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Feral Cat Does not come out of shelter.

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hello,

We have this one feral cat who has been coming to our porch for food ever since she was a kitten about 3 years ago. Last winter we made a make shift shelter for her because we saw that she was feeling cold. She uses the shelter all the time in the winter, and we only see her out of it for a couple of hours a day, usually when she's eating or stretching. Yesterday however, she did not come out the whole day. We looked inside and even pet her a bit and saw that she was moving and turned her head, but was not as lively as usual. Its not as cold as it was a few weeks ago when she was acting normally, and we are getting worried that something maybe going wrong.

What we are most worried about is that she does not seem to have eaten anything for more than 24hrs now. I can't be sure but I don't even think she's left the little shelter for that amount of time. Im wondering if we should pull her out or something?

Please help with any similar experiences.
post #2 of 25
Will write more later, I shall away now.

EDIT. ERRATA, I didnt read properly in my hurry. But I leave this message.

but as feral is she used to starve some. Let her proceed to stress down.
she will probably go out when it is quiet. Ie in the night...

Good she has a shelter.

It isnt unusal for buyed kittens not to use litter more than 24 hours. and they not even semiferals but correctly homeraised...

So watch out but dont panic.
post #3 of 25
It wouldnt hurt to pull her out and take her to the food. Try something that you know she'll eat for sure, wet food? Tuna? (not too much of course).
post #4 of 25
Please if you have the means, bring her out, put her in a carrier and get her to the vet. Although they do get a bit sluggish in extremely cold weather, she is also an outside cat and subject to many dangers. When you get her back home, try putting straw or hay inside the shelter for her for extra warmth if it is bitter cold where you are. I know here, that even my barn cats are inside right now. The sense when the bad weather is coming and beat it to the house. Once it warms up, they want back outside. I never see them except at feedings, when the weather changes or they aren't feeling good.
post #5 of 25
Also for the cold I'd like to suggest something that has worked great for me.
They are disposable 'hand warmers' that you can get at any sporting good store. (just a little over $1 each) They last for 24 hours and you can slip them under a blanket and once the cat lays on the blanket the heat from the warmer comes up and it keeps them nice and toasty through the night. I recently used some when we had a terrible cold spell here (20 degrees at night, yes that is cold for CA lol).

http://www.heatfactory.com/What_is_a...a_warmer_.html

I had wanted to try a heating pad or something but I was afraid to use anything electrical for fear of injury.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi,

Thanks for all the suggestions.

It's actually not that cold compared to last week, and she's not shivering, so I'm not sure it's the cold that's bothering her. Also the wool, fleece, and other blankets that make the base and top of the shelter seem to keep it pretty warm . I will try and get some heated pads, and stuff to warm it more later today.

But there was one good sign today. I pulled (gently) her out of the shelter and put a bowl of water next to her and she drank it like I have never seen her drink. I think she was drinking for maybe 3 minutes non-stop. Maybe it was a lack of water that was bothering her? She still didn't eat when I put food out for her, but a lot of the food I left out last night was eaten up, and I think she may have eaten some. However, there are two or three other cats that come and eat the food we leave out too, so Im not so sure.

When she finished her water she ran back in the shelter and growled when I tried to get her out again to try the food again. Right now she's curled up and seems pretty warm, just very tired looking.

I don't know, if she's not better tomorrow I guess I'll get my parents to take her to the vet.

Sorry for the length, and illegibility of this post, but I'm writing it in a hurry, and am still a bit worried.


Please write back if you think of anything else.

Thanks Again!
post #7 of 25
It doesnt sound like she's feeling too well poor thing. Also sounds like she could be dehydrated. I hope your parents can take her in.
post #8 of 25
It sounds to me like your poor baby may be sick.

Cats do not have any way to communicate to us that they're sick other than changes in behavior. If she usually does not let you pet her, then her lethargy combined with allowing you to pull her out is a sign that there's a problem. If she would normally growl at you as she did after she drank the water, then I'd put on thick leather gardening gloves (if you have something like that) to pull her out - if your parents agree to take her to the vet.

Make sure you have a crate to put her in. Protect your car seats if you're using a trap type thing to transport her. If it's a crate, cover the bottom with lots of paper towels or those doggie "wee wee" pads they sell at pet stores. She will most likely pee or poop or both due to her fear.

If she's not sick, or if she's well enough to be spayed, if your family hasn't had her spayed already, please consider having this taken care of while she's at the vet.

Please keep us posted! And I'm sending vibes that your baby is just fine.

Laurie
post #9 of 25
It is very important that you get her to a vet ASAP..we care for a feral colony and like Hissy said in winter all cats are huddled somewhere. But to me it sounds like if there's a health problem there. A vet can tell you what's going on, you're lucky you can touch her..thanks for caring for her and lots of good wishes
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
We can't make it to our Vet, whom we used when our Dog was alive, today, but will be going there tommrow morning if the situation doesn't change. I am getting a heated Pet blanket today, and will see if that makes any difference. I see her licking her leg and recall that she would limp on it when it would get much colder than it is now, so maybe it's arthritis.

Thank Again for all the help.

