A feral tom cat has been visiting the barn where I board for over a year now, and just this year he's been letting me pet him. He's lost a lot of weight this past month and is looking quite skeletal. He's always covered in bloated ticks, which I pull off. Today the BO put Frontline on him, although I was hesitant because of his condition.
He's very thin, but when lying on his side, his belly is a mound, and not flat as I would expect. Could this be worms? If so, is there something OTC that I could safely use on him? I bought some canned food for him and today he visited us and he ate half the can (and made happy chirrupy nosies too). None of us want to take him to the vet and he doesn't visit regularly, so a one time treatment would be great. I think I'd have better luck giving him a liquid than a pill somehow. Or would a crushed pill be undetectable in stinky food? Would he be more eager to eat if he had worms? He doesn't seem to have much appetite.
It's sad to see him wasting away; he's always been thin but the one time in the past I tried to pick him up (and got myself scratched), he was very heavy and solid---all muscle I suppose. We'd like to help him w/o harming him and don't want to scare him so he never comes back.
As far as I know, dewormrs like drontal need to be obtained through the vet, however some vets will prescribe it to "barn cats" without seeing them. Might be worth asking, if you can hide it in tin food he might eat it. Otherwise, wrap him in a towel and shove it down his throat. Pills are actually easier than liquids for cats.
My kitties hunt and regularly get tape worms. This stuff worked really well last fall and nobody has any visible tapes yet and by now they would have. I have 5 indoor/outdoor cats that hunt well and 3 of those regularly get tapes worms. But not this year.
Many large animal vets are willing to help out the barn kitty. If you or one of your boarder's have house cats you small animal vet may be willing to prescribe it for you. My small animal vet is willing to do that for me. My vet's staff will fill it under one of the cats who has seen the vet but I do let them know it is for a stray etc...
Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)
Wow, topical? Would it be dangerous to use if he somehow doesn't have worms? I have no idea what his stool looks like, and he's not around long or often enough to see vomit. It's just the belly and extreme weight loss that is noticeable.
I'll look into it and see what we can do for him. Thanks!
Pro fender is very safe, even if he doesnt have worms. However, I don't think this is going to turn out to be a worm issue. Years of experience make me think there is something more serious. Sudden rapid weightloss with a bloated abdomen in an adult cat typically has a metabolic cause.
I would certainly try a good broad spectrum dewormer first, but a vet visit may still be in order if possible. Start feeding him in a carrier so he will go in willingly, that way if nothing else than for a euthanasia visit if he keeps deteriorating.
Is he neutered? If he's not, I hate to be very hard hearted about this, but if you're not going to see that he's neutered and at least has a rabies shot, it would probably be best to try to find him a home...if you can't find a home the best thing for the cat world is to have him PTS. I neuter and spay all the ones that show up here. I just consider it part of the cost of running a farm.
Try to find a TNR (trap, neuter and return) rescue.