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Feral Cat Challenge

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Threecats, Feb 28, 2021.


  1. Threecats

    Threecats PetForums Newbie

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    Hello
    I discovered a little cat hiding in my garden approx two years ago. She was thin with a dry looking coat and very wary, hissing and spitting if I went near. She also held her tail clamped firmly to her side with just the end held up. I started feeding her outside and gradually, over time, she trusted me enough to come in the house. She will now sit on my lap for a short time but only so long as I don't try to touch her, she is terrified of being handled.

    Having asked around my neighbours, I found that she belonged to someone who spent most of the week away. He'd got the cat as a kitten from 'a friend of a friend" who had assured him the kitten was only hissing and spitting because it was nervous.It was only a couple of months later that he took her too the vet who told him she was a feral cat and the best thing he could do would be to let her out as she would never settle in a home. This is what he did, feeding her outside and leaving a pile of food down when he was away but, of course, the local cat population soon got wind of that!

    Anyway, he was happy for me to continue feeding and caring for the cat, who I have called Titch as she is a very small and fluffy tabby, approx 2 1/2 years old. Unfortunately, her fluffiness is her problem. She will not entertain being groomed and is incredibly feisty in her displeasure. Last summer she became very stressed and I discovered that she had faeces stuck to her fluffy 'trousers' right up under her tail. ( I only discovered this from the smell - she certainly didn't show me!) I came home one afternoon to find her on my lounge chair panting and very distressed, so I needed to take her to an emergency vet I assumed that, because she was so poorly I wouldn't have much trouble getting her into the cat carrier. I was so wrong! Despite her poorly state and me wrapping her in a towel as best I could, trying to juggle cat, carrier lid and towel was, to say the least, challenging! I had to have antibiotics for the lacerations on my hands - I did get her in the basket though!

    Anyway, the vet had to give her far more sedation than she would have given a 'normal' cat apparently, just to trim her trousers and clean up her back end. As they had to knock her out completely they kept her overnight, with an enormous bill the next morning, of course!

    Today, Titch has become very agitated again and the reason why has become apparent once I was able to get near enough. I am dreading the thought of getting her into her carrier again. I have tried keeping it out for a few weeks anyway, just to get her used to the idea of it. I've put one of her beds in it, covered it with a blanket so it's not obvious what it is ( to me!) and put treats in it. Titch just gives me a contemptuous look before stomping off.

    I did ask the vet last time if there was anything they could prescribe to calm her if I had to bring her in again but they didn't want to do that, merely saying to use Feliway or other such OTC remedies. I know for sure, having seen what a ferocious tigress she turned into last time despite being unwell, that Feliway isn't going to cut it! To be honest, as trouser trimming is going to be a regular occurrence and given how much she detests being handled, I rather wonder if it's a kindness to put her through this every few months. What I really need is something like they use for zoo animals, to knock her out for 15 minutes or so to give me enough time to do the necessary but that isn't an option, of course!

    If anyone has read this far and is still awake, any ideas or suggestions you may have would be very much appreciated, please. I would add that I have two 'ordinary' domestic cats as well. They look upon Titch as something of a wild child, I think!

    My apologies for the length of this post!
     
  2. cava14 una

    cava14 una Anne two black and white boys and a Nortie Tortie

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    One of my cats gets really stressed going to the vets to the point there was always blood shed mostly mine.
    My vet suggested giving a dose of Gabapentin and it's made vet visits so much easier for him
    https://allaboutcats.com/gabapentin-for-cats
    I give it about 90minutes before I need to put him in his basket and he's much better about that as well. He can even have his claws clipped and he's back to normal in a couple of hours.
    Might be worth asking your vet
     
    Babyshoes and Threecats like this.
  3. Threecats

    Threecats PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for the quick reply, cava14. That does sound worth a go, although the vet said she wouldn't prescribe anything beforehand. I'll go back and ask them again, if the answer is still no then I think it's time to look for another vet!
     
  4. cava14 una

    cava14 una Anne two black and white boys and a Nortie Tortie

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    Hope you can work something out. It has made a huge difference to Timothy
     
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