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medicating a feral sucks sometimes

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have a rescued cat named Festus that I have taken care of for a little over a year. He is fixed with shots and has the works.

He quit eating last week. Not totally but his intake decreased by about 3/4 from his normal eating habits.

I figured he was being picky and maybe it was a stage of some sort so I fed him special food and he still wouldn't eat. I started separating him for meals so I could document how much he was actually consuming.

He hadn't lost much weight and he was already wormed so I just continued to monitor him and meal time.

I was, at that point, last week able to pick him up and place him in a large crate for his meals. My husband cannot touch him. He is not crazy about me picking him up but he does let me.

I tried enticing him with all sorts of things......... I tried baked chicken, steak, soft food, canned mush and all varieties of everything. He would dash to his bowl and smell it and sit there.

A few more days passed with him nibbling and I then noticed he started screaming at meal time as though he were in pain.

I thought something was caught in his throat so promptly took him to the vet.

Festus has gingivitis. He has an appointment next week to get his teach cleaned. But in the meantime he has to take antibiotics. He was running a temp when we got to the vet because his gums hurt and were inflamed. That was why he was yelling at mealtime and that was why he was not eating well.

This week I have ground his food up in the food processor and made a mush that he can lap up and he is eating.

However, the dumb med is killing me giving it to him. He hates it.

the first day at the vet he got a shot so I only had to give it to him that evening. It's a dropper type medicine called Antirobe Aquadrops. He has to take it twice a day until his procedure at the vets on the 7th.

The second day I got it down him twice with me getting numerous bite marks. That was yesterday. But it was so difficult my husband called the vet to see if there was another med he could take that tasted better. The answer was no. They said this was strong and he HAD to take it.

I got it down him this morning by wrapping him totally in my housecoat while husband administered the med. It was horrible. It terrified the cat and freaked us out.

This evening he had got wise to the deal and fought us. he got away from us before I could get him wrapped in the housecoat. So now he is hiding in the enclosure ...

I don't know what to do. He has to have his meds or he could lose his teeth... or the infection from them could spread or any number of things.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can give a feral cat liquid antibiotics without terrifying him...... I am at my wits end.

Right now he is already eating better and since being on antibiotics I know he feels better because he is eating again.....even if it is mush. He gets with it and is enjoying his food. I have to medicate him AFTER he eats so I physically get him out of the crate.

I would also like to point out that at the vet, he did great. He sat on the table and actually let the vet open his mouth and look inside it with a scope. Festus bit me when I tried to look in his mouth.

help help help.....

I am not sure I can do anything more than what I am doing which is forcing my hand with the medicine. If I don't he will not get better. And if he doesn't take his meds, he won't be able to have his teeth cleaned which will lead to a chronic infection and with serious consequences...

I guess I am just sounding off and nurturing my cat bits on my arms and hands...


p.s. the vet also advised that we absolutely cannot mix this with food. He has to have it full strength. By the way, I tasted it and it tastes worse than anything you could possibly imagine.

Anyone remember quinine??? It is worse than that. I just tasted a drop and the after flavor made me sick. It was hideous and gross............ ugh... Poor Festus.
post #2 of 28
You can have this compounded. It is expensive but it can be done. Made into a paste that you rub on his ears. You can PM me for details if you wish.
post #3 of 28
Also, is there an antibiotic available in pill form, and can you give it to him in a pill pocket? There are some that even picky cats gobble up - and perhaps the pill taste wouldn't be as bad as the liquid, and disguised enough in the pill pocket. Our vet knows our preference for pills over liquid, and always prescribes antibiotics in pill form.

post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Poor festus has not come out of the enclosure all night.........

He is traumatized and I feel so bad for him. It is 4:04 and I am getting ready for work and have his food ready but he is not in the house.

Hissy sent me some information on compounding meds and it sounds great. I read about it for hrs last night and in the future I am going to go this route. There is a vet in Kimberling city that I am calling from work today to see what they have in the way of this med. It is 'possible' that they have something in this form.

Something to rub on his ear would be fantastic...

i know he needs his meds but he is absolutely terrified of me now. I feel forcing the meds down him for two day has put him on a backward spiral and now he is so scared of me......again.

Dr Henry in Kimberling City fixed a few of my cats and he is 'state of the art' and if anyone in this area would have some of this compounded medication on hand, it would be him.

The vet that we are using is fantastic and I love him but he is a coutry doc. He is the one that saved Toe's life. Dr Carmichael. I can also check the springfield missouri area vets for a compounded med. Surely someone has this on hand in a transdermal form for me. Im going to check around today.

