Coughing Feral I can't trap again

Kristin_Happy Texan

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On a game cam video from July 31st I noticed that our feral cat, Verbena, was coughing.


I figured it was a hairball, so I got her some hairball remedy paste from Tractor Supply.
Unfortunately, she REFUSES to take it. Verbena will - quite literally - jump back at the taste of it. It freaks her out every single time she comes in contact with it.

Since she's refused to take the paste, I started giving her Iams Hairball Remedy dry food. (She also get's a little canned food, which she does love. She always eats that, but if the paste is in there she'll eat around it). She doesn't seem to care for the new Iams dry food though. She barely touches it.

I'm going to try the hairball remedy treats next, which I also saw at Tractor Supply. (Freakin' expensive by the way. Even the paste was ridiculous). I'm hoping she'll eat that either as a stand-alone treat or mixed in with her wet or dry food. (The treats crumble, so I can sprinkle it in her food).

On this forum I've read that other options are:

- Coconut oil. (Edit: I tried this as well, and she avoids it like she does the paste. My Toy Aussie LOVES Coconut Oil more than treats, but the cat... nope).
- Non-flavored olive oil
- A dab of butter or a couple drops of olive oil

Are there any other suggestions I've missed? I don't even know if it's a hairball cough, and I can't trap her again and send her to a vet. (It took a year to trap her the first time to get her spayed, and she's very feral).

I just hope it isn't too serious. I want her to be as healthy as possible, but it is hard when I can't have any physical contact with her at all. All I can do is feed her on our porch every night and before sunrise every morning.

Thank You for any suggestions.

verbena.jpg


Kristin
 
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backwoodsvet

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Yea, anything that you can get in them that is slick will help even chunk light tuna in oil never hurts....I've used Sentry hairball relief for cats malt flavor paste a couple times a week for years, never had a hairball problem....You never said what kind it was, if it's not this one try it, I get it on e-bay, about 9-10 dollars....I've got eight cats here at the house and caring for 16 down the road and I've never seen any of them not gobble it right up, I just put a dab right on top of the wet, they act like it's a treat..........
 
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Kristin_Happy Texan

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It's Nutri-Vet Salmon flavor Paw Gel. All they had was that flavor in the gel, and then the Hairball Remedy treats. (I think it was also Nutri-Vet, but I don't recall the flavor).

As soon as I can - hopefully today - I'll stop by Tractor Supply again and get the treat version of it since that's all they had. I'll definitely keep the Malt flavor in mind, too. Maybe Walmart or HEB will have some. (I think I might have given the Malt flavor to my housecats back in the day. I just can't recall for sure. I think they loved all the hairball remedy gels I ever gave them).

I think I'll try the butter, and a 1/4 tsp raw egg yolk in Verbena's food one day as well. (I read that recently about the egg yolk. I just don't know which food to place it all in).

I honestly think she'll turn her nose up at this, too, but I HAVE to try something.

We're going to ask our dog's vet to prescribe her some flea meds, too. I've been wanting to do that forever. (Fleas could even be the cause of the cough. I don't know). The lady at the desk told us there was no flea pill/treat for cats, but that made zero sense to me because our dog's flea meds is a soft treat of sorts. (Which she loves). The lady at the desk said there were only flea drops for cats, which I can't give Verbena since she's so feral.

If they can prescribe flea med 'treats' for the cat, I'll be so glad. (Even though it's $30 a box! I guess that cancels out us getting a Rescue Dog companion for our Toy Aussie like we planned). Hopefully, Verbena will take the flea meds without problem.

And I do mean hopefully. Lol! From the very beginning Verbena has been teaching me patience, and an acceptance of my limitations regarding her care and well-being. It's just so hard to properly care for a cat that runs away from us and only wants us to feed her twice a day. Feeding her and giving her a dry/warm/cool place to stay - if the other ferals and wild critters don't run her off - is all I can do for her. (She often uses our barn when it gets cold, and we have a heat lamp in there. This year we hope to finally get a heater since last year they were out of stock). Also, she only lets me feed her. I think she's just used to me being the food lady, back when she had her kittens and all. Everyone else frightens her more.

She doesn't even hang out on our property during the day. After her spay, she now lives across the street at the house that no one's living in since the owner's died. I think she hangs out in their old shed or barn. (Which of course makes me worry about the fleas and ticks. At least in our barn it has a raised floor and isn't dirt).

