How To Tell If A Cat Has Been Abused

by Top Cat Breeds

Humans domesticated cats for a variety of reasons; they used them to keep rodent levels under control, and they also enjoyed the company of sweet fur balls. Unfortunately, not all of them are kind to cats. Cruelty to cats is more popular than any of us would have liked to believe. It’s important to consider the various forms of cruelty, the symptoms of the abused or neglected animal, and what you can do if you see the animal’s abuse. Do you know how to tell if a cat has been abused? 

Bringing a rescue cat home comes with a lot of benefits — from which we ask you to think just about the life you’ve saved. Stray cats are not accustomed to living outside and normally do not live longer than a few months after they enter the streets. You need to know how to tell if a cat has been abused to help save them.

How To Tell If A Cat Has Been Abused

With access to so many sources of knowledge, lost cats are typically reunited with their owners. That is why those who enter shelters are more likely to be abandoned or rescued from abusive owners. Even if the cat was saved from the streets and the shelter you’re bringing from doesn’t have any background details, there are some signs you’re searching to identify the neglected rescue cat. This article will help you know how to tell if a cat has been abused!

When you imagine assault, it probably includes physical aggression in the first place. However, violence can take several forms, and not all of them have strong physical signs. In order to detect the abuse of cats, you need to make sure that you can recognize the symptoms of the abuse of cats and consider the various kinds of abuse that are likely.

1. Watch “Head-shy”

This term is used by vets and behavioralists to describe the most common indication that any animal has been abused. Same as with dogs, if a cat keeps its head down, refuses eye contact, and flinches even at the slightest touch, it may be the first sign of past violence.

2. An Infestation Of The Flea

If you adopt a cat, you won’t have to deal with it, but asking the cat’s shelter about the cat’s state when it was rescued might help you decide if the cat was abused (another form of abuse). Excessive ear mites may also be present – and for this, you will need to know how to clean your cat’s paws.

3. Scars

Abuse often requires aggression. If your cat is sweet, try to check when you pet her if she has any injuries beneath her fur.

4. Runs And Hides From Humans Or Other Creatures

A cat with an abusive past appears to be fearful of the elements that harm her. For example, a cat may hide under a bed and refuse to come out in the presence of other people, often children. It’s the same with other species.

Hoarding is a different form of violence. People who keep too many animals in a closed environment (even though they do so with good intentions) typically fail to fulfill the animals’ needs. This leaves the animals starving for food, without enough clean water or a clean litter tray. Cats from conditions like this may have food violence, litter box problems, or drink from less-than-desirable locations.

5. Emaciation

Starvation is one of the most obvious symptoms of violence. Clearly, the undernourished cat did not take good care of it. If you can feel her spine or her ribs when she pets, the cat may be undernourished. If you’ve taken her from a shelter, this is another thing you need to think about her past before you introduce her to your house.

6. A Bad State Of The General

Even if a cat is not undernourished, poor feeding can still cause signs of violence. The coat of a cat should be thick and shiny. The nose should be wet, and the paw pads should be smooth. If all of these signs are present, the cat has been abused.

7. Aggression

Aggression is the true sign of violence, and we’re not talking about the actions of a wild cat. For those, aggression is part of their survival behavior, but in the case of rescue cats, cat aggression that happens without warning can help you recognize past violence.

For example, if your rescue cat enjoys being petted but unexpectedly hits you when you enter a certain location, it may mean that the cat was hurt there. However, it can also suggest the underlying condition. Take her to the vet for a proper check-up and see what the cause is.

Even though the above signs are intended to help you in adapting your rescue cat to your home and family, if you love animals, they are all symptoms of cruelty, even for others. If you find these symptoms in pets that may not be yours, get assistance.

You can try to speak to the owner yourself, but you can’t confront him or her in any way. Even in a casual conversation, the abusive owner is going to be defensive. Don’t dig further than that. Go to the nearest rescue unit and present the questions as comprehensive as possible, and let them deal with the situation.

Whatever the case, you could be helping a soul find a new home, or the abuser could be encouraged to take care of his pet if the abuse was accidental and induced purely by lack of proper information.

How To Tell If A Cat Has Been Abused: Understanding Violence

Realize that even other conditions may be mistaken for symptoms of violence. Before making a judgment call, make sure to understand the broader picture. It may often be simple to deceive an animal who is ill but has medical care for a neglected pet. For example, an animal that is quite thin may have a handled medical condition, not hungry for lack of food.

  • Take note of how the animal responds to its owner. The cat’s actions around its owner may be a clear indication of its feelings towards the owner.
  • If the cat runs to meet its owner and rubs around his legs, it’s a positive sign. If the cat flinches and cowers, he will be abused.
  • Even this is not definitive, particularly if you see a cat struggling to get meds fed or bathed.

Strike up a non-confrontational conversation with the owner of the cat. To decide whether there is a plausible reason for a cat in distress, simply approach the owner and ask him politely. Ask him if the cat is all right, and listen carefully to the answer. Please try to keep your tone conversational. If the owner claims that the cat is on veterinary care, you can try asking which vet the cat is seeing. If you are not happy with the response, do not confront the owner, but consider putting the issue in the authorities’ hands.

Understand what constitutes deliberate violence. Unintentional abuse is exactly what it sounds like, an abuse that happens because of a lack of concern but is not malevolent. Unfortunately, even people who consider themselves animal lovers can commit unintentional violence. This form of cruelty usually includes failing to meet all essential animals’ essential needs, such as adequate food, clean water, a clean place to rest, and protection from the elements.

