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Is it normal to be able to see / feel a cats spine?

27 replies

HoneyDragon · 19/09/2013 23:14

I've seen a lovely chatty cat twice now, but he seems very thin. Lovely fur, doesn't appear to be a stray.

But I don't know what's normal thin and what's too thin and whether I should cat nap it and take it to the vet.

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thecatneuterer · 19/09/2013 23:34

Even strays can have lovely fur if they're young. If he's thin that probably isn't good. Is he definitely male? Does he have balls? Have you given him food? Does he seem hungry?

I'd be taking him to the vet. Even if he belongs to someone it won't do him any harm after all.

HoneyDragon · 19/09/2013 23:36

I can tell. I'm inept with cats but concerned. I took a pic I'll try and pop it on my profile but its not great.

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thecatneuterer · 19/09/2013 23:40

OK. Do that. But what about if he seems hungry. Have you given him food? How does he react? Also where is he? In your garden? In the street?

HoneyDragon · 19/09/2013 23:44

He's at the bottom of my street on some wasteland. He's mewed a couple of times, but as he came for a fuss today a realised how thin he was. I did by some food and look this afternoon but it was chucking it down.

Pics on profile

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thecatneuterer · 19/09/2013 23:47

Even from that quite bad pic I can see that that's a very ill and/or starved cat. Please try to get him some help. Is he friendly? Can you touch him?

HoneyDragon · 19/09/2013 23:51

The other times I saw it people were around today he came up a saw us, then a lad of children and footballs appeared and he scarpered. Sad

So, if I can find him its okay to get it to the vets? It's really upset me, especially if he's not feral and someone is neglecting him.

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HoneyDragon · 19/09/2013 23:52

Sorry seen it when in company and it sits in the hedge,
Today it was just me and dd and it came for a fuss.

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thecatneuterer · 19/09/2013 23:53

Well of course it's ok to take him to the vet. He is almost certainly lost or stray. He might of course have a microchip in which case they'll be able to trace his owner.

I don't suppose you're in London are you?

thecatneuterer · 19/09/2013 23:54

Oh and a feral cat doesn't chat to you and isn't friendly. They behave in the same way that foxes do when they see people. So he has definitely been owned at some point.

HoneyDragon · 19/09/2013 23:55

No, I'm in a naice market town.

I was concerned perhaps it was an ill cat, but then if my pet were that I'll it wouldn't be out.

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HoneyDragon · 19/09/2013 23:56

Right. I shall have a wander in the morning armed with cat food and see if I can get a cuddle.

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timtam23 · 20/09/2013 00:00

Honey the cat does look very thin, I hope you can get hold of him/her. It's lovely of you to be so concerned Thanks

thecatneuterer · 20/09/2013 00:02

Yes do. And if you don't see him put some food down anyway and hopefully he'll find it and then keep coming back to see if more appears. Then of course you'll need to get a cat carrier from somewhere. And when you do go to catch him (provided he's friendly of course) then try to get someone to go with you to help, stroke him and then grasp very firmly by the scruff of the neck and don't let go from there. Use your other hand to support him and introduce him to the carrier bum first not head first. The other person will probably need to hold the carrier so it doesn't move and you can push him in backwards.

If he's not friendly enough to do that then keep putting food down and contact your local Cat Protection or other local charity. Try to avoid the RSPCA.

HoneyDragon · 20/09/2013 00:02

I'll do my best. Just hope he's decided to stick around do cats cover a lot of territory?

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thecatneuterer · 20/09/2013 00:07

Well if they're hungry and they find a food source they don't normally wander too far from there. So as I said, even you if don't see him, put food down, and do it for a few days, and I'm sure he'll start hanging around that spot all the time then.

HoneyDragon · 20/09/2013 13:45

No joy so far. Sad no where to put the food that the other greedy guts pampered pusses will find it either.

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thecatneuterer · 20/09/2013 13:46

oh dear. I really would put food somewhere though and hope that the other cats won't eat all of it.

wannaBe · 20/09/2013 13:55

don't make assumptions.

My cat has an overactive thyroid, is painfully thin and always looking for food even though she is treated for it - she is fifteen and is certainly not neglected!

Thyroid conditions are very common in cats, and the loss of weight plus hunger plus crying for food are common signs. This might well be a perfectly well loved cat who happens to have a medical condition.

If someone kidnapped my cat I would be fuming. Try to find out who the cat belongs to and go and speak to the owner first.

thecatneuterer · 20/09/2013 14:00

I think it's fine to make assumptions. Yes it may be being treated but the chances are it isn't. If it goes to a rescue or a vet then they will scan it for a chip. If it's not chipped then we would always recommend putting posters up in the area where it was found with contact details.

Ill cats really shouldn't be ignored on the off chance that they do in fact have an owner who is treating it. All cats should be chipped. If your cat is a wanderer and looks ill and you haven't chipped it then you only have yourself to blame if someone picks it up.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie · 20/09/2013 14:09

I don't think it looks ill from the pics. My cat is also thin...he's fine...that's just the way he is. really should put some food down just in case...don't worry about other cats getting it....the stray will know there was food there and will return.

thecatneuterer · 20/09/2013 14:11

He looks ill to me. Slim is fine but he looks ill.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie · 20/09/2013 14:12

How does he look ill? (curious)

thecatneuterer · 20/09/2013 14:15

He just does. Partly his stance. I see a lot of ill cats and they all have that look about them. It's just something that experience teaches you (of course it could just be the photo and if I saw him in real life I wouldn't think that, but to me that is a photo of an ill cat).

MimsyBorogroves · 20/09/2013 14:17

I'd take him (if you can grab him) to the vet for a checkup. If you tell them you've found him they'll check for a microchip and they may have a database of lost cats in the area that they can check too.

HoneyDragon · 20/09/2013 14:39

Wannabe. That's exactly why I checked here first, as I don't want to "steal" someone's poorly pet if that's the case. I've asked around and no one knows who it belongs to.

I'm going to pop the pic on my local Fb page, as another thought is it may have got itself lost.

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