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Vaccines & spay/neuter of stray barn cats

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  • Vaccines & spay/neuter of stray barn cats

    I have several cats that have decided to live at our small farm. They have been there since late fall/early winter and are getting tame.

    I need to take them to get vaccines and have them fixed and have been checking out clinics around my area to do this at inexpensive rates. One of the places I believe the vets work on a volunteer basis and the clinic is only open 3 days a week. Getting information from them hasn't been the easiest thing but I asked if the cat is kept overnight after the spay/neuter. No, the cat is dropped off in the morning and picked up that afternoon. That concerns me since these are cats that live outside. Am I be over protective and paranoid?

    Another clinic a little further away will keep the cat overnight. I did get pricing from my vet, but's just too expense for the 3 cats that have moved in!!!

  • #2
    our local humane society has a "barn (or stray) cat special". you trap em, and they spay them. $20 for males and $40 for females. you take them home and keep them quiet for a day or so.

    check with your local HUS to see if they run anything like that.


    • #3
      You don't have a spot to lock them up and keep them quiet for a day or two?

      Most vets don't keep ANY animals overnight. When my dog got done, for example, it was a one day thing. Same with any of the cats I've gotten done.

      Spay/neuter is a relatively safe/simple/easy recovery surgery. (Providing everything goes right and the stitches don't get infected and have to be redone for a grand total of $1800..) The recovering animals will be much more comfortable recovering at home than recovering in some strange vet's office, ESPECIALLY if they are people-skittish barn cats.


      • #4
        Keeping them over night and inexpensive DO NOT go hand in hand.
        If I were you...I'd just keep them contained overnight in your barn and if you cant do that..then something like a large dog kennel will do in a pinch. Cut up shoe boxes make great short term litter boxes.
        "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville


        • #5
          A friend of mine does a lot of work with ferals. She takes them to the local low-cost vet clinic. The cats don't stay overnight so she has the clinic put the cats in a regular carrier after the surgery instead of the trap. She then places the carrier in a large cage, like the dog cage suggested by Chism -- I think any enclosed space would do -- and opens the carrier. She tries to keep the males in overnight, making sure they eat and poop. She likes to keep the females for 24 hours but sometimes they are just too wild and she has to let them out early. Anything is better than not fixing them in my opinion so you may just have to give it a go and hope for the best.


          • Original Poster

            So I guess I'm being paranoid about the cats being released the same day. I have grown attached to them and love having them around. Actually they aren't quite 'barn' cats but have taken up living in the garage and back patio. But one does go to the barn with me.

            I don't have a large crate / kennel but might be able to borrow one or figure it out.

            It's been so long since I have a cat fixed that I can't remember the details. My current cats (inside kitties) are all 8 or 9 years old.
            Last edited by Green Acres; Apr. 9, 2010, 10:46 PM. Reason: added info


            • #7
              I locked my feral male in the tack room after bringing him home from the clinic. I put out food, water and a piece of plastic on the floor with shavings on it for a litter area and left the carrier door open. However, I opened the window a crack to let in some cool air and he managed to jimmy the screen and escape. I spent a bad couple of days berating myself for that - him wandering around drugged up in coyote country, but he returned to my relief. He is now my lap cat.
              Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design


              • #8
                Ask if they can give the animals a mild tranquilizer before they leave, to keep them quiet for a while longer. Could you close the barn doors to keep them in that night?

                Honestly, I think they'll do fine. Every barn cat I've had spayed has gone right back out and been totally OK. They even take out their own stitches after about a week--saves me the trouble.
                Click here before you buy.


                • #9
                  We have neutered a few stray "barn" cats. I do like to keep them contained for a week after spaying. Haven't yet had to neuter a male cat. The first cat I left in the tack room (tack removed, only two horses at that time), but she did pop some stitches and had to go back to the vet. So, future cats we kept in a dog crate until time to remove the stitches. They also become a lot more friendly that way. It doesn't hurt to have an extra dog crate around anyway. In my experience, someone is always dumping a critter off at our farm. I like to have a way to contain them.


                  • #10
                    The biggest thing is keeping them confined until the anaethetic has worn off - I just pop mine back into the carriers and let them sleep it off. Once they can walk without falling over, they should be fine, especially males.
                    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                    Member: Incredible Invisbles


                    • #11
                      One of the big reasons the TNR clinic I volunteer for doesn't keep them overnight is because these are feral wild kitties and they are put back into the carriers/traps while they are still knocked out. Less stress and handling for the cat (rather than being put in a kennel at a clinic and handled/moved again the next day). The large majority do very well. If one is not-quite-right, it stays overnight, but usually in the kennel it came in just for observation.