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Need advice re abused feral cat

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My daughter rescued a feral, abused cat with lots of issues. He is strictly indoors, but has a complete terror of confined spaces. She was able to get a mobile vet out to neuter him, but the next year, the vet was simply unable to catch him. She has to move and is at her wit's end about catching Spike. He is terrified of blankets and towels, refuses to be held, and absolutely will not enter dark spaces. She bought a big cage, put food in it, and when he entered, closed it. She thought she had it made, but while she was carrying it to the car, it came open and Spike got out. He finally returned home, but will not go anywhere near the cage. Of course, the vet won't prescribe a tranquilizer without seeing the cat, but that's impossible. She tried giving a low dose of benadryl, but it's so bitter that the cat refused to eat it, even after 24 hours with no food. Can anyone help??
post #2 of 6
Put him in a small bathroom with a carrier in the tub standing on end, with the door opened. You can herd him into the bathroom and go in and quickly shut the door. Have a heavy blanket, and a towel nearby, in the sink or somewhere that you can grab it easily. She has to stay calm and cannot make direct eye contact with him. She needs to get into a corner, she should have the blanket folded double, and opened, and approach him. She needs to scoop him up quickly and wrap him then deposit him into the carrier, shutting the door. It is important to do several things- first be sure the blanket is not a huge one, or he could get so tied up in it he can't breathe. You want to spray both the carrier and the blanket (or beach towel which is my preference for this procedure) heavily with feliway spray. He is going to fight like the dickens once he gets wrapped up like a burrito so you want to be prepared for that and get him into the carrier quickly. After locking the carrier door, go grab some twist ties or cable ties and secure the door. He will be bouncing around in there and he could get out. Then cover the carrier with a dark cloth and put him into a dark quiet room to calm down.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
As I said, he's terrified of blankets and towels. Picture wrapping a bobcat up!!
post #4 of 6
You have described my Tigger (former feral) whenever I try to place him in a carrier - he will climb the bathroom walls if I try to close the door behind me. I also can't use towels or blankets with him - I tried that technique repeatedly and have failed - he is highly clastrophobic and freaks when contained. He won't go into a carrier or live trap to eat so those options are out for me also.

Hissy's advice is right on. If he is terrified by blankets and towels, you will need to either try to live trap him in your house, or corner him, scruff pick him up and drop him in the upturned carrier as Hissy described. This is dangerous to both you and the cat, as the cat will fight like the dickens (I have scars from Tigger), or if you do not hold him absolutely correctly, you can hurt the cat. It has taken me many years of practice to get my 18 pound Tigger into a carrier. He is so terrified that he pees the entire way from capture into the carrier. On the positive side, after 8 years, he still hides when a carrier sits in the house (even days after it appears), and I have to corner him to get him in, but he no longer fights me.
post #5 of 6
That's why you use the spray, and use a dark colored towel not a light one. Dim the lights, burn a night light and stay calm. Trust me, I have several feral cats and have had to use this procedure on a few of them. No, it isn't easy, but it can be done. Staying calm, being on your knees while still on your guard helps-
post #6 of 6
Hissy's advice is right on target! Just be sure that the capturers wear protective clothing, including leather gloves. I recall an episode of "Houston Animal Cops" where the ACO's were gloveless while trying to catch this poor old man's surplus cats by chasing them down. Of course, the cats scratched & bit the convenient bare skin; therefore, the cats were labeled "wild" & "uncontrollable". My labels were heard by all in my house, and they weren't those words, nor were they directed at the cats!!!
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