Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cat versus Cottontail

A Rabbit was lying in the backyard. It appeared as though the back legs weren’t properly working and it couldn’t get up on its own.

Unfortunately, this animal didn’t survive the night; the caller suspected that the neighbor’s cat had attacked it. We get many, many animals, especially baby birds, bunnies and other small rodents that are attacked by cats each year. Cat bites are very infectious and when anyone calls with animals caught by a cat, we always ask them to bring the animal in for treatment. Even though you may not see a bite wound, the little fangs of most cats can put some nasty bacteria into the flesh of its victim and these small punctures can seal up. We almost always start these patients on antibiotics immediately because within 24-48 hours fatal infections can develop. Some of these cats are feral, but most are pets. We always urge people to keep their cats indoors. Not only does it save the lives of wildlife, but indoor cats live much longer, healthier lives than outdoor cats. They aren’t exposed to cars, diseases, attacks from dogs or other cats, environmental toxins or a myriad of other accidents and dangers that can befall them, not the least of which is simply getting lost.

The Wildlife In Need Center does not deal with cats, even ones that are feral, as they are not considered wildlife. If you have questions or concerns about your own cat always contact your veterinarian. Your local humane society is the best place to contact if you have questions or concerns about feral cats in your neighborhood. Most of them also have spay/neuter release or other outdoor cat programs.

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