Cat Harness – any hints on fitting and using ? (recovering cat content)

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  • Cat Harness – any hints on fitting and using ? (recovering cat content)
  • globalti
    Member

    Attach the harness to one blade of the ceiling fan and turn to a low speed? Pussy will love the sensation.

    Seriously though, cats have loose joints and loose skin for a reason, which is to allow them to escape and to squeeze through gaps. Ours have slipped two collars each recently and now we’ve given up on them.

    peachos
    Member

    Why? Wouldn’t it be better just to let it crack on if it has adjusted to life with 3 limbs. Cat’s aren’t stupid (generally) so what are you worried about??

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBZ-DAGwyNw[/video]

    cranberry
    Member

    I think just get him used to wearing it around the house, then when he is comfortable, start putting a lead on it inside. Work up to short walks outside to sniff all the stuff that cats need to sniff.

    If you are not completely sure about the harness I have heard several people say that the ones from Happy House Cats are very good – I’m planning to get some for my 2 bengals when the time is right. If you go down the HHC route then treat the little fella to a stinky sausage as well.

    What do you have in the house to keep your cat entertained ? is there more that you could put in place – cat tree, shelves, interactive toys, etc ?

    Good luck.

    We tried one while my Mrs was reluctant to let hers go anywhere. Ours used to skulk around at ground-level with it, but otherwise got on as normal/like a dog that isn’t doing what you want it to.
    It became of use when taking them to the vet, they didn’t need to be in a box as they just sat in the car/on the chair placid.

    Is you cat likely to be able to get out of the garden, i.e. jump up to escape?

    Premier Icon househusband
    Subscriber

    Why? Wouldn’t it be better just to let it crack on if it has adjusted to life with 3 limbs. Cat’s aren’t stupid (generally) so what are you worried about??

    I fully agree!

    We’ve had a three legged cat before andour old neighbours have one now; both after losing arguments with cars.

    We’d just let him out; you may well find he doesn’t want to go near the road – our neighbours doesn’t now.

    My cat was badly injured in a car accident, coming very close to having a back leg amputated. He now contains more strips of titanium than my bicycle as he is not a suitable candidate for a replacement hip implant (yes, they do those for cats as well as dogs).

    He has needed to stay indoors for the last 2 months and cannot be allowed out on his own for at least another 2 months. He is getting very frustrated at being in all the time, now that he can walk about fairly well. We have made him a nice place in the window he can choose to sit in, but its not the same as being out obviously.

    We are hoping to take him out to sit on the lawn for short periods so have bought a cat harness. Its a harness, not a collar, with a strap going around his neck and one around the back of his front legs.

    I have fitted him with it this morning to start testing it in the house and so far he seems to feel no concern about wearing it.

    Any hints and tips about using a cat harness? I cant risk him escaping from it. If they get out of them easily I will abandon the thought of taking him outdoors.

    Thanks for any info.

    We can’t let him out on his own yet, as his plate and pins may fail if he does anything too active, the break was in a very difficult position to fix.

    He is still not permitted to jump or land in any way or go out unsupervised (vets strict orders). I can tell you, the no jumping rule is pretty hard to police even in the house!

    Its been incredibly hard to keep him entertained. It was fine the first few weeks as he just wanted to sit about (he was on painkillers) then he was happy to be able to walk about a bit. Now he is allowed to go up and down cardboard box ‘steps’ in order to be able to sit on armchairs. He is feeling well enough now though to want to go out.

    Because of his injury, we have not been able to play with him as chasing, pouncing, catnip etc (the main entertainments of cats)are all things too physically violent for him to be safe to do yet, as it may cause his leg to re-break. The vet has said it will be a minimum of 2 more months before he can go outdoors on his own. I guess in case he jumps down off a wall (landing is even more damaging than jumping up on things) or gets in a cat fight.

    Cranberry thanks for the link. He cant do shelves or trees yet, due to the jump/landing risk. He sits in his window and I leave radio/podcasts on so there are other things to hear. We make a lot of fuss of him. He has been incredible patient considering he was a higly active cat and he has been ill for about 8 weeks so far. He is such a lovely cat.

    We had been advised by a different vet to just stick him in a cage in and empty room and just leave him if he howls. We thought that was appalling, to leave a living thing to just look at blank walls for weeks on end, alone and ignored. So his cage (he had to stay in one for the first 6 weeks most of the time) has been in the living room where he can watch us and be part of everything. As a result we have had very few issues with him, mostly he has seemed very happy. We were keen to get him access to our window, which he loves to sit in and that helped a lot keeping him amused. We managed to get his cage up there at a fairly early stage, its on a shady side of the house so he does not get too hot. At least cats sleep a lot 🙂 I am worried about the coming weeks though as he is getting noticeably more confident and active, hence the possibility of harness walks/sits on the lawn.

