Uganda: Four Men to Give a Cat an Injection!

Ugandan kitten

Ugandan kitten “Michael”. Great photograph. I love it. I don’t know who took it. Probably the husband of the woman we see with this cute Ugandan kitten. Click on the photo to go to her blog and this story

This is a little bit of world cat news, which I find fascinating. The location is Uganda. For people unsure where this African country is, the map below will help – it is just west (to the left) of Kenya:


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It took one male Ugandan veterinarian (“a tall, strong looking man” described as an “animal doctor”) and his three male Ugandan assistants (“who also looked strong”) to give a domestic kitten an injection. I presume the injection was a vaccination. The vet called his three assistants in from an adjacent room to help him.

And….the veterinarian wore thick gloves while he administered the injection. The other three men must have held the cat in position. The cat’s owner queried how he managed to use a hypodermic needle while wearing thick gloves.

The vet appears to do the same thing for all cats. The cats were standard domestic cats. Their names were (a) “Elsa” – three months old, and (b) a cat called “Michael” (see photo) who is smaller than Elsa.

So, what is going on? Either the vet is scared of domestic cats for no particular reason (unlikely) or the vet has had a nasty experience or knows something that we don’t.

There is only one disease that is really dangerous for a vet that can be transmitted from a domestic cat to a vet: rabies.

There are clear signs for rabies. However, during the first stage (1-3 days) the cat will show subtle signs of personality change. Cats can become more affectionate or irritable and aggressive. Perhaps the vet was protecting himself from a bite from a cat that might have rabies? It seems far fetched because rabies exists in the USA and vets there don’t do the kind of thing this vet did.

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Uganda: Four Men to Give a Cat an Injection! — 16 Comments

  1. How bizarre, I tried looking up why they would be afraid of a kitten and no clues. It must have been a sight to see!

    • It is bizarre and the Ugandan lady who owned the cat found it odd too. I’d love to know what the hell was going on. Maybe they were interested in the lady 😉 Even though we can’t see her face in the picture, I have a feeling she is attractive and quite well off financially – a big guess.

  2. Last time Monty was at the vet it took the vet and his assistant fifteen minutes to get Monty in his carrier. I could hear the snarling and growling from in the lobby. Once in awhile the vet or the tech would peek out to say, “It won’t be long now. Everything’s fine.” But the freaked out looks on their faces told me everything was not fine. “Can I help? He’ll go right into the carrier for me.” But they refused and finally the vet appeared looking quite worn out carrying a black cat carrier from which came a steady low growl. The vet informed me that Monty had pooped on himself and he gave me some waterless shampoo I could use to clean him up and he gave me the medicine I was to give Monty. He warned me, “Don’t try to do anything with him right away. Be careful. Don’t get hurt. Give him some time.” I got home, opened the carrier, cleaned Monty up and gave him his medicine without incident. He was quite docile. He even purred while I cleaned him up.

    If they are that afraid of what a cat will do, get the cat’s person in there to help. It will make a difference. But perhaps this vet had an experience with a cat like Monty. Monty’s bark is worse than his bite though. He can sound really scary, but I don’t think he really would have hurt anyone. But without me there, maybe he would have bitten or scratched someone. Maybe he did. Next time they need to keep him there for awhile they should let me put him in his carrier. When they weighed him on a previous visit the vet tech heard the growling and asked me to put him on the scale. Monty went from a scary growl to a sweet little meow as I reached to pick him up. She thought that was really cute. She still kept her distance from him as I placed him on the scale.

    • But perhaps this vet had an experience with a cat like Monty.

      I think this could be the reason. He had to deal with an African Monty at one time and was bitten and mauled 😉

      There may be quite a few wild cat hybrid cats in Uganda that are strays or community cat and they could be quite aggressive. People say the African wildcat does mate quite freely with the domestic cat. This is the same in Scotland where the Scottish wildcat mates with the local domestic cats.

      That said Michael, the cat in the picture is definitely not a wildcat hybrid.

    • Ruth(Monty’s Mom!), I think that it is ridiculous they didn’t call you in to put poor Monty at ease… what was wrong with them to be so insensitive? I sure hope that you were able to get through to them and modify their process for future visits, not just yours and Monty’s, but for other clients as well. 🙂 My goodness, that is a no-brainer! (Shame on them for such clinic protocol.)

  3. i did’nt know there was such a thing.vets that are scared of domestic cats??i would understand a vet getting scared if someone walked in with a tiger.

    • LOL. I agree but maybe in Uganda stray and domestic cats have a reputation for carrying disease or something. Or as Carol the vet is superstitious.

  4. You guys haven’t met Monty. He can be as scary as any tiger. My friend Melanie won’t cat sit for him anymore because as she would scoop his litter box he would sit on his cat tree above her and growl in such a menacing fashion that she wasn’t sure if he was about to attack her or not. She kept picturing him leaping down on her as she listened to that growl.

