kittenhood.

Sorry to hear that kitties can rip up leather sofas! Our person was thinking of getting one because we have totalled her cloth sofa. Do they make sofas from Kevlar?! smile


Has been COTD!
Purred: Sat Feb 14, '09 5:14pm PST 
I have a new leather sofa, and even though it's technically possible for the cats to sleep on the top of the back of the sofa, my present crew isn't interested. So, no scratch marks!
big grin

By the way, regarding cat bites...I've read that you should go to the hospital if you get bitten, especially if the bites are on your arms, hands, or face. Cat teeth produce puncture wounds that can introduce some pretty nasty germs. It may be too late for Fluff's person to do anything, but for the rest of you, DO make sure to take cat bites seriously. Better safe than sorry...

I've never been bitten by a bunny, but I imagine those teeth can do some pretty nasty damage, too. As a kid, I had a variety of pets, including rats (they make great pets--smart and personable) and snakes. The rats never bit me, but I did get a nasty bite from one snake (obviously not a poisonous one! This was a snake I bought for like $2 at a pet store) when he/she (never could figure out how to determine the sex of snakes) tried to escape down the drain of the bathroom sink. I pulled Mr./Ms. Snake out, and he/she locked his/her fangs on one of my fingers. The teeth were small, and it wasn't really that painful (nor did it lead to infection--do snakes have cleaner mouths than cats?), but I sure yelled hard and loud because I was surprised. I guess Mr./Ms. Snake was pretty surprised, too. That may have been the snake that later escaped (snakes are incredible escape artists) and showed up several weeks later in the laundry basket as my mother was putting stuff in the washer. Now, my mother didn't share my passion for reptiles, and this time it was HER turn to scream. Well, at least we found the lost snake!

Sorry...off topic...this is Catster, not Snakester.

dog Hey, if this is Catster, why do we have dog and hamster emoticons? Huh?

Zoe Rose aka- SVALA

Peace Love and- Catnip
Purred: Sun Feb 22, '09 2:36pm PST 
love bites...most definetly!!!

uncle odinn doesn't bite too much...HIS game is to leap out and wrap hisself around your legs and then take off like a shot...or he will leap out and smack your legs....sometimes it;s because i am too long about getting supper ready...or he wants atention NOW and i am in the middle of something else. he also will smack my poor dog lucy on the butt, causing her to jump, and occasionally run after him...on time lucy had enuff...he smacked, she spun and chased him down barking very fiercely...she got him on his back and proceeded to bark into his exposed tummy. she was seriously cussing him out! he will still tap her on the butt, but she watches out for him a bit more now. most times she won't go in to the house before him or up the stairs for that matter...she will stop dead and look for the kitty.

when max and zoe were babies we hand raised them...zoe was a terror. she HATED the bottle. all she wanted to do was knead on our hands and the suckle on her mom (who had done a runner when i tried to get her retired). at the end of about 3 months my right thumb was totally shredded (SERIOUSLY). i had to wrap my hands in as much cotton as possible to protect it but still be able to feed the little terror. now she is all grown up, and still loves to knead (lots of little pin pricks on chest and tum). she also will paw at my face in bed when she wants me to make the "tent" with the covers so she can snuggle in against my tummy. many a morning i go to work with a small scratch on cheek, or lip or nose.

i know it is just their way, and that is fine with me.


The Battle Of- Texas 2010- Winner!
Purred: Sun Feb 22, '09 4:32pm PST 
Ah......... the joys of kittens. big grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grin

Got a good one for you. big grin

Bumpurr was prob 5 months old, only on his 3rd or 4th show, and had the
baths down pat, but the dryer, was still a challenge, getting there, but not
quite yet.

When I teach the blow dryer, wrap them in a towel, and slowly take it off,
and blow dry in parts, each time they are a little more accepting.

I thought Bumpurr was at that point, just sitting there, not squirmy, not
afraid, so took the towel totally off. He sat there for a minute, then tried to
take off, I grabbed him, he bit me, in the fleshy part, by my thumb, and I
let go of him, and he took off, still wet.

Hey, had horses all my life, injury is not a big deal, and never used as an
excuse to not go. So cleaned it off, got the bleeding stopped, and went and
got him. If I had let him get away with this, and not finished him, would of
never been able to blow dry him again.

So, went and got him, put him back in the towel, and slowly took it off,
blow drying him in parts, got him done, and he learned a lesson.

My hand hurt like heck, all night, and by the morn, it was swollen and red,
could not even use it. Not easy to load, unload and show all day, with one
hand, and it really really hurt. Now had red lines running up my arm, all
day, people are telling me, you need to go to the ER. Well, how the heck can
I, can't leave him here, can't take him to the ER, can't leave him in the car.

By the end of the day, alot of people said they would take him, and I could
get him after I got out of the ER, other people said they would take him
home, and I could come get him, on Mon. Somebody take Bumpurr????

Oh......no......, not hardly!

Horrible drive home, went in to work on Mon, my supervisor said, you
will go to the ER, I said, no I am not, I don't have insurance, he said, I will
drag you there, and pay for it, he did.

Ya already know, the doctor yelled at me for waiting, and because it was
an animal bite, they had to report it, and my vet had to fax his rabies
cert to the health assoc.

