Feisty cat on cage rest

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lmills75
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Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by lmills75 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:37 pm

Hi all
I'm hoping someone might be able to offer some reassurance and/or tips for me and my 7 year old cat, Molly.
Molly is a very headstrong and wilful cat who doesn't like to be picked up, handled or contained. Don't get me wrong, she is adorable but things have always been on her terms ever since I got her from a rescue centre at 5 months old. (Her sister is much more amenable).
She had a cruciate ligament repair last week which seems to have gone well. She came home same day for the start of 6 weeks of cage rest. From the moment she was put in the cage, she did not stop trying to get out. She wasn't remotely dopey from the anaesthetic and was relentless in trying to escape - not resting her leg at all. Food, water, litter, wee(!) went everywhere. This didn't stop until 4:30am when finally she and I got an hours sleep before it all started again.
At the end of my tether, I called the vets and they took her back in for boarding for a few days so they could monitor / increase her pain relief and ensure she remained rested. True to form, apart from some hissing and growling, she has been as good as gold and resting there.
The vet now feels her pain relief is under control and it's time for her to come home but I'm just so worried about how things are going to be for her. I know she'll kick off again and it's so distressing to see, not to mention, potentially damaging to her leg.
I'm clearing out the spare bedroom and will move her crate there as I think being around me and her sister but not being able to get to us, distresses her; and I will spend time in there with her each morning and evening.
I know the second I open the cage door to feed her or clean out the litter tray, she'll bolt (sore leg or not) which is a problem which just can't be avoided.
Am I doing the right thing? Will she adjust? Has anyone else been through this with a 'difficult' cat and have any tips?

All advice gratefully received!

Lisa

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Lilith
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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by Lilith » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:22 pm

lmills75 wrote: Molly is a very headstrong and wilful cat who doesn't like to be picked up, handled or contained. Don't get me wrong, she is adorable but things have always been on her terms ever since I got her
Hi and welcome - I too have a Molly (I read your description out to her and she thought I was talking about HER) and heaven help me if she had to be crated!

There will be other people on here with more experience of crating injured/convalescent cats but I'm wondering, would some sort of sedation help over those crucial first days/weeks while she's healing? Even an over the counter one like Zylkene, which is very well spoken of. They're their own worst enemies aren't they? I once had an Alsatian who, as a young dog, sprained her shoulder. 'Don't walk her' said the vet. 'No exercise.' Trouble is, the other dog had to be walked, and while I was doing that, Hannah dug up the kitchen lino...no exercise indeed!

I think your idea of shutting Molly's crate away from the rest of the house could work (although still be prepared for ructions.) Other than that (obviously in consultation with your vet) might confinement to the room itself work?

This is an awful dilemma to be in and I send my best wishes - and love to your Molly from my Molly! :)

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by lilynmitz » Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:47 pm

Would it be possible to confine her to one room? She obviously finds the crate really distressing, and all that struggling won't do her any good at all. She may actually calm down and settle on the bed if you let her out, but keep her to a bedroom where she can't leap about too much.

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by alanc » Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:22 pm

Hi. I had the same problem 2.5 years ago when my Tilly (a feisty 3 year old at the time) broke a tarsal bone in her right back leg. She had to be confined in a cage for nearly 3 months. Keeping her confined in a room was not an option, as she would have been able to jump up on to window ledges, which was specifically forbidden. The first three days were tricky (she escaped once) but after that she accepted it and settled down to wait out her confinement. I used two large dog crates (borrowed one from the vets and bought the other) each with two doors. I placed them door to door tied together but with just enough gap to slide a bit of card between them. One cage had her bed and food bowl and the other her litter tray. That way when she was eating or sleeping I could slide the card down and clear out her litter tray safety. I kept the cages in my bedroom, spent as much time with her as possible and made sure the bedroom door was shut before opening one of the crate doors! I kept a clean spare bed on top of the crate for rapid change when Tilly spread her dinner over her bedding. The trouble and effort was well worth it as Tilly made a full recovery and runs and jumps as agilely as she ever did. Hope this helps.

