Urgent Help needed - extremely traumatic event - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Urgent Help needed - extremely traumatic event

Hi all,

This is my first time posting. I really need some advice. I am a cat lover, having been brought up with cats all my life. I adore them and after Christmas my partner and I brought home our first cat together Molly. She is absolutely beautiful with long black hair and very sweet.

When we picked her up from the shelter they said that she could be very timid for a while, but on the second day I held my hand out to her and she threw herself at me purring loudly and head butting me for petting. It's been like this every since - very affectionate and loving.

We had bought her lots of toys and today she was playing with one. It's a fish on a string, attached to a soft stick which we would use to tease her. But today she was playing wildly and the string got caught up in her hind legs. I noticed something was wrong when she started running and crying - first I thought she was still playing but she was very scared.

It escalated after this. She was freaked out, trying to run away but the fish part was caught in her legs and the stick was following her. I tried to untangle it but she lost her head and started hissing wildly. I tried desperately to get it untangled but she bit my finger and wouldn't let go, it was as if she was trying to pull it off my hand. This was very painful obviously so I let a shout out and hit her where my hand was in her mouth (with my other hand).

She released me but was still crying and hissing and by now she was caught in the table leg. I just ran and got a scissors and cut the string so at least she wasn't caught anymore in the table leg. Then I had to grab her scruff and hold her down while I untangled the fish and the string.

She was so upset, she ran onto the couch and was breathing heavily - she also vomited on the table when she was scared and trying to escape. I am so upset right now I can't stop crying I feel like I let her down and I'm angry at that stupid toy and the fact that it was dangerous.

She's fine now she's lying on the couch - she had a huge wash and now she's lying down next to me but I feel so awful. It was the most horrific scene ever and I am just devastated that she was so scared, that she bit me with such ferocity and I feel like our bond has been shaken.

Please help I am so upset. Thanks.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 09:19 AM
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Re: Urgent Help needed - extremely traumatic event

Welcome and I'm so sorry this happened to you and your new kitty. This has happened to MANY of us. Over time, we learn which toys our cats can play with and which ones they can't. Your kitty was very frightened when the toy "trapped" her and she didn't understand that you were helping her, her flight/fight instincts were taking over. She couldn't run so she fought.
If I inadvertently hurt one of my kitties, I apologize to them. I really feel they understand our tone and intent and it helps a lot. I will also give extra snuggling and cuddling to reassure them everything is okay, no hard feelings, et cetera.
Something I would like to ask you to do, though, is go get your bite checked out by a doctor. Cat bites can cause very nasty, infectious wounds in us when we are bitten and it can turn septic very quickly. If you don't go to the Dr, wash it very thoroughly, watch it carefully and if it swells and/or gets any red lines running from the wound towards your heart, get to a Dr or ER right away.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:03 PM
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Re: Urgent Help needed - extremely traumatic event

So sorry this happened to you and your new companion. She was just in pure terror not understanding what was going on.

Its kinda like when you try to break up a dog fight. They are so into the fear/fight/panic mode that they will attack you. Its not a conscious I hate you but a total illogical fear to remove themselves from this situation.

Molly will forgive and forget quickly. Give her lots of extra snuggles and quiet soothing talk and cuddles. Her bond will return with you.

As Heidi said do keep an eye on the bite. Wash throughly and put antibiotic ointment on it. If you have any antibiotic meds laying around Id start taking them. Watch your hand and arm for extreme swelling or streaks up your arm. If that happens a dr will perscribe an antibiotic.

Im not sure how hard you hit her but be sure and check her over so that nothing is dislocated.

This was an extreme situation (weve all had this happen) and you all were acting instinctively so dont blame yourself. If she is hurt just make sure she gets to the vet if she needs some help. It can turn into something worse.

A friend of mine who is the most experienced cat person/ foster mom/ TNR person I know had it happen to her right before Christmas. Shes handled 100s of cats for years. Its just one of those things.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:31 PM
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Re: Urgent Help needed - extremely traumatic event

In an emergency, take a deep breath first. It only takes a few seconds and will help you stay calm.
Animals can sense your panic and it feds theirs. A soft, calm voice, gentle but firm grip - they are soothing.
I can honestly say it is one of the few skills I have - but you should see my reaction when the emergency is over.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 01:06 PM
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Re: Urgent Help needed - extremely traumatic event

That was a terrible experience for both of you. I"m sure she'll calm down. Sometimes, even when what we have to do to help is painful, they seem to realize we're trying to help them. However, that incident happened so quickly, she panicked and didn't know what she was doing. Please get your wound treated. As others said, a cat bite can be dangerous.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 05:34 PM
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Re: Urgent Help needed - extremely traumatic event

Molly will forgive you, but she will probably carry a lingering fear of that toy with her. Give her lots of love, petting, snuggles, and treats from your hand. This incident may even serve to strengthen your bond with Molly, as she remembers that you saved her when she was trapped and so frightened.
But, you should both see a doctor to make certain your wounds are not serious.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 08:56 PM
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Re: Urgent Help needed - extremely traumatic event

I'm so sorry this happened. Don't blame yourself, as this is just one of those freak things that happens sometimes. As a rule, I don't leave any string toys out for my cats to play with when i'm not right there playing with them, because so many untoward things can happen. At the end of the day, Molly is okay, and you will be okay (once you get on some antibiotics for that bite). Once she calms down a good, low key, cuddle session where you talk to her soothingly and she'll forget all about it. Everyone is right, Molly didn't bite you because she hates you, she bit you because she was scared and had reverted to her primal instincts to survive. She didn't see her "mommy" she saw a threat. Now that the threat is gone, she will see you as her mommy again.

Now go soak your finger in warm water and epson salts then see your doctor in the morning.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 11:10 PM
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Re: Urgent Help needed - extremely traumatic event

Don't feel so bad. You didn't do anything wrong. Next time, maybe just be more careful with your fingers... Things will go back to normal , you shouldn't worry. Just enjoy your time with your cat, ..
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