    Thanks Dave for the info – I took a ferret for a walk with a friend once – gee thats like having a maniac on a string!

    Premier Icon househusband
    Subscriber

    We can’t let him out on his own yet, as his plate and pins may fail if he does anything too active, the break was in a very difficult position to fix.

    He is still not permitted to jump or land in any way or go out unsupervised (vets strict orders). I can tell you, the no jumping rule is pretty hard to police even in the house!

    A more than reasonable point!

    Househusband, thanks for your earlier comment about cats avoiding cars. I really want my cat to be able to go back outdoors on his own. He has always been so happy trotting out the door, tail in the air.

    I am very afraid he will be hit again and killed, but I dont think I should let my fears spoil my cats enjoyment of life. I am amazed he managed to get home from wherever he was hit, his leg was broken off at the ball joint of the hip and a lot of his muscles were torn off thier locating points. If he had not been such an athletic and fit cat I suspect he would have died due to not being able to drag himself home. I had been out and searched for him but had not managed to find him. I think it took him possibly over 12 hours to get home after being struck.

    However much I fear him being hit though, I know he is happy out there, so I will let him out again when he is deemed capable of coping physically with the outdoor situations. Its upsetting to let our other 2 cats out now, though they tend to stay nearer the house. Sometimes you have to live with fear or anxiety though.

    Its near impossible to find a safe place for them. A friend has lost several cats even though they live out in the country – the cats dont see much traffic so they have got hit by the few cars that have used their country lane. I used to cat sit for some housecats of a friend and I would not subject cats to that situation myself as a dull, lonely boring life is much worse than a short fun one.

    Premier Icon househusband
    Subscriber

    This has actually reminded me that a friend had their (large) rabbit’s hind leg amputated after it pulled the pins out after surgery – to the extent that they couldn’t operate again.

    Understandably quite right to restrict his movement however painful it is!

    We’ve got three cats and now live in a quiet village but right next to the only road that passes through it – and at the end of the village too so traffic is just slowing down as it approaches. We know that two out of three of the wee buggers are now crossing that road, no doubt because they’ve decimated mouse, vole and shrew population of the field behind the house!

    We’re quite pragmatic about it and can only hope that they are sensible and fast enough…

    Anyway, here’s the old three-legged one; he passed four years ago at 16/17yrs old. My wife had him 14yrs and got him after the SSPCA took him in after his traffic incident.

    apj
    Member

    I’d check that he’s happy to be restrained / pulled back by it without going into panic mode. I had a very placid cat who hated his harness, but yours sounds a bit more tolerant.

    Also, we need pics!

    cranberry
    Member

    I’ve personally seen 2 very different reactions to harnesses:

    1. Huffy ( The Bunnyslayer ), our first cat, walked into the room, spotted the harness on the floor, knocked seven shades of shite out of it and walked off. No one was brave enough to try to fit on to another after that.

    2. Last week talking to the breeder of my 2 bengals I mentioned leash training them, she told me that they had to be trained to walk again when a harness was fitted

    Me: what now ?
    Her: watch..
    *fits harness to kitten, lets go of kitten*
    *Kitten flops onto its side, looks rather shame-faced*

    I hope/guess that “normal” cats should react somewhere in between those two extremes.

    Aww cute kitty photo by Househusband.
    Thats very encouraging. I met a 3 legged greyhound the other day.

    The vets said our cats op has a high chance of failing, as the top of his thigh bone had been smashed into fragments, so they had to try to rebuild all the little bits of bone, then pin all the broken bits back to the ball that goes into the hip, then reattach all the torn off muscle. If it fails, they will try this op instead

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Femoral_head_ostectomy
    there is a blog of someones experience of this here
    http://jasonscats.blogspot.co.uk/2006/04/micios-femoral-head-ostectomy-fho.html

    And if it fails and none of the bone has joined up at all then they will have to amputate his leg. Another X ray to look in about 6 weeks.

    We have been very lucky so far. He has another illness so has spent previous time at Langford (Bristol Uni Vet Sch) Feline Centre. The emergency vets at the PDSA (they do our local vets night cover) referred us back to Langford at 2.30am (we did not find him until 1.30am) and he was operated on by Langfords orthopaedics team a couple of days later. He would have probably lost his leg straight away if he had gone to a local vets – the PDSA and Langford said it was the worst break of the kind they had seen.

    On the bright side, the car hit is back end and so did not ruin the 3 newly done root canals on his teeth. He had fallen a few weeks before and snapped of the top 3rd of most of his pointy teeth so the nerves where showing. I am not sure if he is a very lucky cat (near misses) or a very unlucky one (having accidents at all).

