Injuries or severe infectious diseases can lead to a pet’s disability. The most common cause of hind limb paralysis in cats is due to spinal cord injury. In such a situation, the cat can only move on its front paws. Some owners cannot come to terms with such a disaster and decide on euthanasia, but some, on the contrary, do their best to support their pet. Of course, the pet will need to be given more attention and care, but the animal, unlike a person, will not experience psychological problems from the realization of his disability.
Solving problems with urination
Typically, after a severe spinal cord injury, more than half of cats experience problems with urination. And we are not talking about urinary incontinence; on the contrary, there is a delay and stagnation of fluid.
Some owners believe that their pet is incontinent when the opposite is true. From the overflowing bladder, under strong pressure, part of the urine begins to stand out. As a result of such constant “leakage”, an erroneous opinion about the diagnosis is formed. Such a condition for a pet is extremely harmful, as a result of the inability to pass little by little, urine begins to flow into the kidneys, which leads to kidney failure and pyelonephritis. Check here for more details about the best cats toys at lovecatstuff.
The most important thing in the place of the owner is to understand – can the animal itself empty the bladder or not? If this does not happen, it is necessary to squeeze out the accumulated urine several times a day. This procedure is simple, any owner can easily cope with it, especially since the veterinary clinic tells in detail and shows how to do it.
After the emptying has occurred, nothing should flow out of the urethra. It is important not to put a diaper on a sick animal. This is due to the fact that cats have very caustic urine, and the constant wearing of diapers leads to the formation of bedsores. In addition, weeping wounds form, inflammation begins in the bladder itself.
If your pet has indeed been diagnosed with incontinence, get him special protective shorts. Such underwear is also worn by cats at the time of estrus to prevent accidental relationships. A special pad is attached inside the panties, which is changed as it fills.
If the owner of the cat is not lazy and will manually empty the bladder several times a day, this will not only make life easier for the animal, but also significantly reduce the cost of diapers, diapers and toilet filler.
Depending on how much the spinal cord was damaged, defecation processes are disrupted. For example:
- in cats with disabilities, food through the intestines begins to go more slowly than usual;
- there is a violation of the sphincter of the rectum;
- loss of impulses with a crowded rectum, as a result, the animal does not strain the abdominal wall, and the sphincter remains in a compressed state;
- in rare cases, fecal incontinence.
- To prevent unpredictable independent defecation, when feces fall out while the animal moves around the apartment, you need to take this process under your control. To do this, it is necessary to stimulate the sphincter of the animal with a finger, thereby causing a reflex emptying of the rectum.
The main thing is that the pet goes to the toilet “in a big way” at least once every two days, and the feces themselves are soft.
How to feed a disabled cat?
Paralyzed cats need stable nutrition. If a four-legged friend ate only homemade food before the disability, there is no need to transfer him to another type of food after the injury. Basically, pets are fed with specialized feeds. With such a diet, you can easily monitor calories, because obesity in pets with disabilities is a serious problem. Despite the fact that the animal easily moves on its front legs, it is impossible to increase the load on them. Therefore, light foods, such as light or sterilized, are included in the diet.
Since non-walking cats often have problems with the urinary organs, owners need to carefully monitor their drinking regimen. Ideally, feed your pet wet food rather than dry food. If, nevertheless, urolithiasis has overtaken a four-legged friend, appropriate nutrition is selected.
Diet is extremely important for the formation of normal feces. Fiber is responsible for soft stools, the more fiber in a cat’s diet, the better. It helps speed up the movement of food through the intestinal tract. If the animal is constipated, it is recommended to change the food.
The selected diet is not changed without medical indications from a veterinarian. Treats should not be given to the animal, as this can upset the unstable balance of the digestive system.
Massage and exercise
Physical exercises and light gymnastics are prescribed for pets who have hope for recovery. Few people know that disabled pets need a daily simple 5-minute massage. It is quite simple and consists in simply bending the limbs several times. If the owner of the cat does not do this, the hind legs will stiffen and interfere with the animal during movement, as well as the adoption of a normal position during rest.
Massage for disabled animals is the only way to slow down the atrophy of the lower extremities. Below are a few more exercises to warm up the muscles:
- after the main flexion / extension of the limbs, you can simply tickle the paws, thereby helping to improve blood circulation in this area;
- massage of the front paws, shoulders and neck – due to the increased load on them, it helps to avoid cramps and spasms;
- as a result of the immobility of the hind legs, the animal cannot scratch itself, this function must be taken over by the owner and every day combing his entire body.
- Moving around the apartment
- With irreversible changes in the spinal cord, some cats can move around the apartment with a spinal gait, i.e. the hind legs walk reflexively and are not controlled by the brain. Of course, the rear half of the cat moves awkwardly, with a strong amplitude, but this is not so important, because the pet walks on its own. When walking with a spinal hind legs are rarely injured, but cat owners should be on the alert, and if abrasions are found, socks should be put on the paws.
Work for a pet
If this gait does not work for a pet, it will still deftly and quickly move on its front legs. Advice to all owners of cats with disabilities – do not help pets in movement. Don’t do an animal a disservice. If you see that the pet is trying to climb on the sofa – do not interfere. Let him do it himself, without outside help. This is the only way to achieve active behavior and the development of new skills in paralyzed cats and cats.
It is extremely important to play with a cat with a disability, as with a normal pet. You can equip a multi-tiered house, along which the animal will move and crawl.
Some owners purchase a walker or stroller for their four-legged friend. These devices are mainly needed by dogs, but they are also used for cats. You can wear a walker on your pet during active games. But during the rest it is better to take them off. In general, everything here is individual. Some cats are happy to agree to strollers and walkers, and some, on the contrary, do not allow them to be put on.
How to deal with bedsores?
Bedsores appear in sick cats for the following reasons:
- Improper care
- Postoperative period
After the operation, pressure sores can be avoided. To do this, you need to purchase a special mattress, change the bedding every day and help the cat change its position every three hours. If the wounds still appear, the veterinarian prescribes special disinfectants and dressings.
There are cases when cats try to bite off their paws or tail, which they do not feel. Therefore, it is important to monitor the behavior of the pet, and if he goes from simple licking to more stringent measures, you need to put a collar on him and take him to the doctor. Over time, this problem disappears by itself.
The disability of an animal is not yet a sentence. The life of a disabled cat can be interesting and fulfilling. Caring for a sick pet will not take as much time as many people fear – just 10 minutes in the morning and evening is enough. Give your pet a chance, and after a couple of months spent together, you will understand if you and he are comfortable. Does the animal suffer? Then you will make the final decision about the future fate of the pet.