Poor little Festus's gums are pretty bad. Bless his little heart. If I can just get one dose down him a day I would be happy right now. The script calls for one but the vet says two doses...

Ill update on this after work today. I work 6-2:30

I thank you all...
post #5 of 28
Bless you for helping Festus I am so glad that you got him the medical care that he needs. Sending vibes that you find a vet who can supply you with transdermal med
BTW, is it possible that your country vet could give him another shot?? When my former-feral was still very feral, he was attacked by a dog and my country vet gave him a long-acting shot. It was more expensive but cheaper than me getting infected cat bites.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
i CALLED HIM AGAIN TODAY. hE ADVISED ME THAT Festus really needs this particular med. I also called a few vets in my area to see if any compounded med. They all send off for it and since he is scheduled for Monday to have his treatment, he would have to miss a couple days of meds so.......... I have to just make him take it "this time"...

Next time, I guarantee he will have compounded meds. And also Jimmy and Star if they ever need anything.

I just got home from work. Hubby said Festus would not come near him all day so he hasn't eaten either. I am fixing to go out in the enclosure and herd him in the house and block the kitty door so he is in here with me. I let the others outside for a bit so no one is in the house but Jimmy, Yellow, Pebbles and soon Festus.

I went against doc's orders and I put a teaspoon of turkey broth, a teaspoon of milk and a little sugar in a bowl with his med. I have it in the crate and I sure hope he drinks it. I'll know soon.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
I went outside and blocked the enclosure after Festus dashing back in the house to avoid me.

I put a big rock in the door and left and went back inside the house. Since he couldn't escape, he left me pick him up. I sat and loved on him a few minutes and talked to him and calmed him down and then placed him in the crate. I cooed the whole time like the 'big medicine ordeal' was over.

He went to his bowl and began drinking. There is not much in there but I tried to camo the flavor and it must have worked.

I added an additional ingredient. i'll feed him when he is done.

One full dropperful of the nasty med.
1.5 teaspoon of full flavored canned turkey broth
a sprinkle or two of sugar.
1.5 teaspoon of skim milk.
And a tad of juice from a can of friskies beef/gravey.

I have his food ground up and ready as soon as he finished his 'cat gravy'...

let me check now. he is not drinking.

ok.........success. He drank every single drop. I gotta go now and give him his food. I am so happy.

I know I wasn't supposed to mix it but I did not use much stuff added and he got it all to the last drop..

I hope it still works. I can do this twice daily easily... Hope it has no after taste like the raw med or he will quit that too.
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
I just read this:


And I bet that's why my vet told me not to mix it ....... because he might not get the whole dose.

But Festus got the whole dose. He drank every single drop. He has bad sinuses too so I guess he couldn't smell it and my disguise must have worked as far as the taste... And also he was pretty hungry since he has not eaten since yesterday. He cant eat the hard food that is out. I'll do this every time until he has to go back to the vet on Monday. He is going to spend the day there Monday. Juan is taking him and I am picking him up.

Our question this week was:

Can I mix Antirobe with my cat's food?

Ken Roy


Hi – thanks for your question. Antirobe is an antibiotic and you want to know if you can mix it with your cat's food. The answer is yes is important that they take the medication – all of it. The problem with mixing it with the food is they often won't eat their food or that part of the food. If they don't get the medication, it isn't going to help them. The most reliable way is to put the medication in their mouth.

A couple articles that might be helpful to you on medicating cats are How to Administer Liquid Medication to Your Cat and How to Administer Pill Medication to Your Cat.

Best of luck!

Dr. Jon
post #9 of 28
That Antirobe stuff must be awful! I had to administer it to Winchester & Geronimo before, and they just HATED it! They fought me tooth & nail, and most of the stuff got spit back out - and what didn't get spit out, made my poor furbies foam at the mouth..

I was gonna suggest squirting the stuff onto his paws so he'll lick it off. I found out that little trick works when I accidently spilled some medicine on Geronimo's paw once. It worked, b/c we all know cats can't stand to be "dirty". OR, a trick I learned from another member, you could try scruffing your cat so he can't get away: if he's scruffed, he can't move - nor can he hurt you. I really don't like using that method myself, b/c if it's not done properly, you may get the liquid down the wrong "hole" and cause your cat to choke.

But it seems as if you've found a way to get Festus to take all his meds. and that's what counts. As long as he's getting the proper dosage, I don't think it really matters HOW you do it - just as long as you do!

