Trapping Very Sick Cat

lesliel76

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Hi Everyone!

After years of not doing feral cat rescue I got involved in a situation that is really sad and stressful.

There is a sick feral a few blocks from my house. He is a mess, matted fur, drooling very skinny. Its heartbreaking. Me and some other people have been trying to catch to take to the vet most likely to get Euthanized

I think everyone thought he was too sick to put up a fight when trapping but it's been 3 days now of trying to get him.

It's a bit of a complicated situation, it's a block in Brooklyn and the cat lives mostly in the front on a somewhat busy street. There are other cats also. There are many feeders on the block, some not great neighbors that dont like the cats, and some care takers that care but maybe aren't as educated in rescue or cat help.

So I'm just curious if there is any advice on getting this guy. He is shockingly still eating which blows my mind bc he looks like a dead cat walking. So he could be food motivated if we can get the feeders to stop. But since hes sick hes not overly into food.

I put flyers out today and posted signs to not feed the cats today or tomorrow morning. We plan to set the trap tomorrow morning and hope to get him. Now he was scared off this afternoon when one of the caretakers used a net to try and get him. When you get close to him he runs away in general. We tried already to trap him but maybe made the mistake of sticking around instead of leaving.

I've been so stressed about this guy...lost sleep the last few nights. He is suffering and it needs to stop. I want him to get help as soon as possible.

I have to add one of the reasons I stopped doing this stuff is that emotionally I cant really handle it. The pain and guilt I feel for them is so extreme I havnt eatten properly and I've been really bummed out. My own indoor cat was really sick and finally recovery...but I'm having a hard time celebrating this with my mind on this poor suffering cat.

Any help is great!
 

maggie101

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When I set a trap I put a towel over it, towel where he walks in the trap and where he steps on it,smelly food like canned, decorate the top with flowers so it doesn't look like a trap. Put it in a spot cats like,quiet and no people passing by. A lot of cats stray or pets hide from strangers when they walk towards them so squat or even crawl. Can a rescue take him to be cared for and adopted?
 
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lesliel76

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Thanks Maggie some good advice.
A rescue is going to pay for the Vet. They will check him out to see what can be done but it looks bleak. Hes honestly the worst shape I have ever seen a cat. It is haunting me.

But if he does have a chance he will be returned to his location. I dont believe hes adoptable he lives outside and has a couple of other cat buddies. I am not sure he would do well inside.
 

movinintime

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Use oily fish like sardines or canned mackerel or even oil tuna or herring or salmon--cats LOVE salmon/salmon oil taste, yummy says my 2 monsters!!!

Cover trap asap as Maggie said. :)

Watch this trap asap when he's near it. If desperate enough for his food -- this'll do it! Please, if you get him, try to save his life at vets. I know it is easy to put down a cat but I would do all I can to stop!! so long as cat is eating. He WILL regain strength & be abe to be a barn cat in a farm at very worst. There are soo many kind ppl out there & you are 1 of them!! for even trying so hard.

Challenge yourself on this as if you believe in a Higher Power -- then he was for sure, not by chance, sent to you as a test I believe-- as was my 3 yrs of feeding, my feral outside here. I make mistakes some days & he doesnt like the food or the water gets too warm (in s. AZ 's...God forsaken AZ so summers are here already, help!! ::() but darn if I won't do anything to protect him.

If you really care & it seems you do, spare no physical expense be it you need to dive to catch him, haha, I'm kinda joking but not really, hehee..

Ok, oily fish for sure asap. Every sec counts & every day in Brooklyn??Oh my every heartbeat of his counts. Brooklyn & a busy street is like being in a barrel headed for NiagaraFfalls. It is ONLY a matter of time befOre you/HE in this case, goes over aka something happens to this poor forlorn kitty. Please help him asap tomMorow or soon as you can, TY from us all -- for caring for him & he NEEDS you. YOU ARE TRULY CALLED TO CHANGE A LIVING CREATURE'S LIFE ASAP & bigtime!!
 
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Jcatbird

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Try not to feel so helpless with this kitty. Cats have amazing recuperative abilities. It sounds like he still has a fair bit of fight in him so maybe it looks worse than it is. I have seen some that I was sure would not survive bounce back with love and care. Hold on to hope. Think positively unless you know otherwise because cats are experts at reading humans.
Camouflage definitely helps. Putting a trap inside a cardboard box can work. All cats love boxes. I had my best luck with a trap that I could trip myself. I let the cats go in and out freely to feed at first. A few days of that before I stood by and tripped it. Free and safe meals got them trusting the location. I know you feel rushed to get him but patience is always key.
Don’t assume he would not be adoptable. The ferals I thought most wild and feral, are now living as indoor happy cats. That cat may be an abandoned kitty too. Sometimes they have a harder time outside and therefore, look the worst. They also are totally grateful once they can trust a human again. Hang in there! I understand the pain of rescuing. Me too. The thing is, we do get burned out but if you can remain hopeful, it helps. Whatever the outcome, it is good getting the kitty into another place. My heart will be with you. :grouphug2: You have the support of many here. Write! Let us be your support as you need it.
 
