Hypothermic Feral Cat

kmbishop111

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Joined
Feb 9, 2018
Messages
337
Purraise
518
Location
Arkansas
I'm looking for a detailed protocol for warming a hypothermic feral cat along with symptoms. I believe one of my ferals I lost last week was hypothermic. I warmed slowly, did everything I knew to do, but still lost him. It's gut wrenching to think there was something I could have done different to save him.
:disappointed:
 

silent meowlook

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
4,024
Purraise
7,664
Warming slowly with hypothermia is essential or you cause the body to go into shock. Sometimes using blankets provided they aren’t to heavy to inhibit breathing helps, as does keeping in a warm room instead of direct heat support.
How do you know the cat was hypothermic? How cold has it been outside?
When feeding, the cat needs to be of normal body temp first. Also temp must be checked every 15 minutes when rewarding to be sure not to warm too rapidly. This can be very challenging with a feral. It usually has to be very cold for a cat to suffer hypothermia. Or if the cat is wet, that can cause it as well.

The really sad thing is that sometimes the cat can be to cold to die and even though you are careful, warming slowly, once they get up to a certain temp they just die as if now they are warm enough to do so.

It is very sad that you lost that cat. I am sorry.
 

silent meowlook

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
4,024
Purraise
7,664
Unfortunately to check vitals on a feral is going to be hard. Symptoms would be a low body temp, low heart rate and blood pressure, or high heart rate and low blood pressure, pale gums, depressed state or coma, unresponsive.
Any cat thought to be hypothermic really needs a vet. A hypothermic cat is a cat in shock and they have to be treated for shock which includes monitoring all of the above plus blood values and IV fluids as well as different medications given IV for shock depending on what the vitals are and what the bloodwork shows.

Cats die from hypothermia in a hospital setting, there really is no way to manage it at home.
 

Kwik

Animals are Blessings
Top Cat
Joined
May 29, 2023
Messages
9,569
Purraise
18,764
Location
South Florida
Sad to say ,once a cat has hypothermia the survival rate is extremely low....anything below 45degrees is cold for a cat,32F and below is too cold . A well fed feral and warm shelter greatly increases their chances of survival ..... I've found far too many " frozen" cats in my lifetime when I lived up north ,it's tragic

I'm so sorry you lost one to freezing temps- no doubt you did everything you could to save him ,the best course of action is to bundle them up and rush them into an ER.... I've rushed many a hypothermic cat to the hospital,with hypothermia you have no problem with scooping them up as I'm sure you found out...... very few survived my friend

There's a big difference between a really cold cat and hypothermia as symptoms described above..... Can you provide warm shelters for these ferals,self heating pads under straw inside little houses or something?Prevention would be spectacular
 

silent meowlook

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
4,024
Purraise
7,664
My friend who feeds ferals makes them shelters out of really thick styrofoam boxes with straw in them. She gets the boxes from her local vet and pharmacies, as they get deliveries of vaccines snd such that are stored in styrofoam.
 
Top