Warning: you may find some of these photos distressing.

If you plan to run a cat shelter or rescue operation, you will come across a number of less pleasant cases. Hopefully, such cases will constitute a minimum of your workload. The following photos are from one shelter over a period of 3 or 4 years. Similar cases are seen by shelters all around the world.


This cat had probably suffered a bite wound which became an abscess. Local children were throwing stones at him. He fully recovered without skin grafts and was left with nothing worse than a bald patch on his neck and an understandable distrust of people.

This one was from a neighbouring branch, but clearly illustrates the damage an untreated abscess can do. This very friendly cat eventually lost its eye and its ear and required several skin grafts. He lived the rest of his life with a shelter worker as few people are willing to take on cats with such serious disfigurements.

A road accident victim who lost one eye and needed his jaw wired while it mended. His owners would not reclaim him because he was no longer "perfect".

A feral cats whose broken foreleg healed in a rotated position (amputation required)

Partial amputation of the front leg, this cat could not have the whole leg amputated because she had previously lost a hind leg to disease or injury.


Full amputation of a foreleg - but bright, alert and as active as any four-legged cat!

Cat born with incomplete hind legs - both hind legs terminate at the hock joint, there are no hind paws, just bony pads.

Cat with radial hypoplasia - front limbs are short and misshapen.

This cat was luckier; he has a pinned leg but he will not require and amputation.

Don't worry - it's the pin that makes it stick out like that!

Baldness due to severe flea allergy.

Flea allergy again.

Flea allergy.

Lack of grooming by the owner meant that this Persian became very matted and had to be shaved to remove the mats.

A Chinchilla Persian (old style) before shaving - the hanging mat of fur also contained twigs and dirt because he had been living rough.

This 8 week old kitten was one of a litter found in a shed. It had deformed back legs and a poorly formed tail. The vet attempted to treat the twisted legs, but the kitten's bowel did not work correctly (internal deformities) and it was euthanized.

Hand rearing a kitten! One of the nicer jobs, but still extremely demanding.