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caradino
Jul. 26, 2010, 11:40 AM
On the farm where my boyfriend's grandparents live, there is a large population of semi-feral cats. The only "care" they receive is in the form of cheap grocery store cat food fed daily by said grandparents, but they are all in surprisingly good health for having such little care and maintenance, and many of them are tame and friendly.

Of course, the only one looking a bit poor is my favorite cat out of the whole bunch! She is getting quite thin, and since the other cats (who are a nice weight) are all getting the same diet as she is, i suspect she's probably wormy. I'd love to get some dewormer and better-quality food into her, but I'm not a cat person so I'm not quite sure where to go, or what to buy.

Are cats usually dewormed by a vet, or are there dewormers that can be purchased OTC and administered yourself? What's the best one to use? And any suggestions on a better-quality food that I can give her? If i had a barn myself I would take this kitty to live with me, but as it stands I have nowhere to put her, and just want to try and get her in a little better condition since she is such a sweetheart!

Thanks all. :)

mpsbarnmanager
Jul. 26, 2010, 01:14 PM
My local Bloom grocery store has cat dewormer. I gave it to some kittens I found in the woods as a preventative measure. A lot of barn cats don't get cat food at all, I'd say these are lucky cats! Cat food is cat food to me, I'm sure the most expensive food is a better quality if you feel the need to buy it. Personal preferance.

Isabeau Z Solace
Jul. 26, 2010, 01:23 PM
Quick and easy solution is (half dose) of cat dewormer mixed up with raw egg. Follow up with other half dose in a few days, if cat looks okay. (If cat has bad worms, too much dewormer can make cat very sick.) Most kitties will love raw egg. And it's very easy for them to eat if they have teeth issues. Cook it if you're worried about the 'raw' factor.

SGray
Jul. 26, 2010, 01:27 PM
she might just be wormy -- but she might be ill -- FIV is a possibility -- best would be to catch her and take her to vet for testing -- otherwise, if she is ill it could spread to the rest

deacon's mom
Jul. 26, 2010, 01:29 PM
Oh, gosh. Cheap cat food keeps a cat fed but they usually have dull coats and can get skin allergies. Any good pet store or feed store will have a higher quality food. Check the ingredient list. You can also get a nutrition-rich paste to top dress any cat food to add calories.

JenRose
Jul. 26, 2010, 01:46 PM
she might just be wormy -- but she might be ill -- FIV is a possibility -- best would be to catch her and take her to vet for testing -- otherwise, if she is ill it could spread to the rest

This ^

I buy cat dewormer at Tractor Supply. It is a salmon flavored paste. My once feral kitties seem to like it. I wrap them in a saddle pad (kitty burrito) and squirt it in their mouth. That way I know they got it!

You can supplement "your" kitty with cans of tuna fish in oil. This is what I use to make friends (and put weight on) when a feral kitty shows up at my farm.

Also, I know you are just trying to help but are the cats being spayed or neutered? If not, the colony will continue to grow and be un managable and full of disease in no time! :no:

There are many programs to help manage feral cats. Even in my corner of po-dunk Louisiana there is a low cost clinic about 1 hour away that will spay or neuter all feral cats (brought in in traps) for free. The group I am with provides spay/neuter assistance to area pet owners that are low income; I bet the Grand P's would quality for a similar program especially if they get any gov't assistance such as SSI or Disability.

Alley Cat Allies is a great resource for Trap-Neuter-Return for feral cats. I think if you can search for programs in your area via the below link -
http://www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=355

Props to you for helping the skinny farm kitty!! :cool:

Phaxxton
Jul. 26, 2010, 02:35 PM
she might just be wormy -- but she might be ill -- FIV is a possibility -- best would be to catch her and take her to vet for testing -- otherwise, if she is ill it could spread to the rest

Agreed. I would also test for feline leukemia while she's there...

Was she overweight prior to getting skinny? If so, feline diabetes might also be a symptom. Most cats with diabetes eat / drink excessively, too, though.

caradino
Jul. 26, 2010, 02:56 PM
wow, thank you guys for all the input!

to answer phaxxton, the cat has never been overweight, always a little on the small and slender side, but i can feel her ribs VERY easily lately, and she's thinner than what is healthy. illness wasn't really my first thought, as everything but her weight is normal. she's perky, bright, no discharge from nose or eyes, no coughing or anything else weird that i can see. what are other symptoms of FIV besides weight loss?

sigh, unfortunately kitties are not fixed and the population is growing. i hesitate to take the liberty to bring the ones i can catch to a clinic for spaying since they aren't my cats, nor are they living on my property, and the grandparents are of the mindset that they are "just cats" that wandered onto their property, and they aren't responsible for caring for them. they only feed them because they do enjoy watching them and like to keep them around. but i've had the "let's take the cats to a spay/neuter clinic" arguement before, and it's not gone over well. it's an ongoing battle! but i figure i can at least get some dewormer and better nutrition into this one thin kitty.

Zu Zu
Jul. 26, 2010, 05:11 PM
Jingles for the kitty ~ thank you for trying to help her ~

Coyoteco
Jul. 26, 2010, 05:36 PM
It's a hard time of year for cats. Worm loads at their highest and the heat seems to hurt them.
There was a thread here a few months ago about a wormer that gets even tapes. The womer is applied to the skin.
That would be a great product for semi-feral cats.

Whistlejacket
Jul. 26, 2010, 05:55 PM
Another thing to consider is hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is pretty common in older kitties and can present with marked weight loss in an otherwise seemingly healthy cat. Typically it presents in older kitties (10 yo and up). Being that she is semi-feral, there is probably no way to know her exact age. My understanding is that the only way to determine if it is hyperthyroidism is to do a blood test.

Thanks for taking care of her. WJ

shakeytails
Jul. 27, 2010, 12:00 AM
This http://www.revivalanimal.com/store/p/2775-Pyrantel-50mg.aspx is what I use for worming all the dogs and cats. I'll buy a quart bottle and end up throwing a some out because it'll expire before I use it all. It won't get tapes, but it's cheap and effective for roundworms and such. It also doesn't taste bad so you shouldn't have a problem getting them to eat it. I give it with a syringe and the dogs will lick the syringe. The cats get POed when I squirt it in their mouths, but only because they're cats that aren't used to being messed with. I'm sure they'd eat it on top of some canned cat food.

thrghbrd
Jul. 28, 2010, 03:41 AM
sigh, unfortunately kitties are not fixed and the population is growing. i hesitate to take the liberty to bring the ones i can catch to a clinic for spaying since they aren't my cats, nor are they living on my property, and the grandparents are of the mindset that they are "just cats" that wandered onto their property, and they aren't responsible for caring for them. they only feed them because they do enjoy watching them and like to keep them around.

First of all...KUDOS to you for even attempting to care for a struggling kitty!!

Second...the grandparents may very quickly decide that their small population of kitties isn't so enjoyable when they are being overrun by a herd of feral cats...cats that are peeing/pooping EVERYWHERE...cats that are basically being destructive. That may be a better arguement towards spaying/neutering. Also, how can anyone argue with low cost/free services? AND finally...it doesn't sound like the GParents "own" these cats either so in my opinion...they are "up for grabs" ...go for it and get em fixed! :)