The other week the cat came in from outside bearing a nasty wound in her tail. It looked like a deep slicing wound and appeared to go right to the tail bones. This has resulted in many trips to the vet with all kinds of medicines. The one thing that I have learnt from my poor cat's nasty experience is that (according to the vet) the wounds are better when they are wet. Whilst in a moist condition the flesh begins to build up and regrow into its original shape - it cannot do this once a scab has formed and crusted over.
This nasty wound is now on the mend ... you can still see the slight kink in her tail, as pictured above but it has now gone past the wet stage and has begun to form a nice healthy scab. She is however walking around rather gingerly ... still defending her territory ... still looking for mice ... and patrolling the garden like a policeman!
Extra note for information: Savlon have now produced Advanced Healing Gel (for humans). This helps to keep the wound moist and allows the flesh to rebuild and mend itself.More information: for those who have asked me - the vet believed the wound was caused by another cat's claw that lashed out and caught the tail. Cats tend to sharpen their claws on a daily basis pulling them in a downwards movement on, if available, a 'scratching' post. If a 'scratching' post is not provided then a cat will use anything available from a garden fence, a tree trunk, a piece of furniture ... The cat then pulls the claws downwards and parts of the claw or nail break off - usually either side of the point of the claw. This makes the claw extra sharp like a blade in many instances (this applies to the claws on their front paws only). They then use these sharpened claws for several purposes - it helps the animal climb up fences (they can run up a fence vertically), the sharpness helps them to capture small animals (this, sadly, is in their nature - their instinct - fortunately our cat has a preference for capturing mainly mice, the last one being captured around a year ago), and lastly the claws are there for defence to protect them from other cats, dogs and other creatures that try to interfere with them! I am still uncertain whether, in this instance, the damage was done by another cat. The cut was deep lacerating one side of the tail and at an angle so there are several possibilities from broken glass to barbed wire. I am looking out for any new cats in the neighbourhood ... anyone got any other thoughts on what could have caused the damage?
When not in use a cat will retract their claws and mostly just have their soft pads in use. A fox also has retractable claws.