I've also wondered if the cough is from the raccoons. They're always drinking the water we have out here and they are so filthy. I change the waters around here every single day, but they come in the middle of the night when it's out of my control to do anything. I can't even see them most of the time when they're out since it's so dark here at night.
 
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backwoodsvet

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Ya know I've never tried anything on hairball control but that Sentry malt flavor "petromalt"...never needed a change, I've been very happy with it and don't plan on changing...........OH, walmart does'nt carry the Sentry, don't know on that other store you mentioned, you can get it at the big pet stores, petsmart, etc.....I just get mine off ebay, a tube a month, most of the time the same seller...........
Wanted to comment on flea control that I use for a colony of 16 down the road at the dump...Half of them, I can't touch them no matter how many years I've feed them, just will always be feral AND they get within a few feet of me in a calm manner as long as I'm setting down those food plates every morning BUT the minute I try touching them, they move back....but long story short, this may be helpful to you....If you are unable to put regular flea drops on a cat, try Lufernuron with nitenpyram capsules mixed in wet food, if the cat is hungry at feeding time, they will gobble it right up, would not hurt to taste-mask a little just to be sure.....I get these capsules online from puppybutts.com located in texas, I've bought there for many years and they ship the next day....All you need is one capsule a month mixed in with wet.....It comes a bottle of 12 for $16.99 to your door.....The one your after is 2 in 1, Lufernuron 205mg. and Nitenpyram 12mg., that covers all cat sizes but no really young kittens......
Lufernuron is something that breaks the flea life cycle.......
Nitenpyram is something that will kill fleas the moment they bite and drop off the animal, but it only works for 24hrs But it will get fleas off a infested cat right now, starts working in 20 minutes.......
downfall on this is these two does nothing for ticks BUT when your dealing with strays that you can't touch, it's a whole lot better than nothing.......
 
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Kristin_Happy Texan

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Ya know I've never tried anything on hairball control but that Sentry malt flavor "petromalt"...never needed a change, I've been very happy with it and don't plan on changing...........OH, walmart does'nt carry the Sentry, don't know on that other store you mentioned, you can get it at the big pet stores, petsmart, etc.....I just get mine off ebay, a tube a month, most of the time the same seller...........
Wanted to comment on flea control that I use for a colony of 16 down the road at the dump...Half of them, I can't touch them no matter how many years I've feed them, just will always be feral AND they get within a few feet of me in a calm manner as long as I'm setting down those food plates every morning BUT the minute I try touching them, they move back....but long story short, this may be helpful to you....If you are unable to put regular flea drops on a cat, try Lufernuron with nitenpyram capsules mixed in wet food, if the cat is hungry at feeding time, they will gobble it right up, would not hurt to taste-mask a little just to be sure.....I get these capsules online from puppybutts.com located in texas, I've bought there for many years and they ship the next day....All you need is one capsule a month mixed in with wet.....It comes a bottle of 12 for $16.99 to your door.....The one your after is 2 in 1, Lufernuron 205mg. and Nitenpyram 12mg., that covers all cat sizes but no really young kittens......
Lufernuron is something that breaks the flea life cycle.......
Nitenpyram is something that will kill fleas the moment they bite and drop off the animal, but it only works for 24hrs But it will get fleas off a infested cat right now, starts working in 20 minutes.......
downfall on this is these two does nothing for ticks BUT when your dealing with strays that you can't touch, it's a whole lot better than nothing.......
We ordered the Malt flavor yesterday, online. Hopefully she'll love it.

THANK YOU for mentioning the flea control. If the vet won't prescribe something I can sneak into her food, I'm sure we'll try that instead. It's really been a worry with us, because of where we live. (Texas). Florida is the same, so I know you understand what I mean. Fleas, etc we just don't want to mess with.
 

backwoodsvet

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Yes, when it comes to strays, fleas/ticks is the thing I deal with the most....That Lufernuron 205mg/Nitenpyram 12mg 2in1, works very well for me with strays, just once a month, mixed in wet(no taste-masking needed) they gobble it right up AND the only site on that I can vouch for is puppybutts.com in corpus christi, I've probably bought from only them for about 5 years now..............
The only other thing that I could suggest on treating fleas on strays that you can't touch at all and I use to do it this way back when I only had half the amount of strays but got too expensive for me and switched to the Lufer/Niten(half the price as drops) IS IF your stray will let you put down wet and start eating right away WHILE you are still just a few feet away croched down AND don't mind you being that close while she's busy getting into that wet, try to be as fast as you can but no quick moves, snip open that flea drop tube and reach over to the proper shoulder area and get within 1 or 2 inches from her fur and pour away as quietly as possible, if your good at it, she won't even flinch....Don't make skin contact with the applicator OR she will be leary of any arm reach over her without suspicion...If you get good at applying drops that way, you will be all set AND get those ticks too...........
 