    I have never posted a photo on here. I will look up how it works or place one elsewhere and link to it. Prob will not be until tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, there is an example here of the size of the hip ball they are trying to pin an entire damaged leg to. You can see why its tricky. I think the coin is a USA dime. The image is from an internet search when I was looking for more info,

    note, this is not my cat.

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/nuuk_baby/media/katia%20surgery/2008_05_katia_surgery006.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

    Cranberry, my cat does ‘floppy cat’ if you try to get him to do things he does not want to do. Its very very effective as its hard to even pick them up. Not surprised you were wary of Huffy. I dont think I would want to annoy a cat in any serious way, they are way too well armed and fast. He sounds a lot of fun.

    One of our cats is so territorial we have seen it challenge full grown foxes and the foxes detour away!

    hs125
    Member

    We did this a few years back after a broken pelvis. Our cat didn’t really like the harness, but loved getting outside after a long while. The only problem was that he would want to go behind bushes in the garden and get the lead knotted up. Well worth it though.

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    Our cats flop over if you wrap a scarf around them – it’s really funny.

    Have you considered something like this?

    Keeps ours entertained for hours.

    I’m sorry, but somebody had to……

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    I hate cats*

    *Part/all of this statement may be untrue…

    cranberry
    Member

    I’ve skipped the links that you posted, but hope that the little fella heals properly and gets back to normal as soon as possible.

    p8ddy
    Member

    I had a cat in a not too dissimilar situation. The only problem I encountered was that when the mog (fluff) got out, she got so excited she found the harness annoying and went bonkers. To the extent she got really panicky and started biting and scratching and almost choked herself in the process.

    My main bit of advice would be to take it really slow. Small amounts of access at a time. That’ll also allow him to build up a decent scent trail outside too and make him feel more at ease and confident.

    Good luck! Glad your moggie is on the mend! 🙂

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    We tried one while my Mrs was reluctant to let hers go anywhere. Ours used to skulk around at ground-level with it, but otherwise got on as normal/like a dog that isn’t doing what you want it to.

    Very true in my experience too.

    It became of use when taking them to the vet, they didn’t need to be in a box as they just sat in the car/on the chair placid.

    The double takes you get when people see a cat looking out of a car window is priceless! Obviously the fact they look so entirely bored by the whole car thing is part of the fun.

    konabunny
    Member

    My cat hated its harness and wouldn’t wear it without trying to scratch my eyes out. It sounds like OP is doing better than that!

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    We had one for the Bengal back in the UK, he would run around the table legs with it (we gave up after a while) and had some over here in Oz when the missus was thinking that she could persuade the 2 burmese kittens that it was fine to look at the outside but not be outdoor cats (didn’t last long) neither could get out of them as the harness was round them in 2 places (they tried) though one sort of got it the other turned into a ground hugger when he got his on. Pop the harness on in the house and let him run around with it then try the lead and then go outside.

    My mum has a body harness for her Siamese cats. Every time she went for a walk round the loch, the braver of the two cats would follow her onto the road -a 60mph rural road.

    The harness is a bit like a baby carrier. Needless to say, myself and my siblings ruthlessly take the piss but it works, the cat is safe and gets to enjoy the local surroundings.

    milky1980
    Member

    Cats are actually very good at learning what their body is capable of doing after an accident. One of my cats when I was younger was attacked by some youths who left him with a broken and de-gloved jaw and a broken rear leg. We had to feed him with a syringe for weeks while the jaw reset while being held together with a wire frame and the rear leg had multiple pins in it, sounds similar to your cat. He very quickly learnt what he could and could not do so we never had to go the harness route for exercise as he would find other ways of entertaining himself (he became fascinated with the washing machine for ages!). The only thing we did do was get a carry harness meant for small dogs which was perfect for vet visits and getting him around the house, which had four staircases. He was nicknamed Prada after I took him to the pub one lunchtime to give him a change of scenery!!

    Cats are ace 😀

    duffle
    Member

    Has no-one mentioned…………
    A liberal application of sudocrem..??? 😉

    CAT PHOTOS

    Cat photos are now located here, in a Zenfolio account. Just double click the picture to enlarge etc.

    http://severnaimages.zenfolio.com/f462148470

    Milkie
    Member

    Midnighthour yesterday…

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFJmABR3Mqg[/video]

    Milkie, thanks for posting – thats such a funny video.

    Ironically that is actually the cat reaction that would be best for me, if I could get him to sit on the lawn or somewhere more interesting and then not walk about, just sit and look around it would be just great!

    Thanks to everyone, you have all been so kind / funny with your replies.

    Seems if you get a dog to take along as well, the cat lack of enthusiasm problem is solved….

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