HomeCat HealthInjuryHave You Run Over A Cat?

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Have You Run Over A Cat? — 13 Comments

  1. I’ve been fortunate in my long driving life of over 50 years, that I’ve never hit any animal, nor have I lost any of my cats, even though all of them have been indoor/outdoor.

    The cat I have had for 5 years was a feral, but she has adapted to indoor life, with daily outings on a leash with a snug fitting velco halter. I will never allow her to roam freely outdoors because I consider it too risky for her safety, and my mental/emotional health.

    • You have been lucky or perhaps there are few outdoor cats in your area. When I drive home I am very aware of the possibility of encountering a cat because there are at least five outdoor cats living with close neighbours so I drive at a max of around 10 mph. Perhaps the cats are car savvy.

  2. The government no longer picks up any road kill, so you see a lot of carnage along the roads these days. I always look to see if it’s a cat. I know I shouldn’t, because if it is a cat it will be even more upsetting, but I still look. I never hit a cat, but I hit a squirrel back when I had just started driving. Today I think I could have avoided him. I was on my way to Boo-U (UWC-Baraboo/Sauk County) on Highway 12 between Lake Delton and Baraboo when he just suddenly ran out, ran right under my wheel. I should have been watching the side of the road more carefully. After that every day on the way to school I would see him again– my squirrel, dead on the side of the road. I could have avoided seeing him, but I was always running late, and that was the quickest way to school, so I’d end up driving by him. I kind of like that they changed the road there now, because now I can’t drive by the spot and say, “That’s the exact spot I hit that squirrel” because the road is all different now. I suppose to only have hit one animal in all the years I’ve been driving is pretty good. I’m just glad he died quickly (seemed like he did) and that he wasn’t someone’s companion animal.

  3. There is a UK petition at present to make it a legal requirement to report a road accident involving a cat, it has 7864 signatures so far
    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/19369
    A law for this is long overdue because anyone running over a dog has to report it so why not a cat. If this law happens the police will be involved and hopefully take care of the injured or dead cat, taking him/her to a vet to be scanned for a microchip. A friend found a dead cat in the road in a busy part of this town just a few weeks back, took him to the vets who found a microchip and was able to inform the family. Very sad news for them but better than wondering why he didn’t come home and then searching for him.They shouldn’t have had an outdoor cat living by a busy road of course but the driver who killed him had just left him in the road. When I was vet nursing and anyone brought in an injured animal it was charged to the RSPCA if no owner was found but I don’t know if this still happens.I think anyone’s conscience, if they ran over a cat, should make them stop and take him/her to the nearest vet regardless of who will have to pay.

  4. What happened to you Michael, as you described it, is exactly what happened to me. I too found Red under a tree.

    I found a run over cat once and it had a collar with a number. Nobody had called clearly so I did and the owner came right out to the cat. It was sad. He was dead. Red had just a trickle of blood from his mouth and he had pooped himself but other than that was perfectly intact. No broken bones from what I could feel. It must have been internal damage and I hope so much that he died in an instant. It certainly seems that way. I still go over the moment I found him under a tree at least once or twice every day.

    When I lived in Canada a woman hit a cat and then she took it to the vet but it died and she came back to where she hit it and managed to find and tell the owner what happened. Clearly she had a cat of her own. What a good thing to do. I’m sure many feel bad and run away from the scene. I can’t bear the idea of Red being alive there as he was moved off the road and left under a tree. He must have died instantly right? How can one tell. But Red would not have been able to live inside. He wasn’t built for it and he was born outside. I dont know how to deal with it, clearly but it happened on the last day of June, so not long ago.

    • I think Red ran to the tree to die. Yes. Cats do that. My sweet girl had almost wet blood tricking from her mouth when I found her. She may have died slowly. I want to be with her. It is the hurt that makes me so tender towards cats and animals.

  5. In regards to the main question, I’ve never run over a cat myself, but a few family members have.

    My mum is a fantastic driver and she’s offed a bird and a kitten, and had to watch a puppy die due to a car accident. She cried about them (bar the pigeon) and told me they were some of the most horrible moments of her life. The puppy was in front of our old flat, an old couple was backing up and the kids in the house weren’t taking care of the dog properly and it ran out to be hit. It literally died in the kids’ arms, blood everywhere. The kitten was at night when I was little and she was going to Uni, she turned the corner to my Nan’s house to come get me after her day of school and ran over it before she could stop the car or even see it. I believe she was driving a Chrysler LeBaron at the time and if you’ve ever driven one they ride fairly low, so at least the poor thing went quickly. The bird wasn’t that long ago, we were driving in the country side and it hit the windshield. I cried and our friend comforted me with jokes but I’d never had anything die around me that was bigger than the pet canary and I was only five when that happened so it was fairly heartbreaking.

    If they’re strays, really you could just bury them yourself or call the equivalent of Animal Control (I think they’re the right group?) and they’ll come clean up the mess. The rest is just emotional healing.

      • It’s the small towns that really have that problem but what I’ve found works best is to approach the house that that cat was nearest or coming from and ask the people living there. Usually they are the “owners” or know who the cat belonged to if it belonged to anyone. After one person is informed the whole neighbourhood knows, usually.

  6. In the U.S. the person bringing the cat into a vet will be asked to pay. If you take it to the pound, they will try and deal with it if they can. There used to be a law about dead animal pickup here in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA. If you wanted an animal picked up you had to pay. They changed it after someone wanted a wild Javelina removed from the highway — as it caused a traffic impairment — and than caused a big stink when she got the bill. I personally used to call in dead animal calls all the time on my day time newspaper route. Not to mention a horse I saw everyday who was suddenly laying down in the 115F heat. She foaled the next day. I was so happy to hear it on the news. Twenty years ago an animal in trouble call would of been basically ignored — I know when our neighbor trapped some of our cats and had them killed there was nothing we could do but post flyers on every single house in the neighborhood (about 400 homes). He stopped.

    If cats are born as indoor cats, they need to stay indoors. There are so many options now, the fencing you covered a few articles back, enclosed patios, leashes, tethers. Cats are remarkable creatures and they need to be outdoors. But not if it’s gonna end in their death or dismemberment.

    I wrote about a kitten who lost one of her legs a few months ago. Our neighbor paid to have her and her siblings taken care of. Bless those who are willing to foot the bill for cat that isn’t their own.

    • This is tough. It is certainly a disincentive to stop and take care of a cat if your car hits him or her. It poses a good question for me. Would a British vet treat a cat for free if you brought him in after hitting him in a road traffic accident? I doubt it. So the same rules apply it seems.

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