I hope all goes well with Festus when he goes back to the vet.

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
thanks for the support.

I tried scruffing him but I think I was being too gentle or not doing it right because he got me good.....

I'll just try to disguise the taste till monday... I know he feels better because he doesn't yell anymore... And he seems to eat better. I actually caught him eating a bite of kibble earlier so........ I am hopeful that he gets his meds down him and gets his teeth cleaned and does great.

The vet is looking into a a possible vaccination for this problem. Dogs have a vaccine for this and the vet has that now in the dog variety. He is going to contact the pharmacy company that makes it and see if cats can take it. If so, Festus will be one of the first cats to get a vaccine for ginivitis. He said the tendency for this is genetic.

Another thing that worries me is the reading I have done on this. It seems it is an autoimmune problem and lots of cats with aids or LK get this as their immune system fails. He was vaccinated against feline LK but it is still worrying me. I am going to talk to the vet when I see him on Monday. Thank god all my cats are vaccinated and healthy.

I am hoping he just has bad genes.... I will worry until I pick him up on Monday evening after work.

I will say he feels better and his hair is shiny and he looks better.

Thank you Hissy and everyone for helping me..... It's just a matter of waiting till Monday now.

And you know, I keep thinking about how cooperative Festus was at the vet. I wish I had of had my camera with me. He actually tilted his head back when the vet looked at his teeth in absolute cooperation. I was dumbfounded as I watched his examination! Doc Carmichael is a wonderful vet and I am so glad the animals respond to him. Especially the not so tame ones.

post #11 of 28
It's no surprise that Festus co-operated at the vet. My furbies are always perfect little angels there too. But as soon as I get them home, it's a different story. I guess they don't want anyone else to know what brats they are..

Hope all goes well on Monday!

post #12 of 28
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
It's no surprise that Festus co-operated at the vet. My furbies are always perfect little angels there too. But as soon as I get them home, it's a different story. I guess they don't want anyone else to know what brats they are..
mine are just the opposite - they're loudmouthed terrors at the vet's!
for Festus to get all better!
post #13 of 28
Originally Posted by jcribbs View Post
thanks for the support.

I tried scruffing him but I think I was being too gentle or not doing it right because he got me good.....
My experience has been that adult cats, particularly wilder ones, can escape/ignore/fight having their scruff held, particularly if they feel really threatened. I know Ms Friskers certainly can, and I am *sure* I have got her good, but she can just still twist her neck around enough to get a good bite on my wrist. Dedication, that's what she's got. Even the vet techs were marveling at her escape abilities.

So don't blame yourself, it may just be that he's wild enough that he's going to escape no matter how hard you hold him.

One thing the vet had me do, which helped some but means you'll need a second set of hands, was to lift her up by her scruff, and then grab her back legs with my other hand. Then I stretched her out and laid her down on her side. That position got her the most docile that I think is possible for her. So it might be worth a try. Dunno how well you'd be able to get meds in then, though...
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
He is doing good right now. The gravy is still working and he is taking it twice daily. My only concern is he is not eating anything else.

I hope after his procedure Monday that his appitite picks up. His little teeth must hurt pretty bad.

I have his gravy ready now. I just have to act like I am not looking at him so he will relax so I can pick him up to feed him..

He is something else. He does not fight when I pick him up but he avoid it like the plague.

Also, he has quit yelling so the antibiotics are helping.

And yeah, that stuff is nasty. If you have a change, taste it. You will rethink how you give it to your kitties... It is actually worse than any food, any med or any other thing that I have every tasted.

It tastes worse than a skunk smells........ honestly.
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well, sorry I haven't updated on Festus...........

Juan took him to the vet early Monday morning. At 9, he called me at work and said he was going back to pick Festus up -- the vet had called.

He had given Festus two shots and sent him home. His gums were better but he had a sinus infection and had to treat him.

He had fever when he got to the vet according to Juan.

He has not been acting sick and I hold him daily and he did not act strange or feel hot.

But anyway, he has to wait till he is over his sinus infection before he gets his teeth cleaned....

Festus is very very happy he does not have to take that horrible med anymore. He gets nice canned Fancy Feast the last few days. I still separate him to eat so he gets his share. But he is also eating some kibbles on his own.

This all sounds great but when he returns to the vet next time, I want to have him retested for Fel-Lk... or cat aids.

This type of teeth thing is an autoimmune problem and I have never heard of a cat with a sinus infection. And I have never had a cat with chronic fever unless there was something serious.

