Paralyzed Cat Questions

What causes paralysis in cats?

Paralysis in cats can occur for a number of reasons. CLICK HERE to find out more.

How can I care for a paralyzed cat?

If you're caring for a paralyzed cat, it will require dedicated efforts from you in order to maintain a good quality of life. Help with Elimination Depending upon the cause of your cat’s paralysis, urination and defecation may be beyond the cat’s control. Loss of bowel and bladder control is one of the most challenging hurdles for pet owners to contend with when it comes to cat paralysis. In such cases, prepare to do laundry every day. Protect your flooring by placing a sheet of plastic underneath your cat’s primary resting spot. Floor protectors that are frequently used under office chairs are excellent options. The cat’s bedding will be positioned on top of this. You will need to swap out the cat’s bedding each time it eliminates in order to maintain the cat’s sense of cleanliness. If your cat is able to drag itself to the litter box, encourage litter box use by providing a litter box with a very low side through which the cat will step and drag directly into the box. Consider using the bottom half of a disassembled plastic carrier. If your cat is able to drag itself to the location and still cannot enter the litter box, then replace the litter box with puppy training pads or absorbent towels placed over a plastic floor protector. Learn more about litter box training and medical issues. Help with Grooming
Another problem of cat paralysis is that the cat may not be able to groom itself effectively. Help your cat to stay clean by gently brushing her coat daily. If your cat is a longhaired breed, you may opt to have the coat trimmed to a shorter length, especially if the cat seems painful during brushing sessions. Use a dry shampoo that is formulated for use in cats to clean the coat and remove elimination odors. Provide the Right Bed
Paralyzed pets can develop sores on pressure points of their bodies when too much time is spent in one position. You can help to prevent these sores by providing your paralyzed cat with an orthopedic bed, which is designed to reduce pressure. Be sure to select a bed that your cat can drag itself onto without having to step over a high side. If your cat is completely paralyzed, reposition her frequently so that she lies on alternate sides. Improve Floor Traction
Cats that are paralyzed in the rear legs will often attempt to walk with the front legs and drag their rear half along. If your cat is able to do this, a slippery tile or hardwood floor can be prohibitive and frustrating. Place bathroom throw rugs that have rubber backings on these surfaces along the cat’s preferred paths. The rubber back of the rug will grip the floor, and the carpeted surface will provide your cat with better traction. Examine your cat’s rear paws, knees, hips and the inner legs to make sure that the dragging activity is not causing scrapes or sores. Provide Wheels
Many paralyzed cats adapt well to using wheelchair-like carts. If your cat still has motor function of the front legs, a cart will be helpful in enabling the cat to move to the food and water bowls and to other areas of the home when the cat is seeking out family companionship.

How can I help my paralyzed cat with incontinence?

There are several methods to help a paralyzed cat who is unable to control their urine or defecation. Use Human Diapers: You can purchase human diapers and cut a small hole in the rear for the tail. Please be sure to make sure to purchase the appropriate fit. In addition, please be sure to change the diaper at least 7-10 times per day. Purchase diapers using an online retailer: Barkertime is one of the leading retailers in cat and dog diapers. Their products are phenomenal as is their customer service. Prepare a large cage for "airing out": At A4A, we utilize a large cage for our resident paralyzed cage to sleep in overnight and provide time to bathe and be diaper free for a period of time. This prevents infections and rashes from wearing a diaper 24/7. In addition, we provide food and water in the overnight cage. Regular Bathing Procedures: It is important to get your paralyzed cat used to water as they will likely need regular bathing. We recommned filling a bathtub with 3-4 inches of water, adding soap, and then shutting off the water before placing the cat in the tub. After ensuring an appropriate temperature for the water, gently place the cat in the tub and allow him/her to get used to the water. Gently use a washcloth to clean rear areas.

Does Advocates 4 Animals have a paralyzed cat in their rescue?

We do! Her name is Alex and all of her information can be found HERE.

Do you know of any online groups that can offer information about paralyzed cats?

We highly recommend the Facebook Group Cats with Paralysis and Mobility Challenges