Caring for Sick Stray Cats?

December 21, 2015

I have been feeding a cat, that was wandering the neighborhood, for about five months. At first it was very skittish and wouldn't get near me. About three months ago he became injured in a fight. He had a bite mark on his neck and a torn ear. He became very friendly and started letting me pet him. He was doing fine, but about a week ago, I noticed his voice was getting weaker until he couldn't be vocal.


Yesterday I noticed he wouldn't sleep inside the shelter I made him even in 30 degree weather. This morning I put some food out and noticed he didn't eat it. He just wants to sleep. I don't have money to trap him and take him to a vet, would anyone have suggestions as to how I can help him? I'd hate to call animal control, but think it's my only option. Please offer suggestions.


December 22, 20151 found this helpful
Best Answer

It sounds like your friend has reached the end. It is unfortunate that this happens quickly to strays.
You may be able to wait until he is too cold and tired to fight you any more and wrap him in a towel or blanket. Bring him indoors to have a warm place for his last day or two.

Assuming he actually revives, you will have to find a way to get him veterinary care then. However, this is unlikely.

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4 More Questions

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July 26, 2015

I live in the country and a cat had kittens in one of my out buildings. I have noticed that the mother seems to have a cold; she is sneezing. The six kittens, 4-6 weeks old, are sneezing also and all, but one, has one eye closed.

The smallest one has a yellowy discharge and many flies are swarming around it. A vet is an expense I can't manage right now. What home remedy can I give to the mom and litter. Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


July 26, 20150 found this helpful
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This is tricky.
The cat would actually have to let you get close to it and touch its kittens.
Wash the kittens' eyes with a washcloth and apply triple antibiotic ointment (NOT the cream) as many times a day as you can.
Get a supplement called L-Lysine wherever you get vitamins. Grind it up and put it in canned food to feed the mother.
Bring any surviving kittens to a no-kill shelter as soon as they are old enough to get vet care and be adopted out.
Good luck.

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July 27, 20150 found this helpful
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Good advice from Abigail. Remember if you cannot manage the cats, you can take them to a no kill shelter and they will care for them. If the kittens get used to humans at this young age, they can be adopted out after they are neutered. You can do a lot of good for this little family. Good luck.

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May 30, 2018

There is a stray cat in my neighborhood that I can't quite figure out. He has a healthy appetite and drinks water. He jumps up and down off of things. He's very affectionate, but there are concerning signs as well. He's fairly thin. Seems to have high anxiety, runs whenever anyone or anything comes around. But he'll come up to me. He does seem to have some pain though that I can't quite pin down.

It seems to be around his hind end or tail area. He also spends most of his time lying down, like walking bothers him. He limps sometimes too. I just don't know. Sometimes it seem something is wrong with him and other times it doesn't. I feel bad for it and I do the best I can to keep him fed and watered. Just wish there was more I could do. Is there someone I can call? The ASPCA maybe?


May 30, 20180 found this helpful
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Are you positive he isn't a pet that is just outside way too often? Ask around your neighborhood or talk to your local animal control officer. They usually know who owns who, and who is homeless in the cat world.

Once you verify no one owns him (or as in the case with cats) that he owns no one), see if your town has a group that specializes in feral cats.

They will work to humanely trap the poor thing and get it to a vet. They may ask for donations to help defray costs. They will also spay/neuter and then if truly a feral, they release them back after they are better.

If you have a website like Next Door or use Facebook you can ask locally who can help.

Your borough/township/city offices/animal control officer should be able to give you a list of approved or recommended feral cat services/groups.

Personally I am leery about taking a cat to a shelter as many are kill shelters and if someone is truly wrong, they don't work to make the cat better...especially if they are at capacity.

Unless you have lots and lots of experience with feral cats, I do not recommend you trying to trap it yourself, as you can easily get bit or scratched.

I do encourage...if you work with an feral cat offer some help with the costs...even if it is a small amount. Most of these groups work on shoestring budgets and any little bit of money helps them keep up their good work.

Good luck! Hope it all works for the cat! It is lucky you are looking out for it!!

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I found a cat earlier this week on the side of the road who was clearly very sick. It hardly moved or responded to me. The neighbors around there didn't know anything about it. I picked it up and put it in my car and took it to the emergency vet. They gave it fluids and an antibiotic shot because it had an ear infection. I brought it home and put it in the bathroom.