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lesliel76

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Thanks guys. Sorry if I seem doom and gloom but there are several people working on this project with me ( cat rescuers) and they all also think he is not going to make it.

But no one is going to hurt him if he is savable. Like I said he will be checked out at a vet who works with the group. If they can do anything to help him he will get help.

Note this cat has lived its whole life on the street. He is bonded with his colony buddies. I don't think adoption is right for him but if it is the group is very committed to helping him.

We really need tips on trapping as even these very experienced trappers are struggling to get him with all the elements at play. We have several neighbors that are feeding that we cant control to stop. The busy street is an obstacle. When he darts he goes into backyards that are not accessible. This is a city. The yards are fences off and private property that we cant go scaling. Although we have done some of that! We have neighbors that are not happy about the cats and dont want us there. There are other cats that we dont want to trap it's not just him we set the trap and wait for. This is extremely complicated. I also dont live on this block or have a trust with these cats I also cant leave the trap unattended for too long as this is w city on a busy block(basically we are working on the sidewalk) and I dont want to put any cat at risk getting trapped and someone hurting or taking. Sorry I am very frustrated with the situation it's not black and white and wish it was in my yard or somewhere more quiet I could control the elements. I'm also mad these people allowed the cat to get so bad with out reaching out for help.

I am not very patient and feel the urgency to help him. His condition has left me feeling so sad that I want help for him ASAP. But yes we are going to continue to work at this as we have been the least few days.

Thanks for all your trapping advice. We will see what we can do.
 
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fionasmom

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The only thing I can add is to try something like KFC or any greasy fried chicken even like Banquet from a market if you can get it....or a market deli. That is always my go to trap bait.

These situations are terrible and I agree that they take a huge emotional toll on the caregivers. You have so many variables in place here that all you can do is to continue to try to trap this guy. I was glad to read that you do have a rescue working with you as it at least gives you some support from others in this terrible situation.

The net did not work, or the person who tried it was not adept at using one for which I am not criticizing them, and I don't know about a drop trap on a sidewalk in Brooklyn give the variables that can go with the use of those. I would try to disguise the trap as others have suggested and bait with the chicken.

If the cat needs to be put to sleep, you are still very kind to have taken an interest in a suffering animal to help it end that suffering. This is not exactly like trapping cute feral kittens who might have a life and home ahead of them. If he can be saved, so much the better.

I understand exactly where you are on this; I have baited traps for difficult or sad rescues and gone inside and taken Xanax myself just to get through it.
 
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lesliel76

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Thanks Fionasmom! I need a Xanax. This helps me that you shared this. The situation is so sad and his condition is burned into my head. I have been really struggling the last few days over this guy. If people saw his condition I think they might be more understanding of possible euthanasia. This is not what I want either but I do want him to not suffer anymore. He is really having a terrible time.

I do trust this vet that is lined up will help him if possible. No one wants to hurt him.

We were not successful today in fact right next to my sign asking to not feed for a day ,this morning was a big pile of food. We really have no chance.

Tomorrow a net attempt is going to be made again by the people that live on the block. I kind of did everything I could and dont have more to give. I'm still trying to rally people that could help by reaching out.

There is one guy people swear can help but I guess there is some political stuff involved and he will only come if the right people contact which happend today so that gives me some hope this isnt done yet.

I also saw this weighted throw net online that could work. I know this sounds terrible. Its expensive like 100 bucks but I would get. It will take a week however to get to me.

The last option is to just let this cat be. He will eventually get so sick he will be able to be handled and brought in but then there is really no hope.

I have one more organization I'm going to email today that could maybe help but I dont know what magic think they will have unless it's an aggressive physical approach. I'll let you know if anything happens but doesnt look great.
 

moxiewild

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Thanks Fionasmom! I need a Xanax. This helps me that you shared this. The situation is so sad and his condition is burned into my head. I have been really struggling the last few days over this guy. If people saw his condition I think they might be more understanding of possible euthanasia. This is not what I want either but I do want him to not suffer anymore. He is really having a terrible time.

I do trust this vet that is lined up will help him if possible. No one wants to hurt him.

