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A Lesson in Love and Advice Needed

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Last week I posted a thread about advice needed for taming a feral female.......I was wrong. The trip to the vet revealed that SHE was a HE. I asked for advice for getting HIM into the carrier. He bit me through the gloves and right into my knuckle. This caused an infection and I spend the last two nights in the hospital hooked up to an IV. There was even a chance I would loose my finger or hand. I spent 5,000 on all of this. I did make it to the VET though and he got all his shots and was netured. The Health Department has placed the Cat on a watch for ten days. If at anytime I believe he is sick I must call them.

Now the cat hates me more than ever. He tries to get out any way he can, while before he only hid alot. He cries and even got himself stuck in a window. I would hate for this cat to be alone outside while his brothers (there are four in all) remain happy indoor cats. It is winter time and I don't want him to go back to eating out of a dumpster. He has all types of worms and even though the Vet gave me medicene to put in his food, he somehow knows its there and won't eat it. I am actually afraid of this cat now.

Does anyone know what I can do??? Please?? The only advice I can give other people in this group is INVEST in GOOD welding gloves when handling a feral cat. Plus makes sure your insurance deductable isn't 6,000 dollars, and finally even though you may love your cat and know what is best for them, remember they can always turn on you and a trip to the vet is very scary for them.

Chris (O1)
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
I don't blame anyone, including the cat. (he was scared) The advice I received here was good. I just need more advice now. Thanks
post #3 of 14
The strength in a cat's jaws and paws can be truly amazing, given their size. I once had a cat hanging by her claws from the side of my face! How I didn't scar from that is beyond me. Welding gloves are definitely a good idea... the one time I had to deal with an injured stray, all I had with me were my craftsman mechanic's gloves... but I was lucky and the poor girl crawled into the carrier on her own.

Sometimes, the transition from outdoors to indoors can be agonizingly slow, especially when you add that first inevitably traumatic trip to the vet. Is it possible to keep them together in a small-ish room, nice and warm, where they can adjust to being indoors together? If the other cats warm up to you and he sees you socializing with them, that may help.

Some cats can be perpetually difficult when it comes to medicines, particularly smelly stuff that goes on their food, and even other routine things like trimming claws. My vets use a pill-dewormer, and they administer it the first and second time they see the cat, as a matter of course. My GF's family's vet will trim claws for $10, and with /their/ cat, it's money well spent (otherwise expenses could be higher, as I'm sure you can imagine). Of course, then you have to get the poor kitty to the vet again... you must decide whether that's worth the trouble.

Be patient, go slowly, talk softly, best food and treats if you please, and lots of love, and you'll work it out.
post #4 of 14
Yeah I don't know how you'll be able to get him to take the pills. Maybe deny h im food fo 24hrs, and then mix it with some tuna? How often do you need to give it to him?

I have a phobia of cat bites as well. couple months ago an injured feral kitten (probably 6months) bit my finger. It hurt so bad I got lucky though, it didn't get infected.
post #5 of 14
Wow, I hope you are doing better! I am so sorry.

Things will get better. I can only encourage you. It takes a certain time for the hormones to dissipate after being neutered. He should get better. Maybe go back to square one. Have him places to hide in a small room, go in at scheduled times for feeding and cleaning, spend time in there reading out loud and IGNORE him. Playing soft music at night and a news channel on the TV during the day may help. Winter is not a good time to go back outside. He would likely not survive because he has been living inside and probably has no winter fat stores built up or winter fur.

With difficult cats to medicate I ask for an injection when possible. Not helping you now, I know. I always had good luck using chicken all meat baby food. I would take up food from the morning breakfast and then only put the 'medicine tainted baby food' out. I would leave this for quite some time to give it a chance to be eaten.

You might also sprinkle a tiny bit of grated parmesan cheese on top of this. Many cats love that.

A shelter director told me recently that she uses a product called "Rebound" for cats. It is a liquid meal for sick cats, but may help for the purpose only to get medicine in him. She claims she has never had a cat refuse it.

In the past for these scared defensive cats I leave a large carrier in the room all the time. When you need to go to vet and can prepare, start feeding him there or throwing treats in. Then after several times of this learning, close the door to the carrier when they go in.

I hope you heal soon. Just give him some space and let the hormones leave. Then keep a routine to let him readjust. The more tame cats will benefit him after he settles down. He will learn from how they interact with you. Time, his own space and patience.

These are just my thoughts based on what has worked for me in the past. Maybe some of it will make sense and help give you ideas. I wish you the best. You have done an awesome thing for these cats.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
The two males I had netured yesterday that caused all these problems ate yesterday but not today at all. Both cats have been hiding all day, I have been trying to check their incision sight but I really don't see anything could they be sick? and could the medicene I put in their food for hookworms have amde them sick? I can't get these guys back into the carrier and I don't know what to do??????
post #7 of 14
My thought would be to call the vet that did the neuter. Let him/her know that you cannot just put them in a carrier for transport. Explain the situation to the vet. I try to talk directly with the vet as info can get relayed incorrectly with an employee.

Can you keep them in a closed room? Leave the carrier in there with the door open.

Try warming some canned food and sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over it. Some will eat cooked, unseasoned chicken. Simple unflavored deli meat might be an enticing treat to get the appetite going.

A call to the vet is your first need. I hope everyone feels better soon. You too!
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well all of a sudden one cat ate dinner, drank water, played a while with some string and used the bathroom. So thats the good news. The bad news is the one that bit me hasn't touched his food or water and moved from the same spot he has been hiding in. The SPCA did the neutuering at a cheap price and they are closed for the week, and my normal vet is on vacation all week. The biggest problem is I am supposed to call the County Health department if the cat fails to eat or becomes ill. This could also mean I am ill. I just don't know what to do. I don't want this cat put down. I am afraid they will say there is no choice. I will have to wait till tomorrow and hopefully he will have ate atleast something.
post #9 of 14
Is the cat on any pain meds? Is it smaller than the cat that's feeling better? I'm thinking A) pain meds upset the stomach, or B) anesthesia upsets the stomach too, and if he's a little smaller, it might take him a bit longer to feel better. How do his eyes look? Can you see his third eyelid?
post #10 of 14
In my opinion, there are too many variables here to call the health department without first talking to a qualified vet.

Laws for animal bites and rabies varies per state. I do not think any of the laws/health dept take into consideration other factors relating to the cats health. Like recent surgery. They are waiting to see if he shows signs of rabies.

I had two males neutered on the same day. One came out of the carrier and was totally like his regular self. The other one, his brother, was lethargic, sick and would not eat. It was the way he reacted to the sedation and surgery.

You said they ate yesterday and you put medicine in the food. Could it be that your hiding, not eating cat ate ALL the medicine that was meant for two cats? That seems to be when it started. Possible?

What have you tried to feed him? Warmed canned food, tuna juice, cooked chicken, deli meat, sardines.....? Is he drinking water?

Are they in a closed room so they can rest and come out to eat when you are not there?
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I split a can of tuna between the both of them. The one cat ate it right up but the other one (who bit me) didn't even touch it. Then I put down the dry food food I usually give all the cats and presto the other male cat jumped out of hiding and began eating. I even heard him using the kitty litter. Then all night long both were up crying and trying each window to get out.

It is difficult because there are 4 of them, All boys. They have been inside since December 1st because two of them went in to be neutered on December 2nd, those two Gray-B and Ball-Z have always been friendly. The other 2 White-T and Bat-T were less so but never mean. White-T has reverted back to being scared and won't really let me pet him. Bat-T has hid the entire time being back except at night crying to get out. I try to keep Bat-T seperate but we have a small aprtment. I was also hoping that when he saw the other cats eating and being friendly maybe he would too.

I know that being inside is better for them than being outside. Even in South Carolina the winters do get cold at night, and all they eat outside is dumpster food and mice. There are so many other dangers and of course cars......but the crying at night is painful. What should I do now? I am new to owning pets.
and trying to do what is best for them. Can you give me more advice? Do you think they still could be sick even if they are eating and using the litter? Thank you so much.
post #12 of 14
For some reason, some cats just don't recognize either dry or wet food as food. It depends on what they're used to. It's good you discovered your boy likes dry.

I'm sure he was in a certain amount of pain. I didn't feel much like eating after my vasectomy, and that was much less invasion that being neutered!
post #13 of 14
Try not to think about how there WERE BEFORE. You are starting over on a certain level of socializing them.

So, put away a time frame or clock on how they are doing. They had surgery, they went through a fearful situation and now they have to readjust. Let them do that.

They are eating, peeing and pooping. Give them a chance to readjust and get over what they have been through.

You did an awesome thing for them. Do a search on the forum for taming ferals or socializing. I have 4 former ferals that live with me and it takes months for SOME. Wait and see. The rewards will be many.

Hang in there.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
I wanted to thank everyone for the advice. The cats all came out for treats today. The first time in a while. I am still scared of the one that bit me. I don't want to push any of them. I was really worried because my wife and I are leaving for 5 days to visit family. We hired a pet sitter to come once a day to feed and check on them. I was just nervous about leaving this mess with her and I am still worried about their health. The one has all kinds of worms and won't take his medicene in food, the other's behavior was such that I wasn't sure if he was upset with me or sick as well. He did take the worm medicene. Does anyone know if Hookworm and Roundworm meds make a cat feel sick?

I think we have a long road ahead of us. I hope the crying at night to go out gets better. I wish the cats would realize that what we are doing for them is helping them and not hurting them. I will keep you all updated. Thanks again.
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