Medical Care for Feral Cats

Sandkita

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Hello, I am totally a newbie on here. My husband and I bought our house and not long after we moved in I noticed a few skinny cats around. I can not stand to see any animal go hungry so I started to feed them. Shortly after that, the neighbors started to introduce themselves and tell me they noticed that I was feeding the cats...They were happy I was feeding them. We live in a cul de sac so about 6 neighbors. A few months passed and I was outside doing yard work when one of the neighbors started talking to me again. She proceeded to tell me that years ago there was a man who lived one street over who had 50 cats and he died. The cats were all released into the neighborhood. She told me that some of the neighbors were involved in the TNR program but there were some cats around that had grown up without spay/neuter. As I got to know the cats I was feeding I could see that they were clipped on their left ears. I was happy. Then I noticed 2 males that were not neutered. It has been a difficult time to trap these two cats. Long story short, today I trapped one of the cats. He was in bad shape and I have been trying to trap him for 4 months. I knew he was injured but didn't know how it happened. Today he was neutered, received his rabies shot, antibotics shot, another shot for ear mites (that was the problem with him- bad shape). I was told that the shot would last 3 months. He is also positive for Feline Aids:( He needs a week to recover so I have made a cat condo for him to recuperate in and have him in a quiet, dry place to do so. He only came close to me in the last few months because he was in such bad shape and he knew I would feed him. I have about 8 ferals every day now who show up like clock work for food/water. I have made shelters for them as well in my yard for colder weather. My question is cat health. What can I do to help keep them healthy in summer with tick, fleas, ear mites? I have researched and found that some people use Capstar, dewormer, and injectable ivermectin, all because these products can be used on feral by adding to their food. I would love to hear comments or suggestions on anything I can do moving forward. I have the one male left to neuter but now I have to wait for the clinics to open because of Covid and today was an exception because of the injuries to the cat. Thanking anyone in advance who can point me in the right direction:)
 

di and bob

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It sounds like you are doing great! Bless you for caring for them. You are absolutely right to have them all spayed, neutered, it pretty much stops the fighting with the males that always seems to cause abscesses and the endless kittens in the females. don't treat for fleas, etc., except when there is evidence they have them, scratching, scabs, etc. some preventatives that are topical can be used, they are a little more expensive but well worth it. Get them on the internet, they are about half the price. You would have to be able to stroke them and quickly apply it high up on their neck, almost between the ears, because if they twist and klick it, it causes horrible foaming at the mouth. Getting to know a good vet is imperative. Mine will prescribe antibiotics over the counter for injuries and illnesses, without having you bring in the animal because they are feral. Many will not. Your older ones are most likely strays, which means they have had some human contact and can be petted eventually, those born into the wild are much harder to treat. Cats are very tough, I Have seen horrible injuries that I just knew were fatal and they survived. Often they just need food and shelter while they are recovering. Please continue to join us and tell us what you learn!
 

shadowsrescue

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Is it possible that you keep this cat inside and socialize him? Being FIV+ (feline aids), he will have a harder time being outside. If he gets sick his immune system will be lowered and each infection will be more difficult to fight off. Also the risk of him spreading it to other feral cats if he were to get into a fight.

I have 2 former feral cats living inside my house (along with 4 others) who are FIV+. Feeding them the best food I can afford and using products to help keep their immune system strong has really helped them.
 

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Hi. I agree with both of the above! If this cat you just had neutered didn't have worms present, you can probably hold off on worrying about the other cats. Ditto about the fleas. But, ear mites are pretty contagious, so at least ask your vet if it is likely that the other cats have them too, or is it possible that this little guy is more susceptible given his FIV status? You could probably hold off taking any further action in this area until you trap the other cat and find out whether or not he has ear mites too.

I also think that making this cat a indoor pet is in his best interests because of he is FIV+. These cats can live long healthy lives, but their odds are greatly increased when they are indoor pets.

Good luck and keep us posted!
 
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Sandkita

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Is it possible that you keep this cat inside and socialize him? Being FIV+ (feline aids), he will have a harder time being outside. If he gets sick his immune system will be lowered and each infection will be more difficult to fight off. Also the risk of him spreading it to other feral cats if he were to get into a fight.

I have 2 former feral cats living inside my house (along with 4 others) who are FIV+. Feeding them the best food I can afford and using products to help keep their immune system strong has really helped them.
 
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Sandkita

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We have two small dogs one of which does not like any cat other than her sister cat who is 16 years old unfortunately. I wish there was a way:( Our two dogs and cat are all seniors with each one having their own medical issues too:(
 
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Sandkita

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Hi. I agree with both of the above! If this cat you just had neutered didn't have worms present, you can probably hold off on worrying about the other cats. Ditto about the fleas. But, ear mites are pretty contagious, so at least ask your vet if it is likely that the other cats have them too, or is it possible that this little guy is more susceptible given his FIV status? You could probably hold off taking any further action in this area until you trap the other cat and find out whether or not he has ear mites too.

I also think that making this cat a indoor pet is in his best interests because of he is FIV+. These cats can live long healthy lives, but their odds are greatly increased when they are indoor pets.

Good luck and keep us posted!
 
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Sandkita

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I want to help this poor cat. We have a room for him in a space underneath our house. You can stand up in it and it is a large space and has a thick plastic insulation floor..the rest of the walls are the brick foundation. It is nice and cool there too. Our house is tiny and we have 3 senior pets; two small dogs who are 8 & 11 years old and a cat who is 16 years old. One of the dogs will not tolerate any other cat except his brother Charlie sadly:( Do you have any advice of what I can do while this feral cat is recuperating? I want to keep him quiet and resting for at least a week but after that I am at a loss as to what I can do. It is just so sad:(
 
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