We were not successful today in fact right next to my sign asking to not feed for a day ,this morning was a big pile of food. We really have no chance.

Tomorrow a net attempt is going to be made again by the people that live on the block. I kind of did everything I could and dont have more to give. I'm still trying to rally people that could help by reaching out.

There is one guy people swear can help but I guess there is some political stuff involved and he will only come if the right people contact which happend today so that gives me some hope this isnt done yet.

I also saw this weighted throw net online that could work. I know this sounds terrible. Its expensive like 100 bucks but I would get. It will take a week however to get to me.

The last option is to just let this cat be. He will eventually get so sick he will be able to be handled and brought in but then there is really no hope.

I have one more organization I'm going to email today that could maybe help but I dont know what magic think they will have unless it's an aggressive physical approach. I'll let you know if anything happens but doesnt look great.
I have never trapped in the type of environment you describe, so there may be limits to some of what I’m suggesting.

First though, what do your signs about feeding say? If they don’t clarify you’re trying to trap a sick cat, caretakers are going to think you’re just another person who doesn’t like the cats, and continue feeding anyway.

And honestly, I don’t know how I would react to a sign like that myself, even if you did clarify. I’m not comfortable at all with the idea of going 24 hours without feeding my colonies, especially over a sign with unknown origins and no personal communication with that person.

If I don’t feed my guys, then they’re going to venture elsewhere to find food, and this presents all sorts of dangers - especially if it’s near a busy street.

If I also have a cat that’s sick, or pregnant, or I have kittens around, I am even more hesitant to withhold food.

I’d rather work with the person... monitor my feedings so I can shoo away the target cat, or even help trap. But based on a sign alone, I probably wouldn’t stop feeding. Maybe add to the sign the rescue that’s involved so they can request more information?

What exactly has been tried to catch this cat? Regular trap?

What about a drop trap? Large animal trap? Dog crate? Pet carrier? What kind of bait has been tried? Have you covered the trap? Camouflaged it in shrubbery? Placed two traps side-by-side facing opposite ends?

Is the cat not coming around when you trap? Is he interested but won’t go in? What exactly is the problem (sorry if I missed it!)?

Netting is extreme and usually the last of the last resorts. Especially a throw net. I’d rather put that money toward a drop trap.

Is anyone feeding this cat on a schedule that you know of?
 
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lesliel76

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Hi Yes the signs stated we are trying to trap a very sick cat, and in an effort to do so we need to get him hungry to trap. I explained that we will be trapping humanly and then getting him to the vet, and getting him the help he needs. We only asked to not feed for 12 hours from the night to morning, so it wasn't a long time. I put in all the doors and up on trees etc on street.

We have been on the block for several days now, and anyone who asked what we were doing we communicated our project. Many people know this sick cat and have seen all winter, but hadn't done anything about it. I have no idea how he keeps surviving.

Things that were tried, regular trap, tupperwear bins, towel thrown over, netting. Drop trap as not been tried yet, as we didn't have one. There was a lady who had one, but she didn't volunteer her time to bring it down. Traps have been covered etc to help make look good. Bait was changed every time it got old. Tuna juice added treats leading up to it, fancy feast, smelly foods the works.

Many many people are feeding, like people who don't even live on the block just randomly come and throw food down. I have noticed this before when I walk home from work on this block but now I am like wow there are so many feeders.

The cat wont even go near the trap, he was fixed before with a trap so he might be trap shy.

The cat is not that interested in food either because of all the feeders and him being sick. Sick cats don't eat, I just had a very sick cat in my home and I went crazy trying to get him to eat.

I don't live on the property, like I mentioned we basically are working with the sidewalks. I don't have control over elements to be able to get him on a schedule to watch him like I could if he were in my yard. There are caretakers that live on the street, but they are not as dedicated to this, I guess as I would be, even though they do care and have tried.

There is one last ditch effort of someone going with a drop trap tomorrow, this lady is very experienced. The guy that everyone thought could help hasn't responded to anyone. I reached out to another organization last night but its a long shot especially with Covid, most of the normal cat trapping efforts have been shut down for the moment.

It is begging to look like this guy might just suffer till hes so sick there will be no hope other than taken to be put down. I feel sick myself over it, and my stomach and anxiety are eating away at me. I would do anything to help get this cat out of its pain, I will spare the picture so you guys don't have to carry that burden! The worst part is he is a very sweet cat meows at the caretakers and shows them love.

I'm making some peace with it, that its nature and this is a part of the circle of life, and even though I want to I can't just come in and fix everything. I bought a candle and have been praying. That's where I am at.
 
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