Cat got bit, might be possum

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pickapeppa, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    I let one of our cats in Saturday night, pet his neck and got my hand wet. Picked him up to look and he had a fang-sized hole in his skin that I could see underneath. I cleaned it out with peroxide and it tore a little bigger. Since then, I've cleaned it about twice a day with peroxide or bactine spray (this is easier). He's also getting antibiotics we had leftover from the last time he was bit and went to the vet with an abscess. There's no visible signs of infection, it scabbed over very nicely with no redness and swelling, and the darned cat decides to scratch it open last night. Today, he was sitting on the couch and scratched it bloody again. Geesh. We have one more antibiotic pill left, and I'm afraid with those little paws going where they do, that we will end up back in the vets office with a $150 in charges again. :(

    I chased him off the couch and let him outside (his garden of eden, you know) so he didn't bleed all over the slipcover and called the vet's office. They told me he would probably need an E-collar (I think the bite is too low on his neck for this). I went outside to double check on the location of the bite mark and low and behold, there's a dead possum in the front yard! I sure hope it wasn't a possum bite. We've had trouble with them this year. The coyotes have moved south about thirty miles away, so there is no control over these nasty little rat-like creatures.

    Earlier this spring, a full-grown possum was hit down the street from us and that same week, every day, we had a dead baby possum in our back yard that I had to scoop up with a shovel and toss in the garbage can. Blech. About five babies were killed in our back yard. We assumed they were under our shed and one of the dogs were killing them. And it stopped. We thought it was over.

    Then a few weeks ago when DH was finishing up the greenhouse and hoophouse, he asked me to go check it out and this nasty rotten animal smell was all stinking up the nice fresh air out there. It was under the shed, again. We assumed one survived and had just died under there. Can't jack up the shed to scoop it out, right? Well, then, now we have another one. I'm afraid there might be more.

    How do you trap these creepy dirty animals to get rid of them? DH says they are too dumb to crawl in a live trap. He says you have to stake them out and shoot 'em. If there is one animal I can't stand above all others, it's a possum. Overgrown rats, they are. If they are this stupid, wouldn't it be sufficient to just plug up the hole where they are getting in and out?
     
  2. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've caught several possums in wood box traps over the years, always had them baited with apple for cottontails. I was always ----ed when it happens because the possum would crap all over the inside of my trap.
     

  3. edcopp

    edcopp Well-Known Member

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    I catch them in live traps using chicken bones for bait. This also will catch a pesky cat once in a while too. :eek:
     
  4. Selena

    Selena proud to be pro-choice

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    Sure it was a possum? My male cat got bit a few months ago and vet was pretty sure it was another cat. Clavamox pills aren't that expensive but if you have an abcess you might require a more potent antibiotic. I do innoculate my pets for all disease that I can but I still ended up with an very sick cat due to a corona virus (may have been born with it or caught it from another cat). My cats have "curfew" as we not only have coons and possums but coyotes.
     
  5. redroving

    redroving Well-Known Member

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    Both my young cats got bit. They had fang marks and swelling but no abcess. The vet gave me oral antibiotic and pain killer that worked wonders on the cats. The one was dragging its leg for two weeks (the vet couldn't find anything broken) he finally gave me the drugs. The cat was walking and using the leg instantly (the pain killer). The next cat had bite marks on all four legs and around his neck, the drugs did the same for him. I got a cat trap and locked my boys in the garage. The next day an old one-eyed tom was spitting mad in the cage. He was taken to the local pound and my cats breathed a sigh of relief.
     
  6. MelissaW

    MelissaW Well-Known Member

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    Poor kitty! Hope he gets better. You can use a Have a Heart trap. I caught a couple of possums in mine with chicken legs and cheese this year. We had a summer when two of our cats got possum bites. One got his jaw nearly torn off, and we had to put him down, the other got it in the neck and got a bad infection. Those nasty critters must have sewer mouths. When DH moved the woodpile next to the barn where the cats live, he found the biggest possum we've ever seen. It was about the size of a corgi, I swear! The nasty thing was hissing at us with it's mouth open. I don't want to get graphic, but I'll just say big husband holding big log equals end to possum problem.
     
  7. silentcrow

    silentcrow Furry Without A Clue

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    Are you sure it was a bite? If it was only a single hole, I'd suspect a warble. Once they migrate through the body to the skin, they open a breathing hole. It's small at first, but as the larva grows, so does the hole. Once it's old enough, it comes out and you're left with a nasty hole. These things are best killed as soon as possible, they can kill.



    When I was raising rabbits, my cats had the habbit of hanging out near the cages...also where some types of warble flies hang out. One cat ended up with 2, one in her cheek and one in her neck. The one in the cheek I had a vet take care of. The one in her neck, I used a handed down remedy...Zippo lighter fluid. The neck healed long before her cheek.

    The other cat had one in her neck, but by the time the hole was noticed, the bug was gone. Just a hole the size of a quarter left. I kept her inside, to keep flies off, and treated her with peroxide. It took a month, but she healed.

    The Zippo remedy was told to me by someone who had used it many times. It sounds bad, and it does hurt, but it also kills the bug in there. If anyone goes to try it, ONLY Zippo lighter fluid will work. I have no idea why.
     
  8. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure it was a bite. There were other markings that went with the fang hole. It's been cold here, so not many flies left. He's healing up pretty well. I'm so glad I caught this before it festered this time. Usually, I don't handle the cats too much when they come in the house. I just happened to reach down and pet him because he was so verbose when he came in. He follows us around making his own conversations, lol. I tell my husband he's calling him swear words. :eek: DH has a habit of stomping his foot every time one of the cats comes near him. His own sort of entertainment, I guess. He smiled when I told him the cat was walking around calling him an A******. When he came in for his feeding last night, I checked him out and cleaned it again. At least he's starting to groom himself again. That's always a sign he's on the mend.

    As for the possums, well, we haven't even approached that subject here at home yet. I let DH scoop this last one up. Just looking at those nasty things makes me want to wretch. So, what do you all do with those critters once you catch them in a live trap? Besides bash them with sticks, lol. As a matter of fact, that's how DH killed the last one. We can't really shoot off guns here. Too many neighbors, too close together. Would feeding them mouse poison work? I get the shivers just thinking about getting that close to one.
     
  9. Selena

    Selena proud to be pro-choice

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    Well depending on where you live and your neighbors tolerance, a .22 works well for nuisance critters in the trap.
     
  10. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I like possums! I think they're one of those "so ugly they're cute" animals. I've never had a possum to bite a cat, but I've had possums come in the garage to eat cat food WITH the cats. This Spring a baby possum fell off his mom's back in the garage. My husband got him and we raised him until he was big enough to survive on his own.

    I've never, ever had a problem with possums getting into my chickens, chicken feed, etc. They like cat food, but the cats don't mind sharing. Maybe your cat didn't want to share!

    ;)
     
  11. jennigrey

    jennigrey Well-Known Member Supporter

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    possums have GOT to have the most pest-infested hide in the whole darn animal kingdom. a coon is bolder and more vicious, but a possum is dumb and nasty.
     
  12. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Actually, possums are VERY smart animals and they are less likely to carry rabies than any other mammal...including YOU.

    Read up on possums...they play a very important role in the cycle of nature:

    http://www.opossum.org/
     
  13. Arborethic

    Arborethic Well-Known Member

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    Possums won't 'attack' a house cat unless the house cat attacks them! Guess what? Cats won't 'attack' an animal equal to their size, because the risk of injury is not a good predator strategy! But I can understand why city folks would assume that these 'creepy dirty animals' are bent upon the destruction of their pets. LOL...

    Possums are extremely SHY and retiring animals. I have picked up many of them by the tails. While they hiss and spit, they don't actually make a big effort to actually 'engage' their 'attacker'. In fact, after their initial hissing display, they PLAY DEAD! DOH! LOL.... A maternal possum with young might lunge at a potential predator, hissing and displaying an impressive array of dentation, but the predator is turned away 99% of the time by that display. And the LAST thing a maternal animal really wants to do is to actually engage with the 'enemy'! That is NOT a survival strategy for the species.

    Cats are usually bitten by other CATS! Why? Because they SOCIALIZE with other cats! Cats aren't stupid. They don't go provoking animals of other species to bite them! But while doing their 'cat thing' with other cats, they do wind up with bites. Even our spayed (is YOUR cat spayed or neutered?) Miss Kitty (who is an outstanding mouser in our barn), gets into spats with feral and neighbors' cats. But she gives a quite wide berth to venomous reptiles, racoons, possums, and (thank the Lord) skunks!

    You need to communicate with, and observe, your cats more! (Lecture mode deactivated) LOL....
     
  14. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you Arborethic!

    :cowboy:
     
  15. jennigrey

    jennigrey Well-Known Member Supporter

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    hm. you must have different sorts of possums and cats than i do. i've seen cats attack larger animals. i deal with a lot of dead animals and - around here at least - a cooling possum unloads more vermin than squirrels, coons, cats and dogs. also, a dead possum stays on the side of the road untouched by scavengers around here. nothing will eat them - not even the crows.
     
