foster feral kitten suddenly freaked out after 1 week at my home, what should I do?

jendomoto

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My boyfriend and I rescued a 2 month old kitten in my neighborhood about a week ago, we named him Alfie.
We were planning to trap the mum and the two kittens together, but Alfie was limping and didn't seem energetic compared to its sibling, so we decided to bring him to the vet first.
Turned out he was possibly attacked by a crow and his wound was full of puss and was having a fever. The vet gave him injections and antibiotics.
The first two nights we kept him in the bathroom and since he was a bit week, although he was hissy we were able to hold him and spoon feed him.
Then we set him up in a playpen in our living room(we live in a small one bedroom apartment) with a little cat house, litter tray, food and water inside. He was meowing occasionally at night but for the most part he seemed ok and slept quite a lot during the day, we weren't able to pet him yet but he had no problem eating in front of us and we were getting a lot less hisses. He would play with a toy mouse and we tried moving him into the hallway at night to let him out of the pen to exercise a bit when we sleep, he seemed to making progress slowly.
Until we had to bring him back to the vet again after a week, when we were in the waiting room another cat was meowing non stop and I think that set him off and he meowed like crazy. And he also freaked out and pooped himself when the vet was checking on him, his fever still hasn't gone down, but his limping was a lot better. So we got a different antibiotics this time and we mixed it in his wet food like how we did for the past week, and as soon as he tasted the medicine he refused to eat the food, we tried putting just a pinch of the antibiotics in different kind of food but he just wouldn't eat it.
And that night he started to meow loudly non stop and was trying to break through the playpen. We had to move him back to the bathroom, and he was all hissy at us again. This morning when we checked on him he had pooped quite literally everywhere in the bathroom, he did pee in the litter box.
He has completely reverted to day 1 and was hissing at everything. We couldn't get him to take his antibiotics and he his freaking out now, what should I do..
 

Reina’s Kittens

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Yikes! You took on quite a task! I can only offer that kittens not only hiss from anger and fear, but also from pain. Your feral kitten doesn't sound like he feels well at all. He may just need some quiet, dark, alone time to rest and heal.
 
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jendomoto

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Also, if he pooped all over the bathroom, he must have eaten the food?
He does have an appetite so we gave him food without the medicine last night, he just wouldn't touch the food with medicine in it. Because we couldn't handle him it's practically impossible to get him to take pills, even if we got hold of him and force medicine down him it would be so terrifying and stressful for him too. I borrowed a 3 level cage from my local rescue group and hopefully with more vertical space he could relax a bit more
 

Reina’s Kittens

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Ahh I see. Maybe you could ask for a liquid version. I am surprised they expected you to give a feral some pills. Are they super tiny? I am glad you got the 3 level. Let him rest and calm down a bit before trying again. One thing I know is that if a cat gets hungry enough...but to make it easier, maybe you could get a can of real tuna in water and pour the juice over everything. One more possibility that I haven't tried personally is to get a pill popper. It seems be an edible that you can open and put the med inside. The cats then eat it like dry catfood. They are cheap too.
 

Reina’s Kittens

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They're called Pill Pockets by Greenies. They sell them at Walmart and pet stores. I also came across bacon flavored pill paste while looking for the name of the pill pockets lol.
 
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jendomoto

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Ahh I see. Maybe you could ask for a liquid version. I am surprised they expected you to give a feral some pills. Are they super tiny? I am glad you got the 3 level. Let him rest and calm down a bit before trying again. One thing I know is that if a cat gets hungry enough...but to make it easier, maybe you could get a can of real tuna in water and pour the juice over everything. One more possibility that I haven't tried personally is to get a pill popper. It seems be an edible that you can open and put the med inside. The cats then eat it like dry catfood. They are cheap too.
They gave us powder for the first week, and Alfie had no problem with that at all. But his fever still hasn't gone down so they gave us a stronger antibiotic which is still a powder, but that must tasted so bitter that put him off. We tried to wait until he gets super hungry, mixing it with real tuna, meat tube, everything basically, guess he is so sensitive even just a tiny bit of the powder he'd notice. We did got a liquid version to try, but I don't have high hopes for that. The pills would be the last resort I guess, really hope I don't have to force it down him. Thanks for the pill popper suggestion though, will definitely look into that.
 

Reina’s Kittens

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I wonder if it is not so much he can sense it in tuna etc., , but after the first time of tasting the bitter he doesn't trust the food now? Give him a little time. In the past I also had to be sure my cat didn't see me add it lol. Well it sounds like you are doing everything to help Alfie :clap2:. I am sure he will calm down with more quiet, darkness and relaxation. Do make sure he is drinking a lot of water to further help bring that fever down. I am keeping my fingers crossed!
 

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It might help to put a towel or dark (navy, brown, or black) coloured sheet over the three floor cage. This could make it more like a hide out for him.

I'm not sure how big the cage is but if you could find a double or queen sized dark coloured sheet and drape it over the top it would help him feel more secure.
 
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jendomoto

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Little update, Alfie is calmer now and he is going crazy with the toy mouse in the cage lol
Still a bit hissy when we get close to him, but generally not freaking out as much!
And good news he seems fine with the liquid medicine, we added half the amount to a wet food he hasn't tried before,
the wet food is for adult cats so I guess it's even smellier? He likes the juice and the wet food is quite saucy so fingers crossed he's gonna eat that for the upcoming days as well.
 
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jendomoto

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Hi everyone, I have a little update and a question here.
Alfie was walking no problem and seems to be doing ok with the new med.
Our local rescue group had another solo kitten around the same age, so Alfie and this new kitten are off to a new foster home together! We're so happy he's got a new friend!
So here comes the question, we have been looking for Alfie's mom and sibling, haven't seen them since we took Alfie in.
Earlier this week we finally saw them again and apparently someone has TNRed mom(YAY!),so we are trying to trap Alfie's sibling.
Problem is although we have been trying to feed them around the same time everyday, they just don't show up everyday, we would see them today and wouldn't see them for like a week. I guess they might be getting food somewhere else? But if mom was TNRed I assume they would haven taken the kitten too?
Any tips on how to get them to show up regularly? The place where we see them is around an apartment building so we couldn't just leave food out and wait.
 
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