It's been eating and drinking. He tolerates us petting him, but he still seems discombobulated. He hardly moves, and when we make a sound, he looks in the other direction. I'm not sure what to do! We can't keep him. We could release him, but I'm not sure he would do well outside. I think if we bring him to the SPCA, they will put him down. I didn't think he would live through the first night, but he seems stable now. I think the best option would be to find someone with a barn or something where he can have room, but be cared for. What do you think?


October 11, 20190 found this helpful

I think the idea of having it live on the farm is a good idea. Stray cats are many times feral, and never become domesticated.

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October 13, 20190 found this helpful

Just keep her warm, hydrated and fed and the antibiotics the vet gave her should work for her ear infection. But she should be just fine as long as she is eating and drinking. Watch that ear for problems.

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October 13, 20190 found this helpful

You can try and contact the people in your area who rescue animals and bring them back to health. After they find good homes for the animals. I like your idea of putting him on a far this way he can have plenty of room to run and play.

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October 13, 20190 found this helpful

Bless your heart for saving this baby!! I pray that you can find a local rescue or group who can care for him. Does the vet know of a safe haven for him? Since you have time and money invested (and the vet has already rendered care) it could not hurt to call back and ask what they recommend.

I am blessed to be in an area with a cat rescue on almost every corner and a ton of resources. Not every city is so lucky.

It is possible he could be healed, neutered, ear clipped and released, but this all needs to be done under the guide of a qualified rescue.

Please post back with updates! Prayers for all!!

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August 16, 2019

There is a stray cat around our house. She is almost 5-6 months old. She is sick. She has a blocked nose and watery eyes and she lost half of her weight. I couldn't catch her to help her eat or drink or even clean her nose so she can breath properly. We dont have animal control in my country or any sort of animal help.

I left her food and water, but she didn't eat and I didn't see her drink or go the bathroom, but I am not watching her all the time. I feel guilty that I can't help her in anyway. What can I do?


August 16, 20190 found this helpful

Put something warm and cuddly to warm up to,with food and drink.

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August 16, 20190 found this helpful

You cannot handle them. Just leave some food and water.

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August 16, 20190 found this helpful

I feel your heart break.

Can you rent humane traps from a hardware store and then see about getting her vet care? Or call the closest cat rescue and ask if they have vets that will offer guidance about care?

At a minimum, if you caught her and had her contained in a safe indoor space like a garage where you can wash down the mess) you could at least monitor food and input and output.

Prayers. Post back with an update.

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August 19, 20190 found this helpful

Oh, the poor dear! My son got a trap for our kitten at a local feed store. It was about $75. Or you could call Animal Control or the Humane Society and see if they have lower cost options or could catch it for you.

Sadly, she may have feline leukemia, which is prevalant in feral cat populations. It is also untreatable as far as I know. I adopted a cat once with it and we didn't discover it until after the poor dear had already been spayed. We had to pay for that operation and also for euthanasia.

If you have your own cats, I would keep them inside as it is very contagious. Good luck.

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August 19, 20190 found this helpful

How sad. It is hard to see the little ones in such a tough spot. Many feral kittens have an upper respiratory infection. Most are easily cleared up with antibiotics. It is possible for these kittens to have leukemia. They will usually have pale gums, yellow in the whites of their eyes and mouths. If I take in a feral kitten I take it right to the Vet for a leukemia test because feline leukemia is contagious to other cats (not people or other animals), and I have a couple. Some kittens get over it and go on to live healthy lives. Some cats have the virus but live good lives as the only cat in the household. Sadly some get sicker and die. But any Vet can tell you in 10 minutes if it is an issue.
I hope you can find animal rescue groups to help you. They will have traps you can use. Most will come trap for you. If not, search the internet for how to house and feed feral cats. Hopefully as she learns to trust you she will befriend you. Cats with stuffy noses frequently dont eat much because they cannot smell the food. So try feeding something stinky like sardines or tuna. If she eats for you, you can get medicine from the Vet and hide it in the food. Be sure and tell the Vet the medicine can have no taste. This has worked for me a number of times. Good luck and let us know.

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August 21, 20190 found this helpful

The cat is scared and has been on their own for a long time. You will need to win the trust of the cat. I did pick up a stray cat once and it was very mean. I just let the cat hide in their place and would go and sit there for awhile with a bowl of food. I would talk to the cat and try to get it to come out. This took me over a week to get the cat to trust me. I did not try to touch the cat or even catch it. I just tried to make friends and feed the cat 3 times a day. When the cat finally came out it went straight in my home and cuddled up in a chair. I was able to hold the cat and love the cat. Take your time it will come around. it just needs to trust you first.

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