She always does let us pet, and touch her though, sometime even rubbing herself against us when we aren't looking !
post #11 of 25
Yes, I had no time to look and read properly first time. I thought it was one of these questions about ferals brought inside....

I second the others, she seems sick and this is why whe stayed inside. Yes, of course she get dehydrated...
But as she could drink, and probably eat some -

Is it possible to a vet to look at her? it is best. Otherwise give her water, food, litter nearby - and hope for the best. Ferals/semiferals are usually survivors.

It is usually easier to handle a sick feral than otherwise. Why, sometimes they even become tame if helped during their sickness...

Good luck!

Some small EDIT done.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ubeube View Post
We can't make it to our Vet, whom we used when our Dog was alive, today, but will be going there tommrow morning if the situation doesn't change. I am getting a heated Pet blanket today, and will see if that makes any difference. I see her licking her leg and recall that she would limp on it when it would get much colder than it is now, so maybe it's arthritis.

Thank Again for all the help.

She always does let us pet, and touch her though, sometime even rubbing herself against us when we aren't looking !
Awww... poor girl! If it turns out that she's not sick and it is arthritis, can you or would your parents consider purchasing Cosequin for cats? It doesn't require a prescription, and many cats will take it if it's sprinkled onto wet food. It really helps a lot of cats that have arthritis.



Laurie
post #13 of 25
I would think its probably not arthritis if she's only 3. I think it sounds more like an injury. Injuries always hurt more in the cold.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure, but I think maybe the water did help because we got her to eat! We brought a small can of fancy feast, and held it a little bit away from her nose, and she got out of the shelter to eat it. She only ate 1/3rd of the can and then jumped back into the shelter.

I couldn't get a hold of the heater pads either from Petsmart, Petco, Petgoods, or Kmart. The only thing I could get was some "heat insulating" cat bed. The blankets she was sleeping on before didn't smell like urine, so I don't think she's been in there all these 30hrs, unless cat's can hold it for that long!

She also is getting a bit more aggressive, as I tried to pick her up before tempting her with the food and, since she didn't want to get out of the shelter, she growled a little louder.

I guess I'll see how she does in the morning now, hopefully she'll be all back to normal
post #15 of 25
I'm glad she ate something, that's a very good sign. Though I dont know many ferals to spend THAT much time in a shelter. Snowflake and Patches spend hours sleeping on my patio chairs but they always get up to go wander for a couple hours here and there.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ubeube View Post
She also is getting a bit more aggressive, as I tried to pick her up before tempting her with the food and, since she didn't want to get out of the shelter, she growled a little louder.
That's actually a good sign. When ferals are real sick, they sometimes just give up and let you handle them more than normal. Once feeling better, they are back to their hissing selves. Was this response more normal for her?

Sending you good vibes - you've got excellent advice already.
post #17 of 25
I hope that this finds the cat feeling better today.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
I wanted to post yesterday, but wasn't able to.

We were all ready to take her to the vet yesterday when, all of a sudden, she started acting like normal again. She was going in and out of her shelter, jumping into the ditch were she does poo, and eating like normal. Last night she was hardly even in her shelter. At 8pm she was there, but then at 12am and 2am when I checked she was gone. When I woke up at 6am she was back.

However, I am getting scared again because she has not been in the shelter now since 11am, and I haven't even seen her since then. It was warm outside today so I though maybe she was just wondering around, but for the last 2 hours it has been raining, and the rain is quite cold.

All I can do now is hope, and I hope she just found another, warmer, shelter for the day. It's so strange, she was acting so normal yesterday...

Thanks again for all the advice, and warm wishes.
post #19 of 25
Well it definately sounds like she's feeling better.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ubeube View Post
I wanted to post yesterday, but wasn't able to.

We were all ready to take her to the vet yesterday when, all of a sudden, she started acting like normal again. She was going in and out of her shelter, jumping into the ditch were she does poo, and eating like normal. Last night she was hardly even in her shelter. At 8pm she was there, but then at 12am and 2am when I checked she was gone. When I woke up at 6am she was back.

However, I am getting scared again because she has not been in the shelter now since 11am, and I haven't even seen her since then. It was warm outside today so I though maybe she was just wondering around, but for the last 2 hours it has been raining, and the rain is quite cold.

All I can do now is hope, and I hope she just found another, warmer, shelter for the day. It's so strange, she was acting so normal yesterday...

Thanks again for all the advice, and warm wishes.
I do hope that she has come back home by now, I am sending prayers and hugs from Mississippi for you and for her.

post #21 of 25
Hopefully she will be home soon!
post #22 of 25
Awwww I can't believe you checked on her at midnight and 2am

You truly are a caring person!!!

I hope she's ok, sending good vibes to you and her!
post #23 of 25
How is it going?

Im worried till I hear she is back.

The danger not only she went astray or had an bad accident.

In humans it happens a deadly sick person seems to unexpectly recover shortly before his/hers dead. But after some day of recovery the person collapses and dies swiftly.
This phenomen is perhaps in cats too??
post #24 of 25
Quote:
This phenomen is perhaps in cats too??
Yes, sad to say..but we don't know if that's what happened here. Many purrs and all that she'll beback soon
post #25 of 25
Hows your kitty? Has she returned?
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