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Rigor Mortise in cats

Charley Boy
July 27th, 2008, 03:50 AM
I went out this morning and watered some bushes at the top of the hill in front of my house. Then I had errands to run. My cat who had sneaked out on me the evening before was no where to be found, very unusual. I was gone less than one hour; now this is what troubles me. I found my poor cat lying on the road in front of the exact same place on the hill where I had stood to water the plants. He was not lying there when I watered the plants. I drove around to pick him up off the highway, expecting to find a limp body. When I picked him up however he was fully in rigor mortise and his body was as cold as one can be in mid-summer, also when I was in the closed car with him there was a slight odor already. Also, I expected to find red blood there at the site and there was no blood, but I had some paper in the back of the car that I laid him on and where his head touched the paper there was some red blood. How long does it take for rigor to set in? I have read it takes several hours.

July 27th, 2008, 06:54 AM
First I would like to say I am sorry for your loss.

I was feeding a stray last year who ended up getting hit by a car and it was not even 2 hours between the time I last saw her alive and when I found her on the side of the highway and she was in full rigor mortise. It would have taken her some time to get to the highway so I think she may have only been dead for about an hour.

July 28th, 2008, 09:28 AM
Rigor Mortis sets in very quickly after death, and the warmer the weather, the faster it sets in. Also, I *think* the smaller the animal, the faster it'll set in. It's fully developed a few hours after death and then disappears. It may be that although she was stiff, rigor hadn't fully developed yet and she had indeed died right after you left.
Sorry for your loss :cry: