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I trapped her/him!

post #1 of 141
Thread Starter 
OK. Gray kitty is safely in the trap. S/he has a nasty sore on her neck. It looks really bad. I don't know what they will find when they can explore it. I am anticipating that she will have to stay at the vet for a few days because there is no way I can medicate her after setting her free. She isn't going to fall for this trap idea again. She is so scared. She spits and hisses if I go near her. It is still pretty warm outside, 78 degrees, but I went ahead and put a blanket over the trap. Maybe I shouldn't. I don't know. I left one end open. She is out on the back porch. I could bring her in and put her in the bathroom overnight but that might be scarier. Poor kitty. I just want to help her. Tomorrow at 7 am she is going to the vet and I have no idea how they will get her out of that trap. I am not reaching in there for sure. I value my skin. Thanks for all the advice on trapping her. Becky

Should I get her microchipped? Then if the pound did find her I could get her back?
post #2 of 141
I'd suspect a CBA (cat bite abscess) on the neck. Shaving, cleaning, and antibiotics.

Spay/Neuter of course

And Microchip/Tattoo if possible. Especially if you want a chance of getting her back.

post #3 of 141
Thread Starter 
I think I will get the microchip. I know a lot of people (not people here, of course) would not understand spending a lot on a wild kitty but I want to treat her just as if she was mine. She is, sort of. I feed her. And so she will get the best under the circumstances. I can't bring her in but I can stop her being a slave to hormones and kittens, if she is a girl or just cat fights if she is a boy. And she will get that neck treated, it is open and red and so gross looking. She will hate me but she will be better off. Becky
post #4 of 141
You're doing a great thing Becky...don't let anyone tell you differently.

Also...Do you plan on getting her vacc'd/tested?

post #5 of 141
Thread Starter 
What do you think? I will do everything, I don't mind. Certainly vaccines. But I am not sure what I would do about positive virus tests. I don't want to euthanize her. So what would be the point? My indoor kitties were tested but this kitty wouldn't even know about them. They know she is out there on the porch but that is as close as they will get. What would be the point of testing? I will do if if it makes a difference for her. Becky
post #6 of 141
Sorry if this is somewhat disorganized...it's late here but I wanted to respond.

Well I would talk with your vet, and see what his/her thoughts are regarding vaccines, however I would personally at least run a test just to see, and I would prolly give her a dose of a wormer if possible before setting her back free.

Basically the point, as it has been explained to me regarding testing/vacc'd is this.

Test first, vacc second.

If you have a feral cat/colony and you can establish the status of health for these animals, you can also reduce the risk of them becoming a carrier for a disease.

If the cat tests positive, there's not much a vaccine will do for that particular disorder, however you also know that any other cats in your colony are around a carrier of the disease, so you would vacc the un-affected animals to minimize spreading the disease, or in a more extreme move you can remove the diseased animal from the environment (euth). Also, if you have a positive result on a test for a particular animal, and you choose to let that animal live, you know to keep an eye on the animal and can respond somewhat quickly to any advanced signs of a particular disorder. When the disorder gets the best of the animal, you can intervene and keep the suffering to a minimum. But that's a hard choice to make, as we all know.

Ultimately the level of help you can provide is limited by you. The major things are the simplest, but everything helps. You have to set your personal limit. I haven't personally managed a feral colony, but I have friends that do. It can get expensive...fast...but the emotional reward, and the friendships that can sometimes be built are amazing.

I know you are only talking about one feral cat right now, and I am positive that this kitty understands and appreciates everything that you are doing for her, even if she doesn't quite show it right now.