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Kristin_Happy Texan

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Yes, when it comes to strays, fleas/ticks is the thing I deal with the most....That Lufernuron 205mg/Nitenpyram 12mg 2in1, works very well for me with strays, just once a month, mixed in wet(no taste-masking needed) they gobble it right up AND the only site on that I can vouch for is puppybutts.com in corpus christi, I've probably bought from only them for about 5 years now..............
The only other thing that I could suggest on treating fleas on strays that you can't touch at all and I use to do it this way back when I only had half the amount of strays but got too expensive for me and switched to the Lufer/Niten(half the price as drops) IS IF your stray will let you put down wet and start eating right away WHILE you are still just a few feet away croched down AND don't mind you being that close while she's busy getting into that wet, try to be as fast as you can but no quick moves, snip open that flea drop tube and reach over to the proper shoulder area and get within 1 or 2 inches from her fur and pour away as quietly as possible, if your good at it, she won't even flinch....Don't make skin contact with the applicator OR she will be leary of any arm reach over her without suspicion...If you get good at applying drops that way, you will be all set AND get those ticks too...........
I might be able to do that one day with a semi-feral or stray, but Verbena has never been less than around 14 feet or so from me. She'll wait on the porch - even right by the door on the rug when it's cold out - until she sees me fixing to open the door to go outside and feed her. She runs off several feet, or to the middle of the yard, and just watches. She does start walking to the porch the second my back is turned as I start walking inside, so at least there's some level of trust there. Just not enough to get close to her.
 

backwoodsvet

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From your last post, sounds like you need to just keep working on what I call "time and trust".....she'll keep getting closer and closer and you probably do this at around the same time which is quite helpful to the cat....just keep it up and she'll finally come up and start eating the moment your putting that food down....That would certainly open up the option of using flea drops on her BUT all this is going to take time, don't get in a hurry.....Until then I would consider getting that Lufenuron/Nitenpyram in her to least get the fleas off and break their cycle up, but that's all up to you.........
Thank you for Caring, so many don't...........
 

backwoodsvet

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Just as a reminder, when you get that Sentry hairball relief, just a couple of dabbs on top of that wet should do it, once a day for about the first 2-3 days, then back off to about twice a week is what works for me.......It's normal for the paste to look like it melting on top of the wet(gets a little runny).....I use a small spoon to shear off small dabbs and let it land on the wet as I slowly squeez the tube........When you get to this point, you'll know what I'm talking about...........
 
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Kristin_Happy Texan

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The Malt flavored hairball remedy arrived. She will only take it when it's mixed with her wet food, so I would consider that a success. (I don't know if it's better for them to lick the gel directly from their paw, etc but at least she ingests it at all. I spread a little extra on her food plate, barely hidden by a tiny amount of food on top.... but of course she just left it there for the ants to consume instead). I'm thrilled she takes it at all because with the other brand - salmon flavored - she literally jumped back from her food plate and up into the air. It was like watching a cartoon. Lol! She even hesitated to eat anything off the plate for a couple minutes).

She does like the butter mixed with her wet food, so that's good too. (She's extremely picky with anything new, so I was relieved).

Unfortunately, this morning I could hear her coughing again. I'm beginning to think it's upper respiratory. I don't know if it would do anything, but I think I'll give her Colloidal Silver next, mixed in some drinking water. (HOPEFULLY she'll take it from a small bowl on the porch since the raccoons muck up the other water dish every night).

I'm just at my wit's end to help her. I don't have many options since she's so feral that I can't go anywhere near her. (And she only comes by here to eat in the morning and evening).

Has anyone here had success with colloidal silver for a cat? (I read that it's mostly used for them with skin infections, and if it's respiratory you use a nebulizer of sorts... which obviously I can't do).

