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my cat has a tattoo!!

well, more like WTF!!  :-\

i was petting mimi a bit ago (the dilute calico, not that black one (that's cory) and notices some "darkness" on her belly where her white fur was growing. Ohh, that's odd, i thought and started combing through the fur. turns out she has a tattoo on her belly!!  it is a circle with some lines that looks like a cross between a "Q" and the women's symbol. i googled "tattoo cat" to see what was up with this--it doesn't seem like it would be a good marker for identification (as would be numbers or letters). i did adopter her from the shelter about a year ago... any ideas? or is she just one bad ass kitten?

here is a picture. she was more interested in playing with the camera strap then humoring me. you can kinda make it out.

maybe its just like random dark fur growing. . .
cuz i notice my cat is actually get more WHITE hairs and she is an all black cat..haha

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no, it's defiantly something on her skin. i would think it might be a birthmark/coloring but it is definatly a clearly defined design. i wish i could take a better picture...

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A lot of spay/neuter programs use a tattoo as an identification that the animal has been altered, not necessarily a unique ID for that animal.  I have a Peruvian Hairless that was once a street dog in Peru, and he has a tattoo in his ear as well as a notch out of one of them, both of which were done when he was under anesthesia for his neuter (done by a group who is working to reduce the street animal population in Iquitos, Peru).  In the pic below, you can make it out on his right ear (left to us), both the notch and tattoo.  Hope that helps!

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My dog has a tattoo. But, it's a series of numbers. And, obviously, for the purposes of identificaion on the very slim chance that he'd ever get lost.

Maybe your cat has something like that. Is your cat a purebred? Certain breeders will tattoo their animals before selling them, just in case. But, if that's the case, the shelter should have contacted the breeder the minute they got the cat.

Or maybe the former owner was a tattooist ... and practiced on his/her cat?

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That's too weird!!  :o  I understand the tattoo in the ear... my kitty has one of those, although he's had is soo long, its "bled" and is completely illegible now.

Would mimi let you shave off a bit of her fur so you can get a better look?

K^2

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From the looks of the picture, I think it's to show that she was spayed already (so, if a vet was unsure and went to shave her belly to spay her, he/she would see the tattoo and know that they didn't have to be spayed). Was she spayed when you got her? If so, that would be my best guess. There really is no other way to tell if a cat has been spayed other than a possible scar (only visible after shaving) or a tattoo--neutering, well, that's more obvious ;)

This PDF mentions it under the "No ear tips" heading:
http://www.feralcatproject.org/documents/htuoc_stepbystep_ClinicPolicies.pdf

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Would it hurt them? Does the vet do it, or do you just go to a tattoo parlor? Maybe a pet's tattoo business? How do they get them to stay still? What about for the pain, are there pain killers? Could the pet get skin cancer? Can pets even get cancer? Do vets treat for cancer these days? Is an animal able to get other cancers, like testicular or lung? What about STDs? They do have sex, so it would make sense that they can get diseases from it. How would a pet even have 'safe sex'? Pet condoms?

Most people get their pets tattooed the same day they're getting them neutered. That way the animal is asleep, and can stay still. Vets do this.

Breeders used to do this, but now they've largely moved onto microchips which are injected via syringe. Like a vaccine.

Animals can get cancer - all kinds. Vets do treat for cancer. It's expensive, though! I don't think there are animal STD's. I think there is canine HIV, but I think it's contracted through blood rather than sex. No condoms for animals so no safe sex for them. Hence the huge overpopulation of dogs and cats. 

I think too much as well ... and researched way too much when I decided to get a dog, lol.

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Here in Spain they say cats can get a kind of HIV but I believe it isn't specifically STD. It does however end the life of the cat eventually. They are working on a cure and I believe in England there has recently been some sort of breakthrough, but I'm kind of out of touch on this. I suppose I could google "feline HIV virus" and find out...but I'm deep in King Arthur at the moment and I haven't even touched the Merchant of Venice. (Don't tell anyone, but Pacino's film spoiled me for the original text. He cut and pasted to very good effect.) :-[

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There is a low cost spay/neuter vet near here that does tattoo every female dog or cat she spays. Most of my rescues were spayed or neutered by her and the females that went to her all have a tiny little green tattoo on their belly. It's for identification. I asked her about it once and she added that it also helps other vets know (if you find a lost dog or cat) if it has already been spayed. The boy dogs....kinda easy to figure that one out! ???

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Sounds like it's just a spay identfier, no worries!  My little boy in the pic I posted was tattooed and notched because when you're working with a possibly aggressive street dog population (not my little guy, he's the sweetest little thing in the world, hence why he's not still on the streets but rather in my home in Wisconsin), you don't want to have to get too close or have to wait for the dog to turn around before knowing if he's neutered. This way, they could see who they needed to catch still and who could be left to their devices.

Cats get FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), and it's spread through saliva mostly.  They get it from fighting with other cats (yet another reason not to let your cat outdoors  ;)), and is eventually fatal, but due to secondary infection like in people.  On the topic of animals and STD's though, dogs can get TVT, transmissable venereal tumors, which are cancerous.  Common in  street dog populations, treatable with chemo.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sticker's_sarcoma  Crazy, right?  Sorry, I am a vet tech, so this kind of stuff interests me!

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Baypuppy, I have three of my seven cats on my desk/lap right now and they are gettin' jealous.  :)

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Here in Spain they say cats can get a kind of HIV but I believe it isn't specifically STD. It does however end the life of the cat eventually. They are working on a cure and I believe in England there has recently been some sort of breakthrough, but I'm kind of out of touch on this. I suppose I could google "feline HIV virus" and find out...but I'm deep in King Arthur at the moment and I haven't even touched the Merchant of Venice. (Don't tell anyone, but Pacino's film spoiled me for the original text. He cut and pasted to very good effect.) :-[

I have lost 2 cats to Feline AIDS.  They were both rough boy cats who got in a lot of fights.  The vets said it is becoming a serious problem.  :(

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Baypuppy, I have three of my seven cats on my desk/lap right now and they are gettin' jealous.  :)

heh heh!

thanks for the info on spaying. i was talking to a friend late last night and her gf said it was likely the case. i guess it makes sense, since it is an altered female symbol! i'm not sure about her history since i adopted her from the pound. she was about 3 when i got her and i'm pretty sure she was already fixed (she didn't have a stylish shaved tummy like some of the other ladycats).

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My kitty has one, too!

It's a big "S" and indicates that she's spayed (as others before me have commented). 

Your kitty's punk rock!  You should dye her hair now.

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Heh, Baypuppy, I was just imagining this wild life your cat must have led before meeting you and deciding to settle down.  ;D

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:D i'm not so sure mimi (ms. tattoo) had a wild life-- she is the sweetest cat in the world! she would be the perfect lap cat for a little old grandma! cory, on the other hand, is the one i imagine having a wild life before settling down. indeed, they are both spoiled now (just this morning i told my roommate i was surprised at how much catnip is all over the house-- everywhere you go, you step in it). i want to see if cory has one, but she's a dark cat so it might be harder. i adopted her from a different group so i don't know if they mark these. nonetheless, it isn't like these tattoos will be needed--indoor cats all the way. they have no interest in escaping  :D

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