Please keep us posted,

post #7 of 141
Thread Starter 
I guess it does make sense to test then. I would know if she needed extra help sometime in the future. I plan to worm her because she probably needs that. And even Advantage will give her a month off from being flea ridden. And by the look of her neck she needs all the red blood cells she has at the moment. My vet usually does a blood panel before neutering or spaying and I will get that done for her. This will cost me a few hundred dollars before I am done, especially if she boards for a few days. She is the only feral in my neighborhood so its not like I need to worry about spending that kind of money on a lot of cats. I will treat her just like I would treat my indoor kitties. They may give me a break at the vet. Or not. They know I want the best for my kitties. Becky
post #8 of 141
Becky..it's great that you are taking care of this feral cat.

post #9 of 141
Thread Starter 
S/he is at the vet. They are going to do everything for her. She is so scared but finally at the vet I set her down in an exam room while I waited for my turn and she was sitting with her feet tucked in when I looked at her before I left. She can't be too scared if she tucked in her feet. I am just waiting for a call from the vet about what they are going to do with her. They are going to call me with her lab results and what her neck needs done. Becky
post #10 of 141
You are doing a wonderful thing, helping this poor cat! I treat my ferals just the same as I do my pets too.

If you explain the situation to the vet, he/she may give you a break on the costs. Mine does. She doesnt' charge for the exam, and I pay only cost for s/n, etc.

And yes, it's good to have her tested for disease like leukemia, or FIV. If she is positive for either, she cannot be released. Leukemia is 100% fatal, and death would be a lingering one.

Keeping fingers crossed that this kitty will be just fine.
post #11 of 141
Thread Starter 
If she is positive for FIV would she have to be euthanized? I thought it just caused an increased susceptibility to infections but that the cat could live long if it didn't get sick from something else? I am kind of attached to her already and would be really sad if I had to have her put down. I will discuss it with my vet when she calls. If that is the problem. I am anxious waiting. Becky
post #12 of 141
Becky....FIV+ cats can live a long productive life...however, the decision will have to be yours regarding euthanizing her or not. As long as you can contain her in some fashion so that there isn't a chance of spreading the disease to other cats, she should be fine. You will need to keep an eye on her however to ensure that she doesn't develop the full blown FIV symptoms.

post #13 of 141
Thread Starter 
Its a boy! And he is now neutered. The infection on his neck is already healing but it was pretty bad so it will be awhile to completely heal and will leave a scar. But I don't mind that. He was covered with fleas and got Advantage. 3 immunizations. His viral tests were all negative. He has a few teeth missing and they are thinking he is maybe five years old or so and maybe thus is not a true feral but a wild stray. So... he is coming in out of the cold. Or the heat as it were. I am going to keep him inside in a large dog crate I have. It is a wire cage so I will cover it. And put a crate inside for him to hide in. And we will see. I don't expect him to be a cuddle kitty, just to be happy indoors with my other two. They are going to be so mad when they find out about this. The vet said that three shots is a lot for him and that he may be sleepy for a few days so maybe that will help. If he can't stand it then he can always go back outside. Now I need a name for a longhaired gray kitty. And some good luck getting him out of the trap ( they already put him back in it) and into the crate. Becky
post #14 of 141
Do the swap in a small room...use a towel and move him quickly.

Great news! Do keep us posted, and give him a good chance at acclimating.

I really am horrible with naming things...so no suggestionns here for a name...

Pictures would help immensely...any chance of that?

post #15 of 141
Becky, I'm so glad you trapped her! We feel the same way you do - we do the same for outside ferals as we do for our inside pets. We do have them tested for FeLV and FIV. I don't know what we would have done if any tested positive. When the colony was up to 28, we probably would have put them down. I don't know. But with one, I'd use it simply as a tool to monitor her health, you know, to know whether or not there's a problem coming down the road. The vet will help you decide when she's in pain and when nothing further can be done if either turns out positive. Knock wood, and I'm sending up a prayer that isn't the case. Now - we've found a shelter only a few hour drive from here that takes FeLV and FIV positive cats only, so that's what we would do if any ever tested positive.

Microchipping can be a bit expensive, but it would ensure that you'd get her back from the local shelter if she ever turned up there. Just check with the vet that the protocols of the microchip they use can be read by the local shelter. No point in microchipping her if the local shelter doesn't have a reader that can read it.

Worming treatments, unfortunately, have to be administered once a week over a course of several weeks. Make sure the vet uses panacur or Strongid-T - I don't know about down there, but I've "talked" to several people around the country, and everyone seems to have problems with round-worm resistance to Drontal.