Funny tho, ever since that episode, Bumpurr now just sits right there, for
his bath, and to get blow dryed, for 3 hours.

The kittens just had another training bath and blow dry. Very good about
baths now, the blow dryer is still a little shakey for Cruiser, have to still do
the towel thing, but Cowboy has accepted it, no towel. Not sitting still yet,
but not squirmy or afraid.

When they were little, they used to try and climb my legs, under my
nightgown, and that hurt, they don't do it so much anymore. But, when I
get out of bed, Cowboy still tries to chew on my toes, have to get my
slippers on as fast as I can.

Ah.........the joys of kittens. big grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grin

kaya skye

not fighting my- demons-we joined- forces
Purred: Mon Feb 23, '09 12:14am PST 
bumpurr's mom:
as a rule, when the kitty's person is stuck in the hospital for days when sidelined by an infection requiring iv antibiotics, surgical intervention or even amputation, kitties are traumatized. would have been safer and wiser to go to the ER instead of the cat show. cannot stress this enough, folks: ANIMAL BITES ARE SERIOUS BUSINESS. puncture wounds are just different than scratches, and there are bacteria in your cat or dog's mouth that YOU are not evolved to defend against.
that being said, when my own cat pretty well savaged me-devon, she was startled when my roommate turned on the vacuum, the ER doc didn't need to see any rabies vaccination. i asked, he said he'd take my word for it...cats just "freak out like that sometimes" was how he put it laugh out loud, while if a dog had gone to town on my arm like that when he or she were just startled he'd worry. mine happened over the weekend too (WHY does it ALWAYS work out that way?), late on a saturday so i couldn't get the bus in until monday. by then the puncture wounds honestly looked more like snake bites than kitty fang marks...so MUCH swelling, and deep blue bruising around all of the wounds...very hot, achy to the bone, couldn't move the fingers when i woke up monday. from saturday evening to monday morning...if i'd had access to a car i'd have gone in saturday, or sunday at the latest...as it was i was stupid, i should have tried harder.
my tetanus shot was current-but that's another worry with bites-but i was in the ER getting antibiotic IVs until the wee hours of tuesday morning, as well as having the wounds drained and being given appointments to the wound care center...
don't take those kinds of risks, don't feel silly going to the ER because "it was just a little kitty." the problem isn't the little kitty, the problem is the microscopic bacteria-you ain't big enough to fight them without help. think straight, get medical care. take the time, make the time, pay the bills on the installment plan...but don't play around with animal bites, even if the animal is your bestest pal-the critters living in your buddy's mouth DO NOT LIKE YOU.
then there's my brother, who god bless the boy, managed to get seriously bitten by a human. (they guy was mugging him, only in my family do we have that kind of luck...) guy's teeth almost met in tim's thigh (really don't have time to explain, does it help that tim was driving and the guy was in the passenger seat and that was how he got tim to let go of his wallet?), so the ER docs just...ugh, ick...cut the rest of the way and removed the whole chunk. human bites are VERY nasty...not to mention the guy turned out to have a transmissable fatal disease-we got so lucky, tim came out negative every time. the kicker? he was real easy to catch...he dropped his own wallet in the car, and had written his name and phone number down earlier so tim could help him get some concert tickets. dumber than a rock, but with excellent dentition...


Tubby tabby- love!
Purred: Mon Feb 23, '09 12:35am PST 
...with some Fava beans and a nice Chanti...excellent dentition, MOL MOL MOL!!! (But of course the whole thing sounds horrible--the worry about infection more than the physical pain.)

Hey, I'm not a vet. But I remember reading somewhere that human bites were the worst, and cat bites a close second.

When I went to the hospital for a minor bite near the eye, you wouldn't believe how concerned the doctors were. I live three minutes away by bicycle from one of the major university hospitals in Japan, and as they don't cost any more than your local GP, I am a familiar figure. But the cat bite time was the only occasion when I got the impression that they were worried. CAT BITES ARE NOT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY. Okay, everybody? The chances of something awful happening are small, but very real. Go to the ER.

♥- Suey- ♥

Purred: Mon Feb 23, '09 2:52am PST 
It's a foolish risk to take, imho. If cost is a factor, you have to remember that leaving an infection to grow and fester means it will be more expensive to fix. Just washing a bite wound does next to nothing, you have to really scrub and scrub. More often than not an infection will occur, and those infections can lead to permanent damage. I have a scar on my wrist bone from the treatment to a Holly Blossom bite, rather than the bite itself. Kaya has said it already, and I'm agreeing wholeheartedly. Cat bites are not something to mess with.

I have a couple of slash scars on my forearm from Evie's early days. They're not noticeable except for when I work out, when they go bright purple. I tend to scar pretty easily so I've got a number of thin scars up my arms, but they'll fade with time.

The most painful cat injury I've had was when I was de-fleaing Poppy Blossom. Usually they get washed in the bath, but when they are seriously infested like Poppy was, I take them in the shower, and use the hand held nozzle in there. It keeps them warmer than being out in the rest of the bathroom. Poppy was about 5 weeks old, and was being really good. I stood up to grab soemthing off the shelf, and she leapt up and hooked her nail through the inside of my thigh, and then just hung there. I swear, time stood still as I had to figure out whether to try and unhook the claw, or just pull it loose. It hurt like heck, and I was blue a couple of hours later.

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