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by Crewella » Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:21 pm

I agree that putting her crate in a spare room might help, and it also might help her to accept the crate if she's in a room that's not such familiar territory as the main rooms of the house. I had Basil on cage rest for weeks, and he did accept the crate after the first couple of days, though I'll admit I doubt he's as feisty as your girl. It might be worth talking to your vet about giving her something to calm her for the first day or so - it's so important that you do get her used to the crate in order to give her the best chance of a full recovery. Good luck.

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by lmills75 » Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:19 am

Thank you all for your replies. It's always reassuring to hear that others have been through the same thing.
I visited Molly at the vets last night and she's doing really well. I can see she's so much stronger and obviously not in pain like she was..........although very grumpy at being confined! It is quite incredible how quickly they bounce back. She was very pleased to see me and get some much needed attention - apparently she's just been growling and hissing at the vets and nurses.
At least I know when I bring her home on Thursday, despite her protests, she's in much better health and I don't need to be as concerned with her frailty.
I think having the 2 cages is a great idea and I'm going to try that - seems much more humane for her to have a little more space.

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by meriad » Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:59 am

I agree re the two crates - definitely more space and very good idea re the cardboard so you can clean the litter tray etc.

Best of luck. I think four of mine would be OK with confinement, but two would be a nightmare so you do have my sympathy!

let us know how you and Molly get on and a gentle fuss to her when you get her home on Thursday

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by lmills75 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:15 am

Morning!
Just thought I'd give you a little Molly update.....
She came home on Thursday to her 2-bay cage(!) and caused a commotion as expected. Food and water everywhere, litter tray upturned.....such a drama queen! Anyway, she eventually settled and was quiet all night. When I go in to feed her in the morning and evening, she comes out for a little stroll around the room (I've made sure there's nowhere for her to hide or jump to) and then reluctantly goes back in. She's very vocal especially when she can hear me around the house - I think she feels she's missing out. I go and sit by the cage each night and read, and not pay her too much attention and she relaxes and falls asleep. Very sweet.
So all in all, she's doing very well and doesn't seem to be in pain. She has a check up on Wednesday which will be nearly 2 weeks post-op so hopefully only 4 more weeks in the cage after that.
I've attached a picture of her palace before she moved in (it's not as neat and tidy now!) and Molly having a little snooze....
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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by suelily » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:51 am

Awe that looks great. Now I know if I ever have to go through this with any of my two I will know what to do. Hope she is doing good in her own wee safe room. x

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by Crewella » Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:38 pm

That is such a good idea, and I'm glad she's settled in there. I hope the time passes quickly and she's better soon. xx

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by alanc » Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:39 pm

Glad Tilly's experience has proved useful. Food and water everywhere sounds about right, Tilly managed that as well the first night - put her bandaged paw in the water bowl so we had to go back to the vet next day to get the bandage replaced!
Tilly sends Molly her condolences, hopes she makes a complete recovery and says it is worth the inconvenience. Attached (I hope) is picture of Tilly in her cage, litter tray carefully omitted from the view!
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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest / Cruciate Ligament

Post by lmills75 » Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:15 am

Hi, me again

Things didn't go too well with Molly. She managed to rupture her implant after 2.5 weeks, so has had to have the op again. We're now 3 weeks post 2nd op and I just don't know if she's recovering at a good rate or not.
Does anyone have experience of a cruciate ligament repair op?

I'm very apprehensive about the implant rupturing again. Apparently it's quite rare and I'm fairly certain the vet thinks I was letting Molly jump all over the place when she was on strict cage rest, so if she did it once, what's to stop her doing it again?!
The first 10 days or so post 2nd op were good but then she definitely stopped using the leg so much and was obviously in pain. This seemed to pass in a day or so but the leg use hasn't really changed. The vet has been out to see her and is as happy as he can be. He had a good feel of the leg and thinks everything is in good order. The only indication that things weren't right the first time round was because an abscess formed where the nylon implant was adrift in her leg.
I'm now letting her out of the cage for a few minutes each day (on vet's orders) so that she can stretch the leg out.

Also, because of the two ops, poor Molly has now been on cage rest for close to 7 weeks and I don't think that's good for her state of mind.

Sorry for rambling - I'm just interested to hear if anyone else's cat has had a similar op and how the recovery went. There's not a lot online - mainly about dogs - and what there is, differs a bit.