How to administer the follow-up treatment? I don't know. Either trap her again and get the vet to do it - or learn to be brave with gloves. I really don't have an answer for that. Don't EVER try anything like that with a cat you don't know unless you have a rabies vaccination yourself. But once she's had her vaccination, at least you know it's not fatal if you get bitten, if you ever want to try. Unfortunately putting the panacur or Strongid-T in food probably won't work. For an adult cat they're rather large doses of liquidy stuff, and the food will smell awful to kitty. But at least one initial dose will kill the worms already in her system. It's the eggs it won't kill, so they will become worms again. That's why it's administered over several weeks.

But you never know - you may get friendly enough with her over time to be able to administer another dose of flea and tick medication. There is either Frontline or Advantage that is a 3-month dose though! See if your vet carries that - it should take you through the season.

And since you've decided to treat her like a pet (which I LOVE! ), I think it's about time you start working on names for her....

And if you keep feeding her, and if you're ever out there while she's eating - just out there so she can see and smell you (and you can put a stinky sweatshirt under her bowl so she associates the food with your smell) - over time she'll come to trust you, and you just never know whether it'll be a couple weeks, a couple months or even a couple years (though doesn't sound like it given how things are going at the vet) - but one day she will very likely walk over to you and headbump you. Take it slowly from there, cats easily get overstimulated from pets, especially if they're not familiar with the sensation, but even our outside ferals have become big ol' loving bunnies so to speak.

post #16 of 141
Thread Starter 
Well, I have him at home. The working name, from the vet tech, is Lil Buddy. I slid him out of the trap into the crate.
He is in the litter box trying to find a way out. He was shaking at the vet. I feel so bad for him.
My cats are not amused.
The vet wants me to try to give him Antirobe drops in food once a day if I can. She gave him a shot of antibiotics but it would be better if he got more.
So, radio on? He is in my bedroom but the crate is covered with a sheet. I dont' have a way to give him complete privacy. The vet said that maybe he will tame down at least a little. But if he is five then I doubt it.
He let me touch him when I got him out of the trap and didn't try to attack me but he is still woozy from the anesthetic. I will probably have to set him free but I'd like to try at least to transition him to the great indoors.
By the way, $279, less than I expected. They did give me a break, I just wanted a lot done for him with all the shots and blood work, as well as the surgery.
post #17 of 141
You might be very surprised. We adopted out a 5 yr old feral, but suspect he was once tame, since most cats cannot survive that long outdoors. Your guy might turn into a sweet pet for you! Personally, I find males easier than females.

Yes, leave a radio on for him - it will mask other household noises he might find scary. Just leave him alone for the first little while, other than feeding and cleaning the litterbox. Talk softly while you do this, and do not try and touch or approach him. He needs to learn to trust you. Let him get used to your presence, smell and sound before you start taming him.

If he was ever someone's pet, he should be tameable. It takes patience and time, but is so very rewarding to see a terrified animal look at you with trust for the first time!!
post #18 of 141
I would heavily discount the age to personality factor...I don't really agree with that theory much at all.

I have seen 15 year old cats go from totally antisocial...to absolute dolls.

I have seen kittens be totally aloof their entire life.

I would actually interact with him as much as possible while he's recovering from the anestesia. Check on him, sit near him and pet him, etc. Don't be overly forceful or anything though. I would also let your other kitties check him out if they want to, but keep them seperated at the same time. I wouldn't permit direct contact, but perhaps let them see him in the crate and vice versa.

Treat him like part of the family as best as possible, and just give him some time. He should come along nicely.

post #19 of 141
Thread Starter 
I took him some food a little while ago. He was sitting in the back of the crate and he kept sitting there. So I reached over and just touched the top of his head. He let me do it. But he may still be under the influence. But maybe he will be OK. I am quickly getting attached. My other two are looking at him. I need to get a Feliway diffuser for him. Becky
post #20 of 141
Make sure that he comes out of the anest. as gently and as smoothly as possible.

Kindness goes a long way.

Sounds like you are doing really well so far.

Any chance of some pictures?

post #21 of 141
Well, either I posted without knowing there was a page 2 or ???? Either way,

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!! You are such a love! As to how to help this boy feel comfortable in your home.... the absolute best thing you can do is to read this thread: Socializing a Feral: The Story of Lucky. This will so help you know what to expect, how to handle getting him comfortable, interacting with him, etc.

