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Taking care of sick homeless cat

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
A homeless cat was hanging around my house for a few weeks. I thought he had a home because he is pretty big and looked relatively healthy. Then the more he hung around I wondered whether he really did not have a home. Finally I realized he was homeless when I got up close to him (he was hiding under our car) and saw blood dripping down his face. I did not realize the extent of his injury then at all. I started feeding him and set a trap (hav-a-hart trap) and caught him pretty quickly.

He has been to the vet and his injuries have been treated. I also had him neutered, de-wormed, de-flea'd and vaccinated - the works! Both his ears are missing and he still looks a total mess though they did clean him up a bit. He stinks like mad too. The smell is that of an unneutered male cat. I have never in my life smelt that before - it's pretty disgusting. He is not grooming himself at all as he is still not in great shape.

He is in my basement in a large cage right now. He is eating and drinking but otherwise seems totally miserable. He is incredibly timid. When I put the food in the cage he turns away from me and does his best to bury his head.

I am worried about the fate of this little guy. I cannot keep him because my male cat will not accept another male. And my parents do not want another cat (I live with my parents). My father is worried I am going to start turning his house into a local pet rescue centre.

The poor little guy. I don't even know how much of a pet he would be as he's been homeless his whole life. The vet estimated he is five years old.

I am keeping him here as he recovers and I am trying to figure out what to do next with him. He is still a mess. I went down to feed him tonight and I was just so upset looking at him I started crying. He is missing both ears and just looks miserable.

Is there anything I can do to make him more comfortable as he recovers? What should I do about finding a home? Is there a chance he will be friendly enough to adopt out? I am worried I won't find him a home and I just can't bring myself to give him to the humane society. I am worried no one will want him because of his appearance. What should I do? Any advice at all would be appreciated.

Thank you so much.

post #2 of 18
Poor guy - you are so good to take him in! On the smell, if he has just been neutered then it will be a week or two - maybe even three before the hormones start to settle and the very 'male' smell disappears. He is probably just very dirty too, and it will take some time for him to clean himself throroughly. I don't recommend you bath him yet - that would probably result in a lot of scratches for you and him losing his trust in you for ever. Have you talked to the vet about finding him a home? Sometimes they can help or recommend a no-kill organisation. Good luck with him!
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your reply. I didn't know it took a few weeks for the hormones to settle down

I will ask the vet. I am also asking around basically to everyone I know. I know someone who said her parents might be willing to take him in (they own a farm with several cats and he might be happy there). I am going to just keep asking around. The poor guy has been through so much I just want him to find a good home and be happy and healthy - he really needs some TLC.

post #4 of 18
Now when he is neutered he will be easier to get pal with other cats. So perhaps even your cat will accept him.

It is OK as now to have him in the cage in the cellar. So he will cool down, stress down, get down - and begin to recover and wash himself... And the socialisation will work.

Keep in touch so you will get advices....

good you are giving food etc - this will learn him you and humans are nice fellows...

You are doing a great job, especielly as I suspect all the veterinary treatment was from your own pocket...

Please, do accept my blessings.
post #5 of 18
Originally Posted by writergirl

He is in my basement in a large cage right now. He is eating and drinking but otherwise seems totally miserable. He is incredibly timid. When I put the food in the cage he turns away from me and does his best to bury his head.
Im keeping thinking on this. Yes, he is kind, but his timid is not = him tame. He is probably a shy semiferal who went to you because he knew he needed help.

Does he have somewhere to hide?? Very important, especielly if they ARE shy and thrice as important if they shy semiferals.
a cat Igloo would be excellent. Or make a blanket so it will be as a cat igloo.
Or set in a cat-carrier.

Or take a cartoon-box, lay it on side, preferably put in there something nice to lay on... (hope you understand this, english not my native languagee).

Good luck, Erica!
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply. Yes, I gave him a little place to sit in a cardboard box so he can hide there if he wants. I also have the cage mostly covered with a light sheet. He isn't moving around much but he is eating quite a bit so I think that is a good sign. He also drinks water too.

post #7 of 18
Aw, the poor little guy. It's amazing that you took him in and are helping him. You are truly a blessing in his eyes
post #8 of 18
Excellent, Erica!
There are two quick and fairly easy ways to make a feral a tame cat: 1. take him/her when young, 2-7 weeks. 2. Take in him/her when sick, and take care. The cat socializes quick, sometimes almost immediately, to hishers rescuer.

I believe therefore it will go fairly quick for you Erica, especielly as he is now neutered.

There are of course also other ways to socialize a feral/semiferal cat, but they are all slower...
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies you guys. It's going okay so far. He is eating and drinking and he likes to sit in the cardboard box. I changed his blankets as they were dirty. He still isn't grooming himself (not that I have seen) and he is pretty dirty. When I brought the mom cat (Isabelle) home she was filthy so I'm sure this isn't unusual.

I talked to him a little bit and he turned his head around and looked at me so maybe he is getting a little less scared (I hope!).

I hope he is getting some rest and sleep. He sure needs it.

post #10 of 18
You know about the not looking directly at the cat (=hostile in cats world); look a little aside. If you look direcly, blink slowly or look with half closed eyes like friendly cats do. Do yawn a lot. (yawning cats arent usually either lazy or sleepy, its a way to show friendliness). Strech on you sometimes...

good you dont try to wash him as yet, it is better he can stress down, cool down and "land".
post #11 of 18
Erica, you are such an angel for helping this cat! Your patience will pay off and I am sending {{{prayers and vibes}}} that you find him a happy home. I hope that he will be neutered soon - the fact that his ears are missing could be evidence of foul play at the hands of some perverted monster, and no wonder the poor guy is scared to trust humans again. Perhaps you could use your writing skills to contact some newsreporter in your area to see if they could begin a story on a cat. If this made news, there might be some good responses; there are some very nice homes that are available for such hard-luck cases, it's making the connection that's tough. I wish that it didn't take such sad stories to get more people to respond, but that is human nature. Please keep us updated! Susan
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips. I will keep you updated on his progress He seems to be doing a bit better today.

Catsknowme- I got him neutered when I took him to the vet to get his injuries treated.

post #13 of 18
It's possible that your "old" cat will become friends with the "new" cat. The only way to know is to introduce the two of them. Since the new kitty is in a cage, you could bring the old cat down (wrapped in a towell to save cuts/scratches/bites) and let him see the newbie. Cats continue to amaze me with their predictible unproductibility.
post #14 of 18
You are amazing to take such time and effort into this poor kitty. I have no advice, since you have gotten plenty, all of it good, I just wanted to say that, and offer good wishes for you and kitty.
post #15 of 18
It takes a couple weeks for the cat odor to disappear when you get a male neutered. After that your odor will disappear.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Apparently the odor was coming from his ears. I didn't know this but the vet told my parents that his ear was gangrene! He wouldn't have survived long out there because of the infection. So that's what the smell is/was about. I just checked on him today and there is no odor.

I just picked up antibiotics for him from the vet. We have to give him one pill twice daily for 2 weeks. They said it is okay to crush it up and put it in his wet food. The vet expects he will make a full recovery.

post #17 of 18
Its so good of you to take in this cat good luck
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks Randdom. He is doing a bit better. He's been on antibiotics for a few days now and he is more alert!

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