Many thanks, Lisa

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by meriad » Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:38 pm

Gosh Lisa, what a time you and Molly have had of it.... unfortunately no help from me as I have no experience whatsoever but just wanted to say good luck for having gotten her this far. If the vet has said it's OK for her to have a break out her cage then things surely must be on the mend?

Where is the cage? Is there a busier part of the household where you could move it to so Molly has a bit more going on around her?

Fusses to Molly

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by lilynmitz » Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:43 pm

Oh poor lass, and poor you. What a tough time you've both been going through. Like Ria, I don't have much practical advice, but I hope the next phase of treatment is more successful. She will get over the confinement issues in time, but right now it's more important to get her leg right.

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by lmills75 » Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:00 pm

Thank you for your replies. It's certainly been a trying time but obviously the most important thing is that we get her leg as well as possible. Especially as the vet has said that if the implant ruptures again, amputation will probably be the only route open to us.

I keep the cage in the spare bedroom now as she was very agitated after the first op when the cage was in the living room. It seemed to frustrate her that she could see us but not be out with us. I'm definitely considering moving the cage downstairs now as she's more adjusted to her confinement and may settle better. At the same time, there's more for her to jump on in the lounge when she comes out for a bit of exercise. Swings and roundabouts!!

I'm going to have another chat with the vet tomorrow (I think he's probably sick of the sound of my voice!) to see what he suggests.

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by alanc » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:18 pm

I'm sorry to hear that Molly has had complications. I don't have any experience of ligament damage in my cats, so can't give you any first hand experience. I can sympathize with only being able to see details about dogs - I also had pictures of dog legs shown to me when the vets were explaining the nature of Tilly's tarsal bone damage.

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by laucatz » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:42 am

Hi,
As a lifetime cat owner I have just found myself in a similar situation for the first time. My very active 1 year old female tabby Lola dislocated her pelvis from her spine presumably from falling off a roof.
Surgery to put it back in place went well, no complications but we have instructions to keep her on cage rest for 6-8 weeks. I was away for the first two weeks so my parents had her in the cage in a small guest room. They said she was well behaved but cried a lot and were glad when I got back to take over her care as her crying was breaking their hearts.
We don't have a small guest room at our house so her cage is in a more central area which I thought she would prefer but she started trying to claw at the floor of her cage in an attempt to dig her way out and knocked over her food, water and litter. I just cleaned it up and she seemed to get the idea that she wasn't going anywhere and settled down (though still crying a lot). I have taken her out for little walks around the house on a lead (no running or jumping) and she has been happily asleep in the window of my room for hours. I hope I'm not undoing any healing just by letting her walk around but it's as much as she would be doing pacing her cage, plus she is SO much happier for it. Friends have suggested adding a cardboard box to her cage as they seem to help cats with stress so I think I will try that next.
I would love to know how you are going and if you have any tips being further along the journey. Thanks.

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by lmills75 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:30 am

Hi
I'm sorry to hear about little Lola's accident - poor thing.
I wouldn't worry about her trying to claw at the floor of the cage. Molly did that a lot and woke me up most mornings around 4am doing that. It's not the greatest feeling, knowing that she's desperate to get out but, in my experience, they do settle down quite quickly once they realise nothing is going to change.
If I was able to walk Molly around the room on a lead, that would have been perfect. Unfortunately, she's a feisty one and I can't even get a collar on her let alone anything else! My vet repeatedly said to me, if she was human, she would be having physio etc, so gentle walks are ideal.
I'm pleased to say that Molly is now free as a bird. We are now approaching 11 weeks post 2nd op. Things aren't perfect - the ligament seems to have healed well but now she has a slipping kneecap so will have to see how that goes.
With the two ops that Molly had, she was in a cage for close to 12 weeks, and I honestly thought she or I would go mad, but she (and I) soon adjusted. In fact, when Molly was first allowed out of the cage and have the run of the house, she chose to sleep in the cage!
All I can really advise, is to stick it out, because it is worth it in the long run. And to my amazement, Molly still thinks I'm the bees knees, even though I put her through all that!
Good luck!
Lisa

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Re: Feisty cat on cage rest

Post by Crewella » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:27 am

Well done, I'm glad that Molly got through it and is hopefully on the mend. :)

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