  5. Well if we humans had to go to a strange place with no explanation and huge hands wearing thick gloves reached out to us we’d surely be terrified out of our wits and need holding down for the injection!
    People afraid of animals shouldn’t work with them, it’s part and parcel of the job, the risk of being bitten and scratched and the understanding that an animal needs gentle and calm handling.
    Thankfully most of our vets have been/are gentle with cats, even when Ebony slit ones thumb open lol when he upended her to look at her underneath.
    I once worked with a vet who wouldn’t examine a bird without putting an elastic band round its beak!
    He didn’t last long in his career thank goodness.

  6. I think I figured this out. Someone in this vet office got injured by a half feral cat so they set a policy that every single cat be handled by multiple people to avoid such a situation happening again. Except that this kitten is harmless. Monty was that size when I caught him all by myself, without getting hurt, and he was completely wild. But many companies set policies that are a one size fits all solution to every situation. Their employees are not expected to think or have good judgement. Like the grocery chain here that cards everyone before they will sell you booze. If an eighty year old man comes in there to buy a six pack of beer, puts it in the basket on his wheeled walker and makes his slow painful journey through the store with it, when he gets up to the cash register the clerk is required to ask for ID to make sure he is over 21 years old. Our county sherrif went in there to buy beer and he got carded, although the clerk knew who he was. She would have been fired had she not asked for his ID. Stupid. About as stupid as “use four people every time you handle a cat” even when it’s a harmless kitten, but I’d put money on that being the reason for this silliness.

    • I think you are spot with this, Ruth. I am sure there are some wildcat hybrids in Uganda (the African Wildcat is found throughout Uganda and it mates with domestic cats) which will look like large domestic cats. And as you say feral cats can be aggressive so they have a uniform policy which makes things look a bit over the top when it comes to treating a small cat like Michael. It is probably in the vet’s insurance policy!

  7. HAHAHAHAHA . . . . sounds really funny but I think people in general are afraid of FERAL CATS & KITTENS. I have seen many mature men and women talking about these free roaming cats so much superstitious stories that one time I myself became a bit afraid, but all the stories were only for the sake of getting rid of these cats and a deep hatred hidden behind their hearts and souls. Here they look at me strangely as I am a BRITISH GENERAL of 1857 and they are saying,”Sahib! does this LION don’t eat you up?”

    All are idiots about cats and specially FERAL CATS. They are FERAL because our brains are FERAL, phuuuhaa 🙁

      • Look! Michael, it is not that way that I love to JOKE with my countrymen or with INDIA. No, Not at all! the fact is that I daily experience the events and questions of this kind of dark hatred about cats and specially kittens.

        I have to revive. . . yeah! I have to re-think about the brains people have here. The TRUTH is always bitter. I say,” they don’t like cats” I mean in Pakistan. Because our Pakistan is divided into three classes of population.

        a) Rich (1%)
        b) Middle (30%)
        c) Poor (69%)

        Educated persons are those who can write their names. So, the govt. proudly 🙁 announces the figures of development in education sector every year, that we have progressed this and that, and every one knows this and that means ZERO 🙁 .

        My question to the whole nation????
        Do the nation agree upon keeping one cat per home inside home as pet? How many homes do we have in Pakistan?

        Maybe one will come online and start explaining with anger that you westerns don’t have to be interested in our cats because we keep our animals safer than you, bloody westerns @I@.”
        In this angry statement everyone can smell a deep black LIE.

        And here comes AHSAN that knows what is exactly going on here and I am not an advocate of LAIRS.

        Rich keep dogs and cats but very rare in Pakistan
        Middle class don’t like cats or dogs, a very very few 1/10,000 keep a dog or a cat.
        Poor can never keep such an animal as they have not a right to the basic life standards so how are they gonna feed such a pet??? understood answer. maybe feral cat or dog is kept there with them but that is 1/1,000,000

        This is the fact and one more thing! The govt. is not interested in allocating the resources even not human resources of Pakistan, every thing goes in estimation even the population because we have not done the Census for many decades. Yeah TATA and BYE BYE 🙁

        Michael! tell me . . . can you say that without neuter and Spay facility , A feral colony is generating 5 to 21 cats and the figure is constant here in Pakistan in one feral colony??? Is this possible with out neutering the male cat and spaying the female cat????

        Anyone can tell me if I have a pair of cats, 1 male, 1 female, fully grown mature to their sexuality. They must be increased upto 4.5 Million within 3 years. and I have only 19 feral cats left in the colony, Where are the rest of my babies???? Are they gone to MEKKA????

        Michael! I am burning HELL inside me, It’s not joke. Its serious 🙁 🙁 🙁

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