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My Cat Died About 17 Hours Ago & I Need To Preserve Both The Skin & The Skeleton Help Me!

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Dead_Cat_Art_Project, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Dead_Cat_Art_Project

    Dead_Cat_Art_Project New Member

    Hi my cat Died last night (Probably due to Brain Damage) Rigor mortis have made her stiff.
    Last Night she was only cold in her feet / legs. Now the whole body is & she smells (bowel).
    I live in an apartment & I'm rather poor but still want to get the best possible result.
    I think Ill manage with removing the skin (cut the stomach without piercing anything & then carefully peel the skin of with a knife) But persevering it / the next step I need Help with before it's to late.

    I do not have any fancy knife's. Box cutter, Scissor, Old Small Kitchen knife. What should I do/Use?

    I also have no Idea how I should Extract the bones. I live in an apartment so It can't root.
    When Searching around & not getting good enough info I found 2 things ; chemicals (sounds expensive & sounds like it could go wrong / hard to get) or Warm water "word" for a few weeks that also deals with the oil / bonemarrow. Is any of these the best or is there other options & how? The Bones need to be white later & I guess bleaching them in the sun should be good enough? I need the bones to last centuries not decades (preferably for the skin too). I also found this site & Asked for Help

    I have Idea's on what to do with the fur/skin & bones once assembled, but I need Help getting there, Now. Ill Walk my Dog now & then Check if I have any answers / Tips when I get back. Will Start Removing the Fur/skin after that, gulp. Thanks for the Help in Advance & can the discussion plz stay Organized in this thread & not involve a bunch of links to other threads ; I'm not good with those.

    Can & Will post updates & further questions as I go along & can show the result when it's finally done.
  2. Dead_Cat_Art_Project

    Dead_Cat_Art_Project New Member

    Back from the Walk. Awh No replies : (
    Ill start removing the skin now, Gulp... & then see if I have gotten any help here.
    If I don't have an answer for the bones after dealing with the skin Ill just put the cat in a bag & Freeze it until I have a solid way to move forward. The skin is a bit more urgent tho.
    Stuff39 likes this.

  3. Micah Howards

    Micah Howards Active Member

    As for what I can tell you right now is if the cat sat out all night it is most likely not good, to test is just grab some of the fur and pull if it comes out easy then it is slipping and there isnt much you can do. Sorry.
    Chippers likes this.
  4. Chippers

    Chippers Active Member

    Like Micah said, the skin may already be too far gone. For the bones, look into maceration (rotting down in water), but be aware that it'll smell pretty bad for a short time when you go to remove the bones once finished.

    Micah Howards likes this.
  5. Chippers

    Chippers Active Member

    For now, it may be best to bag them and put them in the freezer until you've done more research. Maybe buy a frozen rat at a pet store and practice skinning it, become familiar with how to care for a hide (taxidermy prep, salting, tanning, etc).
    Micah Howards likes this.
  6. Dead_Cat_Art_Project

    Dead_Cat_Art_Project New Member

    Ok Update Time (Thanks for Replies / The Fur is fine) +Saw replies after skinning the cat.

    Ok Feel Like I should elaborate a bit more on both before the post & What my current situation is. The Cat is a 100% inside cat, it was & it was a bit obese & retarded.

    Before = The Cat Died Last night. Don't Remember the Exact time, But the Cat was alive, then 20-40 minutes later it was not. At first the Dog panicked & was worried & tried to revive the cat & liked it in the back since death makes things happen & shuffled it around.

    Then I thought of what to do next for about 2 hours while doing the last of the laundry (Take a long walk (+Dog) out of the City & Bury it came to mind but it was to late & I needed to get some sleep since it was very late, So I wraped up the Cat in a smal towel & a blanket to Keep it Warm & to stop it from smelling ; Head was uncovered) Then I let the Dog Morn the Cat & the Dog sleept spooning the wraped Cat. Then When I woke I Came up with a better Idea & did some research since time was against me & then I found this Site & then Started skinning the Cat after I indicated i did & got back an hour ago to type this.

    After = I Did a really Good Job skinning the cat. If I'm allowed to pat myself on the back it took all day tho & It's now Wet & Cleaned (See Imgur pics to see why it's wet, no pics of skinless cat, just the Skin). Here Is an Imgur Link to the result. Give me feedback.
    --> https://imgur.com/gallery/Pc1L4MN <--
    The Cat has been skinless for a about 2 hours now & the stomach has swelled a bit (might be water) since I needed to do about 50% of the Skining there. & the Flesh is a bit purple. Will Frezze it in about 30-45 minutes, unless I know exactly what to do next. + Need Food & sleep. (I'll go to the store real quick after posting this before they close! & then Freeze / Check if I have gotten any answers).

    What Should I do with the Skin? I can worry about the Body/Skeleton later since frezzer.
    But the Skin is urgent. How should I leave it overnight. What do I need to get tomorrow, Don't own a hair dryer I guess I have to buy 1 tommorow or do I? What else do I need / What do I do now to perserve the skin as well as possible. Need Help with the next step.