  16. Arborethic

    Arborethic Well-Known Member

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    ROTFLMSAO!!!! Nope, sweetheart, cats and possums are the same all the way across this grand nation!

    I've seen CITY cats attack larger animals. I saw a cat attack a large Rottweiler once. The cat lasted about .15 seconds.

    I'd like to see some objective data concerning the difference in parasites exiting the bodies of coons, possums, deer, etc. Come on! Your premise literally stinks! And if you think a buzzard or turkey vulture distinguishes palatability between species....well, you ARE a city gal! LOL...

    I've eaten possum, many times. The animal requires no special 'treatment' to make a passable stew. But then, you're so young that I suspect you haven't met any real country folk. The possum 'looks' strange to you, so you've made the typical city folk assumptions.
     
  17. Arborethic

    Arborethic Well-Known Member

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    Raven, I'm beginning to think that the majority of folks here are CITY folks! LOL... I'm finding it hard to stomach all the myths and misconceptions about wildlife, and living in the country. But then, I guess I'm about twice as old as half the people here....
     
  18. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Opposum stories. I have one. First I have 14 cats which is a story in itself. Dont worry, all fixed. Anyway the old 16 year cat lives downstairs. The 3 ex-mammas come and go, here a week, gone a week or so, usually only one at a time living here, guess they cant stand each other anymore. No idea where they go. Grouchy with each other and the kittens. And the 10 kittens who are around 8 months. All except old cat are indoor, outdoor. Well I am on computer upstairs and cats milling about. Hear a low communal growl but doesnt last long. Look and there is an adolescent opposum eating cat food right in middle of a bunch of the kittens. I start watching, the cats kinda treat him like a strange cat, but dont attack. He walks over gets drink of water, looks at me, then wanders over to covered cardboard box where one of mamma cats gave birth (and which I hadnt got around to getting rid of yet) and curls up and goes to sleep. One more night very simular, then havent seen him since. In a way I was kinda sorry, was rather interested in seeing him develope. But then I am a bit strange, left a big hornet nest above my front door one year just to observe them. They got used to me as normal part of environment and didnt cause much trouble.
     
  19. jennigrey

    jennigrey Well-Known Member Supporter

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    i'm no city girl, though it may please you to assume so since it makes your high horse that much higher. and i too have eaten possum, coon, squirrel, rat and just about every other wild mammal west of the mississippi except canines, felines and equines.

    you are rude and insulting, "sweetheart". i've met more than a few like you, but seldom on this board. people like you aren't the least bit interested in objective data, despite words to the contrary. you're interested in personal attacks, belittling nicknames and snide remarks.
     
  20. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    Well, this cat in particular is the most protective of his turf than the two dogs and other two cats. Yes, they are all fixed, and four of the five were rescues, not pet store animals. The big bitten fur ball is laying here on my desk purring as we speak. I have seen him spat, hiss and growl at dogs ten times his size. He stands up to any animal that he feels is invading his turf, or endangering his "kin". He's a good pet. And yes, he would not want to share his food bowl with any critter other than "his" cats. He knows who's family and who isn't. He will growl and chase away even the stray cats who come to dine on his porch. We have moved the food bowl into the house, seeing as how cold weather is setting in and they will be inside more often anyway. I've also seen a possum poised to attack one of our dogs, hissing and spatting. The dog had it cornered, bouncing and barking playfully, stupid dog lol.

    Arbor, I am not a city person. But that doesn't mean that I have any experience with wildlife. I grew up in rural Indiana, on a crop farm. We had animals when I was very small, I barely remember the last 100 chicks my folks raised. Forests in Indiana are small and patchy. Where I lived, you'd be lucky to see two 50 acre forests within one mile of each other. Wildlife was pretty well stripped. The closest I ever got to a raccoon before I went camping was roadkill. Never saw a possum alive until I moved here (yes, in a country subdivision). It was rare to see a deer when I was younger. Owls were and still are special and exciting observations. So, I am a country girl, and always will be. But that doesn't mean I will have all of the experiences you would expect "country" people to have. I have more experience than someone raised in the city by far, but most likely will never have as much experience as you do. :bow:

    Raven, how 'bout I just ship you my possums, lol. I think that sounds like the best way to get rid of them. I'll live trap them and ship them in a box. Anyone want possum stew? I was told by some farm folks down the road that possums feed on the feces of other animals, so, I care not to partake of the possum stew. How 'bout we make a trade. Possums for coyotes anyone? ;)