Sorry for rambling. I'm just worried about her. (And my dog. We've been having trouble with scorpions lately and I can't stand the thought of her getting bitten again like she was a couple months ago. I got a black light the other day, to help hunt them down at night, and last night there were so many! I just let her use the puppy pads).
 

backwoodsvet

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Some seem to like the petromalt the more they taste it over time, I never(knock on wood) see any hairball coughing on mine, sometimes a sneez from one further into the winter, that's were vitamin C will start to be used, it works well for colds and for prevention of colds......

If you ever decide that the issue is not a hairball, and think your dealing with upper-resp., you could try some Spring Valley L-lysine 500mg. tablets right now, it will not hurt a healthy cat..... I get mine at wal-mart, crush-up one tablet a day mixed into wet food, no need to taste-mask this one, it's tasteless....
I keep L-lysine and use it on FHV-1 infected strays(thankfully have'nt seen that in a while), it really does a very good job on outbreaks, which makes me think hopefully your not dealing with FHV-1....To check on that, you'd have to keep an eye out for outbreaks in the face area, these outbreaks will not show up daily but maybe once or twice a week...IF your able to get a daylight look at the face, watch for what looks like scratch marks from a fight days ago and the marks will look already scabed over, that's an outbreak and those mars will be gone the next day.......
L-lysine seemed to help my stray with asthma until I got him on a real asthma regiment, but that's a whole other story, right now ya need to decide weather were dealing with a hairball, FHV-1, small case of asthma or just maybe a simple cold......
The hairball we would know in a week if it consumes that petromalt daily......
FHV-1 you'll know by watching the face, for about 2 weeks should do it........
IF we decide it's got some asthma going on, I can help you with that.........
If it's a simple cold, half of a 500mg. vitamin C capsule mixed in wet food daily, taste-masking required here, it's pretty bitter stuff, you would see a difference in a couple days............

Keep us informed of what you observe.............
 
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Kristin_Happy Texan

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Some seem to like the petromalt the more they taste it over time, I never(knock on wood) see any hairball coughing on mine, sometimes a sneez from one further into the winter, that's were vitamin C will start to be used, it works well for colds and for prevention of colds......

If you ever decide that the issue is not a hairball, and think your dealing with upper-resp., you could try some Spring Valley L-lysine 500mg. tablets right now, it will not hurt a healthy cat..... I get mine at wal-mart, crush-up one tablet a day mixed into wet food, no need to taste-mask this one, it's tasteless....
I keep L-lysine and use it on FHV-1 infected strays(thankfully have'nt seen that in a while), it really does a very good job on outbreaks, which makes me think hopefully your not dealing with FHV-1....To check on that, you'd have to keep an eye out for outbreaks in the face area, these outbreaks will not show up daily but maybe once or twice a week...IF your able to get a daylight look at the face, watch for what looks like scratch marks from a fight days ago and the marks will look already scabed over, that's an outbreak and those mars will be gone the next day.......
L-lysine seemed to help my stray with asthma until I got him on a real asthma regiment, but that's a whole other story, right now ya need to decide weather were dealing with a hairball, FHV-1, small case of asthma or just maybe a simple cold......
The hairball we would know in a week if it consumes that petromalt daily......
FHV-1 you'll know by watching the face, for about 2 weeks should do it........
IF we decide it's got some asthma going on, I can help you with that.........
If it's a simple cold, half of a 500mg. vitamin C capsule mixed in wet food daily, taste-masking required here, it's pretty bitter stuff, you would see a difference in a couple days............

Keep us informed of what you observe.............
I am VERY interested in the L-lysine. I really appreciate you mentioning that stuff.

I think I'm just going to bite the bullet and get some. I would know more about her cough if my game camera would cooperate and actually work. Hardly ever will it turn on. I didn't hear her cough last night or this morning, but I don't hear it every single day. (And of course I only see her as I put out her food twice a day). When I do hear it it's AWFUL. I feel so bad for her.
 

backwoodsvet

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I suggested the L-lysine because it's something that you can get and apply asap.....I used it on Charley, the one with asthma while I was waiting for real asthma med's to arrive off the internet, almost a week, but I'm here to tell you that the L-lysine seemed to help his condition in that week of waiting....Several years ago I saw a FHV-1 infected stray have much less problems with outbreaks while keeping lysine mixed in his wet 3-4 times a week...Feline herpes virus is an upper-resp. issue AND in the FHV case, L-lysine made me a believer.....

