Cat Dilemma

Recently, two cats have moved into the Barn. Of course, I’ve been feeding them, easy mark that I am. They are unfriendly, but have been slowly adjusting to my presence as they eat. They look like unneutered males. The larger of the two has a wound, a hairless, oozing open sore about the size of a quarter on his neck. It doesn’t seem to bother him, but it obviously needs treatment.

I just got off the phone with the vet, who says that an unvaccinated, injured cat must be put down or quarantined. Even if I can catch him, I don’t know what to do. All options are bad at this point.

“or quarantined”. Perhaps a shelter would receive him or he could be quarantined in your barn or some other location.

Do you have pets of your own? It’s true that unvaccinated injured semi-feral animals should probably not be in contact with other animals, especially of the same species, without quarantine.

Neutering will probably do a lot to change their temper.

Thanks for helping them.

You might want to look around for a Trap Neuter Release group in your area. They will have experience with wild cats and may be able to connect you with a resource if they can’t help themselves.

Ewww. Poor cat. They hit the jackpot finding your barn. Like above, find a rescue group and see about TNR. Your vet seems a bit dismissive. He could at least have pointed you to a group who does rescues.

You could probably catch one of them in a have a havahart live trap, but I don’t know how you could avoid being maimed afterwards.

“Put down” is not sound medical advice for something that can be treated with a few stitches if necessary and a course of antibiotics. (The guillotine was a capital cure for a headache.) For a modest expenditure, you can get someone to trap both cats and take them to a reputable small-animal vet, where they will be neutered and the wounded one fixed up (there are even long-acting subcutaneous antibiotics available so you don’t have to try feeding a feral cat pills). Then you can release them back at the barn. Pretty easy.

In my experience with barns, the cats do actually terminate massive numbers of rodents and are good to have around.

That sounds like what the trappers use. There is a handle to carry it by- of course you would not stick your hand into an occupied trap. If you had one, I suppose you could do the job yourself, but who keeps such things around? I would just cough up the $20 or $50 or whatever either for the professional trapper or to donate to the volunteer from the local animal rescue society (even if the latter offers to help out for free).

The Vet was very understanding- he was just explaining the rules. Rules that, while unfortunate, are necessary to keep everyone safe. I have access to a havahart trap, but the vet can’t assume the cat is uninfected, and quarantining a feral is difficult and stressful, not to mention expensive. I will get in touch with local trap and release organizations, that’s a really good idea. If anyone will know the best course of action, they will.

Just think; two cats fighting each other over who will kill rodents!

it seems to be a small wound. Could you give an antibiotic to the cat for 2 weeks and see if it heals?
I am doing that now for a cat that lives on the streets of my neighborhood and comes to my house twice a day to eat. (She’s friendly, likes to jump up on the window sill and rub noses with me.)

But she has been sick recently. (sinus infection). I described the symptoms to my regular vet,and he gave me a liquid antibiotic. I squirt the medicine on her food, she eats it, and is getting better.