    Ask me anything & Thanks for the Help in advance.
  7. Dead_Cat_Art_Project

    Dead_Cat_Art_Project New Member

    just Noticed Imgur Deleted my Pics... (a bit surprised actually) (The Pics where not graphic)
    Here Is a new link / PDF of the Original Imgur Page to the Pics. Bit convoluted but it works.

    Edit ; Ill Freeze the Cat Now (After putting it in a bag + Towel & making some room for it in my tiny freezer) Ill Worry about it later, The Skin is way more important right now & After it's taken care of I have lot's of work to do. (that I already was late for... Death is never convenient) can freezing affect the bones? + What should I do with the wet skin now/tonight?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  8. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Too late now but you should have well salted the skin. You also need to scrape the hide clean of all flesh and fat. This is work and will take a while. Wrapping it in towels is not allowing anything to cool off and it may already be too late for the skin. If it is already in the freezer, leave it there until you are better prepared to deal with it. Do not keep thawing it out and refreezing it. You say you live in an apartment. Rotting the bones clean is not something you can do due to your living conditions. I suggest finding a local taxidermist that has beetles and let them prepare the skeleton for you. It would also be best to take the skin to the same taxidermist and have them prepare it properly for you. Read a lot about taxidermy and tanning in the meantime and get the proper (or at least better) tools and supplies. It isn't something you do on the fly. If the skin means something to you, let a professional tan it for you.

    Upload your pictures to postimage.org and put the links to them here.
    Chippers and Micah Howards like this.
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Odd Articulations makes several good points but then pulls a gaffe telling folks to "cold water" macerate. Not only is there no such thing, you set up your project to be a total failure. Flesh in cold/cool water ferments and creates lactic acid in the flesh. It is a preservative and will prevent the tissue from rotting. That has been proven. If it isn't heated it isn't going to work properly. Why try to drag something out for months when it's done in 2 weeks if done the right way?
    Chippers and Micah Howards like this.
  10. Dead_Cat_Art_Project

    Dead_Cat_Art_Project New Member

    The Thing I get from your response is that I need to Dry the skin manually ; Now & then Salt it & Replace the Salt tomorrow. Don't like the "to late" tone tho.
    I'm doing the best I can With with the Info I have & I have no ability (time, no local, no car, small budget) to have a proper taxidermist fix the skin, maybe the skeleton down the line tho since it will be in the freezer until all option have been on the table & examined properly.

    Any Tips / Instructions on how to effectively scrape all of the fat off? (Body = Freezer not the skin.) The Skin needs to be saved/properly managed. So Scrape (how?) & then salt. Then what? I can only use myself to manage the skin in my situation & will do it to the best of my ability.

    + Should I keep the Skin stored (how?) fur in or fur out?? Should I get a Hair Dryer tomorrow to dry the skin further or will my manual work + salt be enough tonight?
  11. If the skin hasn't been in the fridge or freezer this whole time then it is too late. The fur will slip off in the tan. Plus you mentioned a smell? That means it's in the first step of rotting. The first step to keeping any skin is to keep it as cool as you can. That's why you skin as soon as possible since the residual body heat will cause green belly (the hide side of the skin will turn green as it rots). The longer it's warm the quicker it rots. No heat, so wrapping it in a towel to keep it warm was a bad idea. A hair drier will cause it to rot more (that's why the belly is swelling, the rotting of the guts causes gas).
    Micah Howards likes this.
  12. If you still want to try to have it tanned, cleaning the fat off with a razor blade or bird beak knife would be a good start. Then salt the hide thoroughly. Every toe, eyelids, everything. No flesh unsalted. Dry hide side out on a stretcher in a cool place with a fan until dry. Just be aware that most tans can cost in the 70 dollar range and there is a good chance that this hide will have slippage.
    Micah Howards likes this.
  13. Dead_Cat_Art_Project

    Dead_Cat_Art_Project New Member

    Here is the images you wanted (2-3 hours old, but it still looks the same) & thanks for the help even if the attitudes are negative, Ill Stay positive & do my best, Will be tankful for further help as I go along.


    The Smell was just of feces(due to death) not a rooting smell. The Skin ain't green. & the fur have shown no sign of smell & no fur have fallen of at all. The Skin is currently white & rather cold from being washed/skinned in pretty cold water. Which order is correct to proceed in now? Cool it down (it's already cold) + scrape + dry the skin. Or other?
  14. Dead_Cat_Art_Project

    Dead_Cat_Art_Project New Member

    What Technic should I use to Scrape the Skin ; I'm afraid of cutting the fat due to the risk of makeing holes in the skin & the fat is like another layer of skin on the skin + should I store it fur-side-in or fur-side-out while I let it Dry in Salt? When Should the Salt be switched & how many times / how often.
  15. It's hard to describe the technique. It's something you learn unfortunaly while making holes usually. You have to angle the knife in a way that's not straight down, but tilted so you can remove what you want. Hide side out to dry with a stretcher is the best way since it allows the fur side to dry as well. We salt once and then completely dry the hide.