You go girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #22 of 141
WOW , I just now read this . This is so wonderful , great job
I would try play classical music very softly to your new boy , that is comforting to the cats . The feliway plug-in also works really great to calm cats . Also don't look direct at the cat , he could feel threadening by that . Like Hissy always says , sit down on his level and read a book out laud to him . I don't read a lot of books and so read magazines or german comics . What also helps is not to make any sudden movements in any way's , it may scare him . Also what I notice is to ignore a cat and it helps the cat to open up quicker for attention .Well good luck And my congrats to you
post #23 of 141
Thread Starter 
I worked all day today. I work twelve hour shifts so I am gone a long time. When I got home he was still curled up in the little crate in the big crate. He let me pet him. He didn't move his head to be petted or purr but he didn't scratch or bite, either. He has eaten a little bit and used the litter box to poop and one pee. I am a little worried since he is so quiet but the vet said to expect him to take 2 or 3 days to recover because he got three immunizations. And neutering. He actually looks pretty contented in there. Not scared, at least obviously. Boy, tomcat pee sure stinks. I hope that ends soon. Will I have to throw away that litter box? Thanks for all the support you guys are giving me. Becky
PS: I have read the whole story of Lucky. I love that story. This guy is nowhere near as scared as Lucky. He must have been around people somewhere in the past. But when he was outside he seemed that afraid.
post #24 of 141
It may take a few weeks for the residual hormones to run out of his system, but the smell should go away.

How is his neck healing up?

post #25 of 141
I agree with Spotz , it will take a week or so for the urin smell to get better . You don't have to toss the litter box away , just bleach it really good out and it should be ok .
post #26 of 141
Thread Starter 
I haven't been able to look at his neck. He stays in the little crate inside the big crate and I am not brave enough to haul him out. I am hoping that he will let me take him out, or maybe come out on his own in front of me soon. But I may take him back to the vet tomorrow just to check him out if he doesn't perk up. He did use the litter box last night but he didn't eat. Becky
post #27 of 141
Thread Starter 
Tonight when I got home from work he had eaten about a quarter cup of dry food and drank all of his water. I felt bad about that. I hadn't filled his bowl, just about quarter full because he spilled the first bowl. Well, now he has a full bowl. He had one pee and no poops in the litter box. He hissed at me when I reached toward him so I guess he is feeling better. Becky
post #28 of 141
Sounds like he's getting close to better...he's prolly going to be somewhat standoffish because of his neck above and beyond having to adapt to a domestic life style.

Hang in there Becky, he'll come around...especially when he realizes that you are the best thing that has happened to him.

Keep us posted,

post #29 of 141
You may try not to touch him , he may will scratch now since he fully recovered . Just keep him in there and spent time with him when you at home in talking softly to him , or reading something to him so he will get used to your voice . Do not look direct at him . You can try placing a worn and smelly T shirt from you in there , so he can get used to your smell . Maybe wear it when you come home and sleep in the t shirt , when leaving for work just place the shirt in there and keep it in . That's all I can think of right now . Good luck yes , don't give up .
post #30 of 141
Thread Starter 
I made an appointment for Lil Buddy (yes, he has a name, now) at the vet tomorrow. I am worried because he doesn't eat much, just 2 or 3 tablespoons a day of dry. He drinks water and pees but no poops since Tuesday. I can't see his neck because he never comes out of the little crate in front of me. I can pet him. I do it two or three times a day but I know it stresses him and I don't want to push it. I just reach into the little crate and pet him. He doesn't seem to like it but he doesn't hiss or scratch or bite, just holds very still. I got him a smaller litter pan so he has a little more free room in the big crate. He put his towel from his little crate in his litter box so he is just on the bare plastic in there. I will put a new towel in while he is being examined at the vet tomorrow. I haven't been able to give him any antibiotics since he won't eat the canned food. Maybe I should try baby food. At least it will be easy to take him to the vet since he is happy in his little crate, just shut the door and take him. Now, getting him out at the vet may be a challenge. But this crate has plastic clips to hold the top on, so maybe just taking off the top would be the easiest. I will let you know what I find out. Becky
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