Getting an Injured Cat to Eat

Yesterday my son's friends found 2 stray cat. One of the cats had severe injuries. None of our shelters would take the cats. The cat is so scared it won't come out of hiding and it won't eat or drink. Do you think that this cat will be scared for life? What do we do from here? How do we get the cat to eat?


By pebbtc from Superior, WI

September 9, 20090 found this helpful

This is a sad story, but hopeful as well. If the cat hasn't been around humans much (or if humans have hurt or scared him) most likely, he will always be scared.

My cat was born a stray then taken in for several months when he was a kitten then abandoned again to live in a parking lot for several months before I luckily got him. He has warmed up to us a bit, but he is still reluctant to get near other humans & hates to be petted. They say if their not held & around humans before 6 - 8 weeks they will never really warm up to us. I'm sure there are exceptions to this rule though. My cat, Smokey won't let us pet him, but he will allow us to scratch under his neck & on his head & he closes his eyes in pure bliss when we do this!

About the food; I know he's not a dog, but on the dog Whisperer TV show Caesar Milan says that dogs first use their nose when coming out of trauma. So I would use canned cat food not dry to tempt them & I would buy one made from Salmon or Tuna so he can really smell it from a distance. Put the food close enough to them that they can smell it & just put out a tiny bit at a time & keep an eye on it because you don't want a dog to get to the food & scare these injured cats. Also you'd not want another cat to go for the food because the other cat might want to fight.

Water is most the important, & a cat will die quickly without water. If the cat starts eating the wet/canned food you can add a bit of water to it so he'll get his water this way. Our cat refuses to drink water so we put it in his wet food. The trick is knowing how much water you can get buy with. To much water in it & they won't eat the food.

As far as animal shelters go, the Humane Society will patch up injured cats & dogs as long as they aren't to bad off. As you know, if you could somehow get these cats into a cage it would be much easier to treat & feed them.

I've posted several cheap & easy ways to build temporary pet cages here on ThriftyFun, let me know if you're interested in the directions & I'll find the URL's for you.

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September 11, 20090 found this helpful

Before you place the wet cat food out, microwave it for ten seconds or so to warm it. (Make sure it is not too hot when you set it down.) This increases the smell. We feed our stray Special Kitty packets with about three teaspoons of water mixed in the packet before you dump it in the bowl. This makes more gravy and he seems lo like it a lot. Also, if you can find it, Whiskas has a "cat" milk that is great for strays because it helps with bone strength but formulated for cats and doesn't cause stomach problems.

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September 12, 20090 found this helpful

The most important thing is to keep the cat quiet, away from any other pets, children. Maybe a bedroom you don't use... Also a litter box, soft bed in a box with a clean blanket, what ever you have for the cat to sleep on. Leave the food and water, and check on the cat occasionally. Also know that this cat is probably very frightened and may jump up on things et. "cat" proof as much as possible for a safe environment. Over feeding a starving cat is not good either, as it may cause vomiting or diarrea. Good luck to you. Also call your vet to see what they have to say. You are a kind person, and God Bless you.

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