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Advice Needed - Feral Cat not eating

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have been feeding a Feral Colony since September 2007.

I caught my first cat named Bootsie (approx. 6 months of age) this weekend.

She was spayed and got her shots and is disease free. I took her home on Monday March 10th and let her out of her cage.

She peed and pooped that night.

Since then, she has only peed.

She is not eating anything at all. She has both hard and soft food available.

She is very skittish, however, will stay put while I talk to her . She even played with a feather toy last night!

I cannot get close to her for inspection, but she looks healthy and bright eyed and does not appear lethargic.

I am at a total loss for what to do. Please Help

Many thanks
post #2 of 5
Thank you for rescuing this kitty.

One of the first things to do when you bring in a feral cat is to get them to a vet. They often have worms or fleas that need treatment. You don't mention if you have other pets, but it is critical that any new animal not be allowed to interact in any way with other pets in case they've got a disease, so it won't spread.

If you have other pets, I suggest you make sure you don't wear your shoes or socks into her room (she is confined to a room, right?), and make sure the very first thing you do when you leave her room is leave your socks outside the door, pull them on, and head to a sink and wash your hands.

As to the eating - this isn't good. It's been 3 days now? She MUST eat.

I would try several things. Boil some chicken (plain in plain water). Let it cool to warm. Put out some of the chicken water and shred a little bit of chicken.

You can also try stinky foods - they're not the best for kitties, but something is better than nothing. When our kitty wouldn't eat and it became critical, we boiled shrimp for him. This was his magic food. But you can try salmon, crab, catfish - whatever. Whatever it is, just boil it plain.

But if she won't eat and soon, I'd consider getting her to a vet ASAP (which is something I'd do anyway), and perhaps leaving her there overnight for them to force feed her if you don't want to.

Are you planning to socialize her and keep her as a pet? If you need ideas for socializing an older feral, we've got those.

Also a quick question - have you been trapping the colony and having them spayed and neutered? If you need help with potential low-cost spay/neuter clinics, we can probably help there too.

post #3 of 5
is she drinking any water?

i agree w/above, start trying variety of foods. most of the time when i've had a cat who wouldn't eat, i got baby food, pure chicken or turkey. few seem to be able to resist it and it doesn't require any prep. getting some of this (or the aforementioned foods) into her can jumpstart her into eating everything else.

the playing is a good sign that she's not too freaked out by you. but in a way that concerns me more then that she's not eating. if she hasn't eaten by tonight, please get her to the vet this weekend.

i have been socializing a feral and she stopped eating very much. i feared something serious but then realized she had a stuffy nose and couldn't smell anything! some antibiotics cleared her right up and she's eating like a horse again.
post #4 of 5
i feared something serious but then realized she had a stuffy nose and couldn't smell anything!
When we first brought Ferocious home - she wouldn't eat or drink - she just sat at the back of the carrier and wouldn't go near the food and water even when we covered the carrier so she would feel hidden. Ferocious had a nasal congestion and naturally it was New Years eve - no vet !!!! I tried steamy bathroom to loosen it enough for her to smell some thing but the stress only made her breathing harder - poop I didn't know what to do she had to at least drink some thing

My husband got the idea to buy some of that kitten supplement formula - Thick leather Gloves on hands we wrapped a thick bath towel around Ferocious - snug but not tight I also laid under a light blanket - using an eye dropper I began placing just a drop on her lips kind of to the side so she would lick it off . . . at first she resisted - when she panicked I "hid her" still wrapped in towel and all under the light blanket - it took several tries before she finally gave the drop a lick but once a tiny bit of that formula got in her mouth it dawned on her she was thirsty. With a little coaxing and breaks for hiding she licked droplets off the end of the eye dropper - I couldn't look directly at her at first because she would stop eating and hide - as long as she felt hidden I was able to get her to drink - at first it was only a dropper full - letting her lick the drop of the end of the eye dropper but within 24 hours she was lapping the milk out of a small bowel on her own – as long as we covered the carrier -

I do not know if this is an approved procedure we have had many strays but Ferocious was our first Farrell - she’s a little bit of wild kitten even now but 100% brat cat – she has me wrapped around her paw and she knows it.

Even now milk is expected as a bed time snack or I get "whiskered' just as I am drifting off to sleep - {we use the stuff made for cats and only give her a little bit - regular milk stuff gives cats diarrhea}

I hope this was helpful -
post #5 of 5
The timid kitten from the two ferals we trapped last Monday on the 10th wasn't drinking or eating. By Thursday as far as I could tell, the poor little thing hadn't touched a thing.

Even the brave one wasn't eating much.

So I used tuna (I didn't drain it, as I used the tuna in water kind and figured it was stinky water lol), and added in some kibble, and then since I was so worried about their water intake, I added another can of water to the mixture and then added more kibble.

Worked like a CHARM. Now I'm weaning out the tuna fish ... but I will likely feed that for another week just to get them into a sort of routine.

I hope yours eats and drinks soon! They can't go for very long without either.
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