Something is wrong.......
post #16 of 28
I recently had to give a semi feral Baby (Calci really really bad) meds - no way I was getting Flagyl (Metrodianzol) down her throat! It was a fight just to catch her and give sub qs to her.

I got my prescription in tuna flavored liquid form, got some REALLY stinky sardines in liquid (water) and mixed the Flagyl liquid into the juices, then poured over the sardines. I starved her a bit first. Mashed the sardines up (very soft and easy to mash)... et voila! They ate it. Calci made their nose a bit less sensitive and the tatse buds dead a bit I guess...

All of them got it too (in case she ate from other cats dishes) Sneaky me.

It was the ONLY way I was getting meds down them.... I have Cody on Clindamycin for a tooth issue, but stuff is really bitter and he can't stand taking it so, I switched him over to pill popping Flagyl and or putting in food.

If you do get the stuff you can rub on ears - can you advise me of its name? It would hlep Cody a TON to have that stuff. His tooth surgery
needs doing soon, but we have to have at least some of that stuff
down his gullet for a few days first.

My phamrmancy is a compounding pharmacy so maybe they could
make somre fo me.
post #17 of 28
PS I meant to add - its not always the case that gingivitis = FeLuke.
Its often a case of bad dental hygeine and a predisposition to it.
Some cats just have (like people) bad teeth.

And age is what leads to bad teeth in cats that is.

The fever and sinus infections are problematic - could be cancer.
Though I do know of chronic infection w/ herpes that can cause
damage leading to chronic infection...

let us know how Festus does please! And if you have to - try
the sardine trick. It works REAL well (sneak little me...)
post #18 of 28
You are doing wonderful work with Festus, wow!!

My older cat has had chronic gum inflammation since she was small. At first we were scaling and cleaning her mouth once a year. But our new vet recommended the use of cortisone shots every 6 ms or so, and they really take the edge off.
post #19 of 28
Speaking of all this dental stuff for cats, has anyone tried raw bones? I vet swears by it and said she has hardly any dentals anymore due to bones.
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Juan took Festus to the vet this morning and the did the feline lk test and he came back positive. We had him pts... There was no other decision we could make. He has had fever for at least three weeks now and there was nothing the vet could do for him since it is a fatal condition. I told Juan ahead of time that if he tested positive, we needed to do that. I went to work and kept hoping good news would be forthcoming. He called me at work and told me what the vet said. I know many will feel this was a bad decision on my part but I have my own reasons. And all of this decision was based on my other babies that I have.

I am grieving for my little Festus who had only been with us a couple years. Right now I regret bringing Festus into my home and exposing my beloved cats. I have had some nearly 10 yrs. Oh god, what will I do??

What is upsetting to me is that Festus tested neg when we had him fixed. He was vaccinated for Fel Lk... I also have his brother Felix who is fixed and vacc. And as I sit here, I am listening to him gag and cough. I thought they had hair balls so I have been feeding them a hairball formula.

I am taking 21 cats to the vet next week to get them all REchecked and REvaccinated.. The vet is supposed to call me tomorrow with a quote.

He is going to do it at his cost because he knows we take care of them and are regular patrons of his vet hospital for this and that.

This is not the same vet who vacc them however...

I am taking two days off work to get this all completed.

I am praying so hard that they are all negative. I feel I am fixing to be faced with some very tough decisions this week. It is going to kill me emotionally if I have to do this again. I have never had to make this decision..

I am kicking myself right now when I think what a horrible mistake I made. Last year they had their updates and I have not updated them this year on the felLk shots. I felt safe as they all had neg tests previously and had had a previous vacc... and they had no other exposure to other animals so I didn't feel like they had a big risk... Oh how wrong I was..

How could I be so damn stupid?....

I'll update more on this in a few days. Right now I am just not able to write any longer.
post #21 of 28
I'm so sorry for your loss.

I know that this is an extremely difficult time for you now, with so much uncertainty hanging in the air. But please try not to beat yourself up over past "mistakes". It actually sounds to me that you acted pretty responsibly. You had him tested at the same time that he was neutered, and the test result was negative. You had the rest of the cats updated last year, and they were always negative. You had no reason to think that anything additional was necessary. What more could you do?

Sending lots of that all of the rechecks come back negative.
post #22 of 28
Originally Posted by RobertM View Post
I'm so sorry for your loss.

