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Any ideas on how to give medicine to a feral?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Although Snowflake is coming around a bit, she'll walk through the apt if I'm in the bedroom, and she'll stop at the doorway and meow a bit at me, she still won't come near me. I've been trying to put her food down a bit closer to her, but she's still hissing, so I'm being patient and hoping for when she'll be ready to come to me. However, she's getting along great with my other guys, and I know Suddenly Seymour has a lot to do with that.

However, it seems she might have a little upper respiratory infection, since she has a runny nose, and my guys have started sniffling and sneezing a bit. They gave me antibiotics, but were supposed to give me pills, which I have no problem giving to them, and had planned to put Snowflake's in her food, which she'd probably eat.

Unfortunately, they gave me liquid instead, and I tried some in her food, but she will have none of it. I don't blame her.

I can give the others the liquid with no problems, but how do I get it into her? I don't think trying to catch her is wise, I don't want to undo the progress I've made. Plus, I'm not sure I'd survive trying to catch her. lol

Any suggestions? Or do I have to ask them to bring pills instead?

Thanks!
post #2 of 17
I believe you will have to get pills. I have tried putting the liquid in food also and they all look at the food and me like I have tried to poision them.
Medicating a feral is not the easiest thing in the world. Good luck with her.
post #3 of 17
My little Lexi will take any liquid medication as long as I mix it well in tuna water. Even for a tiny dropper that's half full of medication, I have to mix it in about 1 and a half tablespoons of water drained from a can of tuna. It can be trying, particularly for us - having to eat tuna fish salad for 10 days straight because of so much leftover tuna! Good luck!
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Great idea, I'll try some tuna water.

I won't even have to eat tuna for days because I can give the other guys the medicine with the dropper. It's just the feral who is still not at the point where he'll let me near him.

Thanks, I'll try tomorrow and let you know (since he already ate today).
post #5 of 17
Freeze a tuna cassarole or even just the tuna..

I would say put the liquid in a bowl and add some tuna or chicken she might just lap up the liquid too.
post #6 of 17
i would opt for pills. This way you can be sure she gets the medication. None of mine will take liquids, but pilling them is much easier.
post #7 of 17
I've had really good luck "booby-trapping" tuna, Fancy Feast, chicken baby food, or another favorite treat.

If you have multiple cats and separating them is not realistic, then you may have to put the same treat on different plates and when a non-target cat goes for the medicine-laced food, just pull that plate out and replace it with a non-medicated plate of food. It can be kind of a complicated dance but I've had really good success with it.
post #8 of 17
If the tuna doesn't work, I'd go back & ask for pills. I pill my feral by splitting the pill and hiding the peices in some soft cat treats, then giving her the treats. If your feral is very suspicious, try giving her an untouched treat first, then giving the treats with the pill.
post #9 of 17
My local pharmacy offers to flavor liquid medications. They have pet flavors, too, like tuna or chicken pot pie. For $3 a bottle, they will add the flavoring to medications. And they will add it to medications purchased elsewhere (like at the vets office). I have never tried this myself, so I don't know if the flavors would fool a cat!

Another option would be to ask for a shot of penicillin for her. That is what we give the cats at the feral spay and neuter clinics I have been at. One dose, and she would be done!
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
If all else fails, I might try that pharmacy flavoring thing. I think at this point I feel (and they agree) that trying to catch her and taking her out to the vet would be more traumatic and not only undo what very little success I've had with her, it might make it worse.

However, I opened what I thought was a can of tuna today, but it was canned while meat chicken. I put the medicine in the juice from that, with a little of the chicken. Unfortunately, I had a last minute need to go out for a while, so boarded up the entrance to the room.

Seems like he ate it, but I can't rule out the possibility that Suddenly Seymour, the feline garbage pail who will eat anything, got in somehow and ate it. Although my guess is he probably didn't. I'll be able to have a better control experiment tomorrow when I can stay home. I'm sure that if she liked the chicken liquid, she'll love the tuna liquid. ay if Sudsey (for short) ate it because I have to give them the antibiotics too since they are now all sniffling and sneezing.

What fun. LOL But at least all the other I can use an eye dropper.

I'll keep you all informed tomorrow. And tomorrow I'll be eating mulligatawny made with the chicken, and tuna & white bean nicoise salad made with the tuna. After that, I'll be sick of both things, so he better get better soon. lol
post #11 of 17
Please update us on getting the meds down her...
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo

Another option would be to ask for a shot of penicillin for her. That is what we give the cats at the feral spay and neuter clinics I have been at. One dose, and she would be done!
That's a great idea. Often it's much easier to give a shot to a hard-to-handle cat, plus at the very least it can be done less frequently.
post #13 of 17
It is really pretty simple to give the shots yourself, too. I'm a nurse, so probably feel more comfortable with it...but people learn to give themselves insulin shots. If it was an ongoing problem, I would ask the vet tech to teach me how to give it, and have the vet dispense it to me.

