Help with a stray: needs to be neutered, sick?, etc! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-15-2010, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Help with a stray: needs to be neutered, sick?, etc!

Hello everyone! My hubs & I have two beautiful indoor/outdoor babies whose personalities tend to attract other outdoor neighborhood cats from time to time . There is one cat that showed up last November, a big buff-orange longhair tom cat, who would come around every day. Back then, I was scaring him off because our little girl hadn't been fixed yet (our vet wouldn't do it before she was 6 mo). However, even while she was inside recovering, he came to the window and talked to her (he doesn't try anything fresh with her; he just seems to love being around her), and since then, I stopped scaring him off and started feeding him.

When I first saw him in November, I was sure he was NOT a stray. We live in a military community where families move in and out of the neighborhood constantly, and pets get left behind >. Since he first showed up, he is definitely a stray. He stopped caring for his coat, and his chest is thick with matted fur. His eyes are really leaky and irritated, sometimes mucus-y looking. He has ticks on him like crazy! Sometimes he shows up at our place and stays for 3-4 days; other times we don't see him for a week. We "named" him Callahan, or Cally for short, which he has started responding to. He has a very loving, sweet temperament. He has some defects, but overall seems like a healthy cat (big guy, decent weight).

The thing is, he isn't neutered and our vet charges 100$ to do it, plus he has to have all the shots done ahead of time. We can't really make vet appts for him because he's a stray and we never know when he'll be around! Is there anyway around this? Can vets do shots and neuter at the same time? We do not have a low-cost clinic here (they are trying to open one). I called the military vet, but they will only neuter animals adopted from their shelter. I firmly believe that he needs to be fixed. But taking on the costs for another animal is prohibitive for us right now.

Yesterday it stormed really bad, so I brought him inside and shut him in the bathroom with food & water, litter, and towels. He took a nap and was pretty happy to be inside (he tries to come in our house constantly). He didn't spray at all (I taped newspaper all over the walls and floor just to be safe). However, on the advice of our friend who runs a foster service for pets, we gave him some children's Benadryl for his eyes and some liquid wormer, which pissed him off. We had planned to give him a bath, but he wasn't having it after that. So I put some flea and tick stuff on the back of his head and we let him back out. I want to do more for him, but I just don't know what resources could help us since he's not "our" cat. We can't keep him inside because I can't have him spraying anything (we lease the house), and also because we don't know if he's positive for Feline leukemia or FIV, and I don't want him in close quarters with our babies.

The other thing is, my husband and I are moving across the country in less than 2 months. We have considered taking Cally along because we really worry that his kind temperament could get him in trouble around here, not to mention the fact that he may be running around impregnating other cats or spreading illness. But we can't take him unless he's fixed and tested first.

If anyone has any ideas about getting him fixed up, I'd love to hear them. If anyone has any suggestions for caring for him that we've overlooked (ticks, runny eyes, etc.) please let me know. The animal shelters here are overrun with strays and abandoned animals, and only one is no-kill. Is there a way that I could convince the vet to treat him all at once for a lower cost?

Sorry so long!

Mommy to Miriel (Mimi, 7 months) and Vincent (Vince, 10.5 yrs)

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-15-2010, 01:08 PM
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Re: Help with a stray: needs to be neutered, sick?, etc!

There are several stickies at the top of the Feral Forum that list organizations that will either spay and neuter at a reduced cost or help with Vet bills.

I think it would be wise to have the shots at a different time than the neutering, as some cats have a reaction to the vaccines. I also think it would be wise to take Cally with you. It's a shame you can't keep him inside, because you will have to keep him in for about a month after the move. It's good that you're taking him with you, as he is dependent upon you now, and might not make it without you. I so hope all works out well, and Cally can soon see a vet! Keep us posted, please.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-15-2010, 02:37 PM
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Re: Help with a stray: needs to be neutered, sick?, etc!

Iím not sure of where in Tennessee you are located. I tried to help a good friend of mine who had kittens from a neighbors yard show up in her yard, in the Cordova / Memphis area. I had trouble finding any TNR groups there or low cost s/n clinic that werenít booked into eternity with future appointments. Seemed like they were in the dark ages! Found a woman who did TNR on her own to help my friend.

This is what Id do. Either talk with your own vet and ask him if he could work with you to s/n, vaccinate, test for felv/fiv and get rid of the fleas and ticks @ a reduced rate. Some vets have angel funds they can pull out of to supplement with the reduced rates they give you. Then start networking around to find this sweet kitty a forever inside home.

Or call around to the no k i ll rescues in your town to place the kitty. Tell them you will help them with expenses. Right now it is kitten season plus with all the people in this economy heartlessly dumping animals, rescues are strained to accommodate all these abandoned cats and dogs. Any donation helps. When you offer financial assistance it signals rescues you arenít just trying to dump a cat on them and wash your hand of responsibility but that you really care for the welfare of the cat.

Iím on the other side of managing the crisis of abandoned cats so Iím just giving you my perspective and telling you what works for us and how we perceive people. In no way am I saying you donít care about this cat. You wouldnít be here posting if you didnít want answers and care. Some times it feels like a person is judging you but you cant tell. No way am I doing this.

Sound like this kitty has picked you to be his angel to help him. With the description of this cats downward spiral health wise he is not going to make it on his own. He will have a terrible slow death unless someone helps it. Iíve seen this time and time again. Its heartbreaking. Keep us updated. We can all brainstorm to try to help you navigate the way to find help for him. Thank you for caring and your compassion.
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