A Friendly Tip 

Be aware of deliberate violations. Intentional cruelty happens when the owner suspects that the animal is hurt or wounded but does nothing about it. In the worst case, it may be deliberate neglect with cruel intent, deliberately causing pain and distress to the cat. In addition to physical harm, deliberate cruelty involves not bringing a sick cat to a vet or not handling a flea infected cat.

What To Know About Neglected Cats

Cats that have been abused may appear to be badly maimed and injured all over the outside. Some can appear to be in fine shape on the outside, but all the damage they have suffered may be internal or emotional. Even though physical damage is terrible, emotional damage is much harder to repair. Cats who have physical abuse can always respond to gentle touch and soft voice as long as they know that the abuse has come to an end.

If you have a pet that has been emotionally abused, you’re going to have to wait before the cat comes to you. You’re going to have to use patience because the cat is going to be scared, and you don’t know whether you’re trying to hurt him or not. If you take your time and let him know that you’re nothing to worry about, he’ll finally come to you. You should let him smell you and pet him when he starts to come to you. After a while, he’ll learn that he can trust you, and he’ll come to you when you call him up.

Gripping, raising your voice, or using disciplinary methods such as flyswatters or water guns in the wrong way can lead to emotional harm. If you continue to use the wrong means of control on an emotionally abused pet, the pet can become mean or lethargic. When a cat turns, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Meaner cats are easier to reach, as they still care a little about what will happen to them while lethargic cats could really care less.

Cats that have become lethargic will not play, take treats, or respond to anything you say to them. The ideal way to get him to react is to carry a companion cat with a lethargic cat. Over time, a lethargic cat may finally search for affection, usually a scratch or a pat. If this happens, you can always use a soft voice and snuggle with it. Never raise your voice at this stage, and make sure you let the cat know that his conduct is much better.

More Information

You can make slow movements around a lethargic cat, as it is still very painful. When he comes around and lets you contact him again, he’s going back to his old self. Bear in mind that it can take some time to anticipate this sort of scenario. If your cat starts to get mad again, or if you raise your voice, it’s going to hide again. If you continue to use a soft voice and have patience, your cat will finally get over it. Moreover, if you get a lethargic cat, you should be prepared for long and very intensive healing time.

On the other hand, angry or malicious cats either fight and scratch with you or simply run away from you. The easiest thing to do with mean cats is to use gentle care with a soft voice. You should never threaten to raise your voice or use strict restraint because it’s only going to make the cat meaner. Never try to trap a cat since trapping it will just make the cat respond. If you take your time to let the cat know that you’re there for him, he’s going to calm down.

How To Tell If A Cat Has Been Abused: Do Cats Remember Abuse?

Abused cats are in search of patient, caring, gentle owners. Why is your cat hiding under the bed every time you shut the cuddly cabinet? Why is the scurrying away every time you wear boots? Maybe there’s a reason he’s such a frightened pet. Maybe he was abused. Cats have wonderful associative memories, particularly of things that have harmed them.

1. Feline Flashbacks

Your cat’s short-term memory lasts for 16 hours, around the same time as most 2-and 3-year-old humans. In a laboratory setting (mad scientist optional), he could be able to solve memory labyrinths. But Sudoku puzzles are possibly out of the question.

Your cat’s long-term memory is more difficult to gauge, but it is undeniably more distinguishable. In the wild, these lone hunters can only rely on their own wit to determine the threats — there is no submission to pack the dogs’ mind.

Cats establish strong emotional connections with the positive and negative effects of people, places, and things. Whether or not these connections are memories, in the human sense, is a technical, semantic question. Your cat responds to new stuff because of previous experiences — for practical purposes, that’s memory.

2. The Frightened Cats

Physical violence can leave physical scars on pets, but it also leaves emotional wounds. A clap, a sound, a voice, or even a smell — the slightest warning will spur your cat into defensive mode after a negative connection has been cemented. Abused cats sometimes flee or cover when they recognize something relevant to the violence. They can become aggressive and spread their fear to other animals or humans.

Breaking down and modifying these habits can be a complicated, life-long task. If you’re taking a cat that you know has been neglected, make sure you’re in it for a long time. Otherwise, it’s not fair to you or the animal. If your cat unexpectedly shows signs of violence for no obvious cause, schedule a medical check-up, and challenge other family members.

3. Helping Hands

You can help the abused cat live a normal life, but even love and goodwill can’t dispel the consequences of a horrible trauma.

If your cat is distrustful of people, take it slow in general and give him time and space. Don’t automatically follow him if he gets nervous and bolts. Your cat wants to have enclosed spaces. Make sure he’s got a lot of perches and covered nooks to hide and survey the area.

Use love treats, and toys to coax him out of hiding. You may spend a lot of time on the floor quietly, petting your cat at the edge of a couch or a bed to make a relationship. It is preferable to have regular short sessions. If you’re completely averse to touch, try using a brush first, and don’t take it personally if you end up with a few scratches.

Final Words

If your cat has an abuse-related stress cause, it’s best to avoid it. You may be able to rehabilitate it through positive reinforcement, but you may unwittingly do more damage than good. Clicker training is possible, but many traumatized cats don’t react well. If you decide on a reconditioning path, first consult a veterinarian or animal behaviorist with neglected animals’ experience.

As cats age, they often lose their mental faculties or get dementia. A reformed abused cat can change back to old behavior when it becomes disoriented and confused. Minimize stimuli, use a soft voice, and strive to make your cat happy. Schedule the appointment of a veterinarian to rule out diseases or disorders.

Abused cats are a sad thing, even though they’re out there. Abused cats can be a sad thing to see, particularly those that have been physically abused. Also, abused cats need a loving home and a loving owner who will give them the kind of lifestyle they deserve. Always note that if you’re dealing with an abused cat, you should always be as gentle as you can.

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