Friday, November 7, 2008

Another traffic accident cat

He's an entire male, all black and picked up on Huntingdon road, Girton by ACO Justin. Justin was concerned that he might have a ruptured diaphragm as he seemed to be struggling to breathe, but the emergency vets have x-rayed him and think he's probably got away with a pelvic fracture and shock. They're going to give him fluids and stabilise him over the weekend then X-Ray again on Monday to confirm whether he can go out to a foster home for cage rest or if he needs to be transferred to our clinic for surgery.

I've just added him to our database of incoming stray cats and clicked Google's analyse form button. The result is very interesting, although it's only a small sample. All of the injured male cats without exception are entires. The sex ratio is slightly skewed in favour of females (9 females to 6 males).

I'm not surprised that neutering would reduce male cats' risk of being found injured or ill, but I am surprised at such a dramatic effect.

I suppose it could be that neutered males are more likely to stay close to home, so if they're hit by a car their owners are more likely to find them and take them to a vet themselves. Possibly owners who neuter are also more inclined to chip, so they'd be contacted by the emergency vet and the cat wouldn't enter our system.

It will be interesting to see figures over a whole year and find if there's any difference outside the breeding season.

Further thought

I'm wondering whether some of cats recorded as female could in fact be neutered males. There is a bit of a tendency for people to call any cat of unknown sex "she" and, faced with an obviously injured animal, gender identification isn't uppermost in most finders' minds. We have occasionally taken in cats and only identified their sex further down the line when one of us thought to up-end them and look, so it is possible that some of those who don't survive or are rehomed by the vet didn't belong to the gender that was originally reported.

It does underline the importance of checking out reports of found cats that don't match the details of a lost cat in every respect.

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