Titch – the Tale of a Soggy Moggy

30 April 2019


Hydrotherapy is used regularly for the rehabilitation of dogs following injury and/or surgery. In theory, it should be equally useful for cats. The problem is, they are far less compliant and willing to please than dogs and so, generally, this hasn’t been an option. Titch, however, a laid back 8-year-old Maine Coon x Norwegian Forest Cat, has proved to be an exception. Titch was referred to us because of hip problems. After a consultation with the orthopaedic specialists, who recommended surgery, his owners decided to go ahead with a femoral head and neck ostectomy, aiming to restore pain-free mobility to the damaged hip. The surgery was successful and Titch was free of pain. However, due to his incorrect gait prior to surgery, and the enforced period of rest following the operation, he had suffered a considerable degree of muscle wastage. In dogs, this is often addressed by introducing a programme of non-weightbearing exercise in a water treadmill. Cats, however, are far less comfortable in water and less likely to tolerate such an activity. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule and Titch’s owners felt that, as he is such an incredibly laid back cat, it might be worth a try. He was therefore referred to our Physiotherapy Department where Fiona Smee developed a programme of exercise for him. After 6 initial sessions, Titch had become accustomed to the process and even seemed to be enjoying it – or certainly the attention it brought him! Everyone is delighted at the results they have seen. “He has been getting stronger and stronger” said his owner “and I don’t think it will be long before he’s back to jumping up and drinking from the sink – his preferred refreshment