I'm a daily caretaker of currently 16 strays/ferals and have been at this for 10 years now, I can only go by what I've seen and what I've dealt with over that time and I don't even want to tell what I've seen in those 10 years, ugly stuff that would bring tears to any cat lover's eyes......Over time I have tried to harder myself to these colony matters, I never know what I'm going to see during daily feedings....

If I had, show up at my colony, a cat as you describe, I would start L-lysine asap(dose as I described before) and watch everyday....IF you notice ANY improvement in like 2-3 days, PROBABLY should treat as if it's asthma...... once again L-lysine will not hurt healthy cat........

Thanks for caring.................
 

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Kristin_Happy Texan Kristin_Happy Texan
Over time, keep this in mind when it comes to on-going coughing, when it comes to hairballs, it's a daily or constant issue, when it comes to asthma, it could be days or even weeks between attacks.....

Thank you for caring AND for your time trying to make this cat's life better............
 
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Kristin_Happy Texan

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I could only find the 1000 mg of the L-lysine, so I'll just have to give her half of that. I'm going to put it in her canned food, along with the hairball remedy, tonight. (I wanted to this morning, but I think the cold weather changed her routine. I think she was in the barn instead. I haven't looked at the game cam footage yet, but the extra dry food I had in there was gone). At least she got the hairball remedy last night again. I just mix it into the canned food since that's the only way I can get her to eat it.
 
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CAUTION AGAINST VITAMIN C SUPPLEMENTATION IN CATS

Because the use of Vitamin C is suggested in this thread as a remedy against "a simple cold", a look at some reliable published material on this seems appropriate.


".....the A-B-C’s of vitamin C in pets......
  • Many pet owners reach for vitamin C, thinking it will help stave off...diseases. Unfortunately, no studies have shown this to be the case in cats....and sometimes can make things worse
  • humans require vitamin C from the diet....cats....make their own vitamin C....so even more reason not to supplement
  • Calcium Oxalate....
    Calcium oxalate stones can form in the bladder or kidney of...cats.*** What does that have to do with vitamins? Like we mentioned above, cats and dogs don’t require vitamin C in the diet. Even more importantly, if it is supplemented above and beyond what their own bodies are making, we may be providing an excess of vitamin C. What happens to this excess? It gets metabolized and excreted from the body through the urine in the form of oxalate. Too much of this oxalate in the urine and your cat or dog may have an increased risk for calcium oxalate stones that can form anywhere in the urinary tract from kidneys to bladder.

    D
    on’t always assume that just because something is ‘natural,’ it will always have a benefit! In the case of vitamin C, cats...don’t have a dietary requirement and too much can not only have the opposite effect of your goal, but could come with some painful and unexpected side effects"..............from Vitamin C - Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine - Tufts [my emphasis]
*** These "stones" are one type of the urine crystals often described where urinary blockages are discussed - this type of crystal is not dissolvable....they must be surgically removed.



backwoodsvet backwoodsvet - 250mg is double the amount of Vitamin C referenced on fivtherapy.com, a well known reference for the health management of FIV+ cats.....and, even then, the author writes
"Much is not known about long-term effects of most supplements in people, much less in cats. One phenomenon whose scope is still being uncovered is the conversion of antioxidants to prooxidants with prolonged use at substantial dosages. Short term behavior of supplements does not necessarily predict long term behavior. Likewise, demonstrable benefit against HIV or FIV is no guarantee that deficits are not created in other areas of health. Long term supplementation may also interfere with natural processes. Cats, for instance, manufacture their own Vitamin C and Melatonin. It has, for instance, been proposed that prolonged high dose supplementation with the first can create dependency and cause “rebound scurvy” in people who stop suddenly, particularly to the fetuses of expectant mothers. So it is at least conceivable that native production of Vitamin C (and Melatonin) might be affected by prolonged administration to a cat. With these possibilities in mind, rotating and discontinuous use of supplements is a concept one may wish to consider."​

- hope that's useful for you.
.
 

backwoodsvet

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W whiteshadow , thank you for that correct dosage in the use of vitamin C........Living in Florida I don't get to use vitamin C a whole lot BUT I'll always promote it, regardless of any study that says it does nothing.......I've always had good luck with it's use in prevention and treatment of colds in strays, which like I said, here in Florida, I don't see a lot of colds, I'm more in the line of prevention and I'll always go with what works for me and my colony...............
 
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