I know that this is an extremely difficult time for you now, with so much uncertainty hanging in the air. But please try not to beat yourself up over past "mistakes". It actually sounds to me that you acted pretty responsibly. You had him tested at the same time that he was neutered, and the test result was negative. You had the rest of the cats updated last year, and they were always negative. You had no reason to think that anything additional was necessary. What more could you do?

Sending lots of that all of the rechecks come back negative.
to all of it! & that things start looking up for y'all
post #23 of 28
I am so sorry about Festus. My thought will be with you as you take everyone to the vets.

Just remember that you DO take very good care of them so try not to blame yourself.
post #24 of 28
Best of luck at the vet's office and so sorry for what you are going through!!!
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have decided how I am going to handle this.

This decision was not made in haste. I am taking all the cats to the vets in trips of threes on each saturday... 6 per week.

He can test them and vaccinate the ones that are ok... I am hoping they are all negative.

The others, the positive ones (if any),...... I am bringing back home.. All these cats have lived together a long time. I can't turn my back, put them down and come home and live a happy life. And no one else is sick. Only Festus was ill. He was a loner. The other didn't really associate with him. They left him alone and he left them alone. I doubt he has ever bitten them at all. If they hissed, he ran. He did not play with toys. He mostly stayed outside in the enclosure...

This weekend I am cleaning it out, and pouring bleach in the dirt to try and disinfect... I need to look on line and see about dirt and feline lk...

These are my babies.. If a time comes and any are sick, like Festus, then I will deal with it at that time. But for now, everyone is coming back home.

My husband is keen on finishing our enclosure. I can't let them out anymore at all.....

There is one stray in our area that eats on my porch..... I will have to do something abou that. Not sure what but I need to take him to the vet too.

There are no other cats around here.

Festus was one of the cats that was stray/feral at the last place we lived that we rescued while fixing up our cabin for our move. The others were Cow, JJ and Felix. I am taking them in the first bunch.... They also have tested neg in aug/sept 2006 and were vacc.. JJ was tested and vacc when his leg was amputated. Cow was pregnant and was fixed AFTER our move. I don't remember about Felix and Festus. I will have to get their records out of storage.

I need someone with experience to tell me if this is the best way to handle this. I have NO experience in this.

But I do know that I can't take their lives because of my stupidity....

My hope is that since none are sick that all are well....... I'll know soon.

They are all mildly upset with me right now. Usually in the evenings after work, I sit outside on the porch with them. They look forward to it all day and greet me at the door when I get home about 3:30... Yesterday and today we did not go out. I am keeping them inside...

They will adjust.

For two years we have plann3d our enclosre's enlargement. I am on my husbands ASS right now to get it done. The holes are in the ground. All he has to do is concrete the posts in the ground. He has done one so far. I watched him do it so I know what to do.

This weekend if he doesn't get on the stick, I'll put posts in the ground myself. I never done it but I feel like this old woman can do it. I know how to use a chainsaw and I certainly can move a tree.. I know how to level and I know how to mix concrete. I know how to put t-posts to brace it. I CAN DO IT. And.........if he sees one post slightly unlevel, he will feel guilty and finish it...

Now, I am going to take a headache pill and put my feet up. I am whacked.
post #26 of 28
If it helps I made the decision to stop letting my 11 outside cats out of their enclosure about a year ago (my enclosure isn't as nice as yours) and they have adjusted fine. They were a little confused at first but once they got used to it there were no problems. As a matter of fact I carried Daze out today to let him give my husband some love and he jumped out of my arms when i knocked a tool with my foot and made a loud noise. He went right back to the enclosure door to wait on me.

I also think that your decision of how to handle this is a sound one. It is what I would do if faced with the same situation. As I said earlier you take wonderful care of your cats, that is easy too see from your posts. You will be in my thoughts as you deal with this.
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
thank you.......

And I know what you mean. The enclosure is a security for them when they are used to one. And they know they are safe inside it.

I am also thinking about putting lattice or screen around my front porch as well. Just in case they slip outside through the front door. I've been wanting to anyway when spring got here.
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well, I have talked with hissy and she had some good advise for me.

I have also decided to buy my own test to take to the vet to save money.

25 tests for 200.00 or so..... That's 10.00 a cat.

I found another place that sells it for 199.00 but I would rather pay the extra and get it from amazon since I trust them.

I need to talk to my vet first and make sure this is ok with him. I can gather the saliva samples at home and take the tests to him so I don't have to transport the cats anywhere if that is agreeable with him. I can vaccinate them myself as well so they can stay at home.

I think this will work well.

I'll call him in the morning from work.
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