Need help/advice on feral cat in quarantine

Cocoa0702

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Hi all, I've been feeding and caring for strays/ferals for a while. One cat went missing and I knew it was unlike him. I posted a picture of him and found him. He was attacked by a coyote and a nice lady got medical care for him. I currently have him in my basement in a crate (two crates put together) and was told I must keep him in there for 4 months because he was not vaccinated for rabies prior to the attack. I feel so bad keeping him in the crate - but I have two other cats and dog. It's been since March 11th and he has shown no signs of rabies and healed of his wounds already. He has been deemed feral (they tipped his ear) and told me he must be released outside in July. Seems so cruel to keep him in the crate. Is there anything more I can do for him?
 

fionasmom

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CDC - Veterinarians: Caring for Animals With Potential Exposure - Rabies
The four month window is a CDC regulation; if you scroll down approximately half way, you will see it.

CDC - Domestic Animals - Rabies.
But then there is the above statement.

There is a lot more on this page from the CDC if any of it would help.

This may be based on the fact that the cat is considered to have been exposed to rabies by the coyote, which is a different situation from an unvaccinated pet dog who bites someone but can be quarantined for observation for 10 days. No one suspects that the dog actually has rabies, so the quarantine is a precaution AND the dog has not been attacked by an animal who might have rabies but taken off after the bite. In most parts of the US, pet dogs are not considered to be a rabies vector; in LA county, a stray feral cat is not considered a rabies risk; only bats.

Here is what I am wondering. We at TCS cannot tell you to ignore the directives regarding rabies which were given to you by your vet in accordance with state or federal guidelines. However, you might make some calls and ask if the long quarantine is necessary in your case, ask if the cat could be reevaluated by the vet if applicable, and you might ask about the crating. The wording says "in strict quarantine" and does not say in a crate. Depending on your property, could he be confined to a room or at least allowed out of the crate? Is your basement guaranteed off limits to anyone else in the house, including animals? You must have some contact with the cat because you feed him and clean up after him?

Animal control is involved in your case, so be cautious how you proceed. Thank you, and the woman who provided medical care for the cat, for helping him. Please let us know how this turns out.
 

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I would serious consider blocking off the basement from your other pets and letting that area, or at least a portion of it, be his quarantine area, if that is at all possible. The only thing you need to do is cat-proof the area so that he cannot hide or get into things that could injure him. There are ways to build a blockade that would enable you to give him more space, but not necessarily the entire basement. If you consider this an option, I will explain more later.

When you are making your calls about the conditions of quarantine, ask what the protocol is for vaccination. I know in some areas, a rabies vaccine is given at the onset of quarantine - not as a way to prevent the cat from acquiring rabies, but as a way to begin protection from rabies if the cat clears the quarantine time. I would also ask about the 'requirement' to release him outside after quarantine, if that is not your preference.
 
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Cocoa0702

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Thank you for the information. I do have to be very cautious because the first vet wanted to euthanize the cat and the person that found him took him to Feral Advocates and Cat Trappers because he was injured - but not seriously. He had claw wounds but they have healed. He is a very lucky cat to have survived the attack. FACT put on his paperwork "Quarantine 4-months" He seems healthy and is a big eater. He's now neutered and vaccinated. Hopefully he will remember my yard and the thought of leaving him in a crate really bothers me. I may let him out in the cellar to walk around and will make sure the animals stay upstairs.
 
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Cocoa0702

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I would serious consider blocking off the basement from your other pets and letting that area, or at least a portion of it, be his quarantine area, if that is at all possible. The only thing you need to do is cat-proof the area so that he cannot hide or get into things that could injure him. There are ways to build a blockade that would enable you to give him more space, but not necessarily the entire basement. If you consider this an option, I will explain more later.

When you are making your calls about the conditions of quarantine, ask what the protocol is for vaccination. I know in some areas, a rabies vaccine is given at the onset of quarantine - not as a way to prevent the cat from acquiring rabies, but as a way to begin protection from rabies if the cat clears the quarantine time. I would also ask about the 'requirement' to release him outside after quarantine, if that is not your preference.
Yes, I can make sure the other cats do not go in the basement, but it will need to be cat proofed. Too many areas he can get into and not come out. I would love any ideas to build a blockade to give him more space. He was given a rabies vaccine at the onset of quarantine. FACT wants to come back in July and release him in my yard because that’s where he’s been staying for 2 years. I’d love to keep him indoors, but they deemed him totally

feral - and to keep him away from other cats.
 

FeebysOwner

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I would love any ideas to build a blockade to give him more space.
Here (see pic below) is an example of a blockade that can be made for any sized opening - even across a room if need be. It is made from shelving that can be bought at many home improvement stores. Set the shelving on its side and zip tie each segment of the shelving to make a 'foldable door'. The shelving can be cut to most any height that you want or need. All you have to do gain access to either side of the blockade is to fold a segment back. This type of shelving can made to go across doorways too. It can also be secured to walls/doorways using command hooks and strings/ropes/ties of most any kind. Then, you just slip the tie off the command hook for access and replace the tie on the hook when you want to close it up again.
Shelving blockade.png
 

fionasmom

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Once he is released into your yard and the case is closed, can you then bring him in if you would like?

He is lucky not to have been euthanized. In some states, indoor unvaccinated cats are euthanized if there is a rabies incident, like a bat getting into the house.
 
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Cocoa0702

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I'd love to keep him indoors if he wants to. Not sure he likes me very much anymore being in the crate. Poor thing has been through so much.
 
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Cocoa0702

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Here (see pic below) is an example of a blockade that can be made for any sized opening - even across a room if need be. It is made from shelving that can be bought at many home improvement stores. Set the shelving on its side and zip tie each segment of the shelving to make a 'foldable door'. The shelving can be cut to most any height that you want or need. All you have to do gain access to either side of the blockade is to fold a segment back. This type of shelving can made to go across doorways too. It can also be secured to walls/doorways using command hooks and strings/ropes/ties of most any kind. Then, you just slip the tie off the command hook for access and replace the tie on the hook when you want to close it up again.
View attachment 446561
Thank you!
 

FeebysOwner

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FeebysOwner FeebysOwner ... Is this something a really determined cat could climb and get over? Or have you put something on the cat side of it to prevent that?
If it goes to the ceiling, can't imagine a cat could get out over the top, but... As I said, there would likely have to be 'supports' (command strips or something more permanent) on each side of the blockade, probably at least 3 of them from top to bottom, to secure it to the walls, so the cat can't push it away from the walls and get out one of the sides.
 
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Cocoa0702

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Here's another idea of a cat screen :-

page-391(post #7,820)
I bought one of those outdoor enclosures (inexpensive from Chewy) an hoping to get him in a cat carrier and sit outside with him everyday until quarantine is up. Every time I tried to get him in the carrier he would run to the other side of the crate. I'm keeping these cat screen ideas incase the outdoors enclosure does not work out. Trying to break up the crate time for him, poor baby doesn't understand that :(
 
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