engine fan and belt

by veroina
(Ledbetter Ky USA)

Our cat Russell apparently was in a car engines fan and then slung in the belt also??? What vet told us,her palate is broke plus her jaw,the nails on 1 paw are gone and paw is amuled pretty good,other leg is broke and in splint. I left her over night and have her home. Vet said she would heal? How do I feed her when she wont eat,how do I get her to use litter box when she cant stand. We love our cat who adopted us 3 yrs ago but will her quality of life be a good 1? It just doesnt seem fair if a cat that lived completly dependent on herself before us,is in such a condition?


This has obviously been a horrific accident. However, one of the most common feline injuries is a broken chin or jaw (normally when a cat falls from a high place). Hopefully your vet has given you some pain medication for Russell because these broken bones aren’t without pain. The jaw will heal but it will take time. The broken leg will also heal. The healing time for feline bone breaks ranges from 6 weeks for simple fractures but can be several months for the more complicated breaks. Since she can’t use the litter box easily, you may have to resort to using diapers temporarily. See the info about diapers on my Cat Diapers page.

Of course she doesn’t feel like eating right now because of the pain and discomfort but you have to get her eating. Cats handle undernourishment differently than other species. Normally when a body isn’t getting nutrients it moves fat from its reserves to the liver to be converted into lipoproteins for energy…but the cat body isn’t designed to convert stores of fat and when the fat that is released to the liver is not processed correctly it results in a fatty and low functioning liver which is dangerous. If you can make gruel out of a can of cat pate and hand feed her, that will work. If she declines to cooperate then try to use a high calorie liquid diet (some brands are Hills AD, Iams/Eukanuba Maximum Calorie or a brand your vet may have. Use a syringe, gently pushing the tip into the side of the mouth near the back teeth. Release the liquid slowly so she can swallow without gagging. This will take time for her to accept but you have to be patient and talk soothingly to her during the process.

The nails will grow back in the paws and I assume your vet bandaged the damaged paw. She should be able to resume a reasonable quality of life once she heals but you will have to coddle her and help her with the things she can temporarily do for herself (eating & the litter box replacement of diapers). She will need a lot of love as she recovers and I feel like you love her enough to help her through this painful event. I wish you well as you help Russell through this difficult time.

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Oct 12, 2012
by: veronica

Thanks for your response. Russell is 1 tough kitty, she has ate a can of food,drank water,used the litter box. WOW is all I can say,she purred so loud yesterday when I picked her up and loved her.

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