I live near a store called Farm and Fleet, where I can actually purchase penicillin, syringes, and even doses of vaccines for cats and dogs. It is mostly geared towards farm animals, but I would be able to pick up the med and syringes...just would need my vets ok before I would medicate my animals.

Something to think about for people with multiple skittish kitties!
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the ideas about the shots. Actually, I had a cat who was diabetic, so I'm an old hand.

The problem is that with this cat, I aspire to hard to handle. lol

She was extremely traumatized before I got her. They gave her to me hoping I could do something with her since I seem to have a way. I'm sort of her last hope. All she would do before this, no matter how many people tried to work with her, was curl into her bed with her head hidden, and would only come out to eat if nobody was around. And stopped using the litterbox completely. And she was attack anyone big time if they tried to get her. Even getting her here was a major problem, but we did it.

I've got her using the litterbox, and she's walking around at night as long as I 'm in the bedroom. She's even gotten to the point where she will stop at my bedroom door and meow and meow, and I'll meow back. She'll do that unless I move, which will make her run back into hiding. Slowly but surely....

However, trying to get a hold of her to give her a shot would undo everything, and the rescue agreed with me it wasn't worth undoing the progress she's making.

In fact, as of last night, she's started to eat from my cats' bowls, which are in the hallway and within my sight. And for the 1st time tonight, she picked up her head when I shifted, but didn't run and went back to eating. And she didn't hiss for the first time today when I put her food bowl down in front of her in her hiding place.

I'm so excited!

However, she did eat some of the tuna liquid today with the medicine, so I'm hoping she'll get used to it, and will be able to get more into her even tomorrow.

Thank you for all your advice and thoughts.

Hey, if anyone wants to see her, she's on the pals rescue list on petfinder, and I can give you the link!

She's really a pretty cat. But they understated her being "nervous" LOL I have big, giant, thick gloves to prove it (gloves I have sworn not to use if I can help it).
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
As requested, a more specific update...

Just some tuna water didn't outsmart her. lol However, I came up with an adjustment to that idea that worked perfectly.

I bought a few cans of a brand of chunk light tuna that I knew usually was fairly mushy, with very few, if any at all, real chunks in it. I would never buy that brand again for myself (once was enough) but it was perfect for this.

I poured the whole can, liquid and all, into a plastic container, then used a fork to smoosh it up even more. Then I put a few teaspoonfuls of that mush into her bowl, mostly liquid, but with some tuna mush along with it, mushy enough so it was almost a very thickish liquid. I put the medicine in that, and it worked. She inhaled it.

I added some more water to the mush and put it in the fridge until the next dose , so that water would become strongly flavored. I just heated the mush & liquid in her bowl in the microwave for about 12 seconds first to make it more palateable and smellier. And again, it worked great, I don't have to eat tuna for the next 20 years, and then, after she eats that, I feed her her regular food.

Somehow I feel like Dr. Frankenstein yelling "It's alive! It's alive!" LOL
post #16 of 17
That's great! I remember Lexi favored the tuna water from a particular brand best - of course it was only sold by an out of the way convenience store! I did the same thing adding water to the can to stretch it; I found that it only worked for one extra round, after that Lexi wouldn't touch it, I guess it wasn't concentrated enough after that.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier
That's great! I remember Lexi favored the tuna water from a particular brand best - of course it was only sold by an out of the way convenience store! I did the same thing adding water to the can to stretch it; I found that it only worked for one extra round, after that Lexi wouldn't touch it, I guess it wasn't concentrated enough after that.
that's why I put the water in right away before sticking in the fridge to give it time to "ripen." lol I can be as sneaky as them sometimes!

I also don't put in anywhere near as much water as I take out, so it won't be too diluted.

There is a downside to this though. Being a cat lover, you do know that some how, some way, when he finally decides I'm okay and he'll be my friend, that he will get his revenge. He'll pee the tuna water back into my shoes, most likely.

By the way (and I hope it's okay to do this here since it's a link and not a picture) if anyone wants to see the little lady, she's been listed on petfinder and you can meet her here: (she is a lot more orangey than the picture though).

http://www.petfinder.org/pet.cgi?act...25&tmpl=&stat=

A little shy? Understatement of the year. However, it seems that something happened in trying to get her situation with the adoption centers that traumatized her. Since the others didn't have anywhere near as diffiuclt a time, nobody is sure what.

But she really is beautiful and has an amazingly expressive face.

I wish I had the money to buy a place big